Stéphane Lafortune voted 2024 HKN Professor of the Year

Prof. Lafortune is receiving this honor for the second time. Last year, he taught the introductory course in signals and systems, and a new introductory course focused on the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
HKN President Sarah Donley presents the HKN Professor of the Year Award to Prof. Stéphane Lafortune.

Prof. Stéphane Lafortune was thrilled to learn he was named the 2024 HKN Professor of the Year in ECE by the Beta-Epsilon chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), the national honor society for electrical and computer engineers.

“This is an award that is determined by the students, so it feels really good to receive this particular recognition,” said Lafortune, who is the N. Harris McClamroch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Lafortune is receiving this honor for the second time; his previous win was in 2019. This past year, he taught two different courses. The first was EECS 216, Introduction to Signals and Systems. He taught two different lecture sections of this lab-intensive course.

“I credit the great team of GSIs and IAs for their contributions to the course and for their devotion to the students,” said Lafortune.

In recent years, Lafortune has been one of the primary instructors for the EECS 216, which is required of all undergraduate students majoring in either electrical engineering or computer engineering. In 2022, he came out with the textbook, A Guide to Signals and Systems in Continuous Time, which was designed to be a supplementary resource for students in the course.

Lafortune also developed and taught a brand new course, EECS 298-051: From 51 Billion to Zero: Challenges and Opportunities in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This course focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of human activity. To supplement the course material, Lafortune recorded a series of interviews with experts in the field; these interviews are now available as a playlist on the ECE YouTube channel.

Lafortune’s research specialty lies in Discrete Event Systems, including modeling, analysis, supervisory control, diagnosis, and privacy and security of this class of dynamical systems. He co-authored the textbook Introduction to Discrete Event Systems, and served as Editor-in-Chief of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems: Theory and Applications from 2015-2020. He is a Fellow of IEEE and of the International Federation of Automatic Control.

The HKN Professor of the Year Award is awarded based on popular vote by all undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The voting was administered by HKN leadership, and two faculty are selected each year, one in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the other in Computer Science and Engineering.