Stéphane Lafortune Voted 2019 HKN Professor of the Year in ECE

An expert in discrete event systems, Lafortune is currently teaching a sophomore level class in Signals and Systems.

Joshua Setnicky (HKN President) and Prof. Stéphane Lafortune Enlarge
Joshua Setnicky (HKN President) and Prof. Stéphane Lafortune

EECS students voted, and Stéphane Lafortune, the N. Harris McClamroch Professor of EECS, was named the 2019 Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Professor of the Year in ECE.

The Professor of the Year Award is awarded based on popular vote by all undergraduate and graduate students in programs administered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The voting was administered by the Michigan chapter of the HKN national honor society for electrical and computer engineers, called Beta-Epsilon.

Prof. Lafortune was delighted to hear the news, saying “It’s special because it’s an award from the students.”

He is currently teaching the sophomore level course, EECS 216: Introduction to Signals and Systems. It is one of the 15 courses he’s taught over the course of his career at Michigan. Dedicated to both undergraduate and graduate education, he has been heavily involved in major curricular changes to the undergraduate program, and more recently served as Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs.

Lafortune has taught several courses in his area of specialty, discrete event systems. Discrete event systems are found in modern dynamic systems such as computer and communication networks, automated manufacturing systems, transportation systems, and distributed software systems. He co-authored the textbook Introduction to Discrete Events Systems, now in its second edition. The textbook is used in several undergraduate and graduate courses in the U.S., as well as in over 20 countries worldwide.

Outside the classroom, Prof. Lafortune excels as a mentor to his graduate students. Many former students are now teaching at prestigious universities and excelling in industry.

In addition to receiving the Education Excellence Award from the College of Engineering, he has also received the Research Excellence Award, and the Service Excellence Award. He is Editor-in-Chief of theJournal of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems, and an IEEE Fellow.