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William H. Sanders

Dean, Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering

About William H. Sanders

William H. Sanders became dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s college of engineering in 2020. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he spent 25 years at the University of Illinois in various faculty and leadership roles. In 2018, Sanders was appointed as the interim director of the Discover Partners Institute, a purpose-driven, collaborative research institute focused on building prosperity for all through technology-based economic growth. During his time at the University of Illinois, he spent six years as the head of the department of electrical and computer engineering and director of both the Information Trust Institute and the Coordinated Science Lab. Sanders earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, a master’s degree in computer, information, and control engineering, and a doctorate in computer science and engineering, all from the University of Michigan.

Over the course of his research career, Sanders has published more than 270 technical papers in the areas of secure and dependable computing and resiliency metrics and evaluation for critical infrastructures. He created some of the earliest secure power grid architectures, as well as the assessment tools and metrics to quantify smart grid resilience. In 2005, Sanders was the principal investigator of the NSF-supported center-scale power grid program, which brought together prominent universities with major utilities and power grid equipment vendors in the first-ever university-industry-government partnership for power system cybersecurity. The center was the first to propose a comprehensive architecture for a secure smart grid through further development of the resiliency mechanisms pioneered earlier by Sanders.

In addition to these prestigious accomplishments, Sanders has received numerous academic and industry awards, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Technical Field Award, Innovation in Societal Infrastructure. He is an elected fellow of IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the co-founder of Network Perception Inc.

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