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Dr. J. Douglas Birdwell

Photo of Dr. J. Douglas Birdwell

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Min H. Kao Building, Room 640
1520 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-2250
Office Phone: 865-974-5468
Office Fax: 865-974-5483

Areas of Interest

  • Control Systems
  • Information Processing
  • High Performance Databases
  • Computers
  • Data Mining
  • Bioinformatics


  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering, The University of Tennessee, 1974
  • M.S. in Electrical Engineering, The University of Tennessee, 1974
  • Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978
  • Ph.D. Thesis: On Reliable Control System Designs
  • Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Michael Athans
  • Readers: Prof. Alan Willsky, Prof. Nils R. Sandell, Dr. David A. Castanon


Dr. J. Douglas Birdwell is a retired Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee in 1974. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1978, specializing in reliable control systems design.

He joined the faculty at UT in 1978, and is presently the director of the Laboratory for Information Technologies, which develops secure distributed information systems and analysis tools for counternarcotics and other law enforcement agencies.

He has extensive experience in the following areas:

  • computer hardware and software applications development
  • control systems
  • signal processing and artificial intelligence, including inductive inference of dynamic signal processing structures for signal IDification
  • intelligent process supervision
  • CAD applications in control
  • automated power distribution system analysis and reconfiguration
  • inductive machine learning methods for modeling and real-time control
  • categorical approaches to manipulations of stochastic decision trees
  • distributed intelligent structures for real-time control
  • modeling of C3 systems
  • real-time intelligent control of power electronic inverters for adjustable speed drives

He has over 100 publications in these areas and has directed in excess of $4M externally sponsored research and development projects at the University. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Board of Governors (through 2001) and former Secretary-Administrator on Executive Committee for the IEEE Control Systems Society.

He has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, as Program Co-chair of the 1996 CDC held in Kobe, Japan, and as the General Chair of the 1998 CDC in Tampa, FL, USA. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi honor societies.

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