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Gonzalez joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) in 1970, where he became Associate Professor in 1973, Professor in 1978, and Distinguished Service Professor in 1984. He served as Chairman of the department from 1994 through 1997. He is currently a Professor Emeritus.
He is the founder of the Image & Pattern Analysis Laboratory and the Robotics & Computer Vision Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. He also founded Perceptics Corporation in 1982 and was its president until 1992. The last three years of this period were spent under a full-time employment contract with Westinghouse Corporation, who acquired the company in 1989.
Under his direction, Perceptics became highly successful in image processing, computer vision, and laser disk storage technologies. In its initial ten years, Perceptics introduced a series of innovative products, including: The world's first commercially-available computer vision system for automatically reading the license plate on moving vehicles; a series of large-scale image processing and archiving systems used by the U.S. Navy at six different manufacturing sites throughout the country to inspect the rocket motors of missiles in the Trident II Submarine Program; the market leading family of imaging boards for advanced Macintosh computers; and a line of trillion-byte laser disk products.
He is a frequent consultant to industry and government in the areas of pattern recognition, image processing, and machine learning. His academic honors for work in these fields include the 1977 UTK College of Engineering Faculty Achievement Award; the 1978 UTK Chancellor's Research Scholar Award; the 1980 Magnavox Engineering Professor Award; and the 1980 M.E. Brooks Distinguished Professor Award. In 1981 he became an IBM Professor at the University of Tennessee and in 1984 he was named a Distinguished Service Professor there. He was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Miami in 1985, the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award in 1986, and the University of Tennessee's Nathan W. Dougherty Award for Excellence in Engineering in 1992.
Honors he has received for industrial accomplishments include the 1987 IEEE Outstanding Engineer Award for Commercial Development in Tennessee; the 1988 Albert Rose Nat'l Award for Excellence in Commercial Image Processing; the 1989 B. Otto Wheeley Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer; the 1989 Coopers and Lybrand Entrepreneur of the Year Award; the 1992 IEEE Region 3 Outstanding Engineer Award; and the 1993 Automated Imaging Association National Award for Technology Development.
Gonzalez is author or co-author of over 100 technical articles, two edited books, and four textbooks in the fields of pattern recognition, image processing, and robotics. His books are used in more than 1000 educational, industrial, and research institutions in over 50 countries. He is listed in the prestigious Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who in Engineering, Marquis Who's Who in the World, and in 10 other national and international biographical citations. He is the co-holder of two U.S. Patents, and has been an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, and the International Journal of Computer and Information Sciences. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies, including Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.
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