Michael R. Lightner, BioSketch
Michael Lightner is Vice President for Academic Affairs for the four-campus University of Colorado System. He is also a Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his PhD from Carnegie-Mellon, and BS (highest honors), and MS from the University of Florida, all in Electrical Engineering. He has worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, IBM Watson Research, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, consulted with several major companies on computer-aided design and joined the University of Colorado in 1981. He is Co-Director of the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Advancing Technologies for Adults with Cognitive Impairments (RERC-ATACI) at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and served as Technology Director of Boulder Digital Works an innovative postgraduate digital media program. He served eight years as Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Prof. Lightner serves as the University of Colorado System representative to the Colorado Department of Higher Education General Education and Academic Councils and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He is secretary-treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the University Press of Colorado.
For many years his research was focused on electronic design automation including simulation, synthesis, test, formal verification and optimization of integrated circuits. He has also worked in signal processing, most recently on multi-rate adaptive filters. The last ten years have emphasized assistive technology for people with cognitive disabilities. In this capacity he helped found and was Associate Executive Director of the University of Colorado Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, funded with a $250M gift from Bill and Claudia Coleman. He is currently Co-Director of the RERC-ATACI. This center is in its third five-year funding cycle (total ~$12M). In these recent roles he has worked with a variety of government agencies and NGOs, and initiated the first IEEE Conference on the Future of Assistive Technology bringing together government, academe, industry, NGOs, public interest groups, and the public to address the needs in assistive technology over the next decade.
Michael, a Life Fellow of IEEE, is in his 45th year as an IEEE member and volunteer. During his long career in IEEE he has served in many leadership roles including President of the Circuits and Systems Society, IEEE Vice President for Technical Activities, IEEE Vice President for Publications Services and Products, IEEE Vice President of Educational Activities, and the 2006 IEEE President and CEO. Recently he has been involved in the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee spending two years as chair and now in the second year as past chair.
He is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has served on the ABET Board of Directors for nine years including roles as Secretary, Engineering Area Director and currently as President.
In his non-technical life Michael has served as Board member and Secretary of the Boulder County Arts Alliance, founding Board President for the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and professional performer on Baroque woodwinds in multiple groups both in Colorado and on the East coast including a performance at Carnegie Hall. He is also a serious landscape photographer www.lightnerimages.com