Douglas Birdwell is a professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee, where he was an active faculty member from 1978 until his retirement in 2015. He founded and was a director of the Laboratory for Information Technologies at the university. He received his PhD from MIT in 1978, and he received his BS and MS in 1974 from the University of Tennessee. Douglas is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He served over twenty years in numerous positions in the IEEE, including president (2004) and member of the board of governors (1990-2001) of the Control Systems Society, general chair (1998) and program co-chair (1996) of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, secretary-administrator (1993-1995), and associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (1990-1992).
Doug's research experience covers a broad range of topics in modeling, controls, inteof servicelligent systems, command, control and communications systems, signal and image processing, secure information technologies, and high performance databases. From 1995-2011, his work focused upon the development of advanced information technologies for use by state and federal law enforcement agencies and the defense community, including the development of fundamental search, match, and retrieval methods used for human identification using DNA and the identification of missing persons and victims of mass disasters using pedigree data and DNA from family members. From 2011-2015 he and his graduate students developed novel technologies in neuromorphic computing, leading to two issued patents and a number of pending patent applications.
He has over 100 publications, holds 36 patents, and has directed in excess of $10 million in externally sponsored research and development projects at the University.