Ian Dobson joins the ECpE department as the inaugural recipient of the Arend J. and Verna V. Sandbulte Professorship in Engineering. This endowed professorship was established in 2010 to support an elite faculty member in electric energy.
Dobson received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1978 and his PhD in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1989.
From 1978 to 1983, Dobson worked as a systems analyst for the British company EASAMS. After completing his PhD, Dobson joined the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he served as an assistant professor from 1989 to 1994, an associate professor from 1994 to 1999, and a professor from 1999 to 2011. Dobson also served as a visiting professor at Cornell University from 2000 to 2001.
Dobson is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and he is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. His research has contributed methods for the electric power industry to avoid blackouts of power grids caused by declining voltages and various other engineering applications of nonlinear dynamics and chaos.
Dobson’s research interests include avoiding large blackouts caused by cascading failure, monitoring to improve the performance of the smart transmission grid, and complex systems aspects of reliability and risk analysis. Dobson is a member of the electric power and energy systems research group, and the energy infrastructure strategic research area at Iowa State.