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Celebrating Black Engineers

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, ECE would like to highlight some of our many incredible Black faculty, students, and alumni.

The impact of these gifted individuals spans many fields and industries. While far from comprehensive, included in the list is the first Black woman to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and the first Black faculty member in the College of Engineering.


Herbert Winful

Prof. Winful has made fundamental contributions to nonlinear fiber optics, nonlinear optics in periodic structures, the nonlinear dynamics of laser arrays, the propagation of single-cycle pulses, and the physics of tunneling. His awards include the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, the Amoco/University Teaching Award, the State of Michigan Teaching Award, the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence and Service Excellence Awards, and two EECS Professor of the Year Awards. News >

Leo McAfee

Prof. Leo McAfee, the first black professor hired by the College of Engineering in 1971, served the EECS department for 40 years before his retirement in 2010. McAfee conducted research in the area of numerical and circuit modeling of integrated circuits, networks for automated semiconductor manufacturing, and computer network devices. As Education Thrust Leader for the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS), he influenced the lives of hundreds of future engineers during his tenure. Learn more >


Iverson Bell, III

PhD EE 2015
Senior Principal Cyber System Engineer at Northrop Grumman specializing in space propulsion and satellite design. Learn more >

Todd Coleman

BSE EE and CE 2000
A Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) who specializes in the use of flexible and miniaturized electronics for human health monitoring. Learn more >

Charlotte Decker

BSE MSE CE ’85 ’86; MBA ’91
An information technology executive with over 25 years of experience across several major industries including insurance, claims, and banking services, specialty retail, and automotive. Learn more >

Rhonda Franklin

MS PhD 1990 1995
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She teaches applied electromagnetics and microwave circuits. Learn more >

Angelique Johnson

MSE PhD EE 2007 2011
Uses microfabrication to significantly reduce the cost of one of the most expensive parts of cochlear implants. Learn more >

Willie Hobbs Moore

The first African American woman at Michigan to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering (’58 and ’61). Learn more >

Isaac Porche

PhD EE:S 1998
Director of Acquisition and Development Program, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, RAND Corporation. Learn more >

David Tarver 

BSE MSE EE 1975 1976
Currently serves as a lecturer in the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship in Ann Arbor. He is also founder and board president of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir.” Learn more >

Doctoral Students

Christopher Boyd

Boyd is a PhD student who specializes in chip design and control for MEMS inertial sensors. Learn more >

Kwesi Rutledge

Rutledge is a PhD student who specializes in correct by construction control. Learn more >