July 6-7, 2000


ITEM 108-2004-R0700       RETIREMENT of Donald A. Pierre, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Montana State University-Bozeman


THAT:                                    Upon the occasion of the retirement of Donald A. Pierre from the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.


EXPLANATION:                    Dr. Pierre has been a faculty member at MSU since 1962, served as the department head for five years, and contributed substantially to both the teaching and the research efforts of the department.  Prior to MSU, he worked as an engineer at the Hughes Aircraft Company (1958-1962).  While on leave from Hughes Aircraft, he was awarded the University of Wisconsin Francis Rogers Bacon Fellowship (1960-1961) and a FIER-General Electric Fellowship (1961-1962).  Donald received his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1958, his M.S. degree from the University of Southern California in 1960, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1962, all of which are in Electrical Engineering.


Dr. Pierre began his career at MSU as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering.  He was an Assistant Professor from 1962 to 1965, an Associate Professor from 1965 to 1969, and a Full Professor from 1969 to the present.  He was the Group Leader of the Electronics Research Laboratory Systems Group from 1969 to 1979 and the Head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department from 1979 to 1984. 


Dr. Pierre taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Electrical Engineering.  In the area of control systems, Dr. Pierre has been the lead teacher and researcher in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for the past 38 years.  His 1969 book, Optimization Theory with Applications, was published by John Wiley and Sons, was republished in 1986 by Dover, Inc., and is still available in print.  During his career at MSU, he directed some 16 Ph.D. students in addition to numerous Masters students.  At the undergraduate level, he has had on the average of thirty advisees per year.


Most of Dr. Pierre’s technical contributions have centered on control systems, power systems, and optimization techniques.  He has been the principal investigator on numerous projects, including recent projects supported by N.S.F. and the Electric Power Research Institute.  As a result of sponsored research from various companies and federal agencies, he authored two books and well over 100 professional publications.  In 1982 Dr. Pierre received an N. L. Wiley Faculty Award for Meritorious Research at MSU and, in 1987, an MSU Faculty Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching and Commitment to Honors.  He was elected to be a Fellow member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in 1991 and served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control System Society from 1990 to 1992.  Currently Dr. Pierre is on the editorial advisory board of the International Journal on Computers and Electrical Engineering and is the principal investigator on a wind energy project, Grant Number Z1541.


For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon Donald A. Pierre the rank of Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Montana State University and wishes him well for many pleasant years in the future.