Electrical engineering alumnus receives IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award


By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State electrical engineering alumnus John Tague received the 2020 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award. One recipient is selected annually for their professionalism, technical achievement and contributions to the engineering profession, according to IEEE-USA.

According to the IEEE-USA’s website, the 2020 award recipients were chosen in particular for their ability to “meet the challenges of 2020” with their research contributions. Tague was specifically honored for his contributions to the United States Navy’s technology enterprise.

“We are honored to learn that Dr. Tague, our 2020 Outstanding Engineering Alumnus, has received this prestigious award for his distinguished technical contributions in electrotechnology while in U.S. government service,” said Kultegin Aydin, department head and professor of electrical engineering.

Tague received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was then commissioned as an officer in the Navy. When he left the Navy, he began searching for a graduate school to study underwater sonar systems. Penn State stood out to him because of its connection with the Applied Research Lab, its strong program in underwater acoustics, and its international reputation as a quality engineering college.

After receiving his doctorate from Penn State in 1987, Tague worked as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio University, where he founded and sustained a productive signal processing education and research program. He then joined the Office of Naval Research, where he still works today, providing technical and managerial leadership for a $22 million program that delivers signal processing technology to the Navy. In his current role as team leader of the Undersea Signal Processing Program, he is responsible for the Navy’s basic research, applied research and advanced development of new passive and active sonar signal processing algorithms.

“The world-class education I received from Penn State went a long way toward making this [award] happen,” Tague said. “I use the information I learned in my classes, and problem-solving skills, every day on the job. I would recommend any student wanting to study engineering to attend Penn State.”


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