Dr. Irene C. Peden

(KNFP-08 Advisor)
Retired, Professor Emerita
Seattle, Washington
United States

Focus Areas

Higher Education
Social Justice
Gender Issues


Irene C. Peden is Professor Emerita of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she has also served as Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and as Associate Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Her research interests are in geophysical subsurface remote sensing, radio science, electromagnetic wave scattering and propagation; she has produced a number of publications with her students in these fields. She has taught basic electromagnetics, wave propagation, antennasand remote sensing, and systems theory. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and of Stanford University where she received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering. She joined the University of Washington faculty as Assistant Professor after completing graduate studies in 1962. From 1991 to 1993 she served for two and one half years as Director of the Division of Electrical and Communications Systems at the National Science Foundation, a term that also included nine months as Director of the former Engineering Infrastructure Division She was the first woman engineer/scientist to conduct field work in the interior of the Antarctic continent as a Principal Investigator (1970). She and her students provided significant information about radio propagation and the polar ionosphere, buried antennas, electromagnetic properties of the ice sheet, and radio propagation over long paths in the polar regions. Later research activity concerned location and identification of deeply buried tunnels and other subsurface targets. Dr. Peden is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has held a number of positions in that organization including Vice President for Educational Activities. She was 1989 President of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and chair of the Steering Committee of its 1979 International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and URSI National Radio Science Meeting. She has represented Commission B (Fields and Waves) on the U.S. National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI). She is a former chair of the Army Science Board, of the Engineering Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). She has held membership on the Naval Research Advisory Committee, and a number of technical review panels of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering and the National Research Council. She served.on the Engineering Advisory Council of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Board of Visitors of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Davis, the Board of Visitors of the School of Engineering at Duke University and the National Advisory Boards of the GATEWAY and FOUNDATION Engineering Education Coalitions. She was the National Science Foundation's 1993 Engineer of the Year, and a 1993 inductee into the ASEE Engineering Educators Hall of Fame (40 selected in 100 years). Dr. Peden was the 1991 recipient of the ABET Linton E. Grinter Award, the IEEE's 1988 Haraden Pratt Award, its 1984 Centennial Medal,1989 Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities of the IEEE Educational Activities Board. and 2000 Third Millenium Medal. She received the 2000 Distinguished Achievement Award of the IEEE Education Society. Additional honors and awards include the 1973 Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers, 1974 Distinguished Engineering Alumna Award for Education and 1994 Centennial Medal from the University of Colorado, the ASEE Centennial Medallion, the U.S. Army's 1987 Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, the Dean's Medallion of the Michigan State University College of Engineering, an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Michigan State in 1994, and a Doctor of Science degree honoris causa from Southern Methodist University in 1996. She is also a Fellow of the AAAS, ASEE, ABET, and the Society of Women Engineers. Dr. Peden is a member of the Electromagnetics Academy, Tau Beta Pi, Mortar Board, and Sigma Xi. She is listed in Who's Who in Engineering, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, American Men and Women of Science and Geographical Names of the Antarctic. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.