sealPurdue News

March 22, 2002

Purdue electrical engineers honor Eaton Award alumni, faculty

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University electrical engineering faculty, students, alumni and industry representatives recently honored four recipients of the Eaton Awards in Design Excellence during the Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Affiliates Workshop at Stewart Center.

Alumni award winners were Rob Knoth, of Beaverton, Ore., and Louis Litwin, of Plainsboro, N.J. Faculty honorees were Raymond A. DeCarlo and Michael D. Zoltowski, both natives of Philadelphia.

The Eaton Awards were established to recognize and encourage excellence in design by students and alumni of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and to honor the faculty members who inspire them. Each year awards are made to young alumni, their mentors and students from each of the school's senior design classes.

The alumni award recognizes outstanding early contributions to the field by a graduate who received a degree from the Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering within the past five years. The award also recognizes teaching that promotes excellence in design with alumni award recipients being asked to identify the professor or staff member who had the greatest impact on their design education.

Recipients and their mentors are as follows:

• Alumni award recipient Knoth earned his bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1998. He was a co-op student at Tektronix and upon graduating, accepted a position in the advanced development group. He served as the sole engineer on a digital video crosspoint used in giant video switchers. He also was the sole engineer on a high-resolution, channel digital-to-analog converter and is now a lead physical designer. His recent work has won him achievement awards, a nomination for a president’s award and the nomination of his team for a technical excellence in teamwork award.

DeCarlo was named by Knoth as the professor who had the greatest impact on his design education at Purdue. DeCarlo completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and his doctorate at Texas Technical University. DeCarlo joined the Purdue faculty in 1977. He is the author of three books, has contributed book chapters to other texts and has received numerous electrical engineering distinctions.

• Alumni award recipient Louis Litwin earned his master's in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1999. He is a member of the technical staff at Thomson Multimedia Corporate Research in Princeton, N.J. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Drexel University in 1997. He has published more than 20 papers on the topics of digital communications and digital signal processing and has 24 patents pending for inventions related to digital communications. Litwin has received several awards, including being named the Alton B. Zerby and Carl T. Koerner Outstanding Electrical Engineering Student for 1997 by Eta Kappa Nu. His professional interests include wireless digital communications with a particular focus on adaptive equalization, error control coding and synchronization.

Zoltowski, who was named by Litwin as the professor who had the greatest impact on his education at Purdue, received both a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering, with honors, from Drexel University. He completed his doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1986 he joined the Purdue faculty. During 1987 he held a position of summer faculty research fellow at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego. He received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Outstanding Branch Counselor Award for 1989-1990 and the Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teacher Award for 1990-1991. In 2001 he was honored by Purdue as a university faculty scholar.

James R. Eaton Jr. a design engineer with Hewlett-Packard of Palo Alto, Calif., and his wife, Shirley, established the awards with an endowment. James Eaton holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Purdue. The award also honors Eaton's father, who received his doctorate from Purdue and was a faculty member in the School of Electrical Engineering from 1942 to 1967.

The industrial affiliates program promotes interaction between the school and industry partners, said Amy Noah, corporate relations manager for School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-2073,

Source: W. Kent Fuchs, head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, (765) 494-3539,

Amy Noah, (765) 494- 3538,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of the recipients are available at The files are named decarlo.r.jpeg, knoth.r.jpeg, litwin.l.jpeg and zoltowski.m.jpeg.

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