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Research Scholars in Residence

The Research Scholars in Residence Program was established several years ago as an initiative of the Kennedy Library and has since developed beyond expectations. Now housed in the Office of Research and Economic Development, the program welcomes to campus distinguished scholars from academia and industry who have retired from their primary careers, but by no means from active and involved intellectual lives. Scholars are provided a base from which to work on campus and encouraged to pursue their own interests, in collaboration with Cal Poly faculty and students. We are fortunate to have them as members of the campus community. Their involvement has led to joint research projects with faculty and students, the receipt of new grants from the federal government, mentoring of faculty in the development of grant proposals, and refereed publications citing their Cal Poly affiliation.

If you are interested in tapping into this resource, you are encourage to contact them, either directly or through our office. In addition, the Research Scholars in Residence Program hosts an evening seminar series, in which Scholars discuss their work in talks suitable for a general audience and open to the local community.

Upcoming Presentations:

Defining Racial Boundaries: The U.S. Supreme Court and Naturalization Policy in the 1920s (pdf) by Dr. Earlene Craver
Tuesday, April 29, 4:00pm, Cal Poly Kennedy Library, Bldg. 35, Room 202A


Past Presentations:



George Alers

Dr. George Alers

B.A. Physics, Rice University
M.S. and Ph.D. Solid State Physics, State University of Iowa

Dr. Alers has performed basic research into the properties of solids, primarily metals, at Westinghouse Research Laboratories, Ford Motor Company Scientific Laboratory, and the Science Center of Rockwell International. He was President and CEO of a small business performing advanced development of ultrasonic sensors for nondestructive testing of structural materials. He also served as group leader for new methods of quantitative nondestructive evaluation at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). His major areas of research have included: crack formation and propagation in single-crystal metals; elastic and anelastic properties of metals under extreme conditions of pressure, temperature and magnetic fields; and ultrasonic wave propagation in structural materials and anisotropic solids. Dr. Alers’ current interests include: electromagnetic excitation and detection of ultrasonic waves in metal structures without physical contact, i.e., across an air gap; and precision measurement of the velocity of sound and its attenuation, to assess the mechanical integrity of large engineering structures such as aircraft, bridges, pipelines, and railroad components.

George Bekey

Dr. George A. Bekey

B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
M.S. and Ph.D. Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Bekey worked on analog computers at Beckman Instruments in Richmond, California, and on control and guidance of satellites and space vehicles at Space Technology Laboratories in El Segundo, California, before accepting a position as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1962. During his 40-year USC career he was Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department and later of the Computer Science Department. He was also the founder of the USC Robotics Research Laboratory. From 1997 to 2001 he served as Associate Dean for Research of the School of Engineering. He formally retired from USC in 2002, where he is now an Emeritus Professor, and continues to be active on a part-time basis. Since 2003 he has been affiliated with Cal Poly, as a Research Scholar in Residence and an adjunct professor of engineering. His research interests include autonomous robotic systems, applications of robots in biology and medicine, and human-robot interaction. He has published over 240 papers and several books in robotics, biomedical engineering, computer simulation, control systems, and human-machine systems. His latest book, entitled Autonomous Robots, was published by MIT Press in 2005. He is the founding editor of the two major international journals in robotics. Dr. Bekey’s current interests include the theory and design of altruistic robots, as well as the study of robot ethics, both in the military and in medical applications. Dr. Bekey is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE, the AAAI, and the AAAS. He has received numerous awards from professional societies and from USC.

Dr. Earlene Craver

B.A. History, Fresno State College
M.A. Economics and Ph.D. History, University of Southern California

Dr. Craver has published on a number of topics in early twentieth century European and American history.  Her work on the intellectual migration to the U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s includes “The Emigration of the Austrian Economists,” History of Political Economy (1986) and a 1978 television interview with the 1974 Nobel Memorial prize-winner in economics , Friedrich von Hayek.  Her work, “On the Boundary of White: The Cartozian Naturalizaton Case and the Armenians, 1923-1925,” Journal of American Ethnic History (2009), examines a 1923 legal case challenging the admissibility of Armenians to U.S. citizenship.  She has also written on the Italian socialist party and labor movement including “The Third Generation: The Young Socialists in Italy, 1907-1915,” Canadian Journal of History (1996). She has previously taught at UC Riverside, University of Kentucky, and other universities including the University of Trento (Italy). 

John Dunning

Dr. John S. Dunning

B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Electrochemical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
From 1971 to 1988, Dr. Dunning served as Assistant Head of the Electrochemistry Department at the General Motors Research Laboratories. In 1988, he established the West Coast Operations office and laboratories of General Motors’ Delco Remy Division. In 1997, he joined General Motors Advanced Technology Vehicle Platform, where he managed multinational programs for the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) and the Program for a New Generation Vehicle. Dr. Dunning’s primary research area has been electrochemical energy conversion and storage. He developed batteries and fuel cells for transportation applications, as well as specialized electrochemical and chemical processes. He also developed a battery for the Impact prototype vehicle, later the production EV-1. His work has supported motor and motor control development, hybrid vehicles such as the GM-Allison Hybrid Transit Bus, and other advanced battery test equipment. After retiring from General Motors, Dr. Dunning established Epsilon Research Services, a consulting firm that assists business, government, academic and public policy clients in developing advanced technology for the transportation, defense, health and energy sectors. He also served as Executive Director of Electricore from 2001-2004. This non-profit organization collaborates with industry and universities for design, demonstration, and deployment of advanced technologies in private-public partnerships with the Departments of Defense, Energy, Transportation and others. Dr. Dunning’s contributions include patents and publications in the field of electrochemical engineering. He has been active in electric vehicle competitions, where he has set world records for fast charging and quick-change battery technology and electric vehicle racing. He has given numerous presentations worldwide and served on advisory boards for the U.S. Department of Energy and international organizations. His R&D teams have received both the General Motors President’s Council Honors Award and the prestigious Kettering Award.

Bob Field

Dr. Bob Field

B.S. Physics, Case Western Reserve University
M.S. and Ph.D. Experimental Solid State Physics and Laser Spectroscopy, University of Illinois
As a senior scientist at Rocketdyne, Dr. Field designed and analyzed advanced high-energy laser optical systems. As a senior scientist at Schafer Corporation, he developed advanced optical coatings for high-energy laser and surveillance systems. After retirement, he developed informal science education programs including walks, talks, and exhibits as a docent for the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History. As an adjunct physics professor at Cal Poly, he has supervised 15 student projects in physics and biology and developed and taught an advanced physics course, PHYS470, on solar and global evolution. Dr. Field currently studies the structure, composition, flows of energy and matter, and evolution of the Sun, solid Earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. His current goals are to collaborate with students, teachers, and other professionals to develop a global evolution website that highlights the five-billion-year natural history of planet Earth and to develop simple math models of the structure and evolution of complex natural systems.

Russell Genet

Dr. Russell M. Genet

B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Oklahoma
M.S. Logistics Management, Air Force Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Astronomy, Union Institute and University
Dr. Genet has taught courses in electronics, mathematics, communications, astronomy, history, and sociology at a variety of institutions in California, Ohio, Mississippi, and Arizona, as well as individualized aircraft flight training. He currently teaches general astronomy courses at Cuesta College and specialized short courses at Cal Poly, where he recently chaired a conference on small telescope astronomical research. Early in his career, Dr. Genet designed guidance systems for rockets and developed gyroscope and accelerometer tests. He also designed a reentry plasma experiment for the Gemini space capsule. In the area of systems analysis, he developed computer simulation models of rockets and aircraft, including the first computerized life-cycle cost models. He has also applied medical diagnostic mathematical analysis techniques to equipment fault detection and developed aircraft flight training simulators. In the area of astronomy, Dr. Genet has authored and edited several books and papers, organized symposia, and appeared in television documentaries. He founded the Fairborn Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, where he developed automatic telescopes and helped establish the first fully robotic observatory. Dr. Genet has been working with faculty and students in Mechanical Engineering and Physics at Cal Poly, developing research telescopes that explore the application of recent technological advancements. Dr. Genet has also organized several local workshops and a conference on Small Telescopes and Astronomical Research.

Roger Grismore

Dr. Roger Grismore

B.S. Computer Science, Coleman College (San Diego)
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Physics, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
Dr. Grismore held the positions of Associate Professor of Physics at Lehigh University, Professor of Physics at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, and Lecturer and Research Professor of Physics at Cal Poly. He also served as an Assistant and Associate Physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, a Senior Specialist in Physics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and as Staff Scientist and Senior Scientist at Jaycor in San Diego. His major areas of research have been in experimental physics, particularly in the fields of nuclear physics, oceanography and astrophysics. His current research interests focus on measuring radioactivity in artifacts recovered from space, using the highly sensitive, multidimensional gamma-ray spectrometer that he built at Cal Poly. The purpose of this research is to learn as much as possible about the radioactive atoms present in space in order to help theoretical astrophysicists develop theories on the formation of the solar system and galaxies. To further this research, he obtained a contract with the NASA/Johnson Space Center in Houston, which designated him as a Lunar Sample Investigator and allowed him to borrow space samples from NASA. As a result of his research his biography has been included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and American Men and Women of Science.

Theodore Hill

Dr. Theodore P. Hill

B.S. United States Military Academy at West Point (Distinguished Graduate)
M.S. Operations Research, Stanford University
M.A. and Ph.D. Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley
Fulbright Scholar, University of Goettingen in Germany and NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Scholar, Leiden University in the Netherlands
Dr. Hill currently is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He has also held visiting research positions at universities in the Netherlands, Mexico, Israel, Hawaii, Germany, and Costa Rica, as well as at various American universities, including U.C. Berkeley and Washington University. Dr. Hill’s major area of research is the mathematical theory of probability, with particular emphasis on the three fields of Optimal Stopping, Fair Division, and Benford’s Law. Currently Dr. Hill is working on research in optimal statistical methods for consolidating data from different experiments, Benford’s Law in dynamical systems, "cake-cutting" counterexamples, and questions concerning random processes in physics.

Theodore Hill

Dr. Axel Leijonhufvud

Bachelors Degree, University of Lund
M.A., Economics, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University
Dr. Leijonhufvud is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was on the faculty for more than 30 years. He started the Center for Computable Economics at UCLA and was its Director from 1991 until 1997. He was awarded an honoris causa doctoral degree by the University of Lund, and was appointed Professor of Monetary Theory and Policy at the University of Trento in Italy, where he is also part of the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory. He is one of the pre-eminent Keynesian economists of the second half of the twentieth century and has published a widely used scholarly book, On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes. He is one of the first scholars to work in the area of computational macroeconomics, a field using computers to study the aggregate effects of bounded rationality of agents in complex systems.