Dr. Ralph Ford is the director of the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He obtained his B.S. degree from Clarkson University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona, all in electrical engineering. He worked at IBM Microlectronics Division in East Fishkill, NY from 1989-1993 developing computer vision systems for semi-conductor inspection. He joined the faculty at Penn State Behrend in 1994 and then served as chair of electrical and computer engineering for eight years. During this period, the program expanded in terms of academic offerings and student enrollment, and added two new degree programs in computer and software engineering.
He was selected as director of the Penn State Behrend School of Engineering in 2005. He has led efforts to create a new major in Interdisciplinary Business and Engineering with the Sam and Irene Black School of Business, added new research centers, and increased student enrollments. The School of Engineering has increased its national visibility as reflected in its ranking as one of the top 50 undergraduate engineering schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Dr. Ford was a Fulbright Scholar to the Czech Republic in 2005, where he taught and conducted research at Brno University of Technology, has served as an ABET accreditation program evaluator, obtained over $1M in external funding, and is the author of over 40 publications including the book Design for Electrical and Computer Engineers (McGraw-Hill). He is a member of the IEEE Board of Directors and Director of IEEE Region 2. IEEE is the largest professional technical society in the world with nearly $400M in annual revenues. Dr. Ford also serves on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Corporation for Erie County.
Dr. Ford's research and teaching interests are in digital signal processing, digital image processing, computer vision, and engineering design.