Rafael C. Gonzalez received the B.S.E.E. degree from the
University of Miami in 1965 and the M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical
engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1967 and 1970,
respectively. He joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) in 1970, where he became
Associate Professor in 1973, Professor in 1978, and Distinguished Service
Professor in 1984. He served as Chairman of the department from 1994 through
1997. He is currently a Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at UTK.
Gonzalez is the founder of the Image & Pattern Analysis Laboratory and the
Robotics & Computer Vision Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. He
also founded Perceptics Corporation in 1982 and was its president until
1992. The last three years of this period were spent under a full-time
employment contract with Westinghouse Corporation, who acquired the company
Under his direction, Perceptics became highly successful in image
processing, computer vision, and laser disk storage technologies. In its
initial ten years, Perceptics introduced a series of innovative products,
including: The world's first commercially-available computer vision system
for automatically reading the license plate on moving vehicles; a series of
large-scale image processing and archiving systems used by the U.S. Navy at
six different manufacturing sites throughout the country to inspect the
rocket motors of missiles in the Trident II Submarine Program; the market
leading family of imaging boards for advanced Macintosh computers; and a
line of trillion-byte laser disk products.
He is a frequent consultant to industry and government in the areas of
pattern recognition, image processing, and machine learning. His academic
honors for work in these fields include the 1977 UTK College of Engineering
Faculty Achievement Award; the 1978 UTK Chancellor's Research Scholar Award;
the 1980 Magnavox Engineering Professor Award; and the 1980 M.E. Brooks
Distinguished Professor Award. In 1981 he became an IBM Professor at the
University of Tennessee and in 1984 he was named a Distinguished Service
Professor there. He was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the
University of Miami in 1985, the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award in 1986, and
the University of Tennessee's Nathan W. Dougherty Award for Excellence in
Engineering in 1992.
Honors he has received for industrial accomplishments include the 1987 IEEE
Outstanding Engineer Award for Commercial Development in Tennessee; the 1988
Albert Rose Nat'l Award for Excellence in Commercial Image Processing; the
1989 B. Otto Wheeley Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer; the 1989
Coopers and Lybrand Entrepreneur of the Year Award; the 1992 IEEE Region 3
Outstanding Engineer Award; and the 1993 Automated Imaging Association
National Award for Technology Development.
Gonzalez is author or co-author of over 100 technical articles, two edited
books, and four textbooks in the fields of pattern recognition, image
processing, and robotics. His books are used in more than 1000 educational,
industrial, and research institutions in over 50 countries. He is listed in
the prestigious Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who in
Engineering, Marquis Who's Who in the World, and in 10 other national and
international biographical citations. He is the co-holder of two U.S.
Patents, and has been an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on
Systems, Man and Cybernetics, and the International Journal of Computer and
Information Sciences. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary
societies, including Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi.
He is a Fellow of the IEEE.