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School of Engineering

Karen Panetta

Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Dean for Graduate Education, School of Engineering

Karen Panetta

Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Dean for Graduate Education, School of Engineering

Phone 617-627-5976
Halligan Hall, Room 236
161 College Avenue, Medford, MA
Research: 
image and signal processing for security and medical applications, modeling and simulation, multimedia
Biography: 

Karen Panetta received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. As the first female electrical engineer to be given tenure in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, Panetta continues to promote the interests of women in her field. From 2007 to 2009, she was the worldwide director for IEEE Women in Engineering, the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, and she served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Women in Engineering magazine. She is the faculty adviser to the Tufts student chapters of both the Society of Women Engineers and the IEEE, and is founder of the nationally acclaimed Nerd Girls program, which promotes engineering disciplines to young students. She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was awarded the 2013 IEEE Award for Distinguished Ethical Practices for exemplary contributions and leadership in developing ethics and social responsibility in students. She has received several NASA and National Science Foundation research grants, including the NSF CAREER Award. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Panetta the Presidential Award for Science and Engineering Education and Mentoring.

Education: 
Ph.D., Northeastern University
M.S., Northeastern University
B.S., Boston University
Professional Experience: 
2013-present:

Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Tufts School of Engineering

2009-present:

Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

2000-present:

Design Consultant, MACOM/Tyco Electronics

2007-2011:

Chief Research Scientist, BA Logix, Inc.

2001-2009:

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

1997-1999:

Consultant, General Scanning

1995-2001:

Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

1985-1992:

Digital Equipment Corporation

  • 1991-1992: Principal Software Engineer
  • 1989-1991: Fault Simulation Project Leader
  • 1987-1989: Senior Software Engineer
  • 1985-1987: Diagnostic Engineer
1984-1985:

Information Research Analyst, Gillette Company

Research Interests: 

Karen Panetta's research focuses on developing efficient algorithms for simulation, modeling, and signal and image processing for security and biomedical applications.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
2013: Award for Distinguished Ethical Practices, IEEE
2011: Presidential Award for Science and Engineering Education and Mentoring, National Science Foundation
2011: Women of Vision Award for Social Impact, Anita Borg Institute
2010: Major Educational Innovation Award, IEEE
2010: Grand Award for Publication Excellence (for IEEE.tv Nerd Girls video), Apex
2010: Norm Augustine Award, National Academies of Engineering and Science
2008: Fellow, IEEE
1997: CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
Selected Professional Activities: 
Co-founder of the first Tufts School of Engineering start-up, BA Logix, Inc., based on Panetta's intellectual property
Tufts chapter faculty advisor, IEEE
Tufts chapter faculty co-advisor, Society of Women Engineers
Professional Memberships: 
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Society of Women Engineers
Association for Computing Machinery
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Society for Engineering Education
Teaching/Courses Taught: 
Microprocessor design
Digital logic and analog circuits
Digital system testing
Computer animation