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William Sanders

William Sanders

Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean & Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CMU's College of Engineering

William H. Sanders is the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He is a leader in engineering research and academia, a well-respected collaborator in higher education who builds strategic public-private partnerships.

Sanders previously served as the Herman M. Dieckamp Endowed Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the interim director of the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in the University of Illinois System where he led the joint education, research, and innovation institute in its efforts to drive technology-based economic growth. Backed by a $500 million appropriation from the state and more than $400 million in private funding, DPI spans three universities and includes eight other academic partners.

Sanders has spent the past 25 years of his career as a tenured professor at Illinois in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests include secure and dependable computing and security, as well as resiliency metrics and evaluation, with a focus on critical infrastructures. He has published more than 270 technical papers in those areas. Sanders has also directed work at the forefront of national efforts to make the U.S. power grid smart and resilient.

Beyond his significant scholarly record, he was the founding director of the University of Illinois’ Information Trust Institute in 2004, growing its faculty to more than 100 and attracting $80 million in external research funding by 2011. Sanders then served as director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory from 2010-2014 and was head of the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2014-2018. He also co-founded the Advanced Digital Sciences Center in Singapore in 2009, which is Illinois’ first international research facility.

Sanders earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering; master’s degree in computer, information, and control engineering; and doctoral degree in computer science and engineering, all from the University of Michigan. He is an elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery; and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His awards include the 2016 IEEE Technical Field Award, Innovation in Societal Infrastructure, for “assessment-driven design of trustworthy cyber infrastructures for societal-scale systems.” Sanders is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Network Perception Inc.