Marc Christensen named Bobby B. Lyle Professor in Engineering Innovation

Marc Christensen, SMU's Bobby B. Lyle Professor in Engineering InnovationSMU’s Lyle School of Engineering has appointed Marc P. Christensen to its Bobby B. Lyle Professorship in Engineering Innovation. He is the first professor to be named to the recently established chair.

Christensen came to SMU from industry as the co-founder of Applied Photonics Inc., a Washington, D.C. area-based company focusing on the development of a new method in multi-scale optical design. Since arriving at the University, he has served as chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, providing leadership to the faculty while pursuing greater departmental productivity in research.

“Marc is one of our most valued and inspiring classroom instructors, a true innovative engineer, and an extraordinary researcher continuously striving to create novel solutions for challenging problems on the forefront of engineering and science,” says Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “His co-development of the SMU Innovation Gymnasium ‘Innovation Fridays’ lecture series and his central role in the redesign of our first-year engineering experience are just two examples of how his entrepreneurial spirit, intellect and energy continue to motivate young engineers.”

Dr. Christensen has been awarded several optoelectronic design patents, with several more pending. In addition to his scholarship, he has written numerous articles for engineering journals and serves as an invited guest speaker at many conferences. He has also contributed to or been featured in articles that have appeared in Wired Magazine, Discovery Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Among his honors for teaching and research are the 2004 SEJC Electrical Engineering Department Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, the 2007 SMU Golden Mustang Award, the 2007 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2008 Gerald J. Ford Research Fellowship, and the 2010 SEJC Electrical Engineering Department Outstanding Professor Award.

Christensen earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University in 1993. He received his master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1998 and his Ph.D. in electrical and computing engineering in 2001, both from George Mason University.