Computer science and engineering's La Porta named Leonhard Chair

Thomas La Porta, distinguished professor of computer science and engineering, has been named to the William E. Leonhard Chair in Engineering.

A member of the Penn State faculty since 2002, La Porta is director of the Penn State Networking and Security Center.

The Leonhard Chair provides a distinguished faculty member in the College of Engineering the opportunity to continue scholarly excellence through contributions to teaching, research and public service.

La Porta teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in computer networking and mobile networking.

His research interests include mobility management, signaling and control for wireless networks, mobile data systems, protocol design and mobile and wireless security.

La Porta is the principal investigator and director of the $35 million Communications Network Academic Research Center funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. He also leads a major portion of the Army facility?s International Technology Alliance Program on network science.

La Porta is the winner of the 2007 and 2009 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for his work on cellular networks. He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow and a Bell Laboratories fellow.

La Porta was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and served as editor-in-chief of IEEE Personal Computing Magazine and IEEE Applications of Practice Magazine. He has served as a member of the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the IEEE Communications Society board of governors, and director of magazines for the IEEE Communications Society.

A holder of more than 35 patents, La Porta has also received support from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Army Research Office.

Prior to coming to Penn State, he was director of Bell Laboratories' mobile networking research department.

La Porta earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the Cooper Union and his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

The Leonhard Chair is named in honor of the late William Leonhard, a 1936 electrical engineering graduate.

Leonhard, who was chairman and CEO of the Parsons Corp., was one of Penn State's most generous benefactors. In addition to the Leonhard Chair, he and his wife Wyllis have endowed a professorship, the engineering honors program and the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, as well as gifts to the Colleges of Arts and Architecture and Medicine.

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Last Updated December 13, 2011