Dr. Aly Farag Receives 2008-09 Thomas Murray Teaching Award
Dr. Aly Farag was selected by the IEEE Student Branch for the Thomas Murray Outstanding ECE Teaching Award for 2008. Dr. Farag accepted his award on January 21, 2010 during a reception in his honor.
Thomas M. Murray, Jr. was born in Meade County in 1928. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics from UofL in 1953. Following that, he completed his master’s degree and extensive doctoral work at the University of Michigan. Professor Murray spent 24 years on active duty in the Air Force. During that time, he served in both Korea and Vietnam. His titles ranged from physicist to bioengineer to command pilot. After retiring from the Air Force, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Professor Murray returned to UofL . When he did so, he began wearing a string tie instead of a conventional necktie. That was his trademark . Prior to joining the Electrical Engineering Department, Tom Murray worked as a systems analyst and business manager at the Health Sciences Computing Center, but Speed School was where wanted to be.
In 1978, Professor Murray joined the EE Department faculty. His research interests were wide-ranged, but he focused primarily in the areas of computer science applications, bio-medical engineering, and energy management systems. He was particularly interested in solar energy as an alternative energy source. Tom designed the solar collector heating system for UofL’s observatory and he worked for a long time trying to convert an old Volkswagen into an electric car – removing the motor and replacing it with batteries. Professor Murray consulted with area businesses on solar projects as well as working with small businesses and entrepreneurial companies advising them about the latest developments in microprocessing. His biomedical projects involved remote monitoring for pacemakers and computer analyses of electrocardiogram signals. Former ECE Chair, Darrel Chenoweth, said that Tom Murray was “ a pioneer in integrating the subject of microcomputers into the department.” For a time, Professor Murray was the Program Director of the Engineering Technology Program and the EE Faculty Secretary. However, Professor Murray’s first love was students and he was very enthusiastic about teaching. He was popular with students and served on numerous thesis committees. Additionally, he always had several interesting hands-on and real life projects for students to work on with him. When he passed away in February 1995, he was the thesis director for at least 12 MENG/MS students.