Mr. Barrett F. Robinson

Director of Instructional Laboratories Purdue University, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Retired)

Mr. Barrett F. Robinson
"When theory is taught it is often so general that you start in the middle, work both ways, and never get to either end. The purpose of laboratory experiments is to get real things at both ends. That way, clever minds can entice Mother Nature to reveal the theory and give birth to new."
Barrett F. Robinson received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (EE) and a master’s degree in math in 1962 and 1965, respectively.  He currently serves as an adjunct professor of ECE.  Mr. Robinson came to Purdue in 1958, following four years in the USAF.  He was an NSF fellow and graduate research assistant in electrical engineering from 1962 to 1965.  He taught high school mathematics in Manitowoc, Wisconsin (1965-1967) and worked as a research assistant at the Educational Research Council of America in Cleveland, Ohio (1967-1970) before returning to Purdue in 1970.  At Purdue, Mr. Robinson assisted and coordinated the laboratory course (50 percent) and served as a research engineer for the Laboratory for Applications for Remote Sensing (50 percent).

He continued to assist and coordinate the labs (50 percent) until 1987.  In 1981, he joined biomedical engineering as a senior research engineer and in 1985 became director of engineering at MED Institute in West Lafayette.  In 1987, he moved to full-time coordinator and director of instructional labs.

In the fall of 1997, he worked with a committee of interested professors to initiate electrical engineering design projects, the first formal senior design course for EE.  He continued to coordinate this course and direct the instructional labs until his retirement in December 2011.

His awards include: Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Faculty Award (2001); Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teacher Award (2001); Purdue School of Electrical Engineering Award of Excellence (2003); and the Eaton Award for Design Excellence (2008).  He is a life member of IEEE.