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Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Emeritus



Professor Mohan Krishnan began his teaching career at University of Detroit (now University of Detroit Mercy) in 1984 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. His successful years in teaching, publications, professional development, and service led to his promotion to Associate Professor in 1989 and full professor in 2001. Before arriving at Detroit Mercy, Professor Krishnan’s higher education teaching experience included Adjunct Professor positions at the University of Michigan Dearborn, University of Windsor in Ontario Canada, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology. He also had served as Visiting Faculty, Curtin University in Australia then Sessional Instructor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Windsor, Ontario Canada.


Those who submitted the emeritus nomination letter wrote “Dr. Mohankrishnan has a long track record of working with students and being a strong advocate for the welfare of students. He was the go-to person as an undergraduate advisor in the ECE Department. He was usually the first person to arrive in the building and could be found in the building every working day of the week; he was also known to be extremely thorough and knowledgeable. Whether it was an assigned advisee, a student needing urgent help, or a visiting family of a prospective student, he was always sought out for advice and consultation in the Department.” Katherine Snyder, Dean, Engineering & Science College, confirmed this information in her support letter when she wrote “Dr. Mohankrishnan…has received consistently very positive course evaluations. He has been a strong advocate for students and has advised many undergraduate and graduate students.”


Information from the nomination letter indicates that “Dr. Mohan’s experience in teaching theory in the context of its application, led to the initial idea of a Spiral Curriculum structure for the ECE program…Mohan was one of the key faculty spearheading this effort…This innovative curriculum addressed the knowledge ‘silo’ problems by using context to increase student motivation. The current ECE curriculum follows this spiral approach and is one of a handful in the country which does so much contextual coverage of fundamental materials. This is a key reason why Detroit Mercy’s ECE graduates are in such a high demand.”


In the late nineties, Dr. Krishnan worked with faculty from the mechanical engineering department to develop a curriculum that was more multi-disciplinary. He helped develop a course on Mechatronics; and, personally developed a course on Sensors & Actuators for Mechatronic Systems. Per the nomination “The collaborative work in the area of Mechatronic led to many research projects, Master’s and Doctoral Theses and many educational and research publications. The work in this area also resulted in the launching of the Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Engineering undergraduate major at Detroit Mercy.”


As the automotive companies looked to develop electric and hybrid electric vehicles, Detroit Mercy began an Advanced Electric Vehicle graduate certificate program with the Ford Motor Company. This five course certificate program included the Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles course developed by Dr. Mohan.


In support of the college, the nomination letter further noted that Professor Mohan “was a key player in four ABET accreditation visits, helping the Department achieve 6-year-term accreditations every time.” In the early 1990’s ABET began requiring Design Engineering in the engineering curriculum to be formally verified….Dr. Mohan was one of the principals involved in the process of identification and association of design credits across the curriculum which included creating new design course content as well as formalizing already existing design activities so that they could be easily identified. This change set the program on a new path for achieving the high quality and practical applicability that it is known for today. Subsequently, building on the successes of these early changes, Dr. Krishnan was also part of the group that spearheaded the introduction of Competition-Motivated Educational Content into the ECE curriculum. It was realized that associating participation in Engineering Student Competitions with course and curriculum content would provide practical contexts to concepts learned in courses, increase student motivation, and integrate theory and practice.”


Dr. Krishnan’s work on associating contexts to concepts to student motivation, integrating theory with practice led to student success in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition sponsored by the Army Tank Automotive Command with others of the automotive industry. His “modifying the ECE senior design sequence with learning outcomes” supported the students’ success with top ten placements over a ten year period, including three 1st place, one 2nd place, one 3rd place, and one 6th place awards.


The College of Engineering & Science houses a China cohort program where students from China spend their senior year at Detroit Mercy and then continue on for graduate studies. “Dr. Mohan’s collaborative work on the Spiral curriculum, the Mechatronics and Robotics courses, and the subsequent launch of the RMSE major were the reasons why the China program was possible.” As a key contributor, Dr. Mohan continues to teach on campus one of its key courses which he developed and teaches short courses in China.


Per the nomination letter “Dr. Mohan’s research and publication record shows sustained effort in several areas of Electrical Engineering and Education. His scholarship can be mainly divided into three broad focal areas: Signal Processing, Autonomous Robotics, and Engineering Education. He has over 85 publications in conferences and journals of which 9 are peer-reviewed publications in the general area of Signal Processing, 7 are peer-reviewed publications in Autonomous Robotics and over 25 are peer-reviewed publications in Engineering Education.” The curriculum vitae provided by Professor Mohan Krishnan indicates he specialized his research in autonomous ground robotics applications, applications of Digital Signal Processing, problems in Pattern Recognition involving both 1-D and 2-D signals, use of Computational Intelligence techniques, modeling of mechatronic systems, and engineering education. He also published extensively in the area of Computational Intelligence.


A few examples of Professor Krishnan’s publications are: “An Effective Search and Navigation Model to an Auto-Recharging Station of Driverless Vehicles,” “Map-based Lane Identification and Prediction for Autonomous Vehicles,” “An Intelligent Hybrid Behavior Coordination System for an Autonomous Mobile Robot,” “A New Trajectory-Based Path Planning Approach for Differential Drive Vehicles,” "Development of an Integrated Spiral Curriculum in Electrical and Computer Engineering,” “Low Jerk Predictive Force Modulation for Semi-Active Suspension Control,” “Work in Progress: A Cognitive Apprenticeship Approach to Instruction in Engineering: Lessons Learned from the Design of Field Research in the Classroom,” and “Advanced Mechatronics: Development of a Course on Sensors & Actuators for Mechatronic Systems.”


Proposal writing and grant funded projects are integral to the support research requirements of the College of Engineering & Science. Dr. Krishnan collaborated with other faculty members of the College in the development, receipt, and implementation of grant funded programs. Examples of funded projects include: Reliable Localization and Navigation of Unmanned Ground Vehicles; UDM Multi-disciplinary Student Project Development for LIDAR Localization and Navigation Systems and Thermal Phase-Change Storage; Cooperative Multi-UGV Mapping and Navigation: Phases I & II; A Real Time DSP Application Laboratory; Enhancement of an EE Capstone Design Sequence; and Next Generation Vehicle Network and Sensors for Vehicle Reliability.


There is the expectation that all faculty members provide service beyond teaching and research to their department, college, and professional community. Dr. Krishnan’s vitae lists more than thirty different, and multi-year assignments to committees. Earlier in this write-up Dr. Krishnan’s contributions to the ECE department were referenced. In addition, he served as a Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor, Master’s Thesis Supervisor, Doctoral Dissertation Committee and Master’s Thesis Committee


For the College of Engineering & Science, Dr. Krishnan served as a member of the Academic Standards Committee, Faculty Grants & Incentives Program Committee, the Co-op Advisory Group, Doctor of Engineering Committee, Student Grievance Committee, Committee on Committees, Promotion & Tenure Committee, Library Liaison, Mentor to Junior Faculty, the Emergency Response Team and a number of other assignments. Dr. Krishnan served as an Instructure in the DAPCEP program and help design the freshman Prologues & Transitions activities. For the University, Dr. Krishnan served on the Insignis Steering Committee and Interview Team, the Graduate Standards and Retention Committee of Faculty Governance, UDM Distinguished Faculty Award Selection Committee, and Program Review Committees of the University Prioritization Task Force.


Recognized for his years of service, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) honored Dr. Krishnan with a Life Member of the IEEE in 2019 where he was also elevated to Senior Member in 2000. Over his professional career, Dr. Krishnan served as Vice Chair of IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section Signal Processing, Circuits and Systems Information Theory & Control Systems Chapter, followed by Chair of this Section for two years. Professor Krishnan was honored with the Outstanding Student Branch Activity Award, IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section; the Best Journal Paper Award with Dr. Mark Paulik, IEEE Transactions on Education, for “A Competition-Motivated Capstone Design Course: The Result of a Fifteen Year Evolution”; and Best Student Paper Award SPIE Optics East with Dr. Robert McKeon and Dr. Mark Paulik, for “Lane Identification and Path Planning for Autonomous Mobile Robots.”


For Professor Mohan a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1974 was followed by a Master of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India in 1977, then a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1984. This formal education was followed by many years of distinguished scholarship and research.


Professor Mohankrishnan’s nomination for Professor Emeritus was approved and conferred by Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi, President of University of Detroit Mercy on August 19, 2019

University of Detroit Mercy

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