Volz Festschrift

Organizing Committee
Nancy Amato
Ken Goldberg
Robin Murphy
Lawrence Rauchwerger
Bruno Siciliano
Marjorie Skubic
Jennifer Welch
Jing Xiao

Important Dates

  • March 31, 2010: Hotel reservation deadline
  • March 29, 2010: Early Registration deadline
  • April 8-10, 2010: Workshop

  • Contact & Info

    Parasol Lab

    Workshop on Intelligent Systems:
    A Festschrift for Richard Volz

    Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
    April 8-10, 2010

    Professor Emeritus Richard A. Volz (July 10, 1937 - June 19, 2013)

    Our friend and colleague Dick Volz passed away on Wednesday June 19, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. (read more)

    Please share your memories of Dick with others.

    General Information

    The Workshop on Intelligent Systems: A Festschrift for Richard Volz was held to honor and celebrate the career of Richard Volz. The workshop was held at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. The program included an opening reception on the evening of Thursday, April 8, technical presentations on April 9-10, and a banquet which included reminiscences about Dick on the evening of Friday, April 9.

    About Dick

    Dr. Richard Volz, an IEEE Fellow, retired from Texas A&M in 2004. Prior to retirement, he was the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science Department at Texas A&M University. He served as Department Head from 1988 to 1997, and continued an active research career after that. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Volz was founding Director the Robotics Research Laboratory and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, he also served terms as Associate Department Head, Associate Director of the Computer Center and Director of the Computer and Image Processing Research Network (CIPRNet). In 1971, he spent the (Northern Hemisphere) summer at the University of Chile, as part of an Organization of American States program. During the summers of 1973 and 1974, he held a summer faculty position at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1960, 1961 and 1964 respectively.

    He is the author or co-author of over 175 research papers, has led over $15,000,000 in funded research projects. He has served in numerous professional service positions, e.g., Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, the leading journal in the field, Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, General Chair of the 1990 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vice-President for Publications for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), President of RAS, member of the IEEE Publications, Services and Products Board, Member of the IEEE Board of Directors, and numerous related committees. Early in his career, he served as Secretary of the IEEE Automatic Control Group. As an undergraduate, he was editor of the Northwestern Engineer.

    Dr. Volz has also served on five federal advisory boards: 1) the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 2) the Ada Board, 3) The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, a Congressional oversight committee on NASA, 4) the NASA Space Station Advisory Panel, and 5) the NASA Center of Excellence in Information Technology Advisory Panel.

    As Department Head at Texas A&M, he led a major renaissance in the Department culture. During this tenure as Department Head, the number of tenured or tenure track faculty doubled, the rate of research journal publication increased by a factor of seven, and the research funding rate more than quadrupled, and faculty in the Department held key editorial positions on nearly 30 major journals, chaired an average of four major international conferences per year, and held numerous key positions on other advisory panels and in professional societies. The Department had half or more of the total NSF NYI/PYI/CAREER grant awardees in the College at the time. Within IEEE, he also instigated numerous organizational advances, e.g., new journals, the Steering Committee on Technical Programs and the Conference Editorial Board.

    While he is best known for his work in robotics and automation, especially networked telerobotics and teleautonomous systems, he has worked in a broad set of interconnecting areas. Early in his career, he led the development of two computer aided design systems for control systems that were used in a number of universities and companies around the World. He also worked on optimal control systems and computational methods of optimization. Later, he worked on real time systems and distributed languages, and led the development of a distributed Ada technology and graphical system for managing the distribution of modules among networked computers. He completed his technical career working on the use of artificial intelligence concepts for training a human workforce.

    In addition to his IEEE Fellow award, he has received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service from the U.S. Air Force, the Public Service Award from NASA, two Special Service Awards from NASA, an appreciation plaque from the NASA astronauts, and the Millennium Medal and Robotics & Automation Society Distinguished Service Award from IEEE. As an undergraduate, he received the Esbach Award, the highest award given to an undergraduate engineering student at Northwestern.

    In his personal life, Dr. Volz has been married to his wonderful wife Mary for over 48 years. They have three great children, Cynthia, Richard and Keith. Both boys are certified scuba divers, as is Dick, and they enjoy diving together annually. Dick's principal avocation is photography, and he is proud to have recently had two of his photos win minor awards and appear in print. He has also served as Financial Secretary and Treasurer for his church, and as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America.


    Financial support for the workshop is provided in part by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and by the Parasol Lab at Texas A&M University.

    For more information

    Contact volzfest [at] cse.tamu.edu with any questions.