It is with great sadness that Professor Tom Habetler writes to let you know of the passing of our friend and colleague, Ron Harley. Ron passed away at his home last night, surrounded by family and friends, after a battle with cancer.
In 1999, Ron joined the Georgia Tech School of ECE, where he held the Duke Power Distinguished Professorship. He was appointed as a Regents’ Professor in 2009 and also served as the electrical energy technical interest group chair. Ron was highly respected and admired by his colleagues here in ECE, at Georgia Tech, and in his IEEE professional societies in controls, industry applications, power engineering, power electronics, and neural networks. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 1999, he was on the faculty for 27 years at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, where he served as a professor, electrical engineering department head, and dean of engineering. He was a Fellow of IEEE, IET (London), Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and Member of the Academy of Science in South Africa.
Ron was a visiting professor at the Georgia Tech School of ECE in 1994-95 and also served as a visiting professor at Iowa State University and Clemson University. He published over 600 journal and conference papers, and he graduated almost 40 Ph.D. students and over 50 M.S. students throughout his career. He was a popular teacher and mentor with both undergraduate and graduate students, and for the last 10 years, he advised undergraduate research teams through our Opportunity Research Scholars Program.
Ron is survived by his wife, June; daughters Ilona, of Durban, and Linda, who is a faculty member in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; and two granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his son, Keith.