November 12, 2020
photo of Dr. Peter Lum
Dr. Peter Lum

Dr. Peter Lum, ordinary professor and chair of biomedical engineering, is the inaugural recipient of the School of Engineering's new Professor Robert Meister Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship honors faculty who have made outstanding conrtibutions to the School of Engineering through their research, teaching, and service. It is named in memory of the late Dr. Robert Meister, a beloved member of the University community for over seven decades, and made possible by a generous gift from the Meister family and former students of Dr. Meister.

After serving in the Pacific during World War II, “Bob” Meister enrolled as an undergraduate student in 1946. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949, then a master’s degree and doctorate in physics, all from The Catholic University of America. Meister joined the Electrical Engineering Department’s full-time faculty in 1958, and served as chair of the department from 1971 to 1997. Under his leadership, the department hired both its current chair, Nader Namazi, and Dean Emeritus Charles Nguyen, who succeeded Meister as department chair before going on to lead the school as dean for 16 years. Upon his retirement from full-time service in 2006, Meister was made professor emeritus, and continued making contributions to the school well into his retirement. He was nearly 94 years old when he passed away in January 2019.

Dr. Peter Lum, who will hold the Meister Fellowship for a three-year term, has been a faculty member since 2005. He was promoted to associate professor in 2009 and full (ordinary) professor in 2017. Since 2012 he has served as the chair of the biomedical engineering department, and he also served as the School’s associate dean from 2017-2018. He is a outstanding researcher, whose papers have been cited over 7000 times, and who has received over $18 million in external grant funding as principal investigator or co-investigator, included the lead role in the School of Engineering's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, established in 2018 with a five-year grant from DHHS, and a recent key role in establishing a collaboration with the University of Maryland on a second Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. He is a strong teacher and has been an excellent mentor to junior faculty in his department and to his many graduate students, including 8 who have completed their PhD under his guidance and 3 more currently working in his laboratory. He has served his department, the School of Engineering, and the University in a variety of capacities, including current work on the University Research Operations Committee, which is tasked with strengthening the University’s research enterprise.

Photo of Dr. Robert Meister
Dr. Robert Meister