Clarkson University Herman L. Shulman Endowed Chair of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering Professor Charles Robinson has been named professor emeritus for 17 years of exemplary service to the University. Formal recognition will take place at commencement on May 14.
Robinson has accrued a distinguished record of excellence as a biomedical engineering generalist, a rehabilitation engineering specialist and a neuroscientist. He has an extensive background in research and care services for those with neurological disease and trauma, and leadership skills that he has employed as a volunteer in international volunteer societies.
As the Herman L. Shulman Endowed Chair, Robinson directed Clarkson’s Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science & Technology, where he continued his efforts to aid those with disability.
Until 2011, he concurrently held a position with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as senior rehabilitation research career scientist, the first such awardee in the country, where he spent more than 30 years in various locations within the VA health care system serving veterans with disabilities. He was also an adjunct professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Prior to Clarkson, Robinson held teaching and research positions in engineering, medical and allied health schools, including as director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science at Louisiana Tech University, where he was also the Watson Eminent Scholar Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Micromanufacturing.
He also served as adjunct professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Louisiana State University Medical Center, founding chairman of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, professor of neurology at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine, and lecturer in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
During his career, Robinson was responsible for developing independently or in collaboration more than $20 million in funded grants from various private and federal granting agencies. He authored more than 70 full publications and edited 12 books, proceedings and special editions.
Robinson is a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has served many positions with the institute, including corporate director, society president and chair of the membership development committee. He was the founding editor of IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering and, in 2001, he received the prestigious IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award.
He is a member of numerous professional and community organizations and this spring received the 2022 Section Outstanding Teaching Award from the St. Lawrence Section of the American Society for Engineering Education, making him eligible for a national ASEE award as well.
Robinson has also received many other honors and awards including, most notably, selection as a founding fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; induction as academician to the World Academy of Biomedical Technology, United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2004; and the St. Lawrence NYSARC Community Service Award. Robinson was awarded the Purkynje Medal and a Diploma Solalem Honoris Causa from the Czech Association of Medical Sciences, and the 2006 Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Mentors Award. As a volunteer, and as a conference organizer and presenter, Robinson traveled to 38 countries and most of the United States.
He is a national trustee of the ALS Association (of Ice Bucket Challenge fame). Locally, he serves as a board member of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA). He helped to strategically guide how the national association used its funds to promote research that might lead to a cure for the fatal disease, as well as to provide care services to those with the disease and their caregivers.
In the community, Robinson co-chairs a community partner ALS golf tournament held each August at the Highland Greens Golf Course in Brushton, N.Y. He was the elected state warden for the New York State Council of the Knights of Columbus, and previously served a two-year term as state secretary. He is also a commissioned lay minister for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg.
Robinson holds a doctor of science degree in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Loui, which he followed with a postdoctoral position in the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale University.