Garth Thompson retires after 44 years at K-State
Garth Thompson retired in 2016 after 44 years at Kansas State University. He served as the MNE department head from 1971 to 1974 and again from 1997 to 2001.
Thompson came to K-State from Purdue University where he was an assistant professor and shining star in teaching and research. At that time, he had already received recognition as an NSF Fellow, Ford Foundation Fellow and Shell Oil Company Fellow. He had also received the Engineering Foundation Research Award, Standard Oil Award for Teaching Excellence and SAE Ralph R. Teetor Award.
In 1974, following his service as department head, he pursued research in automatic controls. He obtained funding from various agencies including the Kansas Department of Economic Development. This relationship resulted in the development of the Center for Research in Computer Controlled Automation, now called the Advanced Manufacturing Institute. He served as the founder and director of the center from 1984 to 1988. From 1997 to 2001, he once again took on the role of department head for mechanical and nuclear engineering. In 2006, he was honored with the Bob and Lila Snell Distinguished Career Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
From 2007 to 2010 he lived in Afghanistan, where he served as director of the engineering partnership between K-State and Kabul University, rebuilding the Kabul University Engineering Program.
During his career he was PI or Co-PI on more than 40 research grants, wrote 40 peer-reviewed publications, and supervised 36 M.S. and 9 Ph.D. students.