Faculty image John F. Meyer Professor Emeritus Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Dr. John F. Meyer is a Professor Emeritus in the Computer Science and Engineering Division of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan (1957), his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (1958), and his Ph.D. degree in Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan (1967).  He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1967 as assistant professor of electrical engineering, College of Engineering, and in 1968 was also appointed assistant professor of  computer and communication sciences, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.  He was promoted to associate professor of computer engineering  and associate professor of  computer and communication sciences in 1971 and to professor in both departments in 1976. When the two departments merged in 1984, his title changed to professor of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering.  In the CoE, he also served as director of the Systems Engineering  Laboratory (1971-72 and 1980-81) and director of the  Computing Research Laboratory (1984-89). 
In addition to his appointments at the University of Michigan, Dr. Meyer has held visiting research positions at laboratories in England, France, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.  Prior to 1967, he was a Research Engineer at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where his contributions included the first patent issued to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 
Dr. Meyer has been active in systems research for over 50 years, resulting in a wide variety of publications concerning various aspects of  the design,  evaluation, and validation of computer and communication systems.  Much of this work focused on model-based evaluation/validation of systems which tolerate faults that occur either within a system or in its use environment.  In this regard, he is perhaps best known for his introduction of the concept of performability, a unification of performance and dependability that has since become a seminal measure of fault-tolerant system quality. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1985 for his contributions to the theory of fault-tolerant computing.   
Among Dr. Meyer's honors are a NASA Inventions and Contributions Award (1964),  the U-M CoE 1938E Distinguished Service Award (1973), the IEEE Computer Society Meritorious Service Award (1985), and the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)  Silver Core Award (1996) for his service to IFIP’s Working Group  on Dependable  Computing and Fault Tolerance (WG 10.4).   Additional recognition by the IEEE Computer Society includes two Certificates of Appreciation (1981, 1995) and his selection as a charter recipient of the Society’s Golden Core Award (1996).  Most recently, he received the inaugural Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing from IFIP Working Group 10.4, which recognizes an outstanding paper that has significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of dependable computing (2012).
Dr. Meyer served his profession in a variety of capacities. These include service to the IEEE Computer Society as chair of its Technical Committee on Fault-tolerant Computing (1976-79), two consecutive terms as a member of the Society's Board of Governors (1982-86),  a member of its Publications Board (1978-82) and a member of its Technical Activities Board (1982-86).  He is a founding member of  IFIP Working Group 10.4,  served as its vice-chair for a decade (1986-95), and continues to take part in its meetings  as an emeritus member of the working group.   He likewise continues to participate in meetings of the International Workshop on Performability Modeling of Computer and Communication Systems,  a workshop series initiated in 1991 that focuses on the theory, techniques, and tools for unified performance-dependability modeling, analysis, and evaluation  of contemporary computer and communication systems.
Dr. Meyer holds two patents: a time-division multiplexer (1963; U.S. Patent Number 3,100,294) and an admission control algorithm for broadband networks (2004; European Patent Number EP1142217), held jointly with three co-inventors from Italtel’s (now Siemens’) research laboratory in Milan, Italy.
Curriculum Vitae
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