Thomas B.A. Senior was born June 26, 1928 in Menston, Yorkshire, U.K. He received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K., in 1949 and 1950 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K. in 1954.
From 1952 to 1957 he was with the Radar Research and Development Establishment in Malvern, U.K., and joined the Radiation Laboratory of the University of Michigan in June 1957 as a research scientist. He was appointed Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1969. From 1962 to 1974 he served as Associate Director of the Radiation Laboratory and then Director until 1987. He was Acting Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science during the calendar year 1987, and then served as Associate Chair of the Electrical Science and Engineering Division and Associate Chair for Academic Affairs for the entire department until his retirement in 1998. He was appointed Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1990 and is currently Emeritus Professor in the EECS Department. His primary research interests are the study of the diffraction and propagation of electromagnetic waves, with application to physical problems. He is the author or co-author of three books, more than 150 refereed journal articles, and over 200 technical reports.
He joined the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) as a Senior Member in 1966. He was elected Fellow in 1972 and was appointed Life Fellow in 1998. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and research from the University and from outside organizations. He received the College of Engineering Research Excellence Award in 1981, the Stephen S. Atwood Award in 1983, the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 1988, and the University of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award in 1991; the Eta Kappa Nu Award (for outstanding teaching) in 1981 and 1982, and the Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Faculty Award in 1986. From the IEEE he received the 3rd Millennium Medal and the Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) Distinguished Achievement Award in 2000, and the Electromagnetics Award in 2010; and from the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) the Van der Pol Gold Medal in 1993.
He has been very active in the AP-S and URSI organizations, especially the latter. He was elected a member of the U.S. National Committee for URSI (USNC/URSI) in 1969 and served on that Committee in a variety of capacities for the next 33 years. He was made an Honorary Member in 2008. He was an Associate Editor and later Editor of “Radio Science” (then an URSI journal) from 1970 to 1979, and Secretary then Chair of USNC/URSI from 1979 through 1984. He was Vice Chair then Chair of URSI Commission B, 1987-1992, and Vice President then President of URSI itself from 1993-1999. He has also served on numerous URSI Committees, and wrote a history of the early years of URSI.