William Almer Gruver, III

William Almer Gruver, III
Harrisburg, PA, USA
Death date
Associated organizations
North Carolina State University, LTI, University of Kentucky, University in Vancouver
Fields of study
Automation, Control systems


William Almer Gruver was born on July 13, 1941 in Harrisburg, PA to William J. and Cecilia M. (Uhler) Gruver. He graduated from John Harris High School, the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Masters from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. Gruver served in the US Navy by teaching at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. After he was honourably discharged, he went back to the University of Pennsylvania for a second Masters and a PhD in Electrical Engineering.

After finishing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, he held a position at the DLR Space Research Center, and was a Humboldt Senior Scientist Fellow at the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany. From there Gruver was an assistant professor at North Carolina State University before co-founding a start-up called LTI in Los Angeles. Following that, he held management positions at GE on the US East Coast and in Germany. The next five years included working for a tech company called IRT Corporation in San Diego, as well as the position of Director at the Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems at the University of Kentucky. In 1992, Bill accepted a position at the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He was excited to work again with students and pursue his research interests in robotics. He retired as Professor Emeritus.

Gruver was an IEEE Fellow and Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, recipient of the Norbert Wiener Award, Civitate Honoris Causa from Óbuda University, GE Management Award, and held honorary positions at seven Chinese universities. He published 235 technical papers and four books on the theory and applications of robotics and manufacturing automation, distributed intelligent systems, control systems, and optimization. He served as President of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society; was a Division Director of the IEEE; and a member of the IEEE Board of Directors.