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Awards and Honors

Distinguished Professorship will be renamed to honor former ABB President and CEO Enrique Santacana

The mostly glass windowed ABB building on Centennial Campus framed against a deep blue sky in the background and the outline of branches in the foreground.
The ABB building on Centennial Campus. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

Enrique Santacana, PE, former president and CEO of ABB, will be recognized Tuesday, April 2, at the annual FREEDM Systems Center Research Symposium for his instrumental contributions to establishing the ABB Distinguished Professorship and other endowments at NC State.

Enrique Santacana
Enrique Santacana

The professorship will be renamed the ABB Enrique Santacana Distinguished Professorship in honor of Santacana, who passed away in October last year. Louis Martin-Vega, professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and former dean of the NC State College of Engineering, will be announcing the renaming during a special presentation that will be attended by Santacana’s family.

Iqbal Husian
Iqbal Husian

The professorship, which was established in 2011 to “retain or recruit a top power engineering faculty member and support groundbreaking research in the field,” is held by Iqbal Husain, director of the FREEDM Systems Center and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Santacana announced Husain’s appointment as the ABB Distinguished Professor in 2012.

Santacana started with ABB in 1977 and held a variety of key management positions, culminating in president and CEO before retiring in 2015. His contributions in the electric power industry were also recognized in appointments to national committees and boards, including as a member of the Business Roundtable, where he served as vice chair of the Sustainable Growth Initiative and influenced decisions in Washington, D.C. He also served on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee and sat on the Board of Governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, where he was a member of the executive committee. 

Santacana earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Engineering degree in electric power engineering from  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Duke University.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, and it has been a longstanding partner of NC State and the FREEDM Systems Center. In 1991, it became the first corporate tenant on NC State’s Centennial Campus. Its North American headquarters are located in Cary, North Carolina.