A plasma physicist, Conn began his academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he served as Romnes Faculty Professor of Engineering Physics and founding director of the University’s Fusion Technology Institute. He moved to UCLA and there led the formation of UCLA’s Institute of Plasma and Fusion Research. In 1993 he became Dean of the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego and Walter J. Zable Professor of Engineering Science. His recognitions include membership in the National Academy of Engineering, DOE’s Ernest O. Lawrence Memorial Award and a Caltech Distinguished Alumnus Award. Conn received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Pratt Institute and his Ph.D. in Engineering Science from Caltech.