James S. Thorp was the head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor Emeritus & Research Professor. He received all his degrees (B.S. 1959, M.S. 1961, and Ph.D. 1962) from Cornell University
Along with fellow Virginia Tech professor Arun G. Phadke, Thorp received The Franklin Institute's 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering  for their contributions to the power industry, particularly microprocessor controllers in electric power systems that have significantly decreased the occurrence and duration of power blackouts.. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996 for his "contributions to the development of digital techniques for power system protection, monitoring, and control".
- "Phadke and Thorp receive Benjamin Franklin Medal". Engineering News. Virginia Tech College of Engineering. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- Franklin Institute
- "National Attention Focused on Science and Technology Makes Franklin Institutes's Annual Celebration of Science Relevant and Timely". April 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
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