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Dennis Irwin became dean of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in 2002. At that time, he also was named Moss Professor of Engineering Education, which is held by the standing dean of the college during his or her tenure.
Under his tenure as dean, the college received the largest gift ever given to Ohio University, or to a public engineering college: a $124 million bequest from the estate of Fritz and Dolores Russ. Irwin also helped secure gifts that were instrumental in the construction of the new Academic & Research Center, and he developed the initial vision for the facility. In addition, the Russ College exceeded its $30.5 million goal as part of Ohio University's Bicentennial Campaign. The campaign, which closed in summer 2004, raised more than $31.7 million for the College and more than $222 million for the University.
Irwin was chair of the college's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1997 to 2002. He was selected as the school's Outstanding Graduate Instructor and Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor three times each. From 2001 to 2002, he held the Neil D. and Bernice E. Thomas Professorship in Engineering in honor of his outstanding teaching abilities and rapport with students as well as achievements in the electrical engineering profession. Prior to joining Ohio University as an assistant professor in 1987, Irwin worked for Logicon Control Dynamics Company in Huntsville, Ala., as a program manager for projects sponsored by NASA, the United States Air Force, and the United States Army.
A registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio, Irwin currently serves on the nomination committee for the National Academy of Engineering's Russ Prize, the world's highest honor in bioengineering. He is an associate fellow of AIAA and senior member of IEEE. A faculty member of the International Space University, he has twice chaired of the space systems engineering department, and has served as a lecturer or workshop leader repeatedly since 1998. He is recognized in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in Science and Engineering. In May 2001, NASA Glenn Research Center awarded him the honor of Excellence in Project Management for his work on the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite.
Irwin received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S., all in electrical engineering, from Mississippi State University.
Irwin's current research interests are in energy studies. Past research interests include computer-aided control system design, and algorithm development and robust control design. He has received research sponsorship from agencies such as NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Department of Education, for which he served as the U.S. principal investigator for a joint grant from the European Union and the United States.
He is the author or co-author of 40 articles and 15 technical reports and has given numerous national and international presentations in the areas of flexible structure control and the use of remotely accessible laboratories for research and educational purposes.