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Dean’s welcome message: Spring semester 2013

 | Jan 13, 2014

Dean’s welcome message: Spring semester 2013

Jan 13, 2014

Dear Russ College students, faculty, and staff:

Welcome back for spring semester! Although it might not feel very spring-like yet – especially for those of you who were in Ohio last week with our frigid temps – before we know it, spring will be upon us with lots of events and then commencement in early May.

I hope the break was refreshing and renewing for you. Some of our students joined new employers, or returned to former ones for additional work experience. I hope you all had time for some rest and relaxation.

Heading into the winter intersession, we learned that two of our mechanical engineering senior design teams won awards in a national design competition sponsored by the J.F. Lincoln Foundation for their Designing to Make a Difference capstone projects. Team “Brew An Go” won a silver award of $650, and team “Ultimate Package” won a gold award of $1,000, further demonstrating the power of these teams to create for good. Congratulations!

In addition, Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Bayless was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his development of engineering technologies that seek to address the nation's energy and environmental problems. Dr. Bayless is best known for his work in combining algal biomass and coal in combustion for electrical generating applications, an approach that could reduce CO2 emissions by half. We commend him for this honor and thank him for his contributions to the Russ College and Ohio University's efforts in energy and environmental research.

Next month, we celebrate National Engineers Week, February 16-22. We’ll mark it on campus with banners uptown, and here in the Russ College by hosting our second career fair of the year, on Monday, February 17. In Washington, D.C., several Engineering Ambassadors and I will participate in the national Future City competition, in which middle school students from across the nation design future cities. The Russ College is a sponsor of the final celebration party – a big hit with the kids – and I’ll serve as a judge alongside leaders from DuPont, IEEE and others.

Later in the week, we’ll sponsor the OHIO v. Western Michigan basketball game on Wednesday, February 19. And on Thursday, February 20, Russ Prize recipient Dr. James J. Wynne will give a public lecture on the LASIK eye surgery technology he helped develop. You might recall co-recipient Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan’s visit during fall semester -- we’re very fortunate to hear from two of today’s leading innovators in just one academic year. For more information on the national week, visit

This spring, we look forward to cheering on student teams for the civil engineering student concrete canoe competitions, and senior design project teams at electrical and mechanical engineering demonstration days, among other competition teams.

In closing, I’d like to remind students: As you look toward summer and job prospects, either just for the summer or as you start your career, check out our revamped co-op and internship offices, now called the Office of Professional Experiences. Dean Pidcock is available in Stocker Center 181 to help with resumes, co-ops, internships and advice.

Look for E-News every Monday for information on anything from scholarships and job opportunities to ways to get involved. Again, your submissions are always welcome at I also welcome your feedback directly at, or, my door is always open.



Dennis Irwin, Ph.D., P.E.

Moss Professor of Engineering Education
Thomas Professor of Engineering
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Ohio University