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Dennis Irwin, dean of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University, has been named president elect of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE).
“Dr. Irwin has brought a fresh, new perspective on engineering leadership to the OSPE Board of Directors since he was first elected. As a leader, he has made an immediate impact on the organization. We look forward to benefitting from his leadership skills and vast knowledge of the profession in the coming years,” said Tim Schaffer, executive director of OSPE and the Engineers Foundation of Ohio.
Responsible for reviewing and updating the OSPE strategic plan, the president elect usually progresses to president then past president. All have a seat on the executive committee.
“I hope to be able to build a closer relationship between engineering faculty and practicing engineers, through an emphasis on what we share most strongly, even among the types of practice and among the disciplines, our code of ethics,” said Irwin, who is also Moss Professor of Engineering Education and Thomas Professor of Engineering in the Russ College. “The code informs us and reminds us of why we learn the technical aspects of engineering and, without it, education and registration would mean very little,” he added.
Bruce Larcomb, a past OSPE president and a member of the Russ College Board of Visitors, noted that Irwin’s role in engineering education will help build bridges between educational institutions and practicing engineers.
“His work with the deans of the other engineering schools in Ohio will enhance the possibility of passing a resolution for professors teaching design courses to hold a professional engineer's license,” Larcomb said.
Irwin has been a member of the OSPE board of directors of since 2012 and now serves as a regional vice chairman of the National Society of Professional Engineers' Executive Board of Professional Engineers in Higher Education. He also has been the liaison between OSPE and the Ohio Engineering Deans Council since 2006.
A registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio, Irwin is an associate fellow of AIAA and senior member of IEEE and currently serves on the nomination committee for the National Academy of Engineering's Russ Prize, the world's highest honor in bioengineering.
He is also a faculty member of the International Space University, having twice chaired the space systems engineering department, and having served as a lecturer or workshop leader repeatedly since 1998.