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Dr. David L. Whitman Named to the H.T. Person Professorship in Engineering Education

June 11, 2013

UW College of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. David Whitman, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASEE, has been appointed to the H.T. Person Professorship in Engineering Education.  Dr. Whitman brings substantial experience as a teacher and a national leader in engineering education.  Dean Rob Ettema, in coordination with the H.T. Person Engineering Excellence Search Committee, launched an internal search for the next H.T. Person Engineering Excellence Chair in early spring. 

Whitman currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He has served as a faculty member in the College since 1981 and served as an Assistant and the Associate Dean from 1989 through 2005.  He is widely recognized as an outstanding classroom educator.  He has received multiple awards and recognition for his teaching and dedication to students including the:  John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, 1985; Tau Beta Pi, Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, 1990, 2004; Each Student a Person Award, Associated Parents University of  Wyoming, 2001;  US West Excellence in Education Award, 1994; Outstanding Dedication and Service Award from the UW Chapter of Mortar Board, 2009; and the Excellence in Advising Award, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003.  In 2013 he was named a fellow by the American Society for Engineering Education.

Whitman has been a leader in engineering licensure at the college, state and national level for many years.  He has been a gubernatorial appointment to the Wyoming State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors since 2001 and served as the Board President from 2007 to 2013.  He has also served as the Western Zone Vice-President for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) from 2006 through 2008.  He was then elected as the NCEES President-Elect and served as NCEES President from August, 2009 through August, 2010.  He has served as a member of the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam Committee since 2001and has served as Chair of the national IEEE-USA/Licensure & Registration Committee since 2010.  In 2012 he was appointed as the NCEES representative to the ABET Board of Directors.  For his service to professional licensure, Dave received the NCEES Western Zone Distinguished Service Award in May 2012 and the NCEES National Distinguished Service Award in August 2012.

The H.T. Person Professorship in Engineering Education was named in honor of H.T. Person who served the University of Wyoming from 1929 to 1968 as Professor of Civil Engineering, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Dean of the College, and 16th President of the University.  H.T. Person’s primary concern was always the student.  The students remembered his ability to make complicated subject matter understandable, and that his door was always open to them.  When grades were slipping or students were discouraged, he was the one who talked them into completing their degrees.  H.T. used his contacts to find employment for “his students”.  He was a mentor, father figure and friend.  There will never be another quite like H.T. Person.

At the close of the 2012 fall semester, Dr. Charles (Charlie) Dolan retired as the inaugural H.T. Person Engineering Excellence Chair.  During his years as the H.T. Person Chair, Dolan strengthened the nontechnical skills of our graduates.  He achieved this through his involvement in teaching the interdisciplinary honors course, Technology and Society, and through leading a series of multidisciplinary capstone design projects for the College’s graduating seniors.  Charlie involved students in real world, complex engineering projects.  Students were required to design the technical portions of the design but also consider the soft skills including environmental impact, public opinion, and project marketing.

Whitman begins the H.T. Professorship on July 1, 2013.  He will provide college-level leadership for enhancing teaching and learning throughout the college, improving design instruction at all levels and engaging adjacent areas pertinent to contemporary engineering design, attracting illuminating speakers for the college’s H. T. Person Lecture Series and assisting in the coordination of upcoming ABET accreditation visits.  He has a special interest in enhancing the first year experience of new engineering and applied science students.



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