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Engineers Week focuses on International Space Station

Feb. 15, 2011

KALAMAZOO--"Design Challenges and Status of the International Space Station" will be the keynote topic when engineers from across southwest Michigan convene on the Western Michigan University campus Tuesday, Feb. 22, for the 32nd annual Engineers Week Dinner.

The keynote talk will be presented from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. by Dr. Daniel P. Dennies, a metallurgical engineer and director of Southern California Operations for Engineering Systems Inc. His presentation will be preceded by a social hour starting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner and an awards ceremony from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Registrations are required by Monday, Feb. 14, for the event, which is taking place in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom as part of National Engineering Week. The week is a national celebration organized by engineering societies to increase public awareness about and interest in engineering and technology careers. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the week, which runs from Feb. 20-26.

Dennies has participated in the International Space Station project, and will discuss the station's systems and partners, assembly status, and major design challenges. He has more than 30 years experience in various aerospace- and aircraft-related industries as a technical specialist, technical manager and program manager.

For most of his professional career, Dennies has worked on aerospace projects, such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine, the National Launch System, the National Aerospace Plane, and expendable launch systems like Delta and Titan. Other projects he has participated in have included the Boeing 787, C17 Transport, Ground Based Missile Defense, B1-B Bomber, and X-37B Experimental Reusable Unmanned Space Plane.

Through such projects, Dennies has gained a wide variety of experience in materials, processes and test mechanisms. His broad areas of expertise include program development and management, engineering design support, failure analysis, material and process selection, material testing, and customer or supplier interaction.

Dennies is a Fellow of the American Society for Materials International and received its Allan Putnam Award in 2004. He has written a book on failure analysis as well as some 20 technical papers, and has made numerous presentations at international forums.

Locally, WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and representatives from 12 southwest Michigan engineering societies are participating in the 2011 Engineers Week celebration.

As part of the observance, area high school students interested in engineering or related technologies have been invited to attend the Engineers Week Dinner as well as a pre-dinner program starting at 4 p.m. at WMU's engineering complex on the Parkview Campus. The program will include demonstrations that highlight select areas of research and student involvement within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Except for invited guests, the cost to attend the dinner is $10 for students and $25 for others. Payment must be received by Friday, Feb. 18. Visit wmich.edu/engineer/eweek for more information, including how to register online or by mail. Free parking will be available in WMU's Parking Structure No. 1, located just east of the Bernhard Center.

For more information about Engineers Week, contact Jorge Rodriguez in the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at jorge.rodriguez@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3374. High school students and teachers interested in attending the Feb. 22 events should contact the college's Scot Conant at scot.conant@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3272.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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