Dennis Alexander retires after 45 years of service

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Dennis Alexander, Kingery Engineering Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Dennis Alexander, Kingery Engineering Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dennis Alexander, the Kingery Engineering Professor in electrical and computer engineering, is retiring from the College of Engineering after nearly 45 years.

Alexander was hired in December 1975 by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and immediately became a pioneer within the College, helping to build both research and graduate programs.

“I was one of the first group of faculty hired to perform research,” Alexander said. “There was very little help for new professors to get research started. In addition, there were very few graduate students and no support for graduate students.”

In 1993, Alexander moved to the Department of Electrical Engineering and continued to be one of the College’s leading researchers.

He has partnered often with the Office of Naval Research and created the Femtosecond laser research program and the Center for Electro-Optics and Functionalized Surfaces (CEFS), for which he is the director. This research has allowed Alexander and many University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers to collaborate on projects.

In nearly a half century, Alexander has taught, mentored and advised thousands of students on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Among his favorite courses to teach include Thermodynamics (in Mechanical Engineering) and Electromagnetic Fields and Waves (in Electrical and Computer Engineering). 

Alexander has also been honored as one of the leading teachers and researchers within the College, earning many awards, including: the College Faculty Research & Creative Activity Award twice (1990, 2000), the 1999 Faculty Service Award – Professor, the 2005 Holling Family Distinguished Senior Faculty Teaching Award, and the 2010 Holling Family Master Teacher Award / UNL University-Wide Teaching Award.

“Being able to teach and do research in two departments and establish a world-renowned Center are the things I’m most proud of accomplishing,” Alexander said. “In addition, it’s the relationships I’ve had with my colleagues and the number of students that I have made a difference in their lives. I still receive cards at Christmas from many of my students.”

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