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LETU Names Dr. Ronald A. DeLap as New Engineering Dean


LeTourneau University has named Dr. Ronald A. DeLap as its new dean of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, effective Aug. 1. DeLap is the dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Economic Development at Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. DeLap was selected following an extensive national search and the review of many excellent engineering leaders according to LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford.

"Ron has led innovative electrical engineering programs for the U.S. Air Force and is known as an effective classroom teacher who values creating hands-on learning experiences for students," Lunsford said. "He has been a champion for increasing the number of women in the engineering profession and has experience working across cultures. As an engineering professional and as an educator, Ron understands the intersection of science and the Christian faith."

DeLap is a retired officer with the U.S. Air Force, who began at the lowest enlisted rank with only a high school diploma, rising to the rank of Major and completing his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering.

His 22-year career with the USAF included leading an ROTC detachment at UCLA and teaching electrical engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He has been recognized for his expertise in Space Based Radar Systems and has worked as a design engineer at the National Security Agency.

Most recently he has been involved in "green energy" research, especially next-generation solar cell charging systems with the Energizer Corporation.

DeLap began as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at LSSU in 2008 and has served as dean since last year. Prior to that, he worked for a year as a systems engineer at Delphi Automotive in Saginaw, Mich., where he designed power steering components. From 2003-2007, he was self-employed as the chief executive officer of a videography company in Michigan, designing remotely controlled cameras.

From 2004-2007 he taught undergraduate engineering courses as an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Mich., and worked from 2005 to 2007 as a high school chemistry, physics and algebra teacher at Calvary Baptist Academy in Midland, Mich.

While in the military, DeLap held several roles in engineering and education spanning from 1986 to 2002. In the Los Angeles area, he was a lead systems engineer at Los Angeles Air Force Base, supervising a team of more than 200 scientists and engineers in the design of a satellite-based radar system. He subsequently led a ROTC detachment at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University where he taught undergraduate courses in management and leadership.

While stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, DeLap taught at the graduate level as an associate professor and department chair at the Air Force Institute of Technology, and also served as a chair and committee member on various graduate theses and dissertations. From 1995 to 1997 he also taught undergraduate courses in electrical engineering as an adjunct professor for Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

After his retirement from the Air Force, DeLap worked as a high school math and science teacher with the interdenominational New Horizons Ministries in the Dominican Republic.

DeLap earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from the Michigan Technological University, where he also completed his Master of Science in electrical engineering in 1986. His doctoral degree followed in 1994 in electrical engineering systems at the University of Michigan.

"It is profoundly humbling, and extremely exciting, to be called to LeTourneau to serve," DeLap said. "I am so very thankful to God for this unique opportunity to more fully integrate my passion for engineering with my love for the Lord. LeTourneau gives students a unique opportunity to realize that engineering is not just a profession, it is a holy calling given by God, to be pursued with passion, and with an ever present goal of advancing His kingdom."

He and his wife, Marie, have been married for more than 35 years and have three grown children.

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