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Bob Heeren remembered as "positive and inspiring presence"

February 23, 2021

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Following is a message from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Robert G. Heeren, longtime faculty member and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University. Dr. Heeren passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Jan. 31. His influence will live on at Seattle University. 

Bob came to Seattle University in 1983 as chair of the then Department of Electrical Engineering. Previously, he was a Professor and Chair of the Physics and Engineering Department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Bob began his academic career at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. In addition to his academic positions, he had significant experience working at the Boeing Company. He continued as chair until 1988, when he pivoted to become the inaugural director of our Senior Design program. 

Bob’s broad professional interests included communications, electromagnetics, electronics, engineering design education and technical communications. He was instrumental in remodeling our laboratories and upgrading the equipment. Bob was a great believer in hands-on learning and spent considerable time in developing lab experiments that reflected modern trends in engineering. The experiments that Bob created served the department well for more than 20 years.

Dr. Heeren retired as Professor Emeritus in 2008. He continued to teach a class or two every year for many years. In recent years, he turned his focus to helping the department meet its needs. His generous gifts to the communications lab in particular have made it possible for students to keep abreast of the latest telecommunication technologies. 

Bob Heeren was always a positive and inspiring presence among us. At any chance meeting on campus, he would invariably have a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye, and a story about his students to share.  We will always be grateful to him for his support and inspiration. He will be dearly missed.

All are invited to share a memory or message of gratitude.

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