“Professor Robert Dedrick was the first GW teacher I met when I came to GW as a prospective student,” remembers Reginald “Reg” Mitchell, BS ’65, MS ’67. Ultimately, Dr. Dedrick became Reg’s master’s thesis advisor, continuing to offer the young engineer guidance even after leaving GW for a career at the National Institutes of Health’s bioengineering division.
The gesture is something Reg never forgot.
Half a century later, Reg has named a faculty office in GW’s new Science and Engineering Hall (SEH) in Dedrick’s honor. The space will be affiliated with the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s newest department, biomedical engineering, which launched this fall. The cutting-edge facility is a fitting location for the tribute to Dr. Dedrick, whose work has been recognized for its innovation.
At the NIH, Dr. Dedrick began and led a group devoted to the application of chemical engineering science and technology to biomedical problems; a group that became world-recognized for published research on innovations in pharmacokinetic modeling, experimental fluid mechanics, biomaterials, and instrumentation. Five patents and hundreds of peer-reviewed publications attest to Dedrick’s success applying chemical engineering principles to important medical and biological problems.
An NIH Engineer of the Year honoree, Dr. Robert L. Dedrick is best known for introducing a novel mathematical model to predict the absorption and distribution of chemicals in various part of the body. Termed Pharmacokinetic modeling, his method is now widely adopted in pharmacology and toxicology.
For Reg, his support for SEH is not only a chance to honor a mentor, but an opportunity to pay forward the support he received while studying at GW.
The recipient of a full scholarship while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Reg is no stranger to the power of philanthropy. “GW had faith in me when I needed help, and now I am happy to be able to give back to the university,” he explains.
Now, Reg is one of GW’s most consistent supporters: his generosity to his alma mater spans nearly 45 years, making him an inaugural member of GW Loyal, the university’s newest donor recognition society.
Established in 2014, the society was created to honor GW’s most committed donors, those who understand the importance of consistent support. Each and every year, these annual gifts sustain the students and faculty that strive to make history each and every day. Reg’s enduring generosity is a testament to the impact of loyal support at GW.
“I attribute a lot of my professional and financial success to my GW education,” Reg says, crediting GW for providing him with “the knowledge and logical thinking skills needed for life in a technical field.”
While still at student at GW, Reg secure a summer job at the Goddard Space Flight Center, a summer job that turned into a 42-year career with NASA, where he worked as an engineer, testing and evaluating spacecraft, as well as working and advising on NASA’s NASTRAN structural analysis computer program.
With the newly opened SEH, future generations of engineers can follow in his footsteps thanks to the building’s integrated design, modern equipment, and collaborative workspaces, including the soon-to-be-unveiled Dr. Robert L. Dedrick faculty office.
Visit campaign.gwu.edu to learn more about how gifts supporting facilities and research help GW students, faculty, and researchers break new ground. Continue your loyalty to GW by supporting the school, program, or initiative of your choice today.