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Dennis L. Helder

Helder, Dennis
Dennis L. Helder

Distinguished Engineer

Hometown: Canton

Electrical Engineering,

During his tenure with the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering from 1985 to 2019, Dennis Helder served in several roles, including professor, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and associate dean for research.

Helder's research career began with a cold phone call to the USGS EROS Data Center that led to a career-long interaction with that facility and various NASA centers. This led to research focused on the radiometric calibration of optical remote-sensing satellites. He pioneered new methods that improved accuracy from 15% error when he began to nearly 1% error upon retirement. Virtually every optical satellite in orbit bases its calibration on techniques developed by the IP Lab.

Helder became electrical engineering department head in 2001. During his nine-year tenure, the department merged with computer science, initiated a software engineering program, achieved accreditation in both programs, initiated a doctoral program in electrical engineering and moved into a new facility—Daktronics Engineering Hall.

During his tenure as associate dean for research, research expenditures for the college doubled.

He is now retired with his wife, Susan, and they are enjoying their 5 children and 15 grandchildren.