Donald Zwiep

Mr. Donald Zwiep, age 88, of Orange City,Iowa, passed away on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, May 26, at 10:30am, at the American Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Keith Krebs and the Rev. John Hubers will officiate.  There will be a committal service on Saturday, at 1:00pm, at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.

Visitation with the family will be the hour before the service and the half hour after the service at the church.

Donald was born on March 18, 1924, in Hull, IA, the son of Daniel and Pietronella (Nellie De Stigter) Zwiep. He graduated from the Hull Public Schools and attended Northwestern Junior College in Orange City. He volunteered for the US Army Air Force in l943 and flew 59 missions as a B-24 pilot and crew commander in the China/Burma/India Theater (10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Squad, 492nd Squadron). He retired from the Reserves in 1989, as a Lieutenant Colonel. He graduated from Iowa State University, Ames, with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering in 1948 and l951. He worked as a junior design engineer at Boeing Corporation in Seattle, and then joined the faculty of Colorado State University l951-l957.

He was Professor and Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 1957-1988, when he became the Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He retired in 1990. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from WPI in 1964.

Under his leadership, the department’s enrollment quadrupled and graduate programs at the masters’ and doctoral levels were begun. His responsibilities included the WPI Nuclear Reactor Program, the Alden Research Laboratory, and the Manufacturing Engineering Application Center. He helped found and became co-head of the Management Engineering Department in l964. Always willing to encourage students’ efforts, he joined them in everything from the MA to CA Clean Air Car Race in 1970, to advising their projects in Washington, D.C., London, The Netherlands, and the Goddard and Johnson Space Centers. He made presentations or was invited to give papers in the field of engineering education throughout the world.

Beginning as a student in 1947, he was an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at local, state, and national levels. He served as President 1979-80, the Society’s Centennial year. He was honored by ASME as a Life Fellow in 2004, receiving the Distinguished Service Award and Honorary Membership.

He was also a lifelong member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He served on the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and served on 15 regional accreditation teams.

He was Chairman of the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation 1976-2000, serving as judge and director of their annual awards contests for students and professionals.

He is cited in Who’s Who in America and Engineering. He was named a Distinguished Alumna from Northwestern College and from Iowa State Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an elder in the Fort Collins Presbyterian Church, CO.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marcia Hubers Zwiep; his four daughters: Donna (William F.) Williams, of Ridgewood, NJ, Mary Zwiep (Russell Fraser), of Honolulu, HI, Joan Zwiep (Thomas Hoster), of Palo Alto, CA, and Helen Cornely (C. Michael), of Miami, FL; 9 grandchildren: Kate Williams Stone (Peter), Evan Williams (Maria), Griffith Williams (Megan), Anna Williams, Zoe and Alexandra Hoster, and Diana, Joseph, and Daniel Cornely, 2 great-grandchildren: Shane Stone and Tressa Williams, and 13 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters: Helen Shultz, Marie Mears, and Jeanette Reed, and his brothers: Cecil, Tunis, and Leonard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Donald Zwiep M.E. Memorial Fund at WPI Mechanical Engineering Department, c/o Pamela St. Louis, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609.

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