Earlier this month, the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association presented Donald Remer, Emeritus Oliver C. Field Professor of Engineering Economics, with the association’s Educator of the Year award. The award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to education and training over the past year through teaching, writing, editing and/or publishing educational materials used to further the professional development of current and future cost professionals.
Not bad for a retired guy.
“Since retiring from Harvey Mudd College last year, I’ve continued my research in engineering economics, project management and cost estimation modeling,” says Remer, who maintains an office on campus and continues to be involved with the College.
Remer also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Cost and Production Economics, and presented two short courses at the UCLA Technical Management Program in March: Business Case Analysis for Managers and Decision Makers and Cost and Schedule Estimation for Managers and Decision Makers.
“About 150 technical managers from around the world attend this weeklong program twice a year in March and September,” he says. “My courses were very well received by the managers, and I have been invited back to present these courses in their September program.”
Remer arrived at Harvey Mudd in 1975, hired from a pool of 100 applicants for the newly established Oliver C. Field Professorship. With experience in industry as well as in teaching, Remer also had training and practical experience in business economics. The College saw as an advantage the ability to offer advanced applied economics courses in conjunction with its unspecialized engineering education.
For Remer, leaving industry to become a professor was part of a lifelong plan. “My goal was always to teach,” he says. After earning a PhD from Caltech, Remer spent five years working at Exxon. One morning, while reading the Wall Street Journal, an ad caught his eye: Harvey Mudd College was hiring.
Remer continues to teach and work with students; he will attend the American Society for Engineering Education Conference to see Jessica Lupanow ’18 present a paper they co-authored. “This is an expansion of a term project that Jessica did in my project management course,” Remer says. “Jessica will be working on her PhD in Computer Science at USC in the area of socially assistive robotics. She received an NSF Fellowship.”
However, now that he’s retired, Remer is enjoying spending more time with his eight grandchildren and wife, and recently, for the first time, he attended a Caltech Alumni Weekend. “I am finding more time to do things that I never used to have time to do,” he says.