Dick VanGrunsven, a 1961 engineering graduate of the University of Portland, has pledged $30,000 to establish a new term professorship in the Shiley School of Engineering. Over the three-year term of the project, mechanical engineering professor Timothy Doughty will have the title “The Richard and Diane VanGrunsven Professor of Engineering.” With the VanGrunsven gift, Doughty will work to improve the quality and increase the number of co-curricular, hands-on, student/faculty projects conducted during summers in the Shiley School of Engineering.
VanGrunsven founded Van’s Aircraft, Inc., in 1972, primarily to sell plans and parts for the RV-3, a homebuilt aircraft he designed (the “RV” in each model number match his initials). He manufactured the company’s products himself in a small shop behind his house in Reedville, Oregon. As business grew and Van’s Aircraft began producing full aircraft kits and new designs, the company moved to larger quarters in North Plains, Oregon. In 2000 the company moved to a new 60,000-square-foot facility near the small town of Aurora, Oregon. The employee-owned company currently employs over 50 people and produces several hundred complete aircraft kits per year.
For more information contact the Shiley School at x7292 or go to http://engineering.up.edu.