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Cody Howard
School of Engineering

KU Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science inducts inaugural class of Distinguished Service Award winners

Thu, 05/05/2022

LAWRENCE — A man who revolutionized the way the world views maps online and another who was a pioneer in computing on the University of Kansas campus are the first two recipients of the KU EECS Distinguished Service (KEDS) Award from the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

Brian McClendon and the late Dale Rummer were honored during the department’s graduation dinner and awards ceremony April 28.

“The KU EECS department has an impressive and growing list of distinguished alumni and associates over its rich history, which spans over 130 years,” said Brian Ruf, KU EECS advisory board chair, when the department unveiled the award in February. “We felt that it was time to begin to more formally acknowledge and celebrate these individuals and their accomplishments.”

About the winners:

Brian McClendon (bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, 1986) started his professional job with Intergraph Corporation; he spent eight years developing high-end workstation 3D graphics. In 2011, he was one of the original investors in Keyhole Inc., a software visualization application, where he was the vice president of engineering. Google acquired Keyhole in 2004, and its main application suite Earth Viewer formed the basis of Google Earth. McClendon served as vice president of engineering at Google for 10 years. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2015 for his strategic, technical and managerial leadership resulting in widespread geographic information. McClendon holds 40 patents. He has given back to KU in terms of his time, talent, means and energy. McClendon is a longtime member of the advisory board of the EECS department and the School of Engineering, and he serves as a research professor in the EECS department.

Bob Dale Rummer (bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, 1948; doctorate in electrical engineering, 1963) accepted a job at Carter Oil in Tulsa after completing his graduate degree but was drawn back to academia and joined KU as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1964. In 1967, Rummer took a leave of absence to work with UNIVAC, at the time a leading computing technology hub. Rummer returned to KU in 1969 and moved to a position as assistant director of systems and software for the Computer Center to help transition KU to a new generation of campus computing. He returned to a full-time faculty position in 1975. After 46 years at KU, Rummer retired as professor emeritus in 1993. He died in 2012. His sons Ken and Bob accepted the award in his memory.

The EECS department established the new award, the KU EECS Distinguished Service (KEDS) award, in February 2022 to recognize distinguished alumni and dedicated associates of the department.

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