ABET Inducts Three New Fellows

November 1, 2012

Baltimore, MD - ABET has named Warren R. Hill, D.Eng., P.E.; Patrick J. Walsh, Ph.D.; and William J. Wepfer, Ph.D., as its 2012 Fellows. These exceptional volunteers were inducted as new Fellows during the 2012 ABET Annual Awards Banquet in Baltimore on October 26.

The Fellow of ABET Award is presented annually to recognize individuals who have provided sustained quality service to the ABET-related professions, in general, and to education within the ABET disciplines, in particular, through the activities of ABET.

Warren R. Hill, D.Eng., P.E.

Warren HillHill was recognized "for development of the harmonized criteria for TAC, in particular the differentiated criteria for B.S. and A.S. degrees, and for leading the cross-commission harmonization of the Self-Study."

Warren R. Hill, D.Eng., P.E., was the Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Weber State University for 21 years before retiring from this position in 2011. During his tenure, he oversaw the initial ABET accreditation of five engineering technology programs on the associate's and bachelor's levels.

Hill has served as a program evaluator from IEEE or as a team chair on 25 ABET evaluation visits. He became a member of the Technology Accreditation Commission, now the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission, in 2001 and went on to chair the commission for the 2010-11 accreditation cycle.

As a commission member, Hill was instrumental in refining the outcomes-based criteria used to evaluate engineering technology programs. For example, he differentiated the abilities that graduates of bachelor's programs and graduates of associate's programs should demonstrate.

When ABET began to harmonize its documents and processes, Hill worked to align the engineering technology criteria with that of the other three ABET Accreditation Commissions. He also took the lead in harmonizing his commission's Self-Study Template with those of the other commissions.

Patrick J. Walsh, Ph.D.

Patrick J. Walsh Walsh was recognized "for leadership of CAC and CSAB during the critical transition of computing accreditation to ABET and for contributions to the modernization of the ABET information technology infrastructure."

Patrick J. Walsh, Ph.D., spent his entire 41-year professional career with IBM, retiring from his position as a USA Project Executive in 2010.

Over the past 25 years, Walsh has been intimately involved in computing program accreditation. He provided essential leadership as ABET and the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, now CSAB, merged operations during the late 1990s.

Walsh helped to shepherd ABET's new Computing Accreditation Commission through its formative years, first as a Member-at-Large and later as its chair for the 2003-2004 accreditation cycle. He went on to play a pivotal role in CSAB becoming the lead society for computer science, information systems, and information technology programs. Eventually, Walsh became one of CSAB's early representatives on the ABET Board of Directors, serving in this capacity from 2005 to 2011.

In addition to participating in countless accreditation activities, Walsh has helped ABET with its own continuous quality improvement efforts. Recently, he conducted pro bono a comprehensive study about optimizing the IT systems at ABET headquarters. His resulting report has prompted the overhaul of ABET's Accreditation Management System that is currently in progress.

William J. Wepfer, Ph.D.

Bill Wepfer Wepfer was recognized "for contributions to accreditation-related training of department chairs, recruitment and mentorship of new program evaluators, and development of accreditation capabilities worldwide."

Since 1980, William J. Wepfer, Ph.D., has held a variety of positions at Georgia Tech, including Associate Professor, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, and Vice Provost of Distance Learning and Professional Education. Currently, he serves as Chair of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

Wepfer is the Vice Chair of Operations for ABET's Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC). However, he has been championing ABET in many forums for many years. Wepfer gives annual ABET training workshops at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Education Conference. Also, he has recruited successfully ASME Committee on Engineering Accreditation members, including women and members of underrepresented minority groups, and then mentored them as they became ABET program evaluators, commissioners, and Board members.

In recent years, Wepfer has advocated for engineering accreditors worldwide to partner with ABET:

  • He invited representatives from Turkey's engineering accreditation agency, MUDEK, to an ASME International Leadership Conference and encouraged collaboration with ABET. Today, MUDEK is a signatory to the Washington Accord, a mutual recognition agreement among engineering program accreditors around the world.
  • Wepfer held a successful ABET workshop and initiated dialogue for future collaborations between Chinese Society for Mechanical Engineers with ASME and ABET. In fact, one of the EAC Commissioners was invited to China to participate as an observer in their accreditation visit.
  • He co-chaired a team that evaluated all of the mechanical engineering programs in Israel, as part of ABET's memorandum of understanding with the Israeli Council for Higher Education.

Since 1988, ABET has inducted 139 past and present volunteers as Fellows. See the full list of Fellows of ABET. 

About ABET

ABET, the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology, is a federation of 31 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Among the most respected accreditation organizations in the U.S., ABET has provided leadership and quality assurance in higher education for more than 75 years.

ABET currently accredits over 3,200 programs at more than 670 colleges and universities worldwide. More than 2,000 dedicated volunteers participate annually in ABET activities. ABET also provides leadership internationally through workshops, memoranda of understanding, and mutual recognition agreements, such as the Washington Accord. ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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Currently, ABET accredits 420 programs at 87 institutions in 28 countries outside of the United States. These programs span computing, engineering, and engineering technology disciplines.