Mission Accomplished

"Mission accomplished” — one of Dr. Andrew Rusek’s many iconic expressions — was the final send-off given to him on his retirement

Two men posing.

Dr. Rusek and Dean Chamra celebrating mission accomplished.(Photo Credit: Jane Dietrich)

icon of a calendarMay 7, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Amelia Smith

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Dr. Rusek spent 24 years teaching electrical and computer engineering at Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS).

Dr. Rusek’s decision to retire was bittersweet. “While I look forward to my retirement, I will miss the work and my colleagues at SECS,” he says. “I had the chance and a great pleasure to complete a good number of projects and to teach SECS educational courses.”

Dr. Rusek left OU with a legacy. In 1995-1996, he was recognized with the Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award, and in 1999, he received the SECS John D. and Dorotha J. Withrow Teaching Excellence Award. He was also actively involved in bringing innovation to the automotive industry with his research in communication systems, high frequency electronics and electromagnetic compatibility.

Dr. Rusek learned early about the value of perseverance, while growing up in wartime Poland. After World War II, the people of Warsaw were told it would take several years to rebuild their city. They rebuilt it in six months.

“Never tell a Pole something is impossible,” Dr. Rusek says. “They will find a way.”

This natural-born determination led him to many accomplishments. At a young age, he taught himself English by listening to radio recordings late at night, while the rest of the world slept. Not long after, Dr. Rusek set his sights on engineering. He earned his master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering at Warsaw Technical University, and pursued postdoctoral research in nano- and picosecond sampling oscillography at Aston University in Birmingham, England.

Dr. Rusek illuminated the minds of his students not only through his excellent teaching but also through his outlandish sense of humor. He is remembered for his “fresh baked fiber” — otherwise known as thick handouts — that he often distributed in his classes. He would wish a “Happy Moonday” to his students, because after Sunday, a “moon” day was necessary. It was common for him to announce that he was “leaving you peacefully” to return to his “domestic supervisor.”

“Dr. Rusek had a great sense of humor and always made people laugh,” says Dan Aloi, Ph.D., SECS director of research and former chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “I was fortunate to work with him for 16 years. It is gratifying to see the impact he made on the OU community.”

Dr. Rusek is spending his retirement in Malta, an island country located in the central Mediterranean Sea.

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