Robert D. Dryden, 71, former head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, died July 7 at his home in Blacksburg.

Dryden left Virginia Tech in the mid 1990s to become dean of engineering at Portland State University. He served in that position for 13 years, stepping down in 2008 and joining its engineering and technology management department.

During Dryden's time as dean, the Portland State University School of Engineering became the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Engineering Management Program became the Department of Engineering and Technology Management.

While serving as the dean of Maseeh College, Dryden also had the dual responsibility as the vice chancellor for engineering for the Oregon University System for several years. The Dryden Drop Tower for aerospace research in the atrium of its engineering building is named after him.

His areas of research were: rehabilitation engineering, construction productivity, human factors engineering, and safety.

He was active in Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honor society, and currently served as its executive director. Dryden had held this position for some 30 years.

Dryden received his bachelor and master's degrees from Oklahoma State University in 1967 and in 1968, respectively. He earned his doctorate in 1973 from Texas Tech University. All of his degrees were in industrial engineering and management.

A private family service will be scheduled at a later date. He is survived by his wife Jean; son Bobby in Lubbock, Texas; daughter Julie in Blacksburg, Va.; and their spouses and children.

Share this story