Professor Emeritus Irwin E. Treager died on Tuesday January 13, 2015. (Obituary)
Treager had been with Aviation and Transportation Technology since its inception and played an important part in its growth and development. His 39-year tenure at Purdue was spent in teaching about reciprocating and gas turbine engines and accessories, and occasionally a basic electricity course. Counseling and guidance on students personal concerns had been an integral part of his work. For over 50 semesters, as part of the gas turbines course, he held weekly seminars at his home where small groups of students gave graded, and video recorded, oral technical reports . He, at one time or another, developed all of the course materials in these areas and additionally, by donating, without charge, over 30 years of his summer times, designed and built the school’s original piston and gas turbine test cells, several portable gas turbine engine run-up stands plus doing other activities of benefit to the department.
His book Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine Technology, first published by McGraw-Hill in 1970, was well received in both commercial and military markets. A second edition was produced in 1979, and a third, much improved and current, edition appeared in 1995. Two pocket book versions were also published at various times. In addition, several of his articles appeared in the Aviation Maintenance Journal, which he also served as an editor. Writings about the gas turbine engine also were included in the South African Airways Journal.
His outside work included teaching many off-campus adult education courses for military and civilian personnel, and conducting on-campus summer aerospace workshops for teachers. He was a technical, educational and legal consultant for five years to Williams/Rolls-Royce, a manufacturer of small gas turbines including the engine for the cruise missile. While at Williams/Rolls-Royce he wrote an informational book on the gas turbine engine for distribution to all current and future employees. Further, he traveled to Portugal and South Africa as a member of the International Center for Aviation Safety. In this capacity he instructed diverse groups ranging from mechanics to engineers about how the gas turbine engine works. His thousands of students, most of whom are well positioned in the aviation field, have attested, both orally, and in writing as to his teaching competence and importance in their lives.
He had been a Faculty Fellow at Harrison Hall and the Aviation Technology Dwyer best teacher award nominee. He earned a Master of Science degree, the Federal Aviation Administration licenses for the Airframe and Powerplant, and a Private Pilot rating.