Professor Irwin E. Treager has been with the Aviation Technology Department since its inception, and has played an important part in its growth and development. His 39 year tenure at Purdue has been spent in teaching about reciprocating and gas turbine engines and accessories, and occasionally a basic electricity course. Counseling and guidance on students personal concerns has been an integral part of his work. For over 50 semesters, as part of the gas turbines course, he has held weekly seminars at his home where small groups of students gave graded, and video recorded, oral technical reports . He has 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, has been 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 have appeared in the Aviation Maintenance Journal of which he has been editor. Writings about the gas turbine engine have also been 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 has been 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 has been to Portugal and South Africa as a member of the International Center for Aviation Safety. In this capacity he has 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 has been a Faculty Fellow at Harrison Hall and, in the past, has been the Aviation Technology ‘Dwyer’ best teacher award nominee. He holds a Master of Science degree, the Federal Aviation Administration licenses for the Airframe and Powerplant, and a Private Pilot rating.
He has currently come out of retirement to teach an advanced gas turbine course to senior flight technology students. He maintains an office in the Flight Operations Building (FOPN), and encourages all students to visit at any time for free tutoring in his area of specialty.