2013 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
After receiving his BS at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1969 and his MS and PhD from Purdue University in 1971 and 1973, respectively, Dennis Mickunas joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1973. During his time in the CS Department, Mickunas conducted research on programming languages, compilers, dynamic security policy architectures, and component-based operating systems. He was a co-principal investigator on numerous research grants and contracts from industry and government agencies, and he held visiting research positions with Texas Instruments Corporate Engineering Center in Dallas and with NASA/Ames Institute for Advanced Computations in Sunnyvale, California.
Mickunas taught a variety of computer science courses, engaged in outreach to prospective students and parents, and provided academic counseling to engineering students. He was co-author of An Introduction to Computer Science Using Java (2nd ed., 2001), as well as two book chapters, 38 refereed papers, and 37 technical reports. He was an assistant dean (a rotating position) in the College of Engineering, and he served as associate head of the Computer Science Department from 2000 until his retirement in 2004.
Mickunas was an entrepreneur as well as an academician. In 1977, he co-founded Small Systems Services Corporation, a company that developed compilers for the fledgling microcomputer industry. In 1981, he developed the industry’s first Fortran compiler for the then-new IBM PC. In the following years, he went on to become a principal in three additional entrepreneurial ventures.
Mickunas has been named to the College List of Excellent Advisors (1998, 1999), honored as a recipient of the Anderson Consulting Advising Award (2000), and recognized as an Engineering Council Outstanding Advisor (2000). He is also a member of the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.
Upon his retirement in 2004, Mickunas attended law school at the University of Illinois and graduated cum laude in December 2006. Today he is licensed in both Florida and Illinois, and concentrates his practice on personal injury, consumer fraud, estate planning, and estate administration.