Dean H. Wilson

This interview took place at the farm home of Dean H. Wilson

Interviewer: Robert G. Sargent

Interview place: Camden, Michigan

Interview date: 2013-11-14

Dean H. Wilson

Dean H. Wilson (1921-2015) studied engineering at the University of Michigan through the GI Bill and continued his academic career at Michigan as a professor. During World War II he worked at the Willow Run plant building B-24 bombers. For much of his career he worked as a research engineer at the Willow Run Laboratories at the university. In the early years Wilson worked on traffic and military simulations using the IBM 704; later, he introduced a course on computer simulation. In 1963 he started the Industrial Systems Research Lab in the industrial engineering department. Willow Run Laboratories was formerly separated from the University of Michigan in 1972. During his career Wilson also worked to create the Community Systems Foundation to help students solve real-life problems. In 1979 he moved to rural Michigan and created a sustainable farming system to help protect the soil and provide wildlife habitat. In more recent years he added wind and solar energy stations at his home as well as a greenhouse and invited students to use his 300-acre farm to use science and math to address environmental concerns.