Nov. 7, 2022

Dear UNLV community,

It is with great sadness that I share news of the passing of longtime mechanical engineering professor Darrell W. Pepper, who died Oct. 18 following a short illness.

Darrell was a fixture in the College of Engineering at UNLV. Over his 30 years with the college, he served as a professor, department chair, and, for a time, dean. He helped create new programs, he was a celebrated researcher, and he was a beloved advisor to countless UNLV students and professionals.

Like many UNLV students he mentored, Darrell was the first in his family to attend college, earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Prior to his time at UNLV, he worked as a professor at Cal State Northridge, as a researcher at the Savannah River Laboratory, as chief scientist at Marquardt Corp., and he co-founded multiple businesses.

A brilliant researcher, Darrell earned the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award from UNLV in 2010. He was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences. From 2011 to 2013, he was invited to serve as a distinguished visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Darrell was a consistent, positive presence within the College of Engineering for decades, and his impact on our college, our university, and in his field will be felt for years to come. Our condolences to Darrell’s son, Erik, and to all of his family, friends, and loved ones. He will be greatly missed.


Rama Venkat
Dean, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering