Donald L. Sweeney passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. A native of Clinton, Iowa, and a longtime Glenview, Illinois resident, Don graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Electrical Engineering before embarking on a career of supporting high tech companies Gates Radio, Collins Radio, AT&T-Teletype, and Extel Corporation before, with his wife Marilyn and son Corey, started his own company, D.L.S. Electronic Systems, today one of the largest independent testing and consulting laboratories in North America.
Don was very active in the American Council of Independent Laboratories as a member of the Conformity Assessment and Product Certification Section. He was a strong supporter and advocate of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society, serving the Society in many roles for more than forty years, including the Board of Directors for 18 years, on standards and symposium committees, serving as Angel to several EMC Society chapters, as well as chapter chair of the Chicago EMC Society. Don received the prestigious Laurence G. Cumming Award for outstanding contributions to the administration and overall success of the IEEE EMC Society and EMC Education, and was an original inductee into the IEEE EMC Society Hall of Fame.
Don was a founding chairman of the U.S. Council of EMC Laboratories (USCEL) and certified by iNARTE as an EMC engineer. He also passed on his expertise by teaching EMI Design at the University of Wisconsin, Oakton Community College, and independently globally for over 35 years. His technical training programs, along with published papers, articles, contributions to the book Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design, and his chapter in the Digital Avionics Handbook Understanding the Role of RTCA DO-160 in the Avionics Certification Process are used and implemented on electronic designs to this day, in military, avionics, radio, wireless and other high-tech applications and products.
Don was an inspiration to his community, serving as Elder at North Branch Bible Church in Glenview, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, playing Santa Claus for Breakthrough Urban Ministries, assisting the homeless, and sponsoring several children for the South Shore Drill Team. Don sponsored regular visits to his testing laboratories for college students, including the Electrical Engineering department of Purdue University. He was a mentor and made his wisdom and experience available to many young engineers. Don and the D.L.S organization hosted a town hall meeting, presided over by Congressman Brad Schneider, addressing both technical support of industry, as well as humanitarian concerns.
Don is survived by his wife Marilyn, his son Corey, his brother Richard, and numerous nieces and nephews.