News / People

Beloved engineering professor succumbs to cancer

Roger Salters

Longtime DU engineering Professor Roger Salters died at his home on Jan. 13, 2012. He was 72. Salters had been under treatment for prostate cancer since October.

Salters was born in Switzer, S.C., on Aug. 5, 1939. He was born into a military family and spent his early years in Virginia, Philadelphia and other locales where his father was stationed. At age 17 he joined the United States Air Force, completing high school while in the service. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Colorado State University in 1968. He earned a master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE) from Northeastern University in Boston in 1971, focusing on communications theory and information theory, and a PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1985 with a concentration in control systems. Before coming to DU in 1987, Salters served as a senior staff engineer with the National Systems and Research Co., which provided support to the Air Force Space Command and NORAD. He also worked for Martin Marietta and the Aerospace Defense Command and taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. While at DU he was director of the MSEE program. He also supervised students in the robotics laboratory and served on the faculty senate.

Over the years Salters enthusiastically taught many courses related to his areas of expertise. He never retired, teaching right up until the final days of his illness.

“Roger was a vibrant instructor,” says Al Rosa, professor emeritus and former chair of the engineering department. “I could assign him just about any course and he would never complain. He loved to teach and he was quite good at it. He had a special love for helping students — a quality very much respected at the Air Force Academy that he took with him to DU. He would very often agree to teach a course for just one or two students without pay because he strongly believed that every student needed all the help possible for them to succeed.”



  1. Mariana Enriquez says:

    I am very sad with the news. I met Dr. Salters while working at Current Periodicals at Penrose Library. He was a lovely person, always smiling and very friendly. He will be missed.

  2. Amina (Gordon) Joyner says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Dr. Salters. He was such an intelligent, kind, caring professor. He always had a smile, and would go above and beyond for students and the community. He enriched my life very early, when I was just a freshman in high school participating in a summer engineering course at DU. It was Dr. Rosa, and Dr. Salters who’s great support, became part of my decision to go to DU for undergrad due to that early exposure. I have since become a physician and reside in Ohio. It is with educators like Dr. Salters that helped to set and build a great foundation, which elevated me to a great future. Thank you Dr. Salters you will be surely missed.

    Dr. Amina Joyner, Class of (’99)

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