Meet Dennis Dinge
I grew up on a farm in rural South Carolina. When my parents met my father was a Naval officer stationed in Charleston, and my mother was the daughter of a local farmer who was working as a secretary at the shipyard. As kids, my brother and I lived on our grandfather’s farm. In addition, much of my extended family lived on this farm. I spent my childhood playing with my brother, and with my many cousins. We hunted, fished, and learned how to avoid alligators and snakes. My grandparents, aunts and uncles were there to help keep an eye on us. I was fortunate to have been truly raised by a village.
Most of my family had not been to college. When I was six, I told one of my cousins that I was going to be a scientist like Mr. Spock. To say my cousin was skeptical would be a gross understatement. I remember that he said, after thinking a while, “Well maybe a mad scientist”. In high school, I played on state championship teams in football and baseball. My classmates voted me most likely to succeed.
I attended Clemson University where I earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and a masters degree in Physics. While at Clemson, I was in Air Force ROTC, the honors program, young Democrats, the Sigma Chi fraternity and the weight lifting club. I graduated with honors and many more credit hours than I needed. I was not just there to get a degree I was there to learn and explore as much as possible. Paraphrasing Socrates, I think an unexplored life is a wasted existence. I earned a PhD in physics from UNC Chapel Hill, and specialized in astrophysics. Because supercomputers are an important tool for the study of astrophysics, I gradually became an expert in supercomputing.
My career has been spent at the intersection of physics and supercomputing. I have a good understanding of both. I have published papers in radiation effects physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and high performance computing (supercomputing).
This has given me a solid understanding of technical and scientific issues important to our country, and a stronger background in technical issues than almost anyone in congress or running for congress. Intel and the Air Force Research Lab are just a few of the high tech employers helping to drive our economy. My background would make me an ideal advocate for these vital local employers.
I was in the Young Democrats Club at both Clemson and UNC – Chapel Hill. I have knocked on doors, made phone calls and done various other types of grunt work for many campaigns including Harvey Gantt for senate, Bill Clinton for president, Barack Obama for president, Howard Dean for president and of course Bernie Sanders and later Hillary Clinton for president. I was the faculty advisor for young Democrats at Coastal Carolina University. In 2006, I was a technical advisor for Randy Maata’s strong but unsuccessful campaign against a long time GOP incumbent in the heavily Republican first district of South Carolina. I was the democrat of the year in Horry county South Carolina in 2005. I received this award for, amongst other things, showing up at most events, organizing and advising two local Young Democrat organizations and organizing and maintaining the county party website.
Life in New Mexico
I’ve lived in Albuquerque since 2006 and love my adopted city and the surrounding state. I’ve made a lot of good friends here. For a science geek who is into the outdoors, Albuquerque is about as good as it gets.
I’ve hiked, hunted, biked and camped all over this state. I met my wife Rhea while leading a hike in the Sandia Mountains. She is an APS science teacher and an amazing and intelligent woman. When Rhea and I were married, I became the step father to two wonderful, young, and very energetic boys, Diego and Milo. To be sure, my adoptive home has problems that need to be solved. But the people here are resilient, intelligent and hard working. I envision a future where our worst problems are in the past. Diego, Milo and your children will live in that future. We will create it.