Fall 2006 Newsletter
From the Dean
Purdue Engineering is poised for leadership in a new century that will be dominated by advances in engineering, science, and technology. In recent years, weve seen growth in faculty, facilities, research, and educational experiences in record time. Its now time to translate this growth into impact.
In this issue of the Engineering Alumni Association e-newsletter, were pleased to report on the extraordinary generosity of our alumni, corporate partners, and friends who are helping us turn our education and research opportunities into global impact through their gifts to the college.
Feature: Sustaining Growth
Purdue Engineering is advancing support to fulfill its goal of sustained growth in student programs, faculty recruitment and retention, and facilities and equipment during its last year of the Campaign for Purdue . We have partnered with alumni, corporations, and friends to build new facilities, foster a learning environment that is second to none, and endow professorships that will continue to grow our faculty. Here's a sample of some of our greatest moments over the past year.
The following article is a summary of Imprints the College of Engineering's annual report to alumni and friends. For a copy of the full report, please contact Natalie Kubat at email@example.com
Leading a Revolution
Purdue has long been in the business of educating engineers. The Engineering Education (ENE) program, created in 2004, represents the birth of a new discipline. It is the only one of its kind in the world, a position attracting much attention and support. Among those who have recently shown enthusiasm for the program is Purdue graduate and eminent engineer Stephen Bechtel, Jr. (BSCE '46, Honorary Doctorate '72). In March 2006, Bechtel pledged $1 million to support ENE's P-12 education research efforts, and the grant is renewable for up to four additional years. Bechtel, who was chairman of San Francisco's Bechtel Group, believes that ENE's significance lies in its mission to produce engineering graduates who have the best access to research-based practices and processes for educating future engineers.
Mechanical Engineering's New Wing
The School of Mechanical Engineering (ME) has reached its fundraising goal to build the new Roger B. Gatewood Wing. The combined gifts of Purdue alumni, friends, and corporate partners totaling $16 million dollars will support the construction. The facilities will optimize research and teaching with flexible classroom space and laboratories. The new wing's atrium features a historic clock from the first ME building. ME has also raised $5 million of the $11 million in private funding needed to complete the first phase of a new Herrick Laboratories Facilityan international model for university and industry partnerships.
The Guidant Foundation and the C. R. Bard Foundation, both dedicated to improving the future of healthcare, have provided generous financial support to Purdue's innovative Biomedship graduate program. For this program, the Krannert School of Management and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering (BME) have teamed with the Indiana University School of Medicine to train the next generation of leaders in biomedical innovation and management. The program began in January 2006 to provide students with a solid entrepreneurial foundation within the medical device industry. Upon completing the program, students will be positioned to not only help advance existing medical companies, but also work in or create new firms.
Award to Honor Family
Parasuram Balasubramanian (PhD '77, Industrial Engineering), founder and CEO of Theme Work Analytics, recently contributed $50,000 to endow the Parvathi and Parasuram Scholarship for Industrial Engineering. The funds will create one or more annual scholarships for undergraduate students in industrial engineering, with a preference for those who minor in management, technology, or computer science. As Balasubramanian's parents (for whom the scholarship is named) supported him through his studies, he hopes that his funding will similarly assist deserving students.
When Robert Kinnier (BSCE '66) bequeathed $2.6 million in his will to the School of Civil Engineering, he hoped his gift would help humanity. Unrestricted gifts, such as Kinnier's, are some of the most important funds Purdue can receive since the resources can be used for the most critical needs at the time. Whether his gift funds start-up equipment for new research or provides scholarship stipends, Kinnier's generosity will help pave the way for new breakthroughs.
Named professorships not only provide a way of honoring those who have contributed to Purdue, they are also an opportunity for alums to leave a lasting legacy. When Barry Epstein (BSEE '61, MSEE '63) and his wife, Paddy, donated funds to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) to create an endowed professorship, they provided gifts for the present and future. Through the Epsteins' generosity, Purdue will continue making significant strides in the energy sources and systems arena, and their gift will impact research and learning for generations to come.
Matching gift programs through companies like ExxonMobil are an excellent way for alumni to maximize their contribution to Purdue. The ExxonMobil Foundation's Educational Matching Gift Program has matched employee contributions 3:1 to total over $300,000 in 2005 alone. The joint efforts of alumni and corporations through programs like this comprise a large percentage of the College of Engineering's gifts. As of June 2006, for example, Purdue has received more than $2 million from 587 companies based on matching gifts alone.
Creating a Legacy
When mechanical engineering professor Ben Hillberry retired last spring, he wanted his retirement party to be a celebration of his students. In turn, Hillberry's students, led by Jorge Ochoa (MSME '87, PhD '91), decided to honor him. The Ben M. Hillberry Graduate Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering (ME) is an endowed scholarship fund that provides support for a student pursuing a graduate degree in ME (with a preference for those pursuing research in biomechanics or materials) and is a lasting tribute to this professor's long teaching career.
Thanks to the Intel Foundation's PhD fellowship program, nine Purdue students will receive full tuition, books, a laptop, and a stipend for up to two years. This fellowship is awarded annually to approximately 40 students across the country pursuing degrees in engineering or computer science. In 2005, the Intel Foundation awarded 43 fellowships, nearly $1.8 million, to students from only 17 universities. Of that total, Purdue received five fellowships in 2005 and four in 2006.
As a former educator, Aelred Kurtenbach (PhD '68) knows the importance of scholarships. That's why Kurtenbach, chairman and co-founder of Daktronics Inc., and his wife, Irene, have chosen to endow a new scholarship in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Through the 2009-10 academic year, preference for the Aelred and Irene Kurtenbach Graduate Scholarship will be given to graduate students pursuing degrees in the wireless systems and applications arena and who are involved in Purdue's Center for Wireless Systems and Applications.
Bringing a Vision to Life
John Martinson (MSAAE '71), founder and managing partner of Edison Venture Fund- New Jersey, has a personal interest in P-12 engineering education initiatives. The Martinson Family Foundation's $300,000 gift to the Department of Engineering Education will support faculty work to develop curriculum for P-12 math and science teachers. With these funds, Purdue Engineering will be taking community and service learning to schools as a vehicle to excite students and engage them in engineering.
Materials Engineering Professorship
Materials Engineering has announced the school's first named professorshipthe Reinhardt Schuhmann Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering. This endowed professorship, funded in part by Barrett Heise (BSMetE '57, MSMetE '59, PhD '60) and William Shropshire (BSMetE '59), honors Schuhmann, a former Purdue professor and founder of the School of Metallurgical Engineering, which eventually became the School of Materials Engineering. An endowed professorship, a lasting investment in new research and excellent teaching, serves as a fitting tribute to this dedicated educator.
Purdue gave David (BSAAE '64, Honorary Doctorate '01) and Linda Swain a jumpstart on life, and they wanted to pass their experiences on. The David O. and Linda Schimmel Swain Scholarship program awards full tuition and fees to an Indiana resident studying in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Assuming the students meet academic standards for renewal, the annual gift will support the student throughout their four years in the school. The Swains have agreed to support the program for 15 years, leading to a total contribution estimated at more than $650,000. For the 2006-07 academic year, three students will receive a scholarship: a freshman, sophomore, and junior.
Purdue Engineering's extramural cash awards for research in the 2006 fiscal year (not considering Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Computer Science) grew to $76.3 million, a 4.4 % increase over 2004, but a 6.8% decrease from last year. Several large, multidisciplinary proposals are soon to be awarded and will lead to our strategic goal of doubling our research. Discovery Park research has grown by 33.5%, from $15.8 million to $21.1 million, over a two-year period and by 62% over last year's total of $13.1 million.
Up Close: Alumni Gbile Adewunmi
Gbile Adewunmi (BSEE '02, MSEE '03) is the current Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) president. The EAA—a subsidiary of the Purdue Alumni Association—serves to link the College of Engineering and its alumni. Gbile received the EAA's Service Award in 2006. Here, he answers frequently asked questions.
What are the current goals of EAA?
The EAA has three main goals:
The first is the creation of a connected Purdue family of engineering alumni and current students. The College of Engineering has a great alumni body located all over the world. The dream of the EAA board is to create a connected family such that any Engineering alum or student can visit any major city in the world without ever feeling like they are alone. Whether you are looking for a job, accommodations, or places to have fun, or just want to meet people, it would be great to always count on your Purdue Engineering family.
Second, we are looking to assist the college in attracting the best, brightest, and most diverse group of students to Purdue. There are a lot of misconceptions of who an engineer is and what an engineer does. It is important that students recognize that an engineering degree provides a great foundation for careers without limits, even if they are pursuing careers in medicine, law, or politics. Our alumni can help change those misconceptions! The EAA board is seeking to help our alumni be effective engineering ambassadors in their communitiesat work, at their kids' schools, or in their local organizations. We can all be ambassadors of the profession we love.
Finally, the EAA is interested in providing opportunities to alumni who want to give back to Engineering and Purdue with their time. While we are currently focused on creating a connected family and recruiting students, we recognize that there are a lot of alumni who are interested in giving back in different ways. We are here to help!
What activities does EAA have planned for the next year?
These are exciting times for EAA. One of our board members, Vivek Thakkar, is hosting an alumni event in Singapore in November, and there will be other alumni events throughout the country this spring. Dean Leah Jamieson will be attending some of those events. We have National Engineers Week in February, Gala Alumni Weekend in April, and the EAA will have a tent at the Indiana State Fair's Purdue Day next summer. We will be giving out EAA Service Awards to outstanding College of Engineering alumni, and we will have a host of events during Homecoming.
What are the funding sources of EAA?
The EAA receives its funding from the Purdue Alumni Association (PAA) and through the Dean's office. For each engineering alum who joins the PAA, we receive $2 annually. Funding is available for various alumni activities, so please check with us if you are interested in hosting or planning an alumni event.
I should mention that the EAA is primarily a service organization, and we are concerned with helping our alumni give back their time, knowledge, and experience to the future generation of Purdue engineers.
How can alumni become involved in EAA?
Wow, there are so many opportunities available. You can:
- Volunteer for one of the two EAA committees (Alumni Excitement and Student Recruitment).
- Volunteer to organize an event at your company or in your city.
- Host prospective students.
- Attend career fairs.
- Talk to middle school and high school students about engineering and Purdue.
- Mentor current students.
- Be active in your local Purdue club.
- Reach out to other Purdue alumni.
Some of us want to give back but don't know how. EAA provides a great avenue for us to do so. We understand that everyone has jobs, families, and other commitments, and we don't want to conflict with these activities. We look at the EAA as an opportunity to stay connected with Purdue and provide a way for you to volunteer in your community. Our Alumni Excitement committee has developed a survey to offer alumni the opportunity to volunteer, and I encourage everyone to respond! Click here to take the survey.
Why are you involved with EAA?
My Purdue Engineering degrees have opened a lot of doors for me, and I give back because I would love to give others the opportunities I have been blessed with. Become active today and continue to be great ambassadors for Purdue and engineering in general!
Who can alumni contact for more information?
You can contact Natalie Kubat—the dean's liaison to the EAA—or me.
Purdue Honors Les Geddes with Surprise Tribute
Colleagues and former students gathered at Purdue University on Friday, September 22, 2006, to share stories and testimonials about biomedical engineer Leslie Geddes, whose research has spawned innovations ranging from burn treatments to miniature defibrillators, ligament repair to tiny blood pressure monitors for premature infants.
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Names 2006 Outstanding Aerospace Engineers
Thomas C. Adamson Jr. (BSAE '49), Steven M. Ehlers (BSAAE '77, MSAAE '78, PhD '91), Jerry W. McElwee (BSES '68, MSIA '70), Doris "Dodie" Hurt Powers (BSATR '49), Richard B. Rivir (BSAE '60), and Norman V. Scurria Jr. (MSASE '80)
Thomas C. Adamson Jr. (BSAE '49)
Professor Emeritus and Chairman (Retired), Department of Aerospace Engineering University of Michigan
Thomas C. Adamson Jr. (BSAE '49) went on to earn his MSAE (1950) and his PhD (1954) from the California Institute of Technology. He joined the University of Michigan in 1954 as an associate research engineer with the Engineering Research Institute. He chaired the Department of Aerospace Engineering from 1983-92. His research focused on unsteady transonic channel flow, supersonic jets, combustion problems consisting of rocket motor combustion instabilities, hydrocarbon emissions from conventional internal combustion engines, ignition and combustion in a laminar mixing region, and detonation waves.
Steven M. Ehlers (BSAAE '77, MSAAE '78, PhD '91)
Vice President of Product Design and Development Callaway Golf Company
Steven M. Ehlers (BSAAE '77, MSAAE '78, PhD '91) is currently vice president of product design and development for Callaway Golf Company in Carlsbad, California. In this role, he leads the program management, design, analysis, materials and process development, tooling, measurement, and test groups responsible for taking products from concept to commercial introduction. His previous positions in the company included senior program director and senior director of research and testing.
Currently, Dr. Ehlers is Callaway Golf's voting representative to the Industrial Research Institute. Prior to joining the company he was employed in aerospace research and development for Composite Optics, Inc., McDonnell Douglas Technologies, Inc., and General Dynamics Convair Division. His areas of work included adaptive structures, low observables technology, dimensionally stable structures, advanced composites, and structural joining methods.
Jerry W. McElwee (BSES '68, MSIA '70)
Vice President, Joint & Adjacent Programs The Boeing Company
Jerry W. McElwee (BSES '68, MSIA '70) is a Boeing vice president responsible for identifying, integrating, and deploying emerging technologies. His work has included serving as vice president and program manager for the concept and technology development phase of the Future Combat Systems Program (the first stage of the Army's $21 billion transformation and modernization), building the National Missile Defense Communications Network, and designing the Department of Defense's next-generation tactical radios.
Mr. McElwee retired from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general in 2000. He last served as chief information officer and J6 of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, a 1.2 million member organization. Mr. McElwee was in charge of all command and control, communications, information systems, and policy. Other noteworthy assignments were deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Signal Center; commander, 22 nd Signal Brigade; and chief of war plans, VII Corps. Mr. McElwee was the first signal officer to attend the prestigious School for Advanced Military Studies, whose graduates are respectfully known throughout the Army as "Jedi Knights." He was inducted into the Purdue ROTC Hall of Fame in 1999.
Doris "Dodie" Hurt Powers (BSATR '49)
Owner/President (Retired) Shielding Technologies, Inc.
Doris "Dodie" Hurt Powers (BSATR '49) is the retired owner and president of Shielding Technologies, Inc. She is also the former owner and president of both T & E International, Inc., and Test and Evaluation International Services, Inc.
When her husband served in the U.S. Army, Ms. Powers was active in the Civil Air Patrol and rose to the rank of major and squadron commander. In the flying area, she served as a flight instructor and check pilot. As a licensed ground instructor, Ms. Powers taught aircraft, engines, and navigation. She received a citation from the U.S. Army and the United States for her 28 years of service as an Army spouse.
Richard B. Rivir (BSAE '60)
Scientific Advisor U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Propulsion Directorate
Richard B. Rivir (BSAE '60) received his MSAE (1968) and his PhD (1976) from Ohio State University. He has been with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate for 46 years in electric propulsion, plans, advanced propulsion, and turbines. Dr. Rivir has served on special projects including the design and testing of the aerodynamics for the first Air Borne Laser Lab and the Compressor Research Facility. He has led the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's Turbine Aero Thermal effort for the Propulsion Directorate for 22 years and became a member of the Air Force's Scientific Senior Executive Service in 2001.
Norman V. Scurria Jr. (MSASE '80)
Advanced Technology Development DRS TAMSCO
Norman V. Scurria Jr. (MSASE '80) has accumulated 38 years of leadership experience ranging from combat in Vietnam to top-level executive boardrooms. An active aviator of 27 years, he has accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours as a command, test, and instructor pilot in five different fixed and rotary wing operational aircraft. He has served at five operational U.S. Coast Guard air stations, commanding two of them, was the chief aeronautical engineer of the Coast Guard, and served as chief of staff of the Fifth Coast Guard District before retirement in 1996.
His other diverse experience includes serving eight years in business as president of a small company, in addition to managing a major aircraft system acquisition. He also has extensive experience in the design, development, and application of integrated database management systems, including sophisticated analytical, mathematical modeling for logistic support applications, aircraft design and modification, accident investigation, and sensor and remote sensing technologies.Today Mr. Scurria is designing a program for advanced and emerging technology applications for DRS TAMSCO, in partnership with North Carolina State University. His honors have included 25 military decorations, the highest being the Department of Transportation Gold Medal for outstanding achievement for the formation and commanding of the first drug air interdiction squadron with E-2C aircraft.
School of Chemical Engineering Alumni Names 2006 Outstanding Chemical Engineers
Michael Ladisch (MSChE '74, PhD '77), James Rust (BSChE '58, PhD '65), and James Stake (BSChE '74)
Michael Ladisch (MSChE '74, PhD '77)
Michael R. Ladisch is the director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE) and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, with a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering and courtesy appointment in Food Science, at Purdue University. He earned his BS from Drexel University, and MS and PhD degrees from Purdue, all in chemical engineering. He has a broad background in bioscience and bioengineering, and has authored numerous journal papers, as well as the textbook Bioseparations Engineering: Principles, Practice and Economics (Wiley, 2001). He previously chaired the National Research Council Committee on Bioprocess Engineering as well as the Committee on Opportunities in Biotechnology for Future Army Applications. Dr. Ladisch was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999.
James Rust (BSChE '58, PhD '65)
James Rust graduated from Purdue with a BSChE in 1958, earned his master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960, and completed a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue in 1965. While at Purdue, he was a member of Triangle Fraternity.
Dr. Rust began his career on the faculty in the School of Nuclear Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, in 1967, and was promoted to full professor in 1977. He worked in the field of heat transfer and reactor engineering, retiring in 1981. From 1964-67, he was an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. During his academic career, he taught graduate courses in nuclear power plant engineering, reactor physics, heat transfer and undergraduate courses in heat transfer and stress analysis.
In 1979, Dr. Rust wrote Nuclear Power Plant Engineering—a very successful nuclear engineering text. It was used as text on 18 campuses in the United States during the 1980's
James Stake (BSChE '74)
James Stake has recently been named executive vice president, Enterprise Services, 3M Corporation. Prior to that he served as executive vice president, Display & Graphics Business, 3M, a position he held since 2002.
In addition to his BS degree from Purdue University, Mr. Stake also obtained his MBA in finance in 1979 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Over the years, he has held leadership responsibilities in three of 3M's six divisions along with experiences in South America, Europe, and the United States. Early assignments included: Product Development Engineer in the Commercial Tape Division (1974); Marketing Supervisor/Manager, Surgical Products Division (1979); Product Manager, Europe, Surgical Products Division (1983); and Business Unit Manager, Infection Control products, Medical/Surgical Division (1985).
Mr. Stake was promoted to Managing Director, 3M Venezuela (1993) and was named Managing Director 3M Italy and Regional Managing Director Southern Europe Region (1996) and Managing Director, 3M Italy (1998). He returned to the U.S. as Division Vice President, Packaging Systems Division (1999) and was named Division Vice President, Industrial Tape and Specialties Division (2000). He accepted added responsibilities with the additional title of Vice President, Marketing, Industrial Markets (2002).
3M is a $16 billion diversified technology company with six corporate divisions, widely recognized for its innovative products and programs.
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Names 2006 Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineers
Arthur Baggeroer (BSEE '63), John Chiminski (MSEE '87), Lawrence Kessler (BSEE '64), Craig Overhage (BSEE '83), Paul Shirley (BSEE '81, MSEE '85), Donald Thompson (BSEE '84), and Kensall Wise (BSEE '63)
Arthur Baggeroer (BSEE '63)
Ford Professor of Engineering, Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations
Chair for Ocean Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Arthur Baggeroer received his BSEE from Purdue University in 1963 and his ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1968. Today he is the Ford Professor of Engineering in MIT's departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has served as a consultant to the chief of naval research at the NATO SACLANT Center (1977) and as a Cecil and Ida Green Scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1990).
Mr. Baggeroer has been chief scientist on 15 oceanography cruises, with seven in the Arctic Ocean. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Acoustical Society of America. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995 and awarded a Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Chair in Oceanographic Science in 1998. He currently serves as senior advisor to the Navy on numerous committees and panels, including the Ocean Studies Board and the Naval Studies Board. Dr. Baggeroer has also maintained a longstanding affiliation with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he was director of the MIT-Woods Hole Joint Program and the MIT-Lincoln Laboratory.
John Chiminski (MSEE '87)
Vice President, Global MR Business, GE Healthcare
John Chiminski is vice president and general manager of the Global MR Business of GE Healthcare, world leader in diagnostic imaging and a $17 billion unit of the General Electric Company. He earned his BSEE from Michigan State University (1986), his MSEE from Purdue (1987), and his MBA from Northwestern University (1996).
Mr. Chiminski joined GE Medical Systems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1988 in the Manufacturing Management Program. Previous to his Global MR role, he held several management positions, including global manager of vascular systems engineering
(Buc, France) and general manager of global CT engineering (Wisconsin). In 2001, he was named an officer of the General Electric Company and was promoted to vice president and general manager, Americas Service. In January 2004, his role was expanded to include Global Healthcare Services.
Lawrence Kessler (BSEE '64)
President and Founder, Sonoscan Inc.
Lawrence Kessler is president and chief technical officer of Sonoscan Inc., a high-tech firm he founded in 1974. Sonoscan specializes in acoustic microscopy, a technique of nondestructive inspection widely used for quality control of semiconductor devices.
Dr. Kessler received his BSEE from Purdue (1964) and his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1968). He was employed as a research scientist by Zenith Radio Corporation from 1968-73 where he developed new methods of ultrasonic visualization.
Dr. Kessler has authored more than 150 technical papers and holds 11 patents in the area of ultrasonic-imaging-system technology and applications. He is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is past president of the IEEE Ultrasonics and Ferroelectrics Society, where he also served as a national lecturer.
Craig Overhage (BSEE '83)
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Instruments Business, Tektronix Inc.
Craig Overhage is senior vice president and general manager of the Instruments Business Unit for Tektronix, with executive responsibility for the company's general-purpose and video test products. As general manager of this business, he oversees P&L, strategy, product development, marketing, sales, service, and technology development of all instruments products. Additionally, he serves as the executive staff sponsor for Tektronix' operations in India and Japan.
He joined Tektronix upon graduation from Purdue University, where he earned his BSEE (1983). He also earned an MSEE from Oregon State University and holds three patents. He began his career with Tektronix as a design engineer for the logic analyzer product line. He has held various other roles and in 1999 was promoted to vice president of the Digital Systems Business.
In 2001, Mr. Overhage was named vice president of the Instruments Business Unit, and in 2004 he was promoted to senior vice president.
Paul Shirley (BSEE '81, MSEE '85)
Paul Shirley received his BSEE (1981) and his MSEE (1985) from Purdue. He is an entrepreneur, technologist, and business leader who has led the development of multiple businesses that specialize in the fielding of advanced technology products and services. Shirley drove the rapid growth of numerous high-tech startup companies, including SVS, Inc. (now Boeing-SVS) and Qynergy Corporation. He has more than 30 years' experience in the design, integration, field test, and performance analysis of aircraft, balloon-borne missiles, and satellite systems. Mr. Shirley has also been heavily involved with academia, having taught electrical engineering courses and performing advanced research at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Throughout his career he has been active in community affairs at the local, state, and national levels. He co-founded and served as chairman of the board of the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), served as past chairman and co-founding board member of the Binational Sustainability Laboratory, served as an advisor to Congresswoman Heather Wilson's science advisory committee, and has been an active board member for many other organizations. Mr. Shirley is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Phi, and Phi Kappa Phi academic national honor societies.
Donald Thompson (BSEE '84)
President, McDonald's Corporation, USA
Don Thompson is president of McDonald's USA. In this role, he oversees the nation's entire McDonald's system, including 13,700 restaurants. Prior to this he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for McDonald's USA and was instrumental in establishing and executing its strategic U.S. growth plan.
Thompson earned his BSEE from Purdue (1984) and began his career with McDonald's as a restaurant systems engineer. He has served as executive vice president for McDonald's restaurant solutions group, where he led global innovation orchestration; president of McDonald's West Division, leading an organization of 4,000 restaurants in 16 states; and served as president of the former McDonald's Midwest Division, overseeing 2,200 restaurants. Before joining the Midwest Division, he was regional vice president for the San Diego region and was responsible for more than 350 restaurants in Southern California.
Kensall Wise (BSEE '63)
William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan
An Indiana native, Ken Wise received his BSEE with highest distinction from Purdue (1963), and his MSEE (1964) and PhD (1969) from Stanford. In 1974, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was named the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor in 2002, and where he now directs the Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems. Before joining the faculty at Michigan, he worked as a research associate and lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford. From 1963 to 1965, and from 1972 to 1974, he served as a member of the technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
A recipient of numerous awards, Mr. Wise is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He organized and served as the first chairman of the Technical Subcommittee on Solid-State Sensors of the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) and in 1986 was an EDS national lecturer. He was general chairman of the 1984 IEEE Solid-State Sensor Conference and served as the technical program chairman (1985) and general chairman (1997) of the IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators.
School of Industrial Engineering Names 2006 Outstanding Industrial Engineer
The School of Industrial Engineering honored Thomas D. Weldon—a pioneer in medical devicesas its Outstanding Industrial Engineer at a March 28, 2006, banquet.
Mr. Weldon graduated in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and then received his MBA from Indiana University. He holds 24 patents on medical devices. At Purdue, Mr. Weldon serves on the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship advisory board and is a member of the President's Council and the Capital Formation Committee.
He is the co-founder and chairman of The Innovation Factory, a company that helps create medical technology businesses. He is also co-founder and director of several companies including: Accuitive Medical Ventures, LipoSonix, Cerebral Vascular Applications, Neo Vista, NeuroNetics and Novoste Corp.
In 2004, Mr. Weldon and his family helped establish the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue with a $10 million gift from the Weldon Foundation Inc.
School of Mechanical Engineering Names 2006 Outstanding Mechanical Engineers
James J. Allen (PhD '81), John H. Atwood (BSME '51), Patricia J. Bishop (MSME '72, PhD '76), J. Douglas Field (BSME '87), Roger B. Gatewood (BSME '68), John E. Grimmer (BSME '52), and Michael S. Kelly (BSME '78, MSME '83)
James J. Allen (PhD '81)
Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff
MEMS Device Technologies
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico
In between earning his BSME and MSME from the University of Arkansas, James Allen enlisted in the U.S. Navy's Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and served aboard three different fast-attack nuclear submarines. Allen chose Purdue University for his PhD and presented his dissertation on the "Use of Harmonic Basis Functions in Acoustic Finite Elements." After graduating in 1981, he became an assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University.
In 1985, he began working for Sandia National Laboratories. For the first eleven years of his 21 years at Sandia, Allen worked in the Structural Dynamics and Control area. During this time, he worked on a number of weapons programs, including Trident I and II. In addition, he led the analysis and measurement program to determine the structural dynamics of the UK/Trident reentry vehicle and assess the hostile environment response.
For the past ten years, Allen has held a variety of leadership responsibilities ranging from project leader/principal investigator to team leader and department manager in the MEMS Device Technologies area at Sandia. He has published a book on MEMS design, and has obtained ten MEMS device patents with three patents pending.
John H. Atwood (BSME '51)
Retired Chairman, CEO & President
Atwood Oceanics, Inc.
John Atwood arrived at Purdue University in 1946, having received the Purple Heart for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. The war may have interrupted Atwood's college studies, but not his football. He played one year for the Camp Lajeune Marines, leading the team in scoring. Atwood also played one year of football and one year of baseball as a Boilermaker. His graduation from Purdue was delayed when he decided to play for a semi-pro football team before being signed by the New York Giants in 1948. This meant he could only attend spring semesters from 1948 to 1951.
After graduating from Purdue, Atwood joined Sohio Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Standard Oil. In 1960 he joined the Union Oil Company of California as manager of their eastern division subsidiary, Global Marine Exploration, in Houston, Texas. In 1964, he was one of four employees of that division to form a company called Global Marine, Inc. Atwood and his partners took the company public on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1968, he resigned as executive vice president from what is now known as Global Marine Santa Fe.
Mr. Atwood went on to form Atwood Oceanics, Inc., which became a leading international offshore drilling contractor. He had a penchant for naming the company's rigs to commemorate American Civil War battles, whose history fascinates Atwood as a time when our great country "fell down only to get up again and be even stronger." In 1972, the company conducted its first public offering and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Atwood resigned as the chairman, CEO and president of Atwood Oceanics in 1976. He performed consulting work and offshore rig management for the next 15 years before retiring completely in 1991. During his distinguished career, Atwood received six engineering awards for the design of offshore drilling equipment.
Patricia J. Bishop (MSME '72, PhD '76)
Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies
University of Central Florida
Patricia Bishop received her BSE in 1971 from the University of Central Florida and then came to Purdue University to pursue her MSME and PhD in mechanical engineering. She began her career in academia as an assistant professor at Clemson University and then returned to her undergraduate alma mater as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
Ms. Bishop has earned international recognition as a researcher and educator in the areas of thermal sciences and laser machining. She received outstanding evaluations in teaching each year since beginning her career at UCF in 1979. She was selected as an "Outstanding Professor" by UCF's College of Engineering and as "Professor of the Year" by the Board of Regents in 1989. In 1993 she was named the CAE/LINK Distinguished Professor at UCF.
During her career, Ms. Bishop has published 60 articles and presentations and is credited with 17 research projects totaling over $900,000. Bishop was selected for the Excellence in Research Award by the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Since 2000, Ms. Bishop has served as the vice provost and dean of graduate studies at UCF. As head of one the largest graduate programs in the U.S., she sees that one of engineering's biggest challenges is to recruit the best and the brightest youngsters in light of changing demographics.
She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a recipient of ASME's Distinguished Service Award, and a member of the Florida Engineering Society Committee on Continuing Education Committee.
J. Douglas Field (BSME '87)
Chief Technology Officer
Vice President of Design & Engineering
Bedford, New Hampshire
As the vice president of design and engineering and chief technology officer for Segway, Doug Field leads some of the world's most talented engineers and designers in the conception, development and delivery of radically new forms of transportation. Mr. Field's team is wholly responsible for the development of the Segway® Human Transporter (HT), as well as all the R&D of future Segway products. At present he is named on 18 patents.
Mr. Field's passion lies in the process of leading high-performance teams of talented, highly creative individuals. He is a sought-after speaker on techniques to balance and combine a creative, unstructured culture of innovation with the rigorous discipline typically associated with world-class manufacturing.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Field served as the manager of process development for Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., and then became a vehicle development engineer and team leader at Ford Motor Company, focusing on the development of ride, handling, and noise and vibration characteristics on several car platforms
Mr. Field's career of managing and developing new products and manufacturing processes for the automotive and medical industries led him to DEKA Research & Development in 1996. He worked at DEKA for several years, leading the prototype design and overall technical leadership for the INDEPENDENCE IBOT Mobility System.
Mr. Field was a fellow in the dual degree Leaders for Manufacturing Program, a partnership between the MIT School of Engineering, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and major U.S. manufacturing firms, where he earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's in business administration. He attended Purdue for his undergraduate education, receiving a BSME with highest distinction. He was named an "Old Master" in 2004 and named an "Outstanding Band Alumnus" in 2005.
Roger B. Gatewood (BSME '68)
Westbay City Homes, LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
After receiving his BSME at Purdue, Roger Gatewood acquired an MBA in finance at the University of Chicago in 1970 and embarked on a career path of banking, money management, corporate finance and real estate before starting his own home-building company in 1980. He founded Westfield Homes with a singular vision: to create and build homes and neighborhoods of exceptional value and enduring quality that maintain their value year after year. Over the next 25 years, Westfield became nationally recognized as a builder of premier residential communities in Illinois, Florida, and the Carolinas.
Even as Westfield Homes became one of the larger builders in the Chicago metropolitan area, there was a continual focus on community livability. Besides many housing design honors, Westfield was one of the first winners of a Global ReLeaf award for environmentally sensitive landplaning sponsored by the American Forestry Association and the National Association of Homebuilders. His company also received two Best in American Living awards for neighborhoods developed in Tampa Bay.
Mr. Gatewood has served in many leadership positions in industry trade associations, including president of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago and chairman of the National Association of Homebuilders Land Developers Committee. During the 1990s, Mr. Gatewood's company pioneered one of the first private wetland mitigation projects in the country and worked tirelessly to craft first-of-its-kind state legislation that would provide a vehicle for wetland mitigation banking in Illinois. He recently formed Westbay City Homes, LLC, to develop affordable mixed-use communities in strategic downtown locations. Several city blocks in downtown Tampa, Florida, have been assembled to create a self-sustained urban community.
John E. Grimmer (BSME '52)
Founder and Chairman Emeritus
Grimmer Industries, Inc.
After earning his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1952, John Grimmer spent the next 16 years building a successful career with Cummins, Inc. He held several key positions, including director of field services and general sales manager of special products. He was also a budding entrepreneur.
In 1968, Mr. Grimmer conceived his first business in the basement of a noodle and spaghetti factory in El Paso, Texas. The business was based on his patented design of a compact monoblock air compressor. At this time he was a partner at Cummins in Rio Grande, so he could only work on product development during nights and weekends. After two years of production, Grimmer decided to move his new company and growing family back to his home state of Indiana.
From humble beginnings nearly 40 years ago, Grimmer Industries now encompasses three companies with 150 employees and will generate over $34 million in revenue this year. In addition to the original company known as GrimmerSchmidt Compressors, Mr. Grimmer also founded Hurricane Compressors. The third company, ANGI International, was purchased in 1997. Based in Franklin, Indiana, Grimmer Industries continues to be family-owned and operated by his five sons now that he has retired. Mr. Grimmer holds seven U.S. patents and additional foreign patents. During his career, he also served as president and chairman of the Compressed Air and Gas Institute.
Michael S. Kelly (BSME '78, MSME '83)
Vice President of Operations
X PRIZE Cup and X PRIZE Foundation
Santa Monica, California
Michael Kelly has used his expertise as a launch system engineer for intercontinental ballistic missile systems to become a pioneer in the emerging commercial space industry. Beginning in 1980, he rose through the ranks of TRW's Ballistic Missiles Division and in 1990 co-founded an internal business unit devoted to commercial space launch employing the best of intercontinental ballistic missile technology. As director of engineering for this 138-person organization, Kelly invented and patented a TRW family of low-cost expendable launch vehicles which were the basis for Lockheed Martin's Athena.
In 1993, he founded Kelly Space & Technology, Inc., a technology development and system engineering and integration company that established an international reputation as a serious contender in the emerging private space industry. Kelly is currently the vice president of flight operations for X PRIZE Cup, which is the result of a partnership between the X PRIZE Foundation and the State of New Mexico that began in 2004 with plans to build the world's first true rocket festival. In 2006, he co-founded the Personal Spaceflight Federation, a trade association for the human spaceflight industry.
Mr. Kelly holds four U.S. patents, including a battery with separate electrolyte storage tank and a modular solid-propellant launch vehicle and related launch facility. He has also patented an aerial towing technique for space launch vehicles and conducted a large-scale manned flight demonstration in conjunction with NASA and the U.S. Air Force. In 1998, he was appointed to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) by the Secretary of Transportation. Kelly's recognitions include the 1997 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 1997 Tibbetts Award for Excellence in IR&D, and the 1995 AIAA Arrowhead Section Engineer of the Year.
With a variety of events to choose from, the coming months offer plenty of opportunities for alumni to reunite.
This event will be held at the Loon Lake Lodge. For more information, contact Robin Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 494-3441.
Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values
One of the 21st century's most fervent purveyors of democratic values, General Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, describes the delicate process of forging alliances, bringing people and countries together, and promoting universal human ideals of democracy and peace around the world. For more information, contact Natalie Kubat at email@example.com.
Join us for the 43rd annual DEA Awards. Lunch and program will be held in the Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom. For more information contact Cele Flanary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In celebration of National Engineers Week, Purdue Engineering students will have a poster display in the Purdue Memorial Union East/West Faculty Lounge after the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation. For more information, contact Cele Flanary at email@example.com.
Come watch Purdue student teams show off their Rube Goldberg Machine creations in the Purdue Armory. For more information, contact Cele Flanary at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Purdue Alumni Association News
PAA announces appointment of Kirk Cerny as Executive Director
Throughout his career, Kirk Cerny has been recognized as an alumni manager focused on bringing technology and innovation to alumni association operations and programming. The Council of Alumni Association Executives honored Cerny with a Forman Fellowship for Research in Alumni Programming in 2000-01.
Mr. Cerny received a bachelor's degree in human biology in 1992 and a master's degree in higher education administration in 1998, both from the University of Kansas. He served as an admissions representative for KU from 1992-1994 and as director of chapters and constituent programs for the alumni association from 1994 until he was named senior vice president in 1999. In 2004 he was recruited to the University of Nebraska as Associate Executive Director in charge of membership and development.
A native of Nebraska, Mr. Cerny is an avid enthusiast of golf, shooting sports, and aviation.
Are you a member of PAA?
Connecting the Purdue family forever… Membership in the Purdue Alumni Association brings you benefits like the Purdue Alumnus magazine, travel opportunities, event news and discounts. Your membership supports Purdue academics, clubs, and scholarship programs across the country. Call (800) 414-1541 or visit www.purduealum.org for more information on upcoming events in your area.
Send your alumni news and thoughts on what you’d like to see in this e-newsletter to the Engineering Alumni Association at EAA@ecn.purdue.edu.