The Office of Professional Practice to honor 2022 Co-op Hall of Fame recipients
The Office of Professional Practice will hold its annual Co-op Hall of Fame event to recognize individuals who have had a significant influence on Professional Practice programs, such as Co-op & GEARE (Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education), as well as alumni of OPP programs who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in their field.
These individuals represent the very best that the co-op program has to offer. Hall of Fame members are known for mentoring and serving as a prime example of how the professional experiences facilitated by OPP helped build networks to aid in excellence throughout their professional careers.
On Oct. 27, OPP will host a panel with the award recipients, who will share about their expertise, successes and time at Purdue and in industry. The event, which starts 6 p.m. at WALC 1055, is free and open to all. For more information, visit https://www.opp.purdue.edu
BSME ’79, Purdue University
MSME ‘81, Stanford University
MBA '86, Santa Clara University
Marcia “Marcy” Alstott currently serves as a Managing Partner for OnTap Consulting, a firm that offers consulting services to both startups and Fortune 500 companies. She previously served as the vice president of operations for the Systems Group at Sun Microsystems and for Hewlett Packard. She has continued to serve the Purdue community as a Senior Consultant with the Silicon Valley Boilermaker Innovation Group (SVBIG) connecting Purdue-based startups with the Silicon Valley startup community.
- Participated in the Cooperative Education Program as a Purdue student.
- Member of Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership honor society), Pi Tau Sigma (international mechanical engineering honor society), Tau Beta Pi (national engineering honor society), Alpha Lambda Delta (national honor society), and sigma Kappa (social sorority).
- Received the Purdue University Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award in 2007 and the 2003 Outstanding Mechanical Engineer Award.
Andrew “Drew” Bender
BSCE ‘96, Purdue University
Andrew (Drew) Bender serves as Chief Operating Officer for VS Engineering, a professional civil engineering consulting firm that provides cost-effective solutions to municipalities, counties and the private sector. He is responsible for project performance and delivery, implementation of quality control project procedures, complete client satisfaction and profitability. He holds PE licensure in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin.
- Participated in the co-op program with US Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville.
- Serves as a member of the Civil Engineering Professional Practice Advisory Board.
- Frequent speaker in classes and participates in callouts, information sessions and one-on-one sessions to help promote the co-op program.
- Volunteer industry alumni mentor with the Lyles School of Civil Engineering’s student/alumni mentorship program.
BSAAE ’05, Purdue University
MS ’10, MIT
Caley Burke is an aerospace engineer for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). She analyses the trajectories of the rockets launching NASA and NOAA robotic spacecraft missions. She is currently the flight design analyst for the proposed Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission and will be part of the team to select the rocket for the Sample retrieval Lander (SLR). In 2019, she was the Ascent Lead for the Integrated Performance on the team that launched astronauts to the International Space Station on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules, respectively, on Atlas V and Falcon 9 rockets. Burke received a NASA Silver Achievement Medal with the LSP Flight Dynamics Team for qualifying Pegasus XL flight software for NuSTAR. She performed a flight controls study for the upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission with a NASA Engineering and Safety Center team.
- Pathways Intern at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) with the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002 and transferred to NASA LSP in 2003.
- Does educational outreach and speaking events for NASA.
BSMSE ’93, Purdue University
MSMSE ‘99, Purdue University
Since 2012, Brian Griffin has served as the manager of technical services at Howmet Research Center in Whitehall, Michigan. In this role, he manages a diverse team of 50 scientists, engineers, and technicians and oversees annual sales of $17 million for the department. Under Griffin’s leadership, the technical services department has added equipment and testing capabilities that have yielded savings of over $1 million annually in reduced external testing needs. At Howmet, he has presented training courses in metallurgy and superalloys and authored multiple internal Howmet technical reports.
- Completed five-session co-op with Howmet LaPorte Casting (now known as Howmet Aerospace).
- Under Griffin’s direction, Howmet Aerospace has sponsored nearly 15 senior design projects.
- Provided over $150,000 in direct funding to student design projects, ensuring that dozens of students have gained practical experience in the field of high-temperature metallic alloys.
BSME ’81, Purdue University
MBA '03, The Open University (Milton Keynes, England)
Lisa Laughner has more than 25 years of experience leading and launching technology development and equipment acquisitions programs for major defense OEM’s and startup companies. She began her career with Detroit Diesel Allison in Indianapolis, followed by Honeywell where she served as a senior development engineer. It was later when she worked for Rolls-Royce that she focused in the defense services sector, rising to Vice President for Corporate Ventures. This opportunity allowed Laughner to create, launch and work directly with technology startup companies. She later founded Go Electric, where she served as President and CEO until the company was sold and acquired in 2019 by Saft, a French company involved in the design, the development and the manufacturing of batteries used in transport, industry and defense. Laughner has received numerous awards and sits on a variety of boards for women in technology and global sustainability technologies.
- Detroit Diesel Allison in Indianapolis
- Malott Innovation Awards judge for the Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering, 2014
BSEE ’88, Purdue University
MSEE ’90, University of Illinois
Jim Magro is a Senior Fellow at Advanced Micro Devices where he was integral in the development of the G3MX (External Memory Buffer) dual mode memory controller (direct connect and buffered) for the next-generation processor. The G3MX technology is an external memory buffer solution that was critical to AMD’s next-generation memory solution. He was architecture and RTL designer owner for multiple revisions of the DDR and clock generation logic and for the pad I/O RTL development for the Opteron and Athlon 64 microprocessors. Throughout his career at AMD, Magro has been awarded over 40 patents. His expertise in memory systems allows him to run large global teams on AMD’s various product lines.
- Co-op student at the former Hughes Aircraft Company
- Hires Purdue co-op students for AMD
BSAAE ’10, Purdue University
MSAAE ’13, Purdue University
Kamwana (Kam) Mwara is a project manager, aerospace engineer and team lead at NASA Johnson Space Center in the Engineering Directorate. He currently works as a project manager and group lead for the Electrochemical and Fuel Cell Systems Group in the Propulsion and Power Division. In that role, he has led the fuel cell team in the development and testing of various fuel cell/electrochemical systems aimed at long duration lunar and Martian Missions. This role has included internal and collaborative projects with private companies like Blue Origin. During his time at Purdue, Mwara was involved in many societies and clubs, including the National Society of Black Engineers, where he served as a mentor; Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, where he helped organized the Spring Space Forum; and the African Student Association and Minority Engineering Program. He was named Aerospace Technologist of the Year in 2016 at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Aerospace Systems Conference.
- Undergraduate Pathways intern, NASA Johnson Space Center, 2007-2009
- Graduate Pathways intern, NASA Johnson Space Center, 2010-2013
Virginia Booth Womack
BSIE ’91, Purdue University
BA Psychology ’93, Purdue University
Currently pursuing a PhD from the Purdue School of Engineering Education
Virginia Booth Womack has been the director of the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) since 2004. Previously she worked as the interim assistant to the director of MEP from 1989 to 1991. Womack also gained professional experience in the applied and academic spheres working for RCA, Daimler Chrysler Corporation and the Bibleway Christian Academy, as well as completing internships with Proctor and Gamble and Eli Lilly. As Director of MEP, Womack has developed programs to engage underrepresented minorities from third grade to post-graduate levels and has led an increase of 160% in four-year graduation rates for underrepresented minorities in engineering.
- Completed four rotations with General Dynamics in Pomona, Calif.