Alumni & Friends
Alumni Honors and Achievements
Many alumni of the College of Engineering have received honors for their outstanding contributions to the engineering profession and to society and achieved professional advancements in industries.
David Hunn (’78 BSME, ’80 MSME, ’92 PhDMSE) was named “Inventor of the Year” for 2009 by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control. Dr. Hunn invented a novel lightweight, low-cost, composite armor.
William T. Springer (’74 BSME, ’79 MSME, ’82 PhDME) was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Tom Miers (’77 BSEE), senior manager of Instrument System Design at Ball Aerospace & Technologies, received the company’s 2008 Follett Award recognizing continuous outstanding professional contributions in an engineering technical field.
Bert Peterson (’02, PhD CSE) received the Outstanding Scientist, Civilian Category award at the 2008 Air Force Science, Technology and Engineering Awards presentation.
Nasser Lozi (’79 BSCE) was appointed royal court chief by King Abdullah of Jordan. Lozi has held several ministerial posts in Jordan since 1996.
Dennis B. Francis, P.E., (’80 BSIE) received the first Lifetime Achievement Award for Industrial Engineering jointly given by six Texas universities, including UT Arlington. Francis is president, COO and CTO of Conterra Telecom Services.
The Commissioners’ Court of Harris County, Texas named a park in honor of Gary Trietsch (’70 BSCE, ’74 MSCE) and his wife, Bonnie. Trietsch, the former district director for TxDOT, was the originator of the Green Ribbon Project, a landscape and aesthetics plan responsible for the planting of more than 600,000 trees along freeways in the district since 1999.
Jimmy Foster (’70 BSCE) received the 2007 International Service Award presented by the American Public Works Association.
Shivakumar Raman (’85 MSME) was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.
Hiang-Cheong “Charles” Chan (BSEE '84, MSEE '86, Ph.D '90) has been named president of Silterra USA, a subsidiary of Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., a wafer supplier to semiconductor companies. Chan is based in the company's San Jose, California office and is responsible for the company's sales operations in North America. Chan has more than 17 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. Chan had also held senior technical positions Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company North America, Intel and Micron Technology.
Computer Science & Engineering alumnus Jeff Smith (MS '88, Ph.D. '04) was presented with the Kauffman Foundation's Community Award in recognition of his successful efforts to improve the economic conditions of the citizens of Magote, a mountain village in Honduras. Kauffman Community Awards were created in 2002 to honor entrepreneurs who have made a significant difference in their communities and to recognize their valuable philanthropic contributions to society. In 1993, Smith co-founded and served as president and CEO of OnRamp Technologies, a leading Internet Service Provider. The company grew to become one of the largest web-hosting companies in the world and a principal international ISP.
Saman Aryana (BSCE '03, MSCE '06) received The Masonry Society 's 2006 Thesis Award, presented annually to the best doctoral dissertation and master's thesis on masonry. Aryana completed his M. S. degree under the supervision Dr. John Matthys in May with a 4.0 GPA. The title of Saman's winning thesis was “Statistical Analysis of Compressive Strength of Clay Masonry Prisms.” This work will directly affect issues in the Masonry Standards Joint Committee's National Structural Masonry Code. He is currently employed by Halff Associates.
Electrical Engineering master's graduate Koushil Sreenath received the Best Paper Award at the 2006 Conference on Robotics, Automation & Mechatronics in Bangkok. His paper, “Localization of a wireless sensor network with unattended ground sensors and some mobile robots,” was produced in association with Drs. Frank L. Lewis and Dan O. Popa of UT Arlington's Automation & Robotics Research Institute. The paper was presented by Dr. Lewis, as Sreenath was busy in his duties as a research engineer in the Intelligent Control Systems group of the Saint-Gobain R&D center in Northborough, Massachusetts.
Jerry Kunkel (BSCE '79, MEngrCE '94) has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The ASCE defines a Fellow as "a person who shall have demonstrated a broad responsibility for engineering work of major importance.” Fellows have attained leadership roles within the fields of civil engineering practice, research or academia. Kunkel is a registered professional engineer in 37states. He has been a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture since 2003, teaching senior- and graduate-level structure courses in both the School of Architecture and the College of Engineering.
Matthew S. Childs (BSCE, ‘96 and MSCE, '99) was named president of the American Concrete Pipe Association, which provides its members with research, technical and marketing support to promote the use of concrete pipe for drainage and pollution control. Childs is a member of the Transportation Research Board and an advisory board member for the UT Arlington chapter of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society.
Michael M. Shiflett , P.E. (BSCE, '73; MSCE, '74) was presented with the 2005 Professional Service Award by the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Shiflett is a Principal with Kleinfelder, an employee-owned geotechnical, materials and environmental consulting firm. He started his career with Freese and Nichols in 1975, and then moved to TETCO before forming his own firm, Baker-Shiflett, with Tom Baker in 1980. He returned to TETCO in 1998 after selling his firm; TETCO was purchased by Kleinfelder a year later.
Jimmy B. Foster , P.E. (BSCE, '70) was named one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The award recognizes the career service accomplishments of public works professionals and officials. Foster is Director of Public Works with the City of Plano, an “All-America City” north of Dallas with a population of more than 240,000. He is responsible for the administration of three divisions (Public Works Operations, Environmental Waste Services and Equipment Services) comprised of more than 300 employees and having combined budgets totaling in excess of $70 million annually. Foster was honored with the 2001 Chapter Service Award given by the Texas Chapter of APWA. In 2004, he was selected as one of the “Top Three Public Works Leaders of the Year” by the Texas Chapter of APWA. Foster has served as the Chairman of the APWA International Affairs Committee. In April 2001, he was a member of a five-person delegation representing APWA to the public works officials in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
The Utah Engineer's Council has named Cindy Hollingshead Lee (BSAE, '03) as its Fresh Face Engineer of the Year 2005. The Fresh Face is awarded to an outstanding young professional with less than five years experience in the engineering industry. Lee is employed by ATK Thiokol.
Gary K. Trietsch , P.E. was named Engineer of the Year by the Houston chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. He received a bachelor's degree in 1970 and a master's in 1974. Mr. Trietsch joined the Texas Department of Transportation, where he had held summer jobs. He started in the Fort Worth district office, moved to the Austin District office and later became its director, and is currently the district engineer in Houston, TxDOT's largest district. Some of his projects include the rebuilding of an elevated section of I-45 in downtown Houston, the removal of the Baytown Tunnel and the rebuilding of the Galveston Causeway. He currently leads the $2.4 billion project to rebuild a 23-mile section of I-30. “The engineering foundation provided to me at UTA not only got me off to a good start, it has also helped me throughout my career,” Trietsch said.
Jennifer Hutchinson , P.E. was named Young Engineer of the Year by the Dallas chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. Ms. Hutchison received a bachelor's degree in December of 1999 and began working full time for Halff Associates in Dallas, where she had been an intern. In 2001, Ms. Hutchinson joined Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers, where she is a Senior Project Manager over both public works and private development projects, including designing the Commerce City Hall, Police and Fire Station; two new Dallas Independent School District Elementary Schools; two senior living facilities; high-rise apartment living in Dallas; and the first stand-alone Hummer dealership in Texas.
Scott Berman was named Young Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Berman received a bachelor's degree in December 2001 and joined Halff Associates in Fort Worth, where he has served as a hydraulic engineer and project engineer. He specializes in storm water and drainage master plans, flood-plain determination and reclamation, and stream erosion control and restoration. Mr. Berman is well-known for his volunteer efforts with a variety of community organizations and is a frequent speaker to freshman engineering classes at UTA.
Don Dickson (BSEE ', MSEE, PhD '73), executive director of the Texas Center for Applied Technology in the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), is named a Regents Fellow by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He came to TEES in 1994 to establish the Center, which expands the A&M System's research and technical expertise and establishes alliances with industry, government agencies, the military and other universities. Under his direction, the center has grown from one employee to more than 75 and has brought in more than $12.5 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2004.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration presented an Exceptional Service Medal to Kanna Rajan (MS CSE '90) for a successful deployment of the MAPGEN automated Planning and Scheduling tool, a breakthrough Intelligent Ground Support tool for the Mars Exploration Rovers mission. Rajan, a senior research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, led a team of NASA and JPL engineers in the creation of tasking software that increased the work capacity of the rovers.
Mike Greene , P.E. (BSME, '69) was named chairman and CEO of TXU Power. He is responsible for TXU's fossil and nuclear generation fleet and will oversee TXU's company-wide Strategic Sourcing Initiative.
Mike Guyton (BSEE, ‘82) is now vice president of customer service for TXU Energy. His responsibilities include developing and implementing customer and market service processes, performance metrics, and customer enrollment and billing. Previously, Guyton served as the vice president of operations for TXU Gas.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently named University of Texas at Arlington alumna Lirio Liu as its Senior Representative to several member states of the European Union. Liu graduated from UTA in 1991 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. She will be stationed in Paris, building relationships with the civil aviation authorities in France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Spain and Monaco, plus Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in North Africa, representing all aspects of the FAA's duties and operations. She began her career in the FAA's Los Angeles Certification office, where she worked on various certification projects, including the Robinson Helicopter Model R-44, the world's most popular civilian helicopter. Part of her responsibilities included on-site accident investigation and coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Mars Exploration Rovers will be completing hundreds of maneuvers and scientific tasks, each coordinated by computer software developed by a NASA team led by Kanna Rajan , a 1990 computer science and engineering master's graduate and now a principal investigator and senior scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The software examines the items and decides the order and placement of the items to achieve the best collection, based on scientific importance, location and time and resources available. It is the first published artificial intelligence-based system to command a rover on another planet.
Scott Berman , an engineer with Halff Associates in Fort Worth, will receive one of four 2003 Citizen Engineer Awards presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of his public service accomplishments. Berman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in December 2001. Berman was cited specifically for his work on the revitalization of the public pool facility in Bedford, the Habitat for Humanity project on landscaping a low income house in Fort Worth, and his organization of the “Boo at the Zoo” program at the Fort Worth Zoo, as well as numerous other activities have all helped meet the special needs of the citizens in the community.
Rebecca Patterson Guthrie , who earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1999, received the first Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional Award presented by the Water Environment Federation. Guthrie is an Engineer in Training with the City of Denton, where she designs capital improvement projects. Guthrie serves as co-chairperson of the Water Environment Association of Texas' Young Professionals Committee since its inception in the summer of 2000, as well as a member of the association's Long Range Planning Committee, the Executive Committee. She is currently secretary for the North Texas Section and is a member of the Planning Committee for the 2002 and 2003 International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition. She also helped to develop new association membership recruiting materials, presented technical papers at local conferences and planned many activities for Young Professionals in Texas.
More than 150 people gathered at the site of the future Kalpana Chawla Hall, a living/learning community, for groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday, June 26. Chawla received a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from UTA in 1984. She and six of her colleagues perished aboard the space shuttle Columbia as it broke apart upon reentry on February 3. NASA Astronaut Kevin Kreger, commander of Chawla's first flight into space aboard the Columbia, recounted examples of her leadership abilities, her attention to detail and her sly humor. Jean-Pierre Harrison, Chawla's husband, told of their first meeting here at UTA and her enthusiasm for her research; and Dr. Don Wilson, chair of UTA's Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, described her arrival here as a shy student and her return visits to speak with and encourage young women to pursue careers in engineering.
Kalpana Chawla (MSAE '84) perished along with six other astronauts aboard the space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) as it dissentergrated upon rentry to the Earth's atmosphere. This was Chawla's second space voyage; she was also a mission specialist aboard STS-87 in 1997.
Sharon Petrea Neece was honored as the Distinguished Alumna of the Honors College. Neece earned a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering at UTA, graduating cum laude in 1991. After college, she joined the U.S. Navy and was promoted to lieutenant, serving with the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Orlando, Fla., and then in the Naval Flight Officer Training Program at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Her students cited her as the best teacher at the Nuclear Power School. Following her military service, Neece became a professional health care representative with Pfizer Inc. in Omaha, Neb. Today she is a specialty representative for Pfizer's Women's Health Care, based in Orange County, Calif. While at UTA she was named to Outstanding College Students of America and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Robert Stewart (MSAE '72), a mission specialist aboard STS-51J, completes an unteathered space walk using a manned maneuvering unit backpack. Steward was also a crewmember on STS-41B in 1984.
Bobby Williams (BSAE, '74) led the JPL navigation team that sent the reconnaissance satellite NEAR Shoemaker into a success rendezvous with, orbit of, and landing on the asteroid Eros. This was the first time a spacecraft had landed on an asteroid and was something the satellite was not designed to do.