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College honors 15 exceptional alumni at 21st annual awards celebration

2018 awardees pose on stage with Dean Williams

A renowned aerospace engineering educator, ExxonMobil’s highest ranking welding/materials engineer, a 2018 recipient of China’s Future Science Prize, and the chair of UCLA’s architecture and urban design department are among the 15 alumni honored during the 2018 Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Awards on November 2, 2018.

“This year’s group of awardees are impressive and truly outstanding,” said Dean David B. Williams, the Monte Ahuja Endowed Dean’s Chair. “We’re so very proud of each and every one these distinguished alumni, and the tremendous impact they have on our world through their teaching, entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and service.”

The Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal was awarded to University of Maryland Professor Emeritus John D. Anderson Jr. (PhD '66, AAE), who has had a sustained impact on aerospace engineering education. He is the author of 11 undergraduate and graduate textbooks, which are considered the universal standard in aerospace education. Anderson is currently the curator for aerodynamics at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

“I want to thank the faculty of the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering during the 1960s at Ohio State. Those faculty members taught me everything about everything,” Anderson said during his acceptance speech. “I stand on the shoulders, honestly, of those giants.”

For the first time since its inception in 1958, two worthy alumni were selected to receive the Texnikoi Outstanding Alumni Award. Cullen Buie (BS '03, ME) is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, specializing in flow physics at the microscale for applications in materials science and applied biosciences. He is also the co-founder of Kytopen Corp., which is developing platforms to accelerate the discovery and manufacturing of cell therapies.

“I was reflecting and thinking about what’s special about Ohio State. It’s not so much what you learn, but it’s how you learn it and who you learn it from … It’s teamwork ... It’s the ability to work with other people. It’s the ability to persevere and it’s also the ability to really dream big,” Buie said.

Fellow 2018 Texnikoi Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Jennifer L. W. Carter (PhD '12, MSE) is an emerging scholar in the application of data analytics and machine learning to structural materials design. She is an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Carter devotes her time to STEM education and outreach, and the inclusion of diverse viewpoints within her field.

Meritorious Service Citation recipient John Lindberg (BS '84, EE) works to advance Ohio higher education through philanthropy as president of the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. The foundation’s recent commitments to the university include a $10 million gift to Ohio State to upgrade its aviation education and research facilities and The Ohio State University Airport terminal.

Eleven alumni received Distinguished Alumni Awards for outstanding professional achievement. Starting this year, these awards are being presented in three distinct categories.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Academic Excellence

  • Computer graphics pioneer Richard E. Parent (MS ’73, PhD '77, CIS) is professor emeritus of computer science and engineering at Ohio State. He is also the author of Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques, a book renowned as the best technically-oriented animation resource.
     
  • Heather Roberge (BS '93, MS '95, ARCH) is a nationally-recognized designer and educator based in Los Angeles. She is the founder and principal of design practice Murmur and currently serves as chair of UCLA Architecture and Urban Design where she is an associate professor.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement

  • Shellie Porter Caudill (BS ’00, CHE) has trained junior scientists worldwide on product development. Currently, she is R&D Home Fragrance Director for L Brands where she led the R&D team in delivering 2,000+ products for market and opened a new state-of-the-art lab in central Ohio.
     
  • Daniel M. Coombs (BS ’78, CHE) is executive vice president of Global Manufacturing, Projects and Refining for LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies. He serves on the executive committee and board of directors of the American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association.
     
  • Douglas P. Fairchild (BS ’80, MS ’82, PhD ’95, WE) joined ExxonMobil in 1982 and is currently the company’s highest ranking welding/materials engineer. He holds 12 patents and is credited with the discovery of local brittle zones, the invention of numerous high-strength steels and associated welding technology, and the methods used to fabricate the world’s strongest pipeline and cryogenic pressure vessel.
     
  • Bill Haywood (BS ’78, CE) is a senior energy executive with 35 years of experience in refining, energy and biofuels, both domestically and internationally. Currently, as president of Haywood Energy Consulting, he consults with investors on new projects, merger/acquisition, integration and positioning of assets. He is also a partner in Wai Ventures, a robotics solution company.
     
  • A recognized leader in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, Burn J. Lin (MS ’65, PhD ’70, EE) has been extending the limit of optical lithography for close to half a century. Lin holds Distinguished Research Chairs at National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University and National Taiwan University. He is a 2018 recipient of China’s Future Science Prize and holds 78 U.S. patents.
     
  • William Murdock (’99, MCRP) serves as executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), a voluntary association of over 60 central Ohio local governments and regional organizations serving the fastest growing region in Ohio. He is secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Association of Regional Councils, past chair of the National Association of Regional Councils’ Executive Directors Council and a board member of Partners Achieving Community Transformation.
     
  • Steve Stokey (BS '87, ISE) is an executive vice president at Allied Machine and Engineering Corp. in Dover, Ohio. He is the current chairman of the Association for Manufacturing Technology, immediate past president of the United States Cutting Tool Institute and a member of the Ohio Executive Council for Project Lead the Way.  

Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • Dennis A. Guenther (MS '71, PhD '74, ME) is a mechanical engineer with S-E-A, Ltd and professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Ohio State. Working at S-E-A since its inception in 1970, he helped establish and grow the company’s mechanical and biomechanical team. In the early nineties, Guenther started the vehicle dynamics division, building high-tech testing equipment for automotive manufacturers worldwide.
     
  • With more than 25 years of experience, Kevin Hrusovsky (BS '83, ME) has dedicated his career to advancing the science of precision health. Currently, he is chief executive officer and executive chairman of Quanterix. Hrusovsky founded the Powering Precision Health Summit, the nation’s first summit dedicated to bringing the world’s leading physicians.

Learn more about the 21st Annual Excellence in Engineering & Architecture Alumni Awards honorees in the awards program or view photographs from the event.