Author: Wes Frahm

Remember Professors Beck, Mendenhall, and Stottlemyer

Donald Beck

Donald Beck

Donald Richardson Beck passed away at his home in Greer, South Carolina. He was 82 years old. He had emergency surgery in March and spent several weeks in the hospital and in a rehab facility before returning home on May 10.

Don was born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1940 to Richard and Eleanor Beck. He and his family lived in several different places in New Jersey and summered in Island Heights near grandparents. Don graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dickenson University with a major in Physics. He then went to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he earned a doctorate in Physics in 1968. The day before, he married Susan M. Gilbert of Allentown. They were the loves of each other’s lives.

During the summers that he was in school, Don worked for the Navy in Bethesda, Maryland. When he finished his doctorate, Don and Susan headed to Boulder, CO, where he went to work for E.U. Condon at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado. When E.U. Condon retired, Don went to do teaching and research at Yale University in the Chemistry Department. During the Yale period, his son, Richard, was born. After several years, Don became an assistant professor at the Yeshiva University in New York City, maintaining contact with colleagues at Yale. In 1976, Don moved his family to Athens, Greece where he was employed by the National Hellenic Research Foundation to train young scientists and to continue his research. He was an instrument for positive change there. In 1978, he moved to Champaign, Illinois to teach Physics at the University of Illinois.

Finally, in 1980, he found a home in Houghton, Michigan at Michigan Technological University. Much of his work at Tech centered on computational atomic physics applied to transition and rare-earth metal ions. He was passionate and persistent about his research. He was an MTU research awardee in 1999 and named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001 in recognition of his seminal work on relativistic correlation methodologies in electronic structure theory. He published over 150 scientific papers over the years. He received funding from many sources, perhaps most notably for his ongoing work on Lanthanide ions which received continuous NSF funding for over 30 years.

He always played an active role in the department, college, and university. Most notably, he helped to develop, and provide leadership for, the graduate programs in the department. As principal advisor, he graduated ten PhD and six MS students. His students remember him for his humor, his stories and, even more, for his humility and kindness. He served on the MTU Senate, where he was an advocate for the library and for improved faculty benefits. Over the years, he was a friend, colleague, and mentor to many in the Physics department and beyond. He retired in 2016, a Professor Emeritus of Physics.

Don loved the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—particularly South Range. He served on the Village Council for thirty-three years, and always thought that the council was a wonderful balance of people who truly cared for their community. He loved his wonderful neighbors there.

Don was a great dad and an amazing GPA for his grandchildren who enjoyed his company. He was always a hard worker who had unusual insights into nearly any situation. He was a positive example for academic achievement, being a global citizen and kindness to others. His grandchildren call him a “master of history” and a “master of Go Fish.” He loved most music, but particularly enjoyed the music of Buddy Guy and other rhythm and blues virtuosos. He loved a good murder mystery.

Don is survived by his wife, Susan, best friend and love of 54 years; his greatly valued son, Richard (Esther); his three wonderful grandchildren: Skyler, Mason, and Mia; also, by his sister, Marylin “Lin” A. Beck (William “Bill” Pardee) of Westport Point, Massachusetts; as well as his cousin, Janet Arnold of New York City; niece, Katharine ”Katie” Barbee (John Eric), great nephew, Elijah “Eli,” great niece, Madelin “Maddy,” of Clancy, Montana; niece, Caroline ”Carrie” Klute, of Cascade Locks, Oregon, and niece, Laura Cahoon (Brendon), and great nieces, Thea and Amelia Cahoon of Austin, Texas; brother-in-law, R. William “Bill” Gilbert of Bethlehem, PA. He is preceded in death by his sister Virginia “Ginny” Kluthe, his brother, Stephen “Steve” Beck, and his parents, Richard, and Eleanor.


David Mendenhall

David Mendenhall died June 9, 2022 in New York City at the age of 77. He was born to George and Eathel Mendenhall February 12, 1945 in Iowa City, Iowa. Since his father was in the US Navy at that time, he did not meet his father until he was almost one year old.

David, as he was known to friends and family, was the eldest of five sons, and lived in Springfield, Ohio until his parents moved permanently to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1952. David excelled in his academic pursuits in high school and college; earning a national Merit scholarship, winning the southeastern Michigan High School science fair, and was the high school class salutatorian. During his high school years, he performed basic chemical work at Parke Davis in Ann Arbor, and was proud of the fact that he bicycled to work, a distance of over 12 miles one way.

After high school he attended the University of Michigan, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1967. After matriculating from the University of Michigan, he pursued a PhD in chemistry from Harvard where he received his degree in 1970. After receiving his PhD he obtained a post-doc fellowship to work at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Ontario, where he met his future wife, Yvonne Hendricks, whom he married in 1972. The couple then moved to California where he worked at the Stanford Research Institute and moved to Columbus, Ohio to work at Batelle Labs in 1975. His two children, Catherine Astrid and George Stuart were born in Columbus.

In 1980, David received a professorship at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, where he taught and performed research until 2001. After retiring from teaching, he founded Northern Sources, a chemical manufacturing and research company based in Hancock, Michigan. Shortly after this venture was started, his wife Yvonne of 28 years died of cancer. David’s next chapter was a move to New York, where he renamed his company “Eastern Sources” and married Ying Dong in 2006. His life-long fascination with chemical preparations continued in his manufacturing of compounds and materials that were too complicated and complex for most other companies to make.

David’s keen mind and analytical skills were second to none. David developed multiple myeloma and various other afflictions in the last three years which impacted his company’s production. The successive treatments for his cancer led to a stroke earlier this year, and then he was overwhelmed with an infection which eventually led to his death. David will be remembered for his keen mind, wonderful wit, generosity, and charming personality.

As the member of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran and the tallest member of the Chinese church that he regularly attended with his wife, David was fondly remembered by the congregants. He was an internationalist, having lived in Jerusalem, Jordan, Freiburg, Germany, and having travelled frequently to China and east Asia. As a professor, David mentored hundreds of students in chemistry whose careers were impacted by his generosity and insight.

David is survived by his wife, Ying Dong, children, George Stuart of San Diego and Catherine Astrid (Brownstein) of Boston, step-daughter Jennifer Schumacher and her husband Scott Schumacher, son-in-law John Brownstein, grandchildren Jackson and Caroline Brownstein, and brothers Lauri, Stanley, Gordon, and Stephen.


Bob Stottlemyer

John Robert (Bob) Stottlemyer, a faculty member at Michigan Tech from 1979-1990, died unexpectedly of natural causes May 31 on a research expedition at a remote field site along the Agashashok River in northern Alaska. 

He is survived by his dear friend of 43 years, Carla (Char) del Mar, and his sister Laura. He remained an adjunct professor with the Department of Biological Sciences until his death.

Stottlemyer’s three decades of research at the Agashashok River site were just a small part of his remarkable career studying environmental issues in northern landscapes and his incredibly full life of eight decades.

He was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, on June 19, 1940, and grew up in a family with two brothers and a sister. His boyhood was spent running around the local woods, while family trips to national parks set the stage for his professional focus. He majored in forestry at Pennsylvania State University, with summer jobs fighting wildfires as a smoke jumper in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and working as an interpreter in national parks. He studied forest ecology for his Ph.D. at Duke University under the supervision of Professor Bill Ralston, focusing on forest soils and water quality. His Ph.D. research at the Fraser Experimental Forest in the Colorado Rockies was one of the first to combine the hydrology of mountain streams with water quality and nutrient budgets, an approach that persisted in his research over the next five decades, providing some of the best long-term records of forests and streams in the world.

After graduating from Duke, Stottlemyer voyaged the world as a professor with Semester at Sea (then called World Campus Afloat), and then joined the freshly created White House Council on Environmental Quality. The CEQ was responsible for documenting the state of the nation’s environment, providing the core information needed for implementing new environmental laws, including the National Environmental Protection Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

Stottlemyer transitioned from the CEQ to become the lead environmental scientist in the Washington office of the National Park Service, and then served as the regional chief scientist for the Philadelphia office of the NPS. His heart was more in science and research than administration, and he relocated within the NPS to Houghton, beginning decades of collaboration with Michigan Tech. He focused on hydrology, chemistry and processes influencing water quality in remote watersheds from Calumet to Isle Royale National Park, Denali National Park and Noatak National Preserve.

Stottlemyer’s commitment to science was so strong that he self-funded his research for decades following his retirement. His scientific legacy goes well beyond his impressive long-term records for watersheds — he influenced the lives and careers of many colleagues, postdoctoral scientists and students. All of Stottlemyer’s projects served as schoolhouses for his collaborators and students, providing unique experiences that shaped careers and continue to bring insights to environmental issues. His legacy also includes a vast trove of professional photographs documenting the beauties of wild landscapes and some of the changes that developed through his long life.

Stottlemyer’s loss leaves emptiness in many lives, but each time he comes to mind, we all find ourselves smiling with so many grand memories of our unique colleague and friend.

In Memoriam

April 1 – June 30, 2022

Class Full Name Degrees
1950 James A. Johnson P.E. BS Civil Engineering
1950 Gordon J. Voelz BS Mechanical Engineering, MS Mechanical Engineering
1951 Robert L. Knutilla BS Civil Engineering
1951 John C. Linton P.E. BS Mechanical Engineering
1952 Marshall G. Pierotti BS Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering
1954 Felix Mickus BS Mechanical Engineering
1955 Charles D. Knauer Jr, PE BS Mechanical Engineering
1955 John F. MacDonald BS Civil Engineering
1956 Charles L. Lamoreaux BS Mechanical Engineering
1957 Dr. Richard J. Arsenault BS Metallurgical Engineering
1957 Raymond L. Merrifield BS Metallurgical Engineering
1958 Janet A. Locatelli BS Medical Technology
1959 James R. Falge BS Forestry
1960 Theodore M. Kero BS Mechanical Engineering
1960 William J. Lubitz BS Electrical Engineering
1960 Bruce P. Mitchell BS Chemistry, MS Chemistry
1960 George W. Phillion BS Geological Engineering, MS Geological Engineering
1960 Raymond A. Reynolds BS Business Administration
1961 Rodney L. Hartung BS Mechanical Engineering
1961 Allan A. Johnson BS Civil Engineering, MS Business Administration
1962 Alan R. Besola BS Electrical Engineering
1963 David C. Anderson BS Business Administration
1963 Maj. Gary C. Atkins BS Business Administration
1963 Paul F. Haertel BS Forestry
1964 John P. Goudreau BS Civil Engineering
1964 Dr. Wayne Holbrook BS Electrical Engineering
1964 Norman P. Wimmer BS Business Administration
1965 James A. Pietila BS Forestry
1965 George M. Pintar BS Business Administration
1965 David W. Stallard BS Electrical Engineering
1966 Robert E. Brooks BS Business Administration
1966 David E. Brusseau BS Business Administration
1966 Thomas W. Immonen BS Forestry
1966 Edward J. Strong BS Metallurgical Engineering
1970 Samuel A. Leonard BS Electrical Engineering
1972 Thomas M. Neuville BS Chemical Engineering
1972 Gerald F. Riutta BS Mechanical Engineering
1974 Dr. Jeffrey G. Ronn BS Biological Sciences
1976 Karen B. Hawke BS Mathematics
1977 L/Col.Kenneth R. Moser  MS Business Administration
1978 Lawrence W. Albaugh BS Forestry
1978 Edward M. Mills BS General Engineering
1979 John M. Kelly BS Business Administration
1981 Terrance L. Horvath BS Electrical Engineering
1983 Prakash K. Mirchandani MS Metallurgical Engineering, PHD Metallurgical Engineering
1984 Jody A. Miller BS Electrical Engineering
1987 Todd R. Rose BS Mechanical Engineering, MS Mathematics
1989 Robert M. Bouwma BS Mechanical Engineering
1989 Charles J. Christy BS Civil Engineering
1990 Dianne Maynard BS Metallurgical Engineering
1998 Donald D. Arnold BS Mechanical Engineering
2008 Thomas W. Ernst MS Electrical Engineering

In Memoriam for January 1 – March 30, 2022

2016 Alumnus Spends Summers Leading Adventures in the Keweeenaw

Tyler Sykes is a senior kayak guide for Keweenaw Adventure Company. His work includes spending time on the water and trails in the Keweenaw.

What was your major/what did you study at Michigan Tech?
I majored in Mechanical Engineering, then came back to get a teaching certificate to teach secondary science.

What was your favorite class or professor at Michigan Tech?
I enjoyed a lot of the biology classes. Casey Huckins was a favorite. He taught a marine biology oceanography class that was engaging and relatable.  

How did Michigan Tech prepare you for working at the Keweenaw Adventure Company?
I’m from Grand Rapids and chose Michigan Tech after high school. I got into kayaking in and around Lake Superior. It’s just a perfect setting to get out and explore. Once, I kayaked from Houghton to Copper Harbor with some college friends over a few days. It drove me to explore the sport more.

I currently have a job as seventh grade teacher in Calumet and work at KAC for the summer. It’s a good balance to do both. Calumet is a great part of the state to teach science as its relatable with the local ecology, history, culture, and biology.

What do you want people to know about what you do?
I’ve spent seven summers guiding kayak tours, five of those at KAC. My favorite tours are the Agate Harbor and Bette Gris tours, as well as Isle Royale.

As part of the team at KAC, I have guide bike tours, fix bikes, and work in the shop. This year, you’ll most likely find me on the water or driving the bike shuttle to Brockway Mountain.

My favorite mountain bike trail in Copper Harbor is the Red Trail.

When not working, I like to bike and kayak with old college friends that have moved back to the Keweenaw.

Changes Coming to Google Drive for MTU Alumni

Due to a policy shift by Google, changes are coming that will affect Michigan Tech Alumni. Starting January 1, 2023, Michigan Tech alumni will no longer have access to Google Drive and Google Photos. On that date, any files stored in Drive or Photos under an alumni @mtu.edu account will be marked for deletion.

Between now and January 1, 2023, there are several options for moving content, whether it’s by downloading or transferring to another Google account.

This does not affect @mtu.edu email addresses. Email accounts will continue to work as they do today.

If you have any questions about these changes or need assistance, we can help. Contact IT at it-help@mtu.edu or call 906-487-1111.

Michigan Tech is ‘Michigan’s Flagship Technological University’

An Update from President Koubek

One of Michigan Tech’s special elements is our spirit of teamwork. This was particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout, the Michigan Tech community sacrificed to uphold the values and mission of our institution. And on April 30, we celebrated together when over 1,200 students received their degrees. Congratulations to the Class of 2022! They join an esteemed group of alumni from around the world. 

President Rick Koubek
President Rick Koubek

Also, thanks to the hard work of our faculty and staff, Michigan Tech emerged from the pandemic in a positive position, enabling us to press forward with several new initiatives supporting the excellence that resides in this great University. I outlined these themes at a recent campuswide leadership meeting and am pleased to share them now more broadly with our alumni, donors, and friends. 

First, we continue to advance the Tech Forward areas identified by our faculty and staff in 2018-19.

Second, this fall we will begin a faculty hiring initiative with a goal of employing 400 tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty by 2035, provided enrollment grows as well.

Third, with the new campus master plan completed, we will invest in our campus footprint through renovations, student housing, academic space, and student space.

Fourth, we are working to establish a larger and more diverse student body from across the country, with a goal of 10,000 students by 2035. Progress is being made thanks to the work of our faculty and staff.

Fifth, we will continue to vigorously promote Michigan Tech’s excellence on the national level.

And finally, this fall we will initiate a University fundraising campaign to provide support for scholarships, professorships, facilities, academic programs, and athletics.  

As these plans become reality, the world will benefit from the innovations springing from our Tech Forward initiatives. Our campus will boast contemporary facilities, classrooms, and technologies to promote learning and research. Our students and faculty will benefit from donor support through scholarships, professorships, endowed chairs, and other forms of philanthropy. And finally, we will all be part of a growing, more diverse community of students, staff, and faculty.  

Thank you again for your support of Michigan’s flagship technological university. I am excited to move forward into a future focused on excellence and growth for our University.

Chernosky’s Legacy in Sustainable Practices Lives On Through Award/Scholarship

Former Michigan Tech professor and advisor Frank Chernosky ‘55 was an early advocate for sustainability principles. His leadership and mentorship of students during his tenure starting the 1960s until his untimely death in 1971 had a great impact on many. 

Frank Chernosky
Frank Chernosky ’55

In memory of Chernosky, Mike ‘69 and Karen Gregory established the Frank Chernosky Award in Climate Leadership in 2021.

“When I was a student in the 60’s, the concept of sustainability was championed by Frank Chernosky and Duane Thayer,” said Gregory. “That was before the EPA existed. What better way to remember Frank and help solve the planet’s climate issues than to support a scholarship in his name to assist students studying and researching ways to achieve sustainability.”

Marc Levier ‘71 ‘77 joins Gregory underscoring the impact Chernosky had on his life.

“Frank Chernosky was the professor I admired most. He was the person I looked to for guidance as a student and as a young man who was finding his way in life,” said LeVier. “A field trip to nearby Empire and Republic iron ore mines in my first class with Frank opened my eyes to the mining industry, and I was hooked.”

LeVier also recalled Chernosky as a practitioner of his craft, working in the summer months doing test work for mining companies or in the field working on assigned projects. “Frank brought his students current knowledge and problem-solving skills for real issues. His lectures kept you engaged and wanting more.”

Chernosky’s widow Fay is happy to see Frank’s connection to Michigan Tech continue. “Frank was all about his alma mater. He worked diligently to provide his students with the best education possible to succeed in their profession of metallurgical engineering specializing in mineral processing. His industrial experiences provided him the knowledge to convey the skills he knew they would need.”

The first award will be granted for the 2022-23 academic year. Clare Fidler has been named the first recipient. “I’m honored and thrilled to have been chosen for the Frank Chernosky Award in Climate Leadership,” she said. “I feel I could make a positive impact on the world by focusing on a career in sustainability. Addressing climate issues involves not only environmental questions, but a human, social, and economic ones as well. I feel passionate about tackling problems in all of those aspects of life in order to ensure a sustainable world and future.

Clare Fidler

“I’m thankful especially for the professional development opportunities that this award will help guide me through. I feel that learning from experts in a real-world setting will aid my understanding of current strategies in addressing climate issues and help me start applying those tactics in my own career much faster.”

Fidler will not only receive $6,400 in scholarship assistance for the upcoming year, but she’ll also receive a professional development and applied work fund of $1,600.

For more details on how to support this scholarship or students like Clare, contact Bryant Weathers.

Four Generation Michigan Tech Legacy Family

“Ryan told me when he was five years old he was going to Michigan Tech,” said Jim Cote ‘62, Ryan’s grandfather. He was right.

Jim ’62, Ryan ’22, and Rob ’85 Cote.

Ryan Cote walked across the stage at Michigan Tech’s Spring Commencement on Saturday (April 30) having earned a Bachelor of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication with a minor in cybersecurity. In doing so, he added to the family legacy and became a fourth-generation Tech graduate. 

“Michigan Tech’s a place I’ve always been interested in,” said Ryan. “I came up for Summer Youth Programs, and fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere.”

Jim ‘62 and Ryan ‘22 graduated 60 years apart. The other members of the four generation legacy are Ryan’s father, Rob Cote ‘85 (Scientific and Technical Communication) and his great-grandfather Robert DeGhetto ‘49 (Mechanical Engineering).

As for his future, Ryan has a job lined up with a small tech firm in lower Michigan, where he will do technical writing and cybersecurity work.


Tell us about your family legacy at Michigan Tech! Comment below.

In Memoriam

January 1 – March 31, 2022

Class Full Name Degrees
1947 Duane W. West BS Mechanical Engineering
1948 Robert A. Fricke BS Electrical Engineering, ’48 BS Mechanical Engineering
1948 Donald C. Hampson BS Chemical Engineering, MS Chemical Engineering
1949 Richard A. Derby BS Metallurgical Engineering
1949 Mitchell S. Siepak BS Electrical Engineering
1950 Paul J. Goode BS Physics
1950 James M. Jabara BS Civil Engineering
1950 Mario D. Zadra BS Chemistry
1951 Harry D. Bennetts BS Civil Engineering
1951 Allen J. Bentley BS Mechanical Engineering
1951 Ernest W. Kitzner BS Mechanical Engineering
1952 Robert A. Borak BS Forestry
1952 Donald C. Violetta BS Metallurgical Engineering, MS Metallurgical Engineering
1954 Barth R. Schlup BS Civil Engineering
1956 Tai Y. Lee BS Mechanical Engineering, MS Mechanical Engineering
1957 Christy T. Hauge BS Forestry
1958 Glenn R. Brown BS Civil Engineering
1958 Raymond J. Slattery BS Business Administration
1958 Gerald L. Vande Hei BS Forestry
1959 Clifford E. Faucher BS Civil Engineering
1959 Monte J. Hand BS Chemical Engineering
1959 Jack E. Pierson BS Civil Engineering
1960 Roger G. Grates BS Applied Physics, BS Metallurgical Engineering
1960 Raymond G. Latvala BS Business Administration
1960 William J. Lubitz BS Electrical Engineering
1960 Richard G. Meese BS Chemical Engineering
1961 Edmond P. Friday BS Civil Engineering
1962 William T. Dodson P.E. BS Mechanical Engineering
1962 Russell P. Paquette BS Electrical Engineering
1962 Donald C. Trimble BS Mechanical Engineering
1963 Rodger A. Arola BS Civil Engineering, MS Engineering Mechanics
1963 Robert G. Carlson BS Mechanical Engineering
1963 Barry C. Davey BS Electrical Engineering
1963 Alfred A. Porkka BS Mechanical Engineering
1966 Erwin T. Simi BS Biological Sciences
1967 Douglas A. Grisham P.E. BS Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering
1967 L. Howard Richards BS Mechanical Engineering
1967 Dilip K. Shaw P.E. MS Chemical Engineering
1968 Frederick K. Geissler BS Electrical Engineering
1968 James C. Lamerand BS Mathematics, MS Mathematics
1969 Robert J. Gaines BS Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering
1970 Jimmy A. Finley BS Geology
1972 Frederick R. Anderson AAS Electrical Eng Tech (AAS)
1972 Ralph W. Klein BS Chemistry
1972 David F. Szykowny BS Forestry
1973 Dr. James E. Kitzner BS Biological Sciences
1973 Curtis R. Paulson AAS Forest Technology
1974 Dr. Robert A. Ayres PHD Metallurgical Engineering
1974 Walter J. Caspers BS Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering
1974 Daniel W. Junttila BA Liberal Arts
1974 Ronald W. Paynter BS Civil Engineering
1975 Fred William R. Fass BS Geology
1975 Charles D. Kramer BS Chemistry, MS Chemical Engineering
1978 Daniel A. O’Brien BS Forestry
1979 Warren R. Brown BS Chemical Engineering
1979 Sheryl P. Lepisto BS Biological Sciences
1979 Paul J. McHone BS Forestry
1979 Dr. Darwin G. Moon BS Mechanical Engineering
1981 Carol A. DeBacker BS Wood Science
1982 Robert E. Cass BS Mechanical Engineering
1984 John J. Gagnon AAS Civil Engineering Technology
1985 James L. Hollenbeck BS Geology
1988 Dr. Douglas E. Wilken MS Physics, PHD Applied Physics
1989 Jeffrey S. Arch BS Civil Engineering
1989 Dr. M. Sean Clancey MS Rhetoric & Tech Communication, PHD Rhetoric & Tech Communication
1991 Thomas M. Demeny BS Electrical Engineering
1993 Eric M. Fredrickson BS Environmental Engineering, MS Operations Management
1993 Heather C. Schultz BS Mechanical Engineering
1997 Ryan T. Adragna BS Mechanical Engineering
2003 Frank A. Whiton BS Engineering
2009 Mark D. Miljevich BS Civil Engineering
2011 Breanna L. Cronk BS Mechanical Engineering
2012 James E. Brandt BS Accounting
2019 Anthony J. Rettig BS Mechanical Engineering

In Memoriam for October 1 – December 31, 2021

Michigan Tech Mourns Loss of Darwin Moon ’79

Michigan Tech’s Department of Advancement and Alumni Engagement is sad to announce the passing of Darwin Moon ‘79, a member of Michigan Tech’s Alumni Board of Directors. Darwin was engaged in numerous ways with Michigan Tech, serving not only on the Alumni Board but also as a member of the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) External Advisory Board.

Darwin and his wife, Margarita, also supported the research of Professor L. Brad King, the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Endowed Professor (Space Systems) in ME-EM.

“Darwin was a very special Alumni Board member whose passion for Michigan Tech could not be contained. He has left his Husky paw print on our hearts, as well as on the University” says Kristin Kolodge, President of the Alumni Board of Directors.

The full obituary for Darwin follows.

Darwin G. Moon was born to Leslie C. and Betty Lou Moon on May 28, 1957, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  In his youth, Darwin was an active member of the Boy Scouts of America and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank in Scouting.

Darwin obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Engineering, Applied Mechanics from California State University at Northridge, and a Doctoral of Philosophy Degree in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University.  He was a member of Michigan Tech’s Alumni Board, the Recognition & Recruitment Committee and the ME-EM External Advisory Board.

Darwin started working at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards AFB, California in 1980. He went on to work at McDonnell Douglas in Southern California and The Boeing Company for 27 years, most recently in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a project manager on the Space Launch System.

After a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, Darwin passed away on March 16, 2022.  He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Margarita; sister, Karen (Mark) Vylonis; niece, Megan (Sean) Vylonis-Nelson; two nephews, Derrek Vylonis and Corey Vylonis; and numerous cousins.  Darwin is predeceased by his parents.