Category: Alumni Recognition

From Michigan Tech to Mars

Jessica Elwell
Jessica Elwell ’02 ’03

Jessica Elwell once sat with her Senior Design team daydreaming about how they could solve all the problems of the world with thermodynamics. Now, she is actually solving one of those problems by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and sustainable fuels.

Coming around the bend in Chassell during her first campus visit, Elwell thought, “Oh, this is home now. This is where I need to be.” The remote environment, affordability, and quality of the engineering education were all factors that led her to choose Michigan Tech. She graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 2002, followed by an MS in Chemical Engineering in 2003.

Her career began at SE Johnson as a research engineer, but following that she frequently jumped industries, looking for what the position would add to her skill set versus what the job actually was. “I’ve had the opportunity to go from specialty chemicals to bio labs to ceramics to defense and aerospace. I even worked in weapons manufacturing for a bit,” she said. “It’s been a really diverse path.”

Now, Elwell is chief operation officer at OxEon Energy, a start-up specializing in complementary energy technologies capable of converting carbon dioxide and water to sustainable fuels, leading the way to solve the world’s energy-related problems. Elwell was a founding member in 2017, but left to gain experience and returned to the company in 2020. While formally working together at OxEon for just five years, the team has actually been collaborating for more than 30.

Elwell standing in front of Curiosity Rover Mockup at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory holding the Solid Oxide Electrolyze for MOXIE
Elwell in front of Curiosity Rover Mockup (same class as Perseverance) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory holding the Solid Oxide Electrolyze for MOXIE

It was this team that designed, developed, and manufactured the Solid Oxide Electrolyzer at the heart of the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment—or MOXIE—which was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023. The device was attached to Mars’ Perseverance rover, successfully converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. Because of Elwell and team, if astronauts ever land on Mars, they will have air to breathe and propellant produced on Mars to support a return mission.

“We are the first team ever to produce a technology that made a commodity off of the surface of Earth from the resources that are available in that location,” Elwell said. “As technical program manager, that is my biggest achievement. That team, and that product, is what I’m most proud of.”

OxEon is currently scaling up manufacturing on the devices and using them to produce fuels on the Earth.

Elwell credits Michigan Tech for giving her the tools she needs to succeed. “I’ve worked with the best of the best in high-profile engineering companies. I appreciate the background that Michigan Tech gave me. I can sit in any of those rooms, at any of those tables, and I belong.”

Residing in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her two children, Alton and Kailyn, Elwell enjoys spending time outdoors in the beautiful Utah mountains, being active in the development of a sustainable fuels economy through industry associations and government activities, and volunteering for Women Who Succeed. Elwell is on the Board of Directors for the United States Hydrogen Alliance, as well as the Board of Governors for Utah’s Aerospace and Defense Association, 47G.

Jessica Elwell with leadership of 47G
Elwell with leadership of 47G—Utah’s Aerospace and Defense Association

A Memoir of Purpose and Adventure: Tech Alumna Shares South American Posting

Family, world travel, and an opportunity to build an energy-efficient home were factors that brought Merle Kindred to Michigan Tech in 1998 and sparked her journey as an author.

After she and her husband, Garfield, were awarded a grant through President Clinton’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, they decided the Upper Peninsula was the perfect place to build their energy-efficient home. They relocated their architectural firm from the Detroit area.

Within a year, Kindred applied to Tech for her PhD in Rhetoric and Technical Communication and was admitted in 2000. Her husband passed away shortly after.

During her time at Tech, Kindred taught various communications courses in the humanities department to help fund her PhD position. She was involved with such organizations as the Copper Country Habitat for Humanity, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Copper Country Peace Alliance—which was reinvigorated after 9/11, due in part from an essay published by Kindred in The Lode after the attacks.

Kindred’s original dissertation was focused on rhetorical strategies for disseminating information on renewable energy and architecture in an effort to share how communications can be used to inspire more energy-efficient building processes. A vacation to India after her fifth year at Tech changed the trajectory of her education and her future.

Kindred with an indigenous guide in the deep interior

“I returned from my holiday and told my department chair to rip up my current proposal,” she said. “I was inspired to write from both the Eastern and Western perspectives.”

Creeks served as roads in the wetlands

When Kindred heard about the work the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) was doing in India, she had a starting point for her own research. She traveled to Kerala, India, to study what local communities were doing with traditional materials and architectural processes, combined with modern technology. She completed her PhD in 2007.

Kindred continued her work in India and spent the next nine years doing pro bono consulting in business practices and communication strategies with COSTFORD.

Shortly after, Canada’s Cuso International had a six month posting in Guyana to work on a strategic plan. Kindred, a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., again packed her bags. In addition to the work, Kindred spent time in Guyana learning about the country, doing fiber arts, and continuing her interest in tropical birds. After her first posting was completed, she prepared a placement description for another six months to serve as an ecological and economic advisor in Indigenous territories.

Kindred’s campsite on a quest to find a rare eagle

Her work in Guyana inspired her memoir, Gripped by Guyana: A Memoir of Purpose and Adventure. The entire process from writing to completion took around four and a half years. It was published in April 2023.

Kindred says that there is value in the book as a deep dive into a country that most people don’t even know exists unless they hear its pre-1966 colonial name: British Guiana. Now it is becoming increasingly important with ExxonMobil having discovered offshore oil.

“I’ve left myself very open and vulnerable through this memoir,” Kindred said. “I’ve shared both the things that worked, and the things that didn’t where I could have acted differently. I hope it gives readers an intimate look into urban life as well as Indigenous lifestyles in contrast to how we approach life in the West.”

Kindred was on a book tour in the Midwest, which included a visit to Michigan Tech where she connected with faculty members involved with international studies who could use the book as an additional reading resource for relevant courses.

Time & Talent Showcases the Power of Knowledge Exchange

Time & Talent (T&T) is a testament to Michigan Tech’s commitment to fostering meaningful connections between the University and its alumni. The program, led by the Office of Alumni Engagement, has become an ongoing narrative of volunteerism and knowledge sharing.

In October, the T&T program invited a group of talented alumni to return to campus where they engaged with current students, faculty, and staff through presentations, lectures, and learning opportunities. Representing the October cohort of T&T guests were four alumni whose achievements span a variety of fields:

  • John Helge ’76 (Forestry)
  • Bruce Kuffer ’71 (Civil Engineering)
  • Paul Meneghini ’93 (Civil Engineering)
  • Brian Schwanitz ’77 (Applied Geophysics)
L-R: Paul Meneghini, Brian Schwanitz, Bruce Kuffer, John Helge

This assembly of accomplished professionals brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to campus. Their collective expertise covered a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, industrial water treatment, business development, operations management, and trenchless technologies for sanitation, water, and pipeline sectors.

During the visit, each alumnus served as a guest lecturer in a mix of classes that matched his practice. Where Helge spoke in classes such as Experiences in Environmental Engineering and Intro to Sustainability and Resilience, Schwanitz addressed students in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Formation Evaluation and Petroleum Engineering. Meneghini and Kuffer both met with students from various disciplines, including Professional Development, Community Development and Planning, Social Sciences, Public Speaking and Multimedia, and Introduction to Public Policy.

Their collective wisdom resonated with a common theme: the importance of communication skills, no matter the industry. Kuffer, in particular, emphasized the significance of recognizing and learning what he coined as “the soft side of engineering,” which proved to be the key attribute of his successful career.

In addition to guest lectures and presentations, the cohort also met with various Michigan Tech staff and student organizations, including the Student Leadership and Involvement Office, Husky Innovate, Blue Key Executive Board, Law Club, Green Campus Enterprise team, and the Society for Environmental Engineering, where they not only shared their knowledge and expertise but also provided valuable guidance on how to navigate and succeed in a professional career.

Previously, the Office of Alumni Engagement hosted Tom Seel for the Time & Talent program. A 1985 mechanical engineering graduate, Seel shared decades of valuable experiences with students and faculty during his September visit.

The Time & Talent initiative isn’t just about a singular event; this University-wide program aims to bring a diverse cohort of alumni back to campus every semester. These cohorts may feature new rosters or the return of previous guests, depending on what schedules allow. As the Time & Talent initiative continues to grow, we anticipate additional volunteer opportunities to arise for alumni along the way. Whether through Time & Talent or other volunteerism, the Office of Alumni Engagement encourages all alumni to stay connected and active through a variety of events and opportunities.

Stay tuned for more interactions and upcoming Time & Talent events that promise to add new dimensions to the rich tapestry of alumni connections at Michigan Tech.

Interested in volunteering or know an alumnus who would be a good fit? Submit the nomination form on our website or contact Jordan Shawhan via email or call 906-487-3575.

Paying It Forward: Seel Gives Back Through Time & Talent

After retirement, Tom Seel is entering his next chapter through mentorship and meaningful connections.

Graduating from Michigan Tech in 1985 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, Tom Seel spent 35 years dedicated to a successful career in the automotive industry. Seeking a way to share his expertise and prepare current students for the evolving worlds of industry and academia, he found the perfect avenue to fulfill this purpose through the Time & Talent (T&T) initiative at Michigan Tech.

Tom Seel
Tom Seel ’85

“My career was completely rewarding and absorbing. Upon retirement, I realized that I now had time and relevant knowledge,” Seel said. “From my perspective, that time and knowledge came with a responsibility to share. Tech started my career with a well-rounded pragmatic engineering education. Logically the place to share is where it started. The mission of the Time & Talent initiative was a perfect match.”

The impact of alumni involvement in higher education extends beyond the classroom, especially at Michigan Tech. T&T creates opportunities for alumni engagement by connecting talented Michigan Tech alumni to current students, faculty, and staff through guest lectures, presentations, and learning opportunities.

Efforts from T&T volunteers like Dan Green ‘83 and Jenny Johnson help unlock the potential of a program like Time & Talent. Leveraging alumni networks for student success, Johnson reconnected with Seel to discuss his interest—the timing couldn’t have been better.

“As an alumni, Time & Talent is about building relationships with students and professors. I can honestly say I gained new insights from the students with each guest lecture I gave,” Seel said. “Thank you is due to the professors who were willing to give up some of the valuable class time with students. It was clear to me that these professors understood the value of adding some industrial perspectives into the classroom. Tech is a special place and it is great to see and contribute to programs like Time & Talent.”

Seel’s sentiments continued to express appreciation for the faculty involved, including Ruth Archer, Laura Connolly, James DeClerck, Darrell L. Robinette, and Manish Srivastava, representing Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program, College of Business, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, and Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

For economics professor Laura Connolly, Seel’s wealth of experience afforded the ability to connect what students learn in the classroom to their future careers, emphasizing how cross-disciplinary knowledge enhanced his career success by understanding both business and engineering aspects. Connolly saw firsthand the potential of alumni-student programming.

The Time & Talent program has the potential to create a lasting impact on many students. The program not only directly connects alumni with current students, but it also illustrates to students the benefits of giving back as they progress in their careers.

Laura Connolly

In the words of Joseph Kodwo Awuni, a graduate student studying mechanical engineering, the Time & Talent initiative creates practical benefits for students seeking guidance and preparation for their future careers.

“It really helps, definitely. Now that we are going into the field, we need some form of experience and then some form of guidance. Alumni are already exposed to some of these things,” Awuni said. “So, when they come around we are able to listen to their experiences. We are taught about current trends in the industry and it helps and prepares us to also think for ourselves as young engineers who are now entering the field.”

After a distinguished career, the Time & Talent initiative at Michigan Tech allowed Tom Seel an opportunity to share decades of experience with students and faculty. Through guest lectures and volunteer connections, the program not only bridges the gap between academia and industry but also highlights the importance of giving back.

First Female Mechanical Engineering Grad Reflects on Time at Michigan Tech

Immediately following World War II and as the Cold War was beginning, Marian “Smitty” Smith became the first female mechanical engineering graduate at Michigan Tech. The year was 1948.

Seventy-five years later, Marian Smith Scott is 95 years old living in Gaylord, MI.

After completing junior college in 1946, Marian chose to continue her education at Michigan Tech. Given her strength in math, she thought engineering was a good path for her. “I understood that engineering required a lot of math, so I decided on mechanical,” she said. “I have to admit… I really didn’t know what engineering was!”

When Marian Smith started at Tech, she recalls there being around 400 students—only 20 of whom were women. Enrollment blossomed after World War II bringing the total to 1,789 students at the Houghton branch (and 384 in Sault Ste. Marie). While there were few women before her who graduated with different degrees, only three others were pursuing mechanical engineering. Since they were younger than her, Marian, who was well known by the nickname “Smitty”, rarely had any other women in her classes. Despite facing challenges and discrimination during her time as a student, Marian never lost sight of her goal.

One professor was particularly challenging, believing that women didn’t belong in engineering. As Marian explained, “I distinctly remember our professor giving us a quiz with three questions. I got the final answer correct but forgot to do the last step on the third question. The guy next to me didn’t even answer it, and he got a better score than me. That really irked me! I still ended up with a B in the class. I should have had an A, but he couldn’t do anything to give me less than a B and that made me happy.”

Having 40 hours of class each week and homework didn’t leave much time for hobbies, but “Smitty” still managed to have some fun. A member of Alpha Phi Omega, there were many formal parties and dances, so she was always busy sewing another new dress. She fondly recalls watching a young man sprint towards her from across campus to ask her to go on a date with him to a dance that was a month away. “There weren’t many women there. You had to get your dates early!” She also met her future husband Bill Scott at Tech, who graduated at the same time with the same degree. Three months after graduation, the two were engaged.

After graduating from Tech, Scott started her career at General Motors. She later became an editor for Design News—a technical magazine. After Design News moved to Denver, Scott secured a job at Bendix (now known as Allied Signal, Inc.) where she became the first female to have a supervisor role outside of the factory. “It might have been a big deal,” she said, “but nobody made anything of it. They didn’t give me much more money!”

“When I got out of school, people didn’t really believe that I had an engineering degree,” Scott said when asked about the public perception of a woman in engineering at the time. “People would still ask me silly questions like what you would get in 12th grade physics. Many of the employers were skeptical, which wasn’t very fair.” She continued, “I think some people thought I had two heads. But I got a job, and I did the job.”

Marian “Smitty” Scott encourages all women in engineering to be confident and know that they are as good and as capable as the men in the same field.

“I’ve always felt my decision to go to Michigan Tech was a good one,” she said. “I went back for my 50th reunion in 1998, and I saw the improvements they made. I wished I were going to school then! It was, and is, a very good school.”

Remembering Professors Laszlo Valentyik and Sung Mook Lee

Dr. Laszlo Valentyik, 87, a resident of Houghton passed away Friday, October 28, 2022.

He was born on September 13, 1935, in Budapest, Hungary, son of Laszlo and Erzsebet Valentyik.

Laszlo grew up in Budapest during World War II and the post-war years, and enjoyed academics, sports, and working on cars/trucks and all things mechanical. He was especially interested in table tennis and achieved the title as Hungarian National Table Tennis Champion.

Laszlo escaped from Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and immigrated to the United Kingdom.

He graduated with a Doctorate in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University and worked as an engineer for the UK government. In 1967 Dr. Valentyik accepted a position with Michigan Technological University (MTU) as a professor in the Mining Engineering Department teaching and conducting research.

In 1981 he collaborated and shared receipt of the Neil Rice award at MTU for the research publication, “Production and Evaluation of Lignite Pellets”.

In 1982 Dr. Valentyik married Louise Helene Fortin, from Quebec, Canada. They lived in Houghton and were active members of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church. In March of 2007, Helene preceded Laszlo in death following a battle with breast cancer.

Laszlo was perpetually optimistic, friendly, and immensely enjoyed connecting with people in his community. He loved gardening, winemaking, fixing vehicles, traveling and staying physically active. His intense desire for continual learning was evident in every aspect of his life. Including learning several languages such as French, German, English, Russian, and completing multiple educational certificates beyond his PhD.

He is survived by his two children Terez Valentyik (Ted) Grady and Peter Valentyik; grandchildren Ryan, Jonathan, and Sarah Grady.

Laszlo’s family plans to gather for an informal remembrance in the Alumnae Room A in the Memorial Union on the campus of MTU on Saturday, May 20th at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to stop by to share a story or memory of Laszlo with immediate family.

To view Laszlo’s obituary or to send condolences please visit

The Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Service – Hancock Chapel has assisted the family with arrangements.

Dr. Sung Mook Lee, a respected scientist, devoted father, and esteemed former member of the Houghton community, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2023, in Santa Ana, California. He was 90 years old.

Born on March 2nd, 1933, in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Lee came to the United States after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Yonsei University. He continued his studies at The Ohio State University, earning a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1961.

Dr. Lee began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Denison University in Ohio before joining Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Michigan, in 1965. He made significant contributions to the University, ultimately serving as the Director of the Keweenaw Research Center in 1976 and later as Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School in 1991.

Following his retirement from MTU in 2000, Dr. Lee remained active in the academic community, serving as a Visiting Scientist for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University until 2011. He was also a proud member of the Army Science Board (ASB) during two separate stints, from 1991 to 1998 and again starting in 2008.

Dr. Lee was a dedicated public servant, providing invaluable advice on advanced science and engineering education and research to governments worldwide, including Korea, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia, as well as multiple US state governments, boards, and professional societies.

His love for adventure and discovery led him to Antarctica, where he studied the physics-based structure of snow and Antarctic ice. He served on the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, the International Aviation Snow Symposium, and other professional councils. His outstanding work earned him the Antarctica Service Medal of the US Navy in 1987 and the Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service, US Army Antarctic Service Medal of the United States in 1997.

Dr. Lee was a loving father to his three children, Peter, Patty, and Janet, who have all built successful careers in science, engineering, and law. He was a dedicated husband to Chungmi Kim and always remembered his first wife, Incha Lee, the mother of his children. Dr. Lee also leaves behind his brother, Yung Mook, and sister, In Mook, and six grandchildren.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Lee had a passion for classical music and cherished attending live performances of symphony orchestras and grand operas.

Many people around the world will remember Dr. Sung Mook Lee as an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to serving others, advancing scientific knowledge, and enriching the lives of those around him. His unwavering commitment to excellence and his warm, generous spirit will be dearly missed.

The family requests that In lieu of flowers, a donation to Crush Rett Syndrome will help lead to a cure for one of Dr. Lee’s grandchildren, who suffers from Rett Syndrome. Donations can be mailed to Crush Rett Syndrome, 602 E. Rawhide Ave., Gilbert, AZ or online at mightycause. com/donate/Crush-Rett- Syndrome.

In Memoriam

January 1 – March 31, 2023

Class Full Name Degrees
1946 George C. Tackels P.E. BS Civil Engineering
1947 Robert C. Hendrickson BS Metallurgical Engineering
1947 Leland G. Rodgers Jr BS Metallurgical Engineering
1948 Clinton A. Phalen ’48 BS Mechanical Engineering
1949 Anthony B. Bartoszek BS Forestry
1949 Samuel W. Cota BS Electrical Engineering
1949 James B. Vittone BS Mechanical Engineering
1950 Marvin V. Lefens BS Civil Engineering
1950 Robert M. Swanson BS Mechanical Engineering
1950 Paul T. Watts BS Chemical Engineering
1951 Fransis J. Siller BS Civil Engineering
1952 Jack P. Johnson BS Civil Engineering
1953 Charles D. Anderson BS Mechanical Engineering
1953 Victor M. Castro BS Civil Engineering
1953 John F. Pohlman BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Mechanical Engineering
1953 Wallace G. Renn BS Mechanical Engineering
1954 William O. Drummond BS Civil Engineering
1954 Elmer F. Werhane BS Forestry
1955 William S. Burke BS Mining Engineering
1955 John M. Smuk BS Chemical Engineering
1955 Daniel L. Stember BS Civil Engineering
1956 Arthur S. Hamman BS Forestry
1956 George T. Matthews BS Metallurgical Engineering
1956 Thomas R. Valentine Sr P.E. ’56 BS Civil Engineering
1957 Harlan B. Niles BS Geological Engineering
1957 Jack F. Shefchik BS Civil Engineering
1958 Paul A. Erickson BS Mechanical Engineering
1958 Ulyses S. St Arnold BS Forestry
1959 Robert G. Langlois BS Civil Engineering
1959 Wilfred J. Phillips BS Electrical Engineering
1960 Thomas R. Forsch ’60 BS Chemical Engineering
1960 Alvin J. Gebeau, Jr. ’60 BS Mechanical Engineering
1960 Ronald O. Harma BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Metallurgical Engineering, MS Metallurgical Engineering
1960 Thomas W. Schmucker BS Mining Engineering
1961 Richard P. Baker BS Civil Engineering
1961 Col. James L. Baushke Ret. BS Civil Engineering
1961 Merton F. Dibble P.E. BS Metallurgical Engineering
1961 Dr. Robley H. Morrison III BS Mathematics
1961 Walter W. Tacke P.E. BS Civil Engineering
1962 Anthony F. Raimondo BS Mechanical Engineering
1962 Carl G. Schwenk ’62 BS Geological Engineering, ’65 BS Geophysical Engineering
1962 Kerry S Shoemaker BS Chemical Engineering
1963 John M. Gogin BS Forestry
1963 Jon H. MacLeod P.E. BS Applied Physics
1963 Julio C. Raphel BS Electrical Engineering
1963 Darryl K. Tubbs BS Geological Engineering
1964 James E. Belmore ’64 BS Business Administration
1964 Ronald J. Gerlock BS Metallurgical Engineering
1964 Ronald O. Kay BS Mechanical Engineering
1965 James A. Niemi BS Civil Engineering
1965 Dr. Joseph L. Roti Roti BS Physics
1966 Paavo K. Alasimi ’66 BS Chemistry
1966 Daniel D. Astleford BS Electrical Engineering
1967 William H Webb BS Mechanical Engineering
1968 Mark J. Arnold BS Business Administration
1968 Alan D. Bockrath BS Business Administration
1969 L. James Barnard ’69 BS Metallurgical Engineering
1969 Timothy D. Burtrum BS Electrical Engineering, MS Business Administration
1969 Leon J. Draxler BS Mathematics
1969 William J. Gobert P.E. BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Civil Engineering
1970 Ted A. Brzezinski BS Mechanical Engineering
1971 Joseph Mark Krcmarik BS Civil Engineering
1971 Terry M. Lane BS Forestry
1972 Rodney J. Klingenberg BS Electrical Engineering
1973 Ross H. Jury ’73 BS Business Administration
1973 Scott J. McKeough BS Electrical Engineering
1973 Kenneth G. Van Kley PE BS Mechanical Engineering
1974 Robert W. Duncan III BS Business Administration
1974 Murli L. Hinduja BS Chemical Engineering
1975 Kathleen L. Parker ’75 BA Liberal Arts
1975 Gerald J. Ryszka ’75 BS Forestry
1976 James N. Lehman ’76 BS Civil Engineering
1977 Richard W. Dobie ’77 MS Biological Sciences
1977 Zoe Ann R. Vicory ’77 AAS Nursing Technology
1978 Steven R. Vanden Brink ’78 BS Civil Engineering
1979 Phillip J. Hendrickson ’79 BS Mining Engineering
1980 David T. Windmuller ’80 BS Mechanical Engineering
1981 Gilbert A. Brown ’81 BS Forestry
1983 Kathryn R. Rautio ’83 AAS Mechanical Design Eng Tech
1984 Kevin P. Erickson ’84 BS Electrical Engineering
1984 Geoffry C. Kotila ’84 BS Business Administration
1985 Susan A. Gillespie ’85 BA Liberal Arts with History Opt
1985 Keith E. Moyle ’85 BS Electrical Engineering
1991 Sharon I. Joles ’91 BS Chemistry, ’95 MS Chemistry
1992 Jeffrey J. Morse ’92 BS Forestry
1993 Douglas W. Stage ’93 BS Chemical Engineering
1994 James T. Green ’94 AAS Forest Technology, ’96 BS Forestry
1997 Matthew E. McPherson ’97 BS Mechanical Engineering
2007 Jill M. Recla ’07 BS Bioinformatics

In Memoriam for October 1 – December 31, 2022

In Memoriam

October 1 – December 31, 2022

Class Full Name Degrees
1899 Arthur E. Maas BS Mining, EM Mining
1936 Oscar G. Hane BS Electrical Engineering
1940 Charles E. Tackels Jr BS Chemical Engineering
1942 Walfred S Werner BS Electrical Engineering
1943 John C. Feldscher BS Mechanical Engineering
1946 H. Bradley Johnson BS Mining Engineering
1946 Robert L. Smith BS Mining Engineering
1948 Louis P. Clark BS Metallurgical Engineering
1949 Russell W. Burman BS Metallurgical Engineering
1949 Angelo C. Coste BS Chemical Engineering
1949 Gale E. Dickinson ’49 BS Chemical Engineering
1949 Thomas C. Gebhard BS Electrical Engineering
1949 Oiva W. Hakala BS Mining Engineering
1949 Douglas A. Kuhna BS Mechanical Engineering
1949 Robert P. Matson ’49 BS Mining Engineering
1949 Thomas Z. Pinder BS Metallurgical Engineering
1949 Donald J. Schwalm BS Metallurgical Engineering
1949 Vincent J. Zanella BS Electrical Engineering
1950 James S. Apostolina BS Metallurgical Engineering
1950 William L. Barke BS Civil Engineering, BS Mining Engineering
1950 Philip C. Ellsworth ’50 BS Geological Engineering
1950 Carl F. Hoehner ’50 BS Mechanical Engineering
1950 Hoobert Huhta BS Electrical Engineering
1950 Dean R. Kelly BS Civil Engineering
1950 Wayne L. Sullivan BS Chemical Engineering
1950 Earl C Sutherland ’50 BS Metallurgical Engineering, ’50 MS Metallurgical Engineering
1950 Clarence P. Ulstad BS Civil Engineering
1950 Alan F. Walter BS Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering
1951 David S. Hackley ’51 BS Mechanical Engineering
1951 Gerald W. Heppler BS Civil Engineering
1951 Robert H. LeGault BS Electrical Engineering
1951 Irving B. Perala BS Electrical Engineering
1951 Donald I. Severson BS Civil Engineering
1951 Arthur B. Shurtleff, Sr BS Civil Engineering
1952 Richard J. Annesser BS Mechanical Engineering
1952 Norbert R. Grant BS Chemical Engineering
1952 James F. Harlin BS Civil Engineering
1952 Jack P. Johnson BS Civil Engineering
1952 Raymond E. Johnson BS Mining Engineering
1952 Howard C. LaTourneau BS Mechanical Engineering
1952 Kenneth J. Moody BS Mechanical Engineering
1953 Frederick C. Hallgren BS Metallurgical Engineering
1953 Ronald L. Mathwich BS Civil Engineering
1953 Robert J. McCormick BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Chemical Engineering
1955 Gilbert J. Mroz BS Civil Engineering
1955 David F. Pagel ’55 BS Business Administration, ’55 BS Chemical Engineering
1956 Arnell L. Engstrom BS Geological Engineering
1956 Samuel T. Wineman P.E. BS Mechanical Engineering
1957 Dr. Donald L. Bullock ’57 BS Physics
1957 Loren D. Carlson ’57 BS Electrical Engineering
1957 Dr. James I. Tanis ’57 BS Geological Engineering, ’58 MS Geophysics
1958 Stuart J. Durkee BS Civil Engineering
1959 Louis M. MacDougall BS Metallurgical Engineering
1959 Fred G. Nardi Jr ’59 BS Electrical Engineering
1959 George E. Winn BS Civil Engineering
1961 William C. Mitchell BS Electrical Engineering
1961 Florian J. Mohar BS Business Administration
1961 Loren S. Woerpel BS Forestry
1963 Robert M. Ball BS Civil Engineering
1963 Walter A. Grundman P.E. BS Mechanical Engineering
1965 Roland J. McDonald Jr BS Business Administration
1966 Dr Gary M Wenberg BS Biological Sciences, MS Biological Sciences, PHD Biological Sciences
1967 Gian C. Taneja BS Civil Engineering
1968 John R. Aho ’68 BS Mechanical Engineering
1968 Kenneth W. Brayman BS Mechanical Engineering
1968 Bruce G. Douglas BS Mathematics
1968 John L. Fisher BS Metallurgical Engineering
1968 William H. Granger BS Business Administration
1968 Dr. Robert B. Harper BS Biological Sciences
1968 Robert M. Kubicki BS Metallurgical Engineering
1968 Dennis M. Lamb BS Forestry
1968 Robert S. Middleton P.E. BS Applied Geophysics, MS Geophysics
1968 Jon E. Myers BS Forestry
1968 George W. Schemm BS Mathematics
1968 John F. Stafford BS Applied Geophysics
1968 James S. Tulloch BS Business Administration
1969 Gail L. Luttinen BS Civil Engineering, MS Business Administration
1969 Michael L. Priest ’69 BS Civil Engineering
1971 Gilbert W. Cross BS Forestry
1971 John H. Lewis BS Mechanical Engineering, MS Business Administration
1972 Timothy Carpenter PE ’72 BS Civil Engineering, ’82 MS Civil Engineering
1972 Francis J. Gagnon BS Electrical Engineering
1972 John C. Houston ’72 BS Applied Physics
1972 Dennis A. Leith BS Forestry
1972 Dennis G. McGrath BS Business Administration
1972 William C. Saad BS Mathematics
1973 Andrew J. Grgurich BA Liberal Arts with History Opt
1973 Lawrence C. Joiner BS Civil Engineering
1973 David P. Zielinski BS Mechanical Engineering
1974 George M. Hnatiuk BS Electrical Engineering, ’77 MS Mathematics, ’78 MS Electrical Engineering
1975 Patrick Parker ’75 BS Mechanical Engineering
1978 Robin F. Righettini ’78 BS Chemistry
1983 Mary J. Connors ’83 BS Biological Sciences
1983 Nicholas J. Leiterman ’83 BS Mechanical Engineering
1983 Mark S. Pirlot ’83 BS Mining Engineering, ’83 BS Business Engineering Admin
1990 Jennifer L. Barhorst ’90 BS Business Administration
1990 Melanie R. Harmala ’90 BS Mathematics
1993 Timothy D. Gard ’93 BS Electrical Engineering
1996 Keith J. Latendresse ’96 BS Environmental Engineering
1998 Shelley B. Mois ’98 BS Mechanical Engineering
2000 Richard J. McKay ’00 BS Mechanical Engineering

In Memoriam for July 1 – September 30, 2022

Barr Hires Michigan Tech Grads to Solve Problems and Restore Natural Resources

L-R: Diane Biehl, Michael Spenle, Katy Lindstrom, Chris Miron

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Barr is an engineering and environmental consulting firm that has been serving clients across North America and beyond since the 1900s. The engineers, scientists, and technical specialists at Barr work together to help clients develop, manage, process, and restore natural resources. Among those employees who are making an impact on the world are Michigan Tech graduates who have found their careers at Barr.

Diane Biehl, Environmental Scientist
Diane Biehl is an environmental scientist and Barr, where her project work is both exciting and technically challenging. “Michigan Tech prepared me for Barr by encouraging and growing my love for science, by developing my work ethic, and providing numerous opportunities for me to grow as a person outside of school,” she said. “My favorite graduate experience was working under Dr. Nancy Auer, who supported me with guidance and patience.” Diane received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2011 and her Master’s in Biology in 2016.

Katy Lindstrom, Senior Environmental Engineer
Katy Lindstrom graduated from Michigan Tech in 2006 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering where she discovered her passion for hydrogeology and groundwater modeling in her geohydrology class with Dr. John Gierke. In her current role, Katy enjoys the combination of technical problem-solving and building relationships with her colleagues and clients. “Michigan Tech is phenomenal at preparing students for “real-world” application of science and engineering,” she said. “Most, if not all, of my classes included presenting technical work in presentations and/or technical writing. Both of these aspects of my job at Barr cannot be overstated.”

Chris Miron, Vice President and Senior Chemical Engineer
Chris Miron is the vice president and senior chemical engineer at Barr. He says the most rewarding part of his job has been the opportunity to successfully remediate and redevelop many complex sites of environmental contamination in Michigan. Earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 1988, Chris learned how to effectively work with teams of professionals to complete projects. “Michigan Tech provided me with a strong understanding of fundamental principles of chemical and environmental separation processes.”

Michael Spenle, Electrical Engineer
As an electrical engineer, Michael works on substation and renewable energy design projects which help to improve and sustain the electrical grid. “Michigan Tech prepared me for working at Barr in ways I didn’t realize,” he said. “Not only did Tech provide me with a uniquely challenging education, but I would say it’s mainly what Tech offered outside of the classroom that has helped me the most in my career such as student organizations, on-campus jobs, and career-focused opportunities like enterprise.” Michael graduated from Michigan Tech in 2016 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a certificate in Electrical Power Engineering.