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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.

The Lonsdorf Technique

Lonsdorf and daughter Lynn
Fred Lonsdorf and daughter, Lynn

Check out this great flashback to Mont Ripley from the Daily Mining Gazette on December 26, 1958.

“Fred Lonsdorf, Michigan Tech ski coach, believes in starting skiers at the youngest age possible. Here, Fred demonstrates the downhill schussing position to his oldest daughter, Lynn. Lonsdorf has done more for skiing in Michigan and the Midwest than anyone else. He truly is the old pro of Mont Ripley and children, as well as adults, are amazed at the smoothness of the Lonsdorf technique. They clutter around him for tips and advice and probably will continue to do so for some time to come. Fred stresses one point and calls this the best tip he can give any skier or potential racer: “Get out and practice.” Lonsdorf truly practices what he preaches, because all Lonsdorf-coached skiers get plenty of practice and racing experience.”

Does anyone have any fond memories of Coach Lonsdorf, or perhaps some great stories to share from hitting the slopes with friends and family?

Remembering Professors Sewell and Schwartz

Bill Sewell

William “Bill” Clyde Sewell, 84, a resident of Houghton, passed away Thursday, November 25, 2021, at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau, WI.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Delbert and Walter and a sister Nancy.

He is survived by his sons Andrew (Elizabeth Simoneau) of Columbus, OH and Michael (Kathy Johnson) of Wausau, WI. Bill is further survived by his grandson, Ian of Columbus, OH, a sister, Ruth of Canon City, CO, and his life-partner Ruth Robertson of Kansas City, MO and Houghton and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bill was a Professor Emeritus at Michigan Technological University, having taught philosophy there from 1972 until 2004. He was active in many community organizations. He served on the Hancock Planning Commission and the City Charter Commission.

Bill was a den leader and then cub master for Hancock Cub Scout Pack 207 and later was an assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster for Hancock Boy Scout Troop 207. He served as president of the Hancock Lions Club, president of the board of Portage Lake Hospice, and the first president of the board at The Omega House. He also served on the board for the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women. Bill served in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1959. He earned is B.A. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1975.

Bill was a volunteer for Keweenaw Home Nursing, Portage Lake Hospice, Omega House and Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly with friends Scott Rutherford and Ray Weglarz who helped to initiate the effort to build the Omega House. He was awarded the National Hospice Organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2004. Bill loved a good joke. Those who knew him well will remember him for his compassion and his sense of humor.

To view the full obituary, please visit memorialchapel.net.


Dick Schwartz

Richard Frederick Schwartz, 99, most recently a resident of White River Junction, died December 4 after suffering a fall several weeks ago. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret, who died in May 2021.

Dick, as he was known to his friends, was a retired professor of electrical engineering, a devoted father, a dedicated amateur musician, and an active member of the communities where he lived. For the last 15 years of his life, Dick and Margaret lived in Peru, New York. As residents there, they were both active in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Plattsburgh. Dick also was a member of the community band, the church choir, Peru’s Democratic Central Committee, and the board of the town’s public library.

Before their move to Peru, Dick and Margaret lived in Endicott, NY, where they relocated when Dick took a position as a full professor of Electrical Engineering at Binghamton University’s Watson School in 1985. Previously, he was a professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, and at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. He also taught at University of Michigan on sabbatical in 1960-61.

Dick, a clarinetist and a pianist, combined his love of music with his professional interests, developing courses on acoustical engineering at the universities where he taught. A gifted tinkerer, Dick would attempt to fix just about any piece of electronic equipment, and could build a functioning radio with a lump of galena and some spare parts lying around his shop. Dick had several patents to his name, dating from when he worked for RCA early in his career.

The son of a professor himself, Dick loved teaching – and he continued teaching long past his retirement. He was especially active in mentoring young male students in Binghamton-area public schools, and fostered relationships that continued for decades afterward.

Dick loved his large extended family, remembering birthdates of his relatives and often sending them a personalized “birthday poem” and a birthday check. He also was a prolific letter writer, addressing missives to family and friends – and also to public figures and companies. A World War II veteran, he was resolute in hating war. He remained politically active and engaged until the end of his days.

In May 2021, Dick was honored by the Hartford Historical Society for being the oldest resident of Hartford County. His name was inscribed on a plaque in the Garipay House, and he was given an honorary cane to mark his elder status.

He is survived by his children Kate Mortimer, Stuart Holland (Doug Federhart), Frieda Cialek (Brett Nyman) and Eric Schwartz (Margaret Yaukey); his step-children Rachel Romanowicz (Ed) and Richard Boes (Lori); his grandchildren Christopher, Andrew, and John; and his step-grandchildren Joshua, Matthew, Rebecca, and Alex. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret, his former wife Ruth Wadlin, his son Frederick Schwartz, and his grandson Andy.

To view the full obituary, please visit knightfuneralhomes.com.

PCA 2021 Induction Attendee List

As of 9/14/21 at 10:00 a.m.

Chris S. Anderson  Biological Sciences
Molli Andor* Mechanical Engineering
Michele Blau College of Business
Marie Cleveland College of Business
Christine M. Cowell Chemical Engineering
Deborah DeManno Biological Sciences 
Mandy Frantti Mathematics
Monica Hahn College of Business
Angela Hammond* Geological Engineering
Amberlee Haselhuhn* Materials Science & Engineering
Sally Heidtke Chemical Engineering
Cynthia Hodges Mechanical Engineering
Jean Kampe Materials Sciences & Engineering
Michelle Edith Jarvie-Eggart Civil & Environmental Engineering / Engineering Fundamentals 
Jaclyn Johnson* Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Britta Jost Mechanical Engineering
Kim Lobdell* Civil Engineering
Christine Manninen Biological Sciences
Adrienne Minerick Chemical Engineering
Heidi Mueller Mechanical Engineering
Leanne Panduren Civil Engineering
Christine Roberts MechanicalEngineering & Biomedical Engineering
Kristin Schourek Biological Sciences
Jennifer Shute Mechanical Engineering 
Rebecca Smits Geological Engineering
Birgit Sorgenfrei Electrical & Computer Engineering
Jennifer Trice* Mechanical Engineering 
Karin Buckland Van Dyke Forestry

*Indicates 2021 inductee

Alumni Reunion 2021 Attendee List

As of 08/05/2021 8:00am

Last Name First Name Preferred Class Major
Agrawal Pradeep Chemical Engineering
Aho Karla 1993 Business Administration
Aittama Bruce 1981 Mechanical Engineering
Anderson Dyche 1981 Chemical Engineering
Anderson Britta 2015 Electrical Engineering
Archer Glen 2013 Electrical Engineering
Argentati Carol
Aro Dave 1990 Mechanical Design Eng Tech
Barr Nancy 2011 Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Bates Dallas 1971 Chemistry
Batten Dan 1990 Business Administration
Becker Chris 1981 BSBA
Benedict Brandon 2012 Computer Science
Benedict Brandon 2015 Electrical Engineering
Bennett Barbara 1978 Forestry
Bosio John 1979 Business Administration
Bowen Jim 1996 Mechanical Engineering
Bowes James 1971 Mechanical Engineering
Brandt Andy 1981 Civil Engineering
Brodeur James 1968 Biological Sciences
Burger Grace 1984 Business/Accounting
Calder John 1967,  1976 Mechanical and MBA
Callahan Janet
Chopp Natasha 2006, 2015, 2017 Business Administration, MBA, and Masters in Data Science
Cleveland Marie 1982 Business
Cleveland Michael 19’82 Chemical Engineering
Colvin Joshua 2000 Mechanical Engineering
Coon William 1971 BSMY
Coon (Bourdage) Katherine 1971  
Cote James 1961 Electrical Engineering
Craanen Nickolas 2002 Electrical Engineering
Crull Brian 1996 Electrical Engineering
Dennis Ashley 2014 Applied Ecology/Environmental Science
Desrochers James 1989, 2016 BSEE, MBA
Dick Richard 1956 Mining Engineering
Doherty Dennis 1977 Biology
Doherty Jr Dennis 2008 EET
Dressel Thomas 1961 BSME
Du Chene William 1991 Mechanical Design Technology
Dumler Richard 1971 Electrical Engineering
Emaus Karen 1981 BSME
Englander Gary 1981 Mechanical Engineering
Epple Carl (Herb) 1961 Mechanical Engineering
Eslinger Mark 1971 Civil Engineering
Fanello Shawn 2009, 2010 ME & MBA
Frahm Wes    
Franco Lou 1981 BSME
Franklin Bart 1996 Civil Engineering
Fream Julie 1983 BSChE
Gammicchia Robert 1971 Mechanical engineering
Gothard David 1971 Forestry – Science & Technology
Gothard Diane 1974  
Graff Lorrie    
Gustafson Kim 1982 Business
Gutierrez John 1994 BSCE
Halonen Eric 1991 Accounting
Harris Tim 1981 Social Sciences
Hartley David 1971 BSForestry
Hayrynen Kathy 1986, 1989, 1993 Metallurgical Engineering
Heidtke Sally 1981 BSChE
Hicks Brian 1971 CE
Hintz Dan 1981 Mechanical
Hodges Cynthia 1987, 1989 BSME, MSME
Holli David 1961 Forestry
Horn Donald 1971 Civil Engineering
Hubert Dave 1981 BSME
Hukkanen Robert 1971 Metallurgical Eng
Huntoon Jacqueline
Jensen Leanne 2001 MET
Johnson Dana 1980 Business Administration
Jouppi Brian 1999 Chemical Engineering
Jouppi Mandy 2000 Chemical Engineering
Julien Connie 1974, 1978, 1986 BS/MS Chemistry, MBA
Kainulainen Kevin    
Kaiser Christopher 1971 Chemistry
Kallgren Christopher 1981 Chemical Engineering
Kearly Tamyra 1984 Civil Engineering
Kero Dale    
Kloote Marney 1988 Civil
Kolodge Kristin 1995 Mechanical Engineering
Kolodge Sean 1995 Mechanical Engineering
Koski Mark 1976 Forestry
Kreiger Megan 2012 Materials Science & Engineering
Kuffer Bruce 1971 Civil Engineering
Laird Jane 1968 EE
Lane II Richard 2011 CNSA
Lara Carlos 1981 Metallurgy
LaTendresse Ildiko 1970 Chemistry
Laurila Charles 1959 Mechanical Engineering
Laverne Robert 1980 Forestry
Levengood Larry 1971 Biological Sciences
Lewis Jerome 1971 Chemistry
Livesay Dennis    
Loucks Jeremy 2011 Geology
Lundgren Bryan 1976 EE
Maki Michael 1971 EE
Massey William 1964 Mining
Matas Erin 2025 Applied Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Mazany Donald 1970 Forest Management
McDonald Emily 2012 Environmental Engineering
McGowan Wesley 2010 CNSA
McMackin Keith 1971 Chemical Engineering
Meyers David 1981 Civil Engineering
Meyers John 1972 Business Administration
Mikkola Paul 1966, 1989 Metallurgical Engineering
Mitteer Adam 2003 BS Business Administration 2003,  MS Data Science 2017
Moore Don 1970 EE
Moore-Bouchard Tonya 1996 BS Electrical Engineering
Morgan Erica 2011 Civil Engineering
Morse Audra
Mroz Glenn 1974 Forestry
Muller Mike 1986 Mechanical Engineering
Naperala Sarah 1997 Biology
Naperala Troy 1997 Environmental Engineering
Nelson William 1971 Civil Engineering
Newhouse Tom 1969 ME-EM
Niemczyk Jim 1982 ME-EM
Nygren Harold (Tom) 1961 Forestry
Oberloier Sarah
O’Brien Erich 2000 Applied Physics
O’Grady Alicia    
Paddock Michael 1988 Civil Engineering
Panella Joe 1982 ME-EM
Paradee Jeff 1981 Civil Engineering
Paradis Mike 1975 ME
Parm James 1981 Electrical Engineering
Parm Jean 1982 Computer Science
Pattullo Scott 1981 Electrical Engineering
Perrie Andrew 1964 Mathematics
Predebon William
Price Robert 1975 BSME
Price P. Carol 1977 Forestry
Purcell Jr Derrick 2011 Electrical Engineering
Quinde Maria 2019 Mechanical eng
Rajewski Robert 1981 BSEE and BSCS
Rathbun Jim 1981 Civil Engineering
Rendall Jeff 1971 Metallurgical Engineering
Renier Mike 1989 chemistry
Richards John 1970 CE
Rickert Brad 1997 BSEE
Rockwell John 1979 Business
Rodriguez Stephanie 1996 Liberal Arts
Ross Shirley 1981 Biological Sciences
Rudiger Brenda
Saari Darlene
Salmi Tom 1971 Forestry
Santeford Sally 1970 Bio-Sci
Sarver Reed 1984 ME
Scheuern Craig 1992 Electrical Engineering
Schwartz James 1971 Chem Eng
Schwartz James 1971 Chemical Engineering
Siprak-Weill Rita 1980 BS Medical Technology
Smith Jody 2001 Environmental engineering
Soulliere Owen 2019 Mechanical Engineering
Sparrow Gary 1970 Chemical Engineering
Speight Kevin 1978 Nursing
Sproule Bill 1970 Civil Engineering
Stenger Robert 2018 Physics
Stevens Laura 1981 Computer science
Storer Andrew
Swager (Mikkola) Karen 1992, 1994 Metallurgical Engineering
Swanson Victor 1950 BS ME
Tatch-Julian Deb 1982 Business – Accounting
Thomas Timothy 1981 BSME
Thomson Julie 1983 Medical Technology
Timmons Richard 1969 Civil Engineering
Toth Dennis 1971 Business Administration
Toth Linda 1974 Biological Science
Toth Jonathan 2009 Business Administration
Umbarger Adam 2009 Software Engineering
Van Dyke Andy 2011 Forestry
Van Dyke Karin 1978 Forestry/Forest Management
VanSelus Robert 2011 Electrical Engineering
Vezzetti Eugene 1969 Business
Wade Barb 1978 Wood Science
Waitkins Arlene    
Weathers Bryant 2010 STC
Wicker Guy 1982, 1983 Electrical Engineering
Wilson Richard 1971 Civil
Winans Randall 1979 Chemistry
Wright Matthew 1982 Mechanical Engineering
Wyllie Dennis 1970 Forestry
Young Lorraine    
Zeigler Charles 1966 Applied Physics

Make a Difference with the Alumni Board!

Join a team of fellow alumni to make a difference at Michigan Tech!

The Michigan Tech Alumni Board of Directors is a group of volunteers elected from around the country to represent their fellow alumni. It sets priorities and works with the University to develop and support programs to connect alumni and support students.

Members of the Alumni Board of Directors participate in a cardboard boat race during Homecoming 2019.

Benefits of Service

  • Meet many amazing Huskies – engage with students, faculty, staff and fellow alumni and gain insight into the university’s vision for the future.
  • Find opportunities for your company to be more engaged on campus
  • Support and Inform students in your community who may be future Huskies.
  • Continue the tradition of “Huskies helping Huskies”
  • An excellent ‘excuse’ to get back to the Keweenaw twice per year.

Learn More or Nominate Someone (including yourself).

Members of the Alumni Board of Directors visited Michigan Tech’s student Mushing Club during Winter Carnival 2021.

Emergency Fund Impact

Thanks to donations from alumni and friends, 280 students have been helped through emergency funds. More than $117,000 has been distributed to help students suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19. Support for any of these funds will have an immediate impact on our students!

Husky Emergency Assistance Fund | Give Now
76 undergraduate students received $27,648
38 graduate students received $14,278.28
11 employees received $5,289

Graduate Emergency Assistance Fund | Give Now
70 graduate students received $35,000 (thanks to a $100,000 lead donation from Chang Park)

Betty Chavis Fund
38 undergraduate students received $15,385 
4 graduate students received $2,343

International Fund
52 graduate students received $21,917 
2 undergraduate students received $745