Tag: alumni

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering Welcomes Nine Members to the Academy

Academy member plaques during induction ceremony held on October 5, 2023
Academy member plaques during induction ceremony held on October 5, 2023

Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering proudly announced the induction of nine distinguished individuals into its prestigious Academy. Established in 1993, the Academy was created to honor outstanding graduates and distinguished friends of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering. Election to the Academy recognizes excellence and leadership in one’s career as well as professional and community service shaping the world.

The purpose of the Academy is to honor outstanding graduates and distinguished friends of the Michigan Tech Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering. Election to the Academy recognizes excellence and leadership in engineering and civil affairs. Our membership is heavily invested in giving back to the University, students, faculty, and the community at large.

Nominations come from faculty and current Academy members based on a record of outstanding achievement in their field; demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in their profession; demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in their community; support of the CEGE department or university as a whole via demonstrated actions. 

The Academy Induction was held on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the Rosza Center.


Elected Members of the Academy:

Wayne Bergstrom
Wayne Bergstrom

Wayne Bergstrom, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE, F.ABET:

Wayne Bergstrom, a distinguished Michigan Tech alumnus from the class of 1976, has accumulated over 45 years of experience in civil and geotechnical engineering. With roles in consulting, industry, and governmental service across six continents, Bergstrom has been instrumental in adapting civil infrastructure projects to various geologic environments. He is currently a Principal Engineer at Bechtel Infrastructure and Power and has received prestigious honors, including the Bechtel Distinguished Engineer in 2013 and Bechtel Fellow in 2020. Active in professional societies, Bergstrom served as the President of ABET, Inc. in 2016-17, accrediting college programs globally.

David Thomson
David M. Thomson

David M. Thomson, PE ‘83:

Originally from Kodiak, Alaska, David Thomson switched from metallurgical to civil engineering at Michigan Tech, driven by a passion for big equipment and construction. His diverse career includes leadership roles at Burlington Northern Railroad, STV, Inc., and his consulting practice focused on private industrial clients. Thomson’s commitment to service is evident through his involvement with the Rail Transportation Advisory Board and the Civil and Environmental Professional Academic Advisory Committee. He received a departmental alumni service award in 2019, recognizing his dedication.

David Hand
David W. Hand

David W. Hand, PhD, BCEE ‘80:

David Hand’s journey with Michigan Tech began in 1982, leading to a distinguished career in environmental engineering. Joining as an assistant research engineer, he eventually became a professor and served as the Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Hand’s accolades include the Rudolph Hering Medal and the 2000 AEESP Landmark Achievement Award. His contributions span over fifty funded environmental engineering research projects, numerous awards, and a significant body of published work.

Emmanuel U. Nzewi
Emmanuel U. Nzewi

Emmanuel U. Nzewi, Ph.D, P.E., M.ASCE ‘80:

Emmanuel Nzewi, a 1980 civil engineering graduate from Michigan Tech, has made significant contributions to academia and research. With a Ph.D. from Purdue University, he served in leadership roles at multiple universities, conducting research on sustainable water resource systems and transportation accessibility in rural communities. Active in ASCE, Nzewi received the 2013 Outstanding Service Award and continues to explore engineering education through natural language processing models.

Michael Paddock
Michael Paddock

Michael Paddock ’87, ’88:

With bachelor degrees in surveying (’87) and civil engineering (’88) from Michigan Tech, Michael Paddock has left a lasting impact in the field. His career at CH2M HILL included managing transportation megaprojects, exemplified by the successful reconstruction of major interchanges and highways. Paddock’s dedication extends beyond his professional endeavors, with full-time volunteering for Engineers Without Borders, earning him the EWB-USA Founders Award in 2009. Recognized as the Humanitarian Award recipient from Michigan Tech in 2020, Paddock and his wife generously support the university.

Leanne H. Panduren
Leanne H. Panduren

Leanne H. Panduren, PE, F.NSPE:

Leanne Panduren, a 1993 civil engineering graduate, has showcased exceptional leadership throughout her career at ROWE Professional Services Company. Progressing from Assistant Project Engineer to President and CEO, Panduren actively promotes excellence and education in engineering. Her contributions extend beyond her professional realm, with active involvement in professional engineering societies and various philanthropic and economic development roles in her community.

Steven Tomaszewski, ‘91:
Steven Tomaszewski, ‘91:

Steven Tomaszewski, ‘91:

Steven Tomaszewski, a 1991 environmental engineering graduate, has ascended to the role of Global Director of Environmental Strategies & Operations at General Motors Company. His career at GM spans various locations globally, contributing significantly to facility management, crisis management, and the transition to electric vehicles. A dedicated Michigan Tech supporter, Tomaszewski serves on the Board of Trustees and has been recognized with the Michigan Tech Young Alumni Award in 1999.

Thomas M. Keranen, P.E., Esq.:
Thomas M. Keranen, P.E., Esq.:

Thomas M. Keranen, P.E., Esq.:

Thomas Keranen, graduating in 1972 with a BSCE, has seamlessly merged engineering and law throughout his career. Starting as a civil engineer, Keranen obtained a law degree and transitioned into construction law, becoming a respected figure in the field. Active in construction industry associations and educational programs, Keranen’s contributions extend to serving on the Civil and Environmental Engineering Professional Advisory Committee at Michigan Tech.

Zachary Grasley
Zachary Grasley, PE, PhD ’01:

Zachary Grasley, PE, PhD ’01:

Zachary Grasley, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Michigan Tech in 2001, currently heads the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University. His prolific research career, marked by awards like the NSF CAREER Award and Fellowships in prestigious engineering societies, has significantly impacted the field. Grasley’s dedication to advancing civil and environmental engineering is evident in his role as a Presidential Impact Fellow at Texas A&M, guiding the department’s substantial student body and research programs.

The new inductees showcase diverse achievements, embodying the spirit of leadership, service, and excellence that defines the Michigan Tech Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

CEGE Academy 2022

The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering inducted four new members to the Academy at a ceremony held Thursday, March 24, 2022. The Academy was established in 1993 to recognize excellence and leadership in engineering and civic affairs of outstanding graduates and friends of the Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering Department.

Russ Becker, PE, ‘89, ‘91

Russell Becker
Russell Becker

Russell (Russ) Becker completed his baccalaureate (1989) and master’s (1991) degrees in civil engineering at Michigan Tech. He is the Chief Executive Officer and President of APi Group, one of the largest providers of specialty services in North America and the largest provider of life safety services in the world. Russ’ continued commitment to overall excellence has inspired APi Group to create a culture of leadership by building an exceptional learning and development program, a highly selective Leader Development Program, and an award-winning veteran’s hiring program.
Russ began his career as a field engineer with Cherne Contracting. He moved on to become a project manager for Ryan Companies during the construction of the Greenfield Recycled Paper Mill project for Liberty Paper. Upon completion of this project he joined APi Group’s subsidiary, The Jamar Company, in Duluth, Minnesota. He started as manager of construction and was named president in 1998, where he served until joining APi Group as president in 2002.
He previously served as a member of Dunwoody Institute’s board of trustees. He is the former chair of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota board of directors and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Foundation board of directors. He currently serves on the Children’s Foundation board of directors, the Liberty Diversified Industries board of directors, and the Marvin Companies board of directors. He also serves on the advisory board for the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University and the board for the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT). Russ is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Minnesota Business Partnership. Russ resides with his wife, Trish, and three sons in Dellwood, Minnesota.

Michael Drewyor P.E., P.S. ‘72, ‘74

Michael Drewyor
Michael Drewyor

Michael Drewyor received his baccalaureate (1972) and master’s degrees (1974) in civil engineering from Michigan Tech. He was an owner and partner with Robert Hitch at Hitch Inc. for 30 years where he provided architectural, civil/structural and surveying services for private, industrial and government clients. The business was sold in 2007 to Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment, Inc of Livonia, Michigan
Drewyor retired from Michigan Tech in 2020 as the Roland A. Mariucci Professor of Practice where he taught for the previous 13 years. His teaching assignments included courses in Construction Management, and senior capstone courses. He was also an advisor for the Associated Schools of Construction estimating team.
Drewyor has also been active in alumni activities, serving on the Alumni Board of Directors in the 90’s, local alumni chapter president in the 00’s and Sigma Rho Fraternity, Inc board since graduation. He is a member and supporter of the Huskies Club.
Drewyor serves as a National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) emeritus member from both the Michigan State Board of Professional Engineers and the Michigan State Board of Professional Surveyors. He previously served 8 years on both Michigan Boards. He received his commission as NCEES Central Zone vice president in 2020. As the vice president, Drewyor serves on the NCEES board of directors and as the zone’s administrative officer through 2022. He is also a current candidate for the NCEES position of President-Elect. This three-year cycle will run through August 2025.
Mike and Judy reside in Houghton, MI and have two children, Jennifer (Houghton) and Adam (Colorado).

Jennifer Hartfelder, PE, PMP ‘90

Jennifer Hartfelder
Jennifer Hartfelder

Jenny Hartfelder completed her civil engineering degree from Michigan Tech (90) and went on to complete a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is Vice President of Stantec, a top-tier global design and delivery firm. Based in Denver, Colorado, Hartfelder has over 30 years of experience providing project management and engineering design for municipal and federal clients. Her water and wastewater treatment plant experience includes the preparation of master plans, preliminary and detailed designs, and engineering services during construction. She has managed water and wastewater projects up to $10M with numerous small business subcontractors. She has extensive experience in the evaluation and design of wastewater disinfection systems, as well as business management including mentoring and leading staff, project delivery, client service management, and business development. Jenny previously served as a Strategic Campaign Manager for Stantec’s Water business leading top marketing campaigns across North America. She was responsible for leading the local pursuit teams to perform client account analyses; develop campaign plans and sales messages; and prepare statement of qualifications, proposals, and interviews. She was responsible for securing $10 to $20 million in sales per year.

She is a past president of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and of the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association. In 2021 she was named a WEF Fellow, one of the industry’s highest honors. She is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Washington and Project Management Professional.

John Van Huis, PE ‘76

John Van Huis
John Van Huis

John Van Huis completed his baccalaureate degree in civil engineering at Michigan Tech in 1976. Upon graduation, he joined the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (CNW) in the Chicago offices as a Structural Engineer. He went on to be Engineer of Coal Line bridges for the new Powder River Basin coal fields in Wyoming and then Bridge Engineer for the entire CNW system.

In 1987, he joined the investment group of CNW employees who purchased the Soo Line RR assets in the state of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Wisconsin Central Transportation Company (WCL) went on to own railroads in New Zealand and Australia where he oversaw bridge replacements and construction. While at WCL, he earned an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In 1999 he joined Radtke Contractors and formed their railroad bridge and construction division. In 2009 he finished his railroad career with Alfred Benesch as Sr. Project Manager Railroads and Vice-President Wisconsin Division and retired in 2016.

Mr. Van Huis is a registered engineer in the State of Wisconsin. He has been involved in many national railroad associations over the years. He was a member of the American Railroad Engineering Association (AREA), Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association and American Railway Bridge and Building Association where he served as President in 1994. All three of the organizations were merged to form into what is now known as the American Railway and Engineering Association (AREMA).

John and his wife Suzanne reside in Winneconne, Wisconsin. They have two sons and one grandchild. They have both been deeply involved in their sons’ lives coaching youth hockey, soccer, and volunteering for the Oshkosh YMCA swim team. They are also supporters of the late great singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg Prostate Cancer Foundation. In retirement, John enjoys substitute teaching in the local school systems, gardening, and international and domestic travel.