You are here

From Dean Williams: A celebration of alumni to remember

Dean David B. WilliamsDean David B. WilliamsWilliam Everett, Bertha A. Lamme Feicht, Charles Kettering, Curtis LeMay, John Moll…The Ohio State University College of Engineering can claim many outstanding alumni amongst our ranks. On October 18, 2013, we celebrated the extraordinary personal achievements, remarkable contributions and outstanding service of 14 such Buckeye Engineers and Architects during the 16th Annual Excellence in Engineering & Architecture Alumni Awards.

This year’s awardees are truly exceptional, with each of their stories being worthy of a full article, but here are a few highlights.

Several alumni expressed gratitude for the quality education they received at Ohio State.

“I truly appreciate the breadth and depth of the education I got here at Ohio State University,” said Distinguished Alumnus Robert Borel (BS ’65, MS ’65, electrical engineering). “To receive this award and continue to be relevant 50 years after you leave the university, I think says something about this university, not just the man.”

Benjamin Lamme Medal recipient Tom Thomas (BS’ 66, MS’ 66, electrical engineering), who traveled to Ohio State on a bus with $100 in his pocket, credits the engineering education he received with giving him the “ability to be totally unintimidated by any problem I ever saw, faced or heard about.”

“I don’t think enough people realize the power of engineering in allowing people to be unintimidated by problems,” Tom added, a sentiment I wholeheartedly share. 

Distinguished Alumnus Joe Chongsiriwatana (BS ’96, electrical engineering; MS ’98, biomedical engineering) shared heartbreaking stories of the children he works with at ZOE International, an organization that works to stop child trafficking and help rescued children. Speaking to the hushed room, Joe reminded us how fortunate we are in the lives we live. As we plan our new degree in humanitarian engineering, we all understand more clearly how engineering solutions can transform lives. Joe’s commitments to rescuing children facing unimaginable terror inspired us all.

Distinguished Alumnus Ray Harishankar, a valued member of the college’s external advisory council, is an essential link in Ohio State’s partnership with IBM. This collaboration is a core reason for our new undergraduate degree in data analytics and will be enhanced as we spend millions of dollars in new faculty in this area, as the first of several Discovery Theme investments. Ray shared that the only university that can claim the most alumni among the elite ranks of approximately 250 IBM Fellows is, of course, The Ohio State University.

Kurt Dubowski, who described Ohio State as “a magical place where dreams come true,” received our first Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership as the recognized leader in the fields of forensic toxicology and clinical chemistry. At age 91, and 64 years after he graduated from the university, Kurt captured the audience with his compelling voice and more compelling story and received a standing ovation to complete the evening’s celebration in fine style.

I want to thank each and every one of our award winners, and indeed all our Buckeye Engineers and Architects, for helping us as we carry on the fine traditions and continue to build the outstanding international reputation of The Ohio State University College of Engineering.

Read more about our 2013 alumni award winners.

David B. Williams
Monte Ahuja Endowed Dean's Chair
Dean of the College of Engineering
Executive Dean of the Professional Colleges


Tags: Alumni