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College honors esteemed alumni for achievement, service



A wireless communications pioneer, a renowned expert on carbon capture and sequestration technologies, and Chrysler’s powertrain chief were among the 15 alumni honored at the 17th Annual Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Alumni Awards on October 17, 2014.

Each year The Ohio State University College of Engineering honors alumni for extraordinary personal achievements, outstanding contributions to the fields of engineering and architecture, and remarkable service to the college.

Special recognition was given to William C.Y. Lee (MS ’60, PhD ’63, electrical engineering) who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in the field of cellular telecommunications. One of the founding pioneers of wireless communications and a leading scholar in wireless technologies, his many accomplishments include spending 15 years as lead developer of the advanced wireless system, AMPS, and creating the widely used “Lee model” for wireless signal propagation. Lee also received the college’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1989.

Robert (Bob) Lee (BS ’78, mechanical engineering) received the Benjamin G. Lamme Medal for meritorious achievement in advancing engineering. Among his many roles at Chrysler Group LLC, he is vice president and head of engine, powertrain, and electrified propulsion systems engineering; and interim head of transmission powertrain and driveline engineering. Lee received the college’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004 and currently serves as a senior member of the Ohio State Center for Automotive Research’s Industrial Advisory Board.

H.R. Ransom (BS ’61, architecture), founder of the architectural firm H.R. Ransom Inc., was honored with the Meritorious Service Citation. His innovative designs led the way for riverfront development in and around Columbus. He also established two scholarship funds to support students in the Knowlton School achieve their educational dreams.

Gary O. Spitznogle (BS ’98, chemical engineering), vice president of regulatory and finance for AEP Ohio, received the Texnikoi Outstanding Alumni Award honoring achievements since graduation. He is a renowned expert on carbon capture and sequestration technologies and contributor with the National Coal Council and World Resources Institute.

The 11 alumni honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards for outstanding professional achievement in engineering and architecture are:

  • Wael Bahaa-El-Din (PhD ’84, computer and information science), a former Microsoft Technical Fellow, oversaw the performance of several generations of Windows operating systems and led a number of Microsoft’s company-wide efforts during his 31-year career.
  • David Biagi (MS ’87, architecture) currently serves as inaugural director of the School of Architecture at the University of Kentucky’s College of Design after developing a successful architecture career in New York City. 
  • Peter J. Frantz (BS ’77, civil engineering), senior vice president of Canam-Heavy Steel Construction, is one of the leading authorities for steel in sports construction and large complex fast track projects.
  • Bill Gerhardt (BS ’78, landscape architecture) is founder and president of GreenScapes Landscape Company, one of the largest commercial and residential landscape contractors in central Ohio.
  • Dr. Jim Ibinson (BS ’95, chemical engineering, MS ’03, PhD ’04, biomedical engineering, MD ’06), assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has conducted award-winning research in functional magnetic resonance imaging of pain processing.
  • Maria Martinez (MS ’81, computer engineering), named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity Council in 2014, has held leadership in business and technology roles at Sales Force, Microsoft, Embrace Networks, Motorola and AT&T Bell Labs. 
  • Paul Cody Phipps (BS ’84, mechanical engineering) is the president and chief executive officer of Fortune 500 wholesale distributor United Stationers. He was previously partner at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
  • Richard T. Schwarz (BS ’73, chemical engineering), partner at private equity firm Edgewater Capital Partners and co-founder of Sycamore Partners and Laurel Industries, has spent the last 45 years as an executive, entrepreneur and investment manager.
  • Juipeng (Andy) Tang (MS ’80, PhD ’86, industrial and systems engineering), is co-founder and president of Scientific Forming Technologies, and directs several other companies including Secure Check Cashing Systems.
  • Liz Tinkham (BS ’84, aeronautical and astronautical engineering), senior executive leader at Accenture, is an industry expert in telecommunications, media and high technology.
  • Sehoon Yoo (PhD ’05, materials science and engineering) has led 38 separate research programs as a principal researcher at the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, and holds the title of adjunct associate professor with Korea’s University of Science & Technology Department of Electronic Packaging Engineering.

Learn more about the 17th Annual Excellence in Engineering & Architecture Alumni Awards honorees in the the brief recap video and event photographs.

Categories: AlumniAwardsCollege