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College recognizes 18 alumni for distinction, service

A pioneer in the field of bioengineering, an engineer who worked on every in-production Boeing commercial airplane and an innovator in the area of power grid monitoring technology are among the 18 college alumni honored during the 2017 Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Awards on November 17, 2017.

“The hard work, passion and amazing achievements of our more than 61,000 alumni, not only fill us with pride, but also raise the reputation of our great college and inspire students to follow in your footsteps,” Dean David B. Williams, said during the event. “Tonight we celebrate you and the tremendous impact Buckeye engineers, architects and planners have on our world through your teaching, entrepreneurship, award-winning designs and service to others.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership was presented to Robert M. Nerem (MS ’61, PhD ’64, AAE), professor emeritus and founding director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech. The National Academy of Engineering member has spent much of his 40-year career in bioengineering exploring critical topics such as blood flow in large arteries, the role of hemodynamics in the onset of atherosclerosis, and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

John M. Shepherd (BS ’58, CER), retired president of Shepherd Chemical Company received the Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal. As patriarch of his family’s business he has been the driving force behind the company’s successful growth into a global enterprise. His stewardship of these companies has led to significant advances in automotive safety, air quality, durable aesthetics and numerous other benefits to society.

Meritorious Service Citation recipient Doug Ball (BS ’74, MS ’75, AAE) is a retired Boeing executive engineer whose impact on his alma mater is as equally significant as his impact on the advancement of The Boeing Company. His generous support to Ohio State includes the Doug Ball Aerospace Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Dr. Gerald Gregorek Aerospace Endowed Scholarship Fund. He also serves as chair of the Aerospace Engineering External Advisory Board.

Adina D. Sterling (BS’02, CHE), an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, received the Texnikoi Outstanding Alumni Award. In addition to her demonstrated excellence in engineering and business academia, she supports STEM education, serving as a mentor to PhD students at Stanford and undergraduates at Washington University; championing women, girls and minorities as a member of the Clayman Gender Institute; and working on the PhD Project with the Minority Faculty of Color Association.

The 14 alumni honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards for outstanding professional achievement in engineering and architecture are:

  • Glenn D. Brunner (MS ’90, BME) is president of Wiseology LLC, a medical product development consultancy, and has been granted eight U.S. patents, with additional pending and international patents. In his current roles, he leads the product development and regulatory affairs/quality assurance functions for N8 Medical LLC, and is vice president of operations for PercuVision LLC.
     
  • Tom DeFanti (MS ’70, PhD ’73, CIS) is an internationally recognized pioneer in visualization and virtual reality technologies, and a leader in the development of next-generation networks to advance science. Currently, he is a research scientist at the University of California San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute and a distinguished professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
     
  • Eduardo Falcon (MS ’89, GEO) is executive vice president of Topcon Positioning System’s Geopositioning Business, managing the company’s global distribution of surveying, GNSS and mass data products. He has led several of the company’s international businesses and multiple global engineering teams since joining Topcon in 1997 and has been a member of the Topcon Executive Committee since 2004.
     
  • Bassam Homsi (BS ’84, ME), founder and CEO of Autotool, has become a leader in the manufacturing automation industry. He is currently involved in central Ohio technical workforce development efforts, working with career centers and community colleges, and serves on the Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board.
     
  • Kris Joshi (BS ’61, AAE) is a founder and former chairman and president of UES, Inc., a nationally known science and technology company. He has been named Businessman of the Year by the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce and Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association.
     
  • Mary C. Juhas (PhD ’89, MSE) is associate vice president in the Office of Research and clinical professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State. In this role, she impacts the advancement of women faculty in the STEM disciplines with a goal to develop research leaders. She is a Fellow of ASM International and former ABET board member.
     
  • Charles Koontz (BS ’85, ISE) is chief digital officer (CDO), GE Healthcare, and president and CEO, GE Healthcare Digital. He joined GE in 2016 with 30 years of experience in healthcare, IT solutions and technology innovation. Previously, he was executive vice president of the Federal Civilian Agencies Group at Computer Sciences Corp.
     
  • Entrepreneur and businessman William C. Leipold Jr. (BS ’72, CHE) leads several companies. He is president and owner of Rapid Tool, Inc., and Columbine Plastics Corp., and leads Balco Landscaping. As a member of the board for prosthetic company Tensegrity, Leipold contributed to the development of a new generation of prosthetic foot.
     
  • Yilu Liu (MS ’86, PhD ’89, EE), the Governor’s Chair at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has helped pioneer many of the advancements in the safeguarding of the nation’s power grid. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Inventors.
     
  • Joe O’Neal (BS ’55, MS ’55, CE) is the founder of Ann Arbor construction company, O’Neal Construction, and served as its president from 1961 until 2009. Passionate about conservation work, he is the founding director and current chair of the Treeline Conservancy and serves on the advisory board for the Community Music School of Ann Arbor.
     
  • Peter Schubert (BS ’78, ARCH) is a partner in Ennead Architects International. Throughout a 30-year career rooted in the legacy of modernism, he has designed award-winning buildings both in the U.S. and abroad. Schubert’s work has received numerous awards including American Institute of Architects Honor Awards, Building of the Year from the Singapore Institute of Architects, and Best High-rise/Urban Building from the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks.
     
  • Laura Solano (BS ’83, LARCH) is an expert in the field of landscape technology and sustainability. Currently a principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., she has been a leader in MVVA’s portfolio of public parks and institutional projects for 26 years, including Don River Valley Park in Toronto, Wellesley College in Massachusetts, the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, the St. Louis Arch Grounds and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
     
  • National Academy of Engineering member John A. White (PhD ’70, IE) is a distinguished professor of industrial engineering and chancellor emeritus at the University of Arkansas. He served two terms on the National Science Board and has received NSF’s Distinguished Service Award, ASEE’s National Engineering Economy Teaching Excellence Award and Georgia Tech’s Teacher of the Year, among others.
     
  • Throughout his 26-year career with ExxonMobil, Daniel L. Wieczynski (BS ’90, ME) has held senior technical, operational, managerial and executive positions around the globe. Currently, he serves as president of ExxonMobil Indonesia. He is also a governor of AmCham Indonesia (American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia) and director of the Indonesian Petroleum Association.

View photographs from the 20th Annual Excellence in Engineering & Architecture Alumni Awards via flickr.