McCormick Magazine

Class Notes


Donald B. Bickler ('56), veteran mechanical engineer, who was awarded NASA's Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for his work on the Mars Pathfinder rover (Sojourner), was named a 2006–07 fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

David O. Rickson ('59) of Bay Village, Ohio, retired as plant manager at Holophane Corp. He also spent 20 years in real estate. He and his wife, Jeannine Parker Rickson (SESP '59), met at Northwestern and enjoyed 43 happy years of marriage until her death in 2003. Their three children are David Rickson (Weinberg '85), Beth Rickson Popler (Weinberg '92), and Regan.

John J. Uicker Jr. (MS '63, MS '65),
an engineering educator and author, was named a 2006–07 fellow of the ASME.

Edward F. Voboril ('65), chairman of Greatbatch Inc., a maker of components for implantable medical devices, was named chairman of the board of directors of Analogic Corporation.

David J. Werner (MS '66, PhD '69), chancellor emeritus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, was named interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Abhijit Acharya (MS '68, PhD '75) was appointed to the board of directors of Naviscan PET Systems, an organ molecular imaging company.

E. Glenn Holmwall ('69) retired as director of Defense Logistics Information Service's customer products and services directorate.

Kenneth A. Monroe ('75) was hired as a senior project manager for program management in the Cleveland office of ADAMS Management Services Corporation, a provider of program management and advisory services for the health care industry.

Mark R. Norman (MS '75), director of the technical activities division of the Transportation Research Board, was named to the Institute of Transportation Engineers International Board of Direction.

William F. Yearout Jr. ('75) was hired as vice president of new business development at Trumpet Builders in St. Louis.

Maureen Barry Grzelakowski ('76, MS '79) joined the Christian publishing company Zondervan as president and CEO.

Laurie R. Hernandez ('79) was hired by Baxter International Inc. as vice president, strategy.

Michael D. Bryant (MS '80, PhD '81),
the Accenture Endowed Professor of Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, was named a 2006–07 fellow of the ASME.

Roberto Ballarini (MS '81, PhD '85) of Minneapolis is the James L. Record Professor of Civil Engineering and department head at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology.

Margaret B. Ross ('81), president of the Kimball Group, cowrote The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit (2nd ed.).

Mark Donald Heid ('82), program director for WebSphere Application Server Marketing at IBM, was a panelist for the AJAXWorld Conference in New York in March 2008.

Arvind Rajan (MS '82, PhD '87) was hired by Prudential Fixed Income Management as head of quantitative research and risk management.

Robert C. Sinn ('82) was hired by the Chicago office of the structural design firm Thornton Tomasetti Inc. as senior vice president.

Gregg M. Damminga ('83, MS '85) of Eagan, Minnesota, is operations director for Cypress Semiconductor in Bloomington. He and his wife, Debbie, won their classes in the 2007 American Powerlifting Federation's National Powerlifting Championships held in May in Saco, Maine. A former Northwestern football player, Damminga set an age and weight world record total for the squat, bench press, and dead lift with 2,005 pounds and a national record for the dead lift with 725 pounds. He is the reigning 2006 AFP/World Powerlifting Congress world champion.

John P. Mayer ('83) is executive director of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, which in 2007 added its first member school in China.

Eric M. Robbins ('84) was hired by Boston-based Extraprise as vice president of marketing and business development.

Michael J. Rusinko ('84), managing director of Accenture's Minneapolis office, was appointed to the Minnesota State High School League, a voluntary nonprofit association of more than 400 public and private schools.

Betty Cheng ('85) of Okemos, Michigan, professor of computer science and engineering at Michigan State University, received a Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty Award in February. She has worked on high-assurance computing systems with industrial collaborators in the areas of software engineering, requirements analysis and modeling, and reuse. She recently launched a new research program in autonomic computing.

Helen S. Kim ('85) will be joining Kosan Biosciences Inc. in Hayward, California, as senior vice president and chief business officer.

Timothy C. Ovaert (MEM '85, PhD '89), an engineering professor at the University of Notre Dame, was named a 2006–07 fellow of the ASME.

Joe Girardi ('86) is the manager of the New York Yankees.

Katrina L. Helmkamp ('87) is joining the Whirlpool Corporation as vice president of refrigeration.

Kent Philip Mesplay (MS '87, PhD '93) was one of three Green Party presidential candidates to appear on the ballot for the Illinois primary elections in February.

Habib M. Alshuwaikhat (PhD '88) of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, was promoted to professor in sustainable urban planning in the graduate program for city and regional planning at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Erik Jon Frieberg ('88) was named chief marketing officer in the U.S. headquarters of Dutch business process software company Cordys.

Jonathan H. Holley ('88) was named CEO of Jasper Asset Management, a new fund management, mergers and acquisitions, and wealth management arm of the Jasper Capital Group. He will be based in Jasper's offices in London and Dubai.

Thomas J. Mitoraj (MEM '88) is director of WiMAX business development at Motorola.

Steve Robert Ommen ('88) was promoted to professor of medicine in the division of cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Jacob Fish (PhD '89), professor of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and director of the university's Multiscale Science and Engineering Center, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics.

Jianzhong Jiao (PhD '89) was hired by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors in Santa Clara, California, as manager of Regulations and Emerging Technologies.

Mushabbar Karimi (MME '89), a senior manufacturing engineer at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, was named employee of the month for November 2007.

Sizwe W. Mncwango ('90, MS '90)
is managing director of Masana Petroleum Solutions, a "black economic empowerment petrochemical firm" that took over the commercial division of BP Southern Africa.

Makola Mjasiri Abdullah (MS '91, PhD '94) was named dean of the Florida A&M University College of Engineering Sciences, Technology, and Agriculture.

In October 2007 Alicia S. Boler-Davis ('91) was profiled by Jet magazine as the first black female plant manager at a General Motors Corporation vehicle assembly plant.

Mark Howard Orttung (MS '91) was hired by CashView, an online finance management service provider, as vice president of product development.

James George Clessuras ('92) became a partner at Palo Alto law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in February 2008.

Sean Conlin (MEM '92, Kellogg '92) of Washington, D.C., rejoined Deloitte & Touche Consulting after 10 years in the entrepreneurial world. He oversees project teams working for the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. He started a series of branding workshops to develop internal Deloitte talent and plans to expand development of the federal supply chain practice. He and his wife, Karen, created Helping Our Heroes Foundation, which provides financial and morale assistance to service members who were wounded in Iraq. The White House recognized the foundation as a leader in community service.

Karen McEwen Farthing (MS '93, MS '94) is the pastor of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Elyria, Ohio.

Mario Greco ('93) of Chicago leads the Mario Greco Group at Rubloff Residential Properties. He specializes in the North Side of Chicago, representing traditional buyers and sellers as well as developers who convert land or buildings into residential properties. In 2007 he received the Chicago Association of Realtors Platinum Award as the No. 2 full-service realtor in Chicago. He has sold more than $400 million in real estate since leaving the active practice of law in 2002.

William H. Schmitt (MEM '94) was hired by Mountain View, California, software production management company Electric Cloud as vice president of business development.

Sunil C. Shroff ('94), a cardiologist, has joined the staff of Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Illinois.

Matthew J. Boler (MEM '95) was named president and CEO of the Boler Company, succeeding his father, John Boler.

Peter Gerdine ('95) of League City, Texas, was named site distribution team leader at Solutia Inc. in Alvin. He manages logistics and inputs and outputs of the site's seven production units. In May he earned his MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University.

Minesh K. Shah ('95) joined Sharpcast in Palo Alto, California, as vice president of marketing.

Samir Shah ('98, MS '03) was hired by life reinsurance company Scottish Re Group Ltd. as executive vice president and chief risk officer and is based in the company's Hamilton, Bermuda, headquarters.

Brett Gerwin ('99) of Birmingham, Ala., began a two-year fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery with Retina Specialists of Alabama in June after completing his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Robert H. Miller (MEM '99) joined MPC Containment International LLC in Chicago as vice president of engineered solutions.

Ajay Chawan (MEM '03)
started a company with his father to develop CarboStar, a food processing method invented by his father that slows the rate at which carbohydrates burn.

Kurtis Shimko (MEM '03), a consultant with Bain & Co. who is currently doing a six-month rotation in London, was featured in a September article in the Wall Street Journal about recent graduates who work overseas to strengthen their résumés. Before joining Bain, Shimko worked in South Africa.

Brian Ruhe (MS '04) was the subject of a January 2008 article in Career World about how his own experiences as a double amputee influenced him to choose a career in biomedical engineering, with a focus on prosthetics.

Erin Payton (MS '05) received the 2007 Momentum Award from Medtronic Corporation for employee volunteerism. The annual award is given to a select few employees who "demonstrate outstanding commitment to their community."

Cody R. Hansen ('07), an engineer at General Motors, married Mary Elizabeth Ferris (Weinberg '06) in July 2007.

Robert John Steffen ('07) was featured in an October 2007 article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about medical students who choose to attend the University of Minnesota Medical School because of changes in the school's curriculum that allow more flexibility than other medical schools.

In memoriam
Frederick W. Brenne, '23
Willett E. Wentzel, ' 33
Joseph F. Faner, '38
Edith B. Greer, '41
Robert L. Haley, '41
Hans G. Birnbaum, '42
John H. Fredrickson, '44
Norbert E. Pentz, '44
Russell H. King, '45
Col. Roger H. Lengnick, '45
Lloyd E. Nelson, '45
Irving A. Stein, '45
Gordon N. Stowe, '45
Edward I. Peters, '47
John F. Thomas, '47
Duane E. Blunt, '48
Thomas R. Brownell, '48
Charles W. Inman, '48
Hari D. Sharma, '48
Frank A. Bullmer, '49
George C. Hampel, '49
Donald E. Rappaport, '49
Wesson J. Ritchie, '49
Henry J. Ingram Jr., '50
Donald L. Jones, '50
Robert F. Mahood, '50
John L. Senter Jr., '51
Samuel Mirshak, '52
Walter J. Talley Jr., '52
James D. Walker, '52
William Henry Barnes, '56
H. Donald Jeter, '56
Richard L. S. Stec, '56
Marvin C. Bergwall, '61
H. Howard Harrison, '61
Matthew C. Sielski, '62
Lawrence R. Dennis, '63
Conrad E. Littig, '64
John Kaugars, '65
Byron J. Prugh Jr., '66
Robert A. Bolin, '69
Lt. Jerry D. Reeves, '72
Amr Sayed Azzouz, '74
Morgan S. Burke, '86
Lizabeth A. Schneider, '87
Chaturapadh Nakavachara, PhD '05