Michael Aimone served with the Department of Defense for 23 years. He served in the Pentagon as the Assistant to the Director for Emergency Plans and in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Security Policy. In his last DoD assignment, he directed the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s facilities engineering group. Currently, Mr. Aimone is the Vice President of Engineering for SKM Systems Analysis Inc. His military awards include the Secretary of Defense and Air Force Civilian Meritorious Service Awards, and a Bronze Star with Valor for combat service in Vietnam.
In 1992, she joined Cornerstone Imaging in San Jose, Calif., and became the vice president of quality and information systems, steering the company through its growth from $14 million to $100 million in revenues and from a small start-up to an IPO. Several years following the successful IPO, she left Cornerstone to join the software company Actionpoint, also in San Jose, as the vice president of operations. Meanwhile, she co-founded BigCeramicStore.com, a successful internet retailer of ceramic supplies for artists. She is currently the president of that company, which includes a 500-plus page website
Upon graduation, Robert Anderson went directly into the U.S. Army WWII serving three years as Infantry Sgt. In Europe and received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge. Upon leaving military service, Robert spent 35 years with the General Electrical Co. He holds 31 Patents and was awarded the GE Gold Medallion, the 100th Anniversary Edison Plate Plaque, and the GE Distinguished Inventors Award. He started with GE in the Engineer Test Program and went on to work on Photoflash Lamp Designs, Related Production Equipment, Introduction of New Products to Factory Production, Factory Inspections and Trouble-Shooting. He is a member of the GE Elfun Society, and a Licensed Professional Engineer-State of Ohio.
Mr. Anderson began his career in 1944 working on the Manhattan Project as a Process Engineer with Tennessee Eastman Corporation. In 1954 he returned to Michigan Tech rising to the rank of Professor, Assistant head of Electrical Engineering in 1970 and Acting Head in 1972 and 1979-80. In 1984, he was appointed to the position of Director of the School of Technology. He retired from Michigan Tech in 1988 after forty years service. He has received several gubernatorial appointments to state licensing boards. In 1957, he received the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teacher Award.
Don Autio began his career with Hanna Mining Co. in Iron River as an electrical engineer. After five years, as the mines were closing, Don moved to E. I. DuPont in their construction division as an instrument engineer. After two years in construction, he accepted a job in Midland, Michigan with Dow Corning Corporation. Don spent the next 30 years with Dow Corning in various engineering and management positions. During this time, he completed the MBA degree at Central Michigan University. Don retired from Dow Corning in 1994. He has been an active volunteer at Michigan Tech, serving on the Advisory Boards for the Electrical Engineering Department, the School of Business and the Career Center.
Dr. John Auzins holds a 1959 vintage BSEE from Michigan Tech and a 1963 MS/Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. In 1959, John started his career with Lear Siegler in Grand Rapids and in 1960 he joined PR Mallory Co. in Indianapolis. In 1963, he started his 34 year career with General Motors at Delco Electronics (DE) working on thin film integrated circuits. He led the establishment of monolithic integrated circuits at DE in the early 1960s and the development and implementation of hybrid modules for automobiles such as regulators and ignitions. His last seven years at DE were spent in Advanced Development/Systems Integration where he was responsible for research funding. Since retirement from General Motors, John has been consulting through his company JXA, LLC.
Since 2006 Eric D. Baker has served Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative as its president and CEO. Eric was previously Wolverine’s senior vice president of engineering and strategy, vice president of power marketing, and the general manager of planning and engineering. Wolverine is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Cadillac, Michigan, supplying power to five distribution electric cooperatives and two alternative electric suppliers in the Lower Peninsula. In 2009, the US Department of Energy recognized . . .
Mr. Bomke joined the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers following graduation and served as a combat engineer in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. After the war, he joined Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company and in 1948 took a position with Southern Services, Inc., rising to Manager of the Electrical Design Department. Elmer accepted the position of Vice President, Electrical Operation at Gulf Power Company in Pensacola, Florida in 1969. He joined Brown & Root in 1971, serving as President of Brown & Root Development for the five years prior to his retirement in 1986. In 1982, the Michigan Tech Board of Control awarded him the Silver Medal.
David J. Brule, Sr., of Iron Mountain, is president and CEO of Northern Star Industries, Inc. and began his career as a division engineer with Wisconsin Public Service in Green Bay. Mr. Brule earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1972. In 1973 he joined M.J. Electric as a project engineer and over the next several years received several management and administrative promotions, which culminated with his appointment as president and CEO in 1991. He continued as president of the company after it was acquired by Exelon Infrastructure Services, Inc. in 2000.
Randy Cavaiani was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan and graduated from Michigan Tech with a BSEE degree in 1978. In addition to his degree from Tech, Mr. Cavaiani holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Executive Management program at Stanford University. Randy started his career with Motorola as a design engineer following his graduation from Michigan Tech, moving on to Pittway Corporation in 1979. In 1982, he joined National Semiconductor, where he advanced to the position of Vice President, Major Account Sales and Marketing. In 1999, Mr. Cavaiani joined First International Digital, where in 2003 he became Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales.
Alumnus: Of Ships and Stewardship
When he was young, Tom Chamberlain aspired to be financially successful. He has done so and attributes the achievement to hard work, an eye for opportunity, never backing down from a challenge, and a Tech education. He is grateful for that schooling yet. “Tech made me a success,” he says. “I need to give back for the foundation Tech gave me. We all have to do that.” He has done so generously and steadily.
Chamberlain graduated in 1978 with an associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology and in 1982 with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, majoring in power systems. He has worked for 28 years at Newport News Shipbuilding, a 125-year-old firm that has handled the design, construction, overhaul, and repair of more than 800 ships for the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and commercial customers.
On January 1, 2012, Charles “Chuck” Cloninger became president of Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS). He began his engineering career with WPS thirty years ago, as an assistant engineer in Green Bay. At WPS, he was promoted to division engineer, Green Bay (1982); division engineer, Two Rivers (1984); electric distribution engineering projects engineer (1988); operations engineer—distribution (1989); customer service manager—Stevens Point (1994); western region manager (1998); and assistant vice president— operations and engineering (2002).
Before his current . . .
Former Air Force ROTC Cadet Shines
One of Tech's elite, second lieutenant Christopher Cooper, ‘09, was honored as one of the air force's brightest technical stars. Cooper, along with two young engineers from other institutions devised a program to identify the physical location from which a computer is connecting to the Internet based on its Internet Protocol (IP) address.
The three did the work, called IP geolocation, at the Advanced Course in Engineering Professional Development 2ltTraining Program in Rome, N.Y.
Richard G. Cottrell earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1973 and his MS in Systems Science from Michigan State University in 1976. Rich retired as CMS’s director of system planning and protection in 2010. During his thirty-seven-year career with CMS/Consumers Energy, Rich was involved in all aspects of the planning, engineering, and design of electric transmission distribution lines and substations.
As a professional engineer, Rich was active in the Jackson Chapter of the Michigan . . .
For nearly five decades, Eustace L. Dereniak has explored the frontiers of optics and engineering to help create 21st century breakthroughs in medicine, military hardware, astronomy and many other fields.
Dereniak, a 1963 Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate of Michigan Tech, became president of SPIE, the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to optics and photonics, in January 2012. He has been a professor in the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences since 1979, and is also a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering.
Mr. Euers was Captain of the varsity football team and President of Kappa Delta Psi Fraternity while a student at Michigan Tech. Dennis began his career with Johnson Controls, rising through the ranks to become Vice President and General Manager for Systems Operations of Process Automation Systems and Services of Johnson Yokogawa Corporation in Newnan, Georgia in 1990. Since 1993, Dennis has been the Vice President and General Manager for Sales and Marketing of Process Automation Systems and Services at the Newnan location. He has served as Alumni Association Board President and as a member of the Michigan Tech Fund Board.
Charlotte Iola Field is a leader of uncommon sense who is especially mindful of the contribution of those who work with her and for her.
“There are few jobs in industry associated with an individual only,” she says. “It’s all about teams and life skills.”
She says that she learned about both at Michigan Tech. “Tech prepares you for life and the real world,” she says. She singles out the Enterprise Program. It didn’t exist when she was at Tech, but she recognizes its value—“It gives students the opportunity to work as a team and understand the technical side, the business side, and the financial side.” To succeed in an enterprise project, she notes, teamwork is “absolutely imperative.”
After receiving his electrical engineering degree in 1950, Donald Green stayed on at Michigan Tech, earning a degree in engineering administration and receiving an Air Force commission through the AFROTC program in 1951. Following service in the Korean War as a radar officer in Japan, he was employed by Ferson Optics, rising to the position of president in 1962. In 1968, Ferson Optics was sold to Bausch & Lomb. Donald remained with Bausch & Lomb as a division president until 1976, when he became one of the co-founders of PFG Precision Optics, manufacturers of high performance optics, coatings, and assemblies used in industrial and scientific systems. The Green family later became the sole owners of PFG. Mr. Green retired in 1995; his children continue to operate the business.
As a successful entrepreneur, Randy Hammelman, a 1997 electrical engineering graduate of Michigan Tech, is a great example for our alumni spotlight. Growing up in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisc., Hammelman was interested in sports and the outdoors. He was accepted at larger schools in Wisconsin and Illinois before choosing to attend Michigan Tech due to its small size and the outdoor environment surrounding the Tech area.
"Although not exactly dirt-poor, I needed part-time work to pay expenses while at Tech," Chuck Hand '62 remembers. "Earning a degree in electrical engineering with a power emphasis has provided me a stimulating and satisfying career. Much of my life's work has involved gigantic gas-insulated substations (GIS). Currently, I am working on a nine-figure GIS project, part of an electrical network that delivers power to Southern California from as far away as the Columbia River."
Robert Hirvela joined the HF Communications Division of Collins Radio Company in 1959 as a project engineer. In 1973, he led the Rockwell business unit that invented and developed the first Digital Automatic Call Distributor, the Rockwell Galaxy ACD, and launched what is known today as the Call Center Industry. In 1978, he transferred to the Air Transport Division of Rockwell as Director of Product Management with responsibility for Communications, Navigation, and Pulse Products for the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. Since 1983 he has served as Vice President and General Manager of the Collins General Aviation Division of Rockwell International.
Following graduation from Michigan Tech in 1963, James Hull started his career at Control Data in Minneapolis working as a Computer Test Engineer. He remained with Control Data for eleven years, serving as General Manager, European Systems Division in France for two years and then as General Manager of Corporate Planning and Analysis. In the next ten years, Jim served as Vice President of Operations for the Parker Pen Company. In 1984, he ventured into the security industry and developed three significant companies, Network Multi-Family Security, Financial Security Services, and Monitronics International. He is chairman and CEO of Monitronics International, the 4th largest security company in the country.
Trygve Ivesdal joined Raytheon Company in Wayland, Massachusetts, as an electronic design engineer. With the beginning of the microelectronics era, he moved to Raytheon’s Semiconductor Division in Mountain View, California. In 1966, he moved to Melbourne, Florida, and was part of the start-up of what today is known as Harris Semiconductor. In 1969, Trygve and three associates formed Microsystems, Florida’s first privately owned microelectronics company. In 1986, with U.S. and Scandinavian associates, he formed Scandia Telecom and Telecom International. He is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of DIAL Services Ltd., an international telecommunications company.
A native of Laurium, Michigan, Jackson owned and operated NWR Electronics in Marquette, Michigan, from 1958 to 1980. The company served the utility and mining industries in the upper Midwest. In 1971, Jackson, a person of vision and resolve, founded a cable telecommunications operation, CableAmerica Corp.
Following distinguished military service in World War II, Mack Johnson attended Michigan Tech and graduated 1950 with dual BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Administration. His career began as a sales engineering trainee at Square D, and he soon advanced through various positions, becoming district manager. In 1958, he became marketing manager for the Federal Pacific Electric Company, earning promotion to a company vice presidency two years later. Mack joined Ideal Industries in 1965 as director of corporate planning, rising to the position of president and chief executive officer in 1973. He retired in 1985. In 1994, Mr. Johnson was inducted into Michigan Tech’s Academy of Business and Engineering Administration.
Growing up in the small town of Bessemer, Mich. in the Upper Peninsula, Karpus was essentially interested in sports and science. He participated in basketball, football and baseball along with working on the school yearbook during high school. He worked numerous odd jobs throughout high school as well to be able to afford college.
James Klungness created Klungness Electronic Supply in 1954. In 1955 he entered another partnership to form Northern Electronics to develop a cable television system in Iron Mountain and Kingsford. This enterprise eventually expanded into six states serving almost 200,000 homes. He then founded American Microwave & Communications in 1960 to deliver broadcast signals to remote area cable systems nationwide. Jim serves on the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Trustees, is a member of the Michigan Tech President’s Club, the Second Century Society, and the Hubbell Society.
In 1968, Jane became the second woman to graduate from Michigan Tech in Electrical Engineering. She worked for a variety of employers including Amoco Chemicals Corporation, McNamee, Porter & Seely, and as a civilian with the U.S. Air Force. In 1972, Jane joined Ford Motor Company and has worked in various engine-related areas including alternators, regulators, batteries, ignition systems, powertrain planning, and powertrain technical education. She is currently the Best Practices Team Leader for Core and Advanced Powertrain Engineering. She is a Life Trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund, Charter Member of the Michigan Tech Council of Alumnae, President’s Club Member, and Second Century Member.
Lights, Music, Action! Jeff Larson has always felt he had an advantage in life: exposure to his passion, electronics, early on—in his case, as a tot.
He was taking things apart when he was 4; he experimented with a small Tesla coil when he was in grade school; he built a bigger one when in high school; and he crafts outsized ones these days to put on light shows, for which he and two colleagues are famous. “The phenomenon has always been very interesting to me,” he says.
Dr. Miller earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and joined their High Altitude Engineering Laboratory. He subsequently worked as a Senior Scientist at MB Associates, as Manager of Electromagnetics at the Rockwell International Science Center, and as Director of the Electromagnetics Research Operation at General Research Corporation. He held teaching position as Regents-Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas, and as Stocker Visiting Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ohio University in Athens. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he was leader of the Engineering Research Division and Nuclear Energy Systems Division. He was also a Group Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is an IEEE Fellow and Editor of the IEEE Student magazine POTENTIALS.
After graduation Donald Moore joined McGraw Edison’s Power Systems Division as an Apparatus Engineer which included power system simulation tool development. In 1978, Don founded PLM Technologies a power system engineering business. By 1984, PLM grew into a full service power engineering design and construction firm operating in five states. In 1991 PLM sold its construction and engineering divisions. In 1992 Don formed a new company called NavRadio Corporation based upon his 22 years as a pilot. NavRadio developed specialty avionics including the first practical transceiver for VHF digital radio which met international standards. NavRadio merged with Allied Signal which was then acquired by Honeywell International. Don is currently Director of Flight Information Services for Honeywell International.
After receiving his BSEE degree in 1978, Ken began his working career in technical sales for Hewlett Packard in Minneapolis. Over the next ten years, Ken held a variety of sales and management positions with HP. In 1989, he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to lead HP’s technical sales group in that area. He subsequently was promoted to Global Account Manager, where he led the establishment of the largest global desktop outsourcing contract in HP’s history. Following a move to HP headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Ken joined Appiant Technologies, where he became Chief Operating Officer. In 2001, Ken was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Mockingbird Networks, a venture-financed company focused on tandem switches.
Mr. Nardi joined Hughes Aircraft Company in Torrance, California in 1959 as a member of the technical staff. He held various engineering management positions throughout his career with the company, retiring as Manager of Satellite Ground Equipment Laboratories in 1992. A strong supporter of higher education, Mr. Nardi held advisory board positions at California State University, Long Beach; California State University, Fresno; and Michigan Technological University. He was a charter member of Michigan Tech’s Electrical Engineering Department External Advisory Committee and served a term as Chairman.
Hatice graduated from Michigan Tech in 1983 with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. She continued her graduate studies at North Carolina State University and earned a PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1991. She is currently a Teaching Associate Professor at NCSU dividing her time between the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments.
After graduating from Michigan Tech, Stuart Pann joined Intel in 1981 and held several management positions within the company’s sales organization before moving into an operations role in 1999 as the director of microprocessor marketing and business planning for the Desktop Products Group. At Intel, Stuart became co-general manager of customer fulfillment, planning, and logistics, managing the company’s global supply chain and logistics network. Today, Stuart is Intel’s vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group . . .
Chang Park is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a social activist, and a visionary. He is the president and CEO of Universal Remote Control Inc. (Harrison, New York), a world leader in technology, innovation, and quality. Born and raised in Korea, he came to the US alone as a teenager to pursue an education. He soon developed an interest in mathematics—the only language he could understand in his new homeland. Park enrolled at Michigan Tech and . . .
A native of Jenison, Michigan, James Parm earned a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1981 and his MBA from Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Today, Jim is president and CEO of Stratos Global, a post he has held since 2003. During this time, Parm led the transformation of Stratos from a regionally focused North American company to the global leader in satellite services that it is today. That transformation drove revenue growth of . . .
Scott received his BS degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1981 and then attended the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and received his MBA degree in 1983. He started his career with Cadillac Motor Division in Detroit, where he held several positions before moving to the Chicago area in 1987 where he joined the A. T. Kearney Company as a management consultant. Scott later was employed in management positions for NutraSweet, leaving the post of Vice President in Marketing for the Consumer Products Division to become Vice President for Marketing at Sara Lee Bakery in Chicago. In 1997, Scott moved to Wheels, Inc. of Des Plaines, IL. One of Scott’s responsibilities at Wheels is product development, which has recently focused on internet-based service and information tools.
Timothy E. Peters is a twenty-six-year Boeing veteran. Since August 2011, Tim has been Boeing’s vice president and general manager of surveillance and engagement, a division of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security’s Boeing Military Aircraft unit. In this role, Peters is responsible for ensuring delivery of the Airborne Early Warning and Control and P-8 programs, and for developing and expanding surveillance and engagement capabilities for the US and its allies. He moved to Boeing Military . . .
Mr. Pruneski joined Chrysler Engineering following graduation. He held executive positions at Ford Motor Company and Eaton Corporation rising to General Manager of Eaton Corporation Brake Division. In 1982 Jim moved to Abex Corporation and was promoted in 1984 to head all of Abex Friction Operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. In 1989 he became head of the Steel Wheels Business of Kelsey-Hayes and in 1991 President of Light Duty Brakes. IN 1993 Jim was promoted to President of Kelsey-Hayes ABS-Europe serving until his retirement in 1995.
Mr. Putnam began his career at Clark Controller Company in 1950. He attended Cleveland-Marshall Law School evenings and earned a J.D. law degree in 1955 becoming General and Patent Counsel for the Clark Controller Company. In 1963, Charlie began his career with Whirlpool Corporation as a Patent Attorney. After holding several key executive positions, he was elected to the position of Executive Vice President of Administration in 1985. Charlie was elected to Whirlpool’s Board of Directors in 1987 and served in these last two positions until his retirement in 1990. In 1989, the Michigan Technological University Board of Control awarded him the Silver Medal.
Sarah Rajala, who has pioneered the way for women in electrical engineering, graduated with a bachelor's degree in the field. She was recently named dean of Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering. Prior to this, Rajala headed the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU.
Robert Rajewski graduated from Michigan Tech in 1981 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Science. After graduation, Bob was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and assigned to NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. His responsibilities included development of computer control and data acquisition systems.
Following graduation Harry Routsala continued at Michigan Tech receiving an MSEE degree in 1963. He then spent 19 years at Hughes Aircraft Co. in various technical and management positions working on research and development in the Radar Group and Missile System Group. Harry went with Statham Instruments for a short time developing Medial Electronics associated with patient monitoring systems. During his career with Hughes, he also consulted with major sound system manufacturers. In 1982, Harry with the assistance of his wife, started Coast Index Company, a manufacturer custom and stock index tabs and 3-ring vinyl binders. Harry serves as President and CEO of Coast Index.
Deb earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computers in 1989. She is currently a project manager at Extreme Technologies in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Extreme Technologies creates and manufactures V.I.O. point of view video cameras.
Adil Shafi graduated from Michigan Tech in 1986 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. In 1993, he also received an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Tech. He is president of SHAFI Inc, the company he founded in 1991 in Houghton with $1,000.
Michigan Tech alumnus Robert Sherman joined the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. He designed and built equipment used during the test of "the gadget" - the plutonium bomb detonated in 1945 over the New Mexico desert.
"One day, I was at the movies, and a sign appeared on the screen with my name, along with the names of a few other people, saying to report to the commanding officer."
Following graduation Tom Simonen went on to receive a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After appointments at Hughes Aircraft, Max Planck Institute in Munich, and Princeton University, he joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 18 years as a physicist and became program leader for magnetic fusion experiments. For the past 12 years he has been Director of the DIII-D National Fusion Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest fusion facility with over 50 collaborating laboratories and universities. Dr. Simonen has published extensively in the field nuclear fusion energy, served on numerous national and international physics committees, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Upon receiving his Baccalaureate degree in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 1957, Jon took a position as an instructor of electrical engineering until completing his Masters Degree in 1960. He was then promoted to Assistant Professor, and taught for two more years before joining Raytheon Mfg. Co. as a computer design engineer. He enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1964, completing his Ph.D. with a specialization in Electromagnetics and Antennas in 1969. Jon then returned to Michigan Tech serving in many positions with the department, including several years as Department Head and Chairman. For three years prior to his retirement in May of 2001, Professor Soper served as the department’s first Coordinator for Senior Design.
Birgit L. Sorgenfrei is currently in Stuttgart, Germany, where she is program manager for Ford Motor Company’s start-stop technology, which boosts fuel economies by stopping engine systems when a vehicle is at a standstill. She began with Ford in 1994, after internships with General Motors, GE-Medical Systems, IBM, Schlumberger, and the University of Hanover. At Ford she started in the Scientific Research Laboratories and then moved to Visteon Automotive Systems, then on to the Lincoln . . .
John Soyring provided global business leadership for the industry solutions & industry products portion of IBM's global software business. This role included functional leadership for strategy, research & development, marketing & sales, business development, product support, and services related to the IBM offerings for all industries. He was also the co-leader of the Alliance of IBM Software Group and IBM Global Business Services Group. John was a member of the IBM Industry Academy Advisory Board, the IBM Eco-Efficiency & Sustainability Executive Board, and the IBM “Banking the Unbanked” Executive Board.
John Stromp earned his BSEE degree with honors in 1978, with a focus of studies in Electronics and Communications. John began his career with Marathon Electric as a Sales Engineer. In 1982, John took the position of Senior Sales Representative with Memorex Telex Corporation in Dallas, Texas. He advanced through several positions, ultimately becoming Director of Government Sales, in Overland, Kansas. In 1996, John joined Compaq Computer Company/Tandem Computer and in 2002 John became Global Alliance Manager – EDS with Mercury Interactive, in Dallas, Texas. In February of 2004, John became Alliance Director with IONA Technologies. While at Tech, John was very active, serving as President of Student Council, Member of the Board of Publications and President of his sophomore class.
David Tarsi began his career with Consumers Power Company (now Consumers Energy). He worked for Consumers for five years and was chosen to participate in a power system research project at Purdue University. While at Purdue, Dave earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. Returning to Jackson, Michigan, he continued to work for Consumers, rising to Manager of Transmission and Distribution Engineering. After his early retirement from Consumers, David formed his own engineering corporation, specializing in transmission and distribution system engineering. David is a member emeritus of the Electrical Engineering Department’s External Advisory Committee.
Alumna finds her dream and her niche. When she was but a youngster, Kristin Nelson Tolentino, of Ashland, Wisconsin, had a dream of working at Disneyland. So where does this 2001 alumna, age thirty, work these days? At Disneyland, of course. “I’m sort of amazed by it,” she says.
In 1984, Peter retired from Dome Petroleum Limited in Calgary, Alberta. He started at Dome Petroleum as a Senior Staff Geophysicist dealing with seismic data in frontier areas. In 1975, he was promoted to Exploration Manager for the continental U.S., and in 1979, was named Vice President of Exploration. As Vice President, he managed an exploration department of over 300.
Before starting with Dome Petroleum, Peter was employed with United Geophysical Corporation in Pasadena, California. While with United . . .
Alumni spotlight | A new way to harvest solar energy
“A lot of people think of solar panels as being all there is to solar,” says Ron Van Dell, President and CEO of Austin-based SolarBridge Technologies. “They tend to think if panels were cheaper, then solar would be affordable. But, with the price of solar panels falling fast, what used to be the dominant cost is now less than half the total.” Of the rest, the most important part, according to Van Dell, is the power inverter that converts dc current generated by the panels to ac current for household use.
Lieutenant General David Vesely began his Air Force career in 1965 upon graduation from Michigan Tech’s ROTC program. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Vietnam. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1995, when he took command of 14th Air Force – the historic Flying Tigers. Early in 1997, President Clinton nominated him to be Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. In March 1977, General Vesely was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the rank and position.
Calvin Wheeler began his professional career with General Electric, where an early assignment to develop, design, and test programs for B-52 on-board power systems led to his lifetime interest in power generation. After brief posts with McCulloch Corporation and Harnischfeger Corporation, Cal began his twenty-eight-year career with the Kohler Company in 1961. He retired in 1990 as senior engineer in Kohler’s generator division.
Since 1971, Cal has supported the University with annual donations, as well as generous . . .
Gerald White entered Michigan Tech in the fall of 1970 after a four year tour in the Air Force as an electronics technician. He completed degrees in electrical engineering and engineering administration in 1973. Following graduation, Jerry worked as a process engineer with Owens-Corning Fiberglas, also completing his MBA. Following a stint with Babcock and Wilcox he joined the Magnetics Division of the Allen-Bradley Company in 1981 as a product manager, becoming Corporate Marketing Manager when TDK of Japan bought the Magnetics Division in 1987. In 1992 Jerry became Vice President for Sales and Marketing for the General Magnetic Company, with promotion to Vice President and General Manager in 1998. In 2001, he became a partner with his wife Mary in White Training and Consulting.
Dr. Tim A. Williams (MTU Class of 1976) is the CEO of Beach Technologies, LLC, a consulting company that provides intellectual property assessments and investment due diligence studies for large multinational companies and venture funds. He is also the chairman of Docco Tech, Inc., a company that trains engineers in wireless standards, VoIP, and RFID. Additionally, Dr. Williams holds the position of CEO at BEEcube, Inc., which builds high-speed computing engines based on FPGA logic circuits. Finally, as chairman of Digital Schools, Inc., Dr. Williams has helped the company become the premier supplier of software tools for the management of K-12 public school districts.
Paul Williams is a graduate of Negaunee High School and the only member of his family to attend college. He graduated from Michigan Tech with a BSEE in 1961 and spent most of his career in the aerospace industry with Hughes Aircraft.
Paul credits Michigan Tech with changing his life forever by creating career opportunities he never thought possible. In 2011, Paul established an endowed scholarship for Negaunee High School seniors enrolling at Michigan Tech and was a major . . .
Gerald Ziarno joined the Packard Electric Division of General Motors and left after a short period to fulfill an Air Force ROTC commitment, spending two and a half years in Japan. He joined Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan, in 1962 and served in a number of management positions in locations as diverse as Belgium, Japan, and Hong Kong. He retired from Dow Corning in 1996 as Corporate Vice President and Director of Global Sales and Marketing. He is a past president and life trustee of Michigan Tech Fund Board of Trustees. Jerry remains professionally active as an independent consultant in international business.
The last time Kristian Zoerhoff ’97 had entertained a crowd was as a deejay for WMTU. Sitting alone in a darkened booth playing music for invisible listeners didn’t quite prepare him for the dazzling lights and the flock of TV cameras on the Jeopardy! set.
"And then there’s that pesky audience," he remembers. "I was absurdly nervous."
Howard Zollinger is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After receiving his BSEE from Michigan Tech in 1951, Howard joined Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh. While working he attended the University of Pittsburgh and received his MSEE in 1958 and a Business Management Certificate in 1961. Mr. Zollinger’s career has been in the field of bulk material handling. He started, grew, and managed the Computer and Controls division of Rapistan Incorporated in Grand Rapids, MI. His work at Rapistan led to his joining of Mannesmann Demag Corporation, the largest materials handling company in the world, as a Vice President. Howard continues to be very active in the affairs of Michigan Tech. He and his wife have established the Howard and Wilma Zollinger Endowed Basketball Fund.