"You’ve earned a degree that requires a lot of hard work and discipline, and you have done it at a world-class University."
"Our discipline mandates our commitment to the public."
"You guys have had to endure the toughest undergraduate curriculum there is, in my opinion."
"We’re talking about the need to be able to work and communicate with people."
"My younger brothers and sisters, this place is tough! But you have faced this challenge, and soon you will receive your degrees."
"Your education cannot be taken away from you. That’s yours. You’ve earned it; it goes with you. But your reputation, however, is something you will have to continue to earn each and every day."
"The only thing we really have is our reputation. That’s what people remember."
"Seek opportunities to innovate, to be creative."
"Nine times out of ten the issue is not going to be that you didn’t do enough testing, or you don’t have enough information. Very often it will be the case that the facts are there, and they’re inconvenient."
"Your training and the challenges you have faced at Michigan Tech have made you mentally tough and intellectually sharp: forged in the hot furnace of the mechanical engineering department, quenched, and tempered until you are a problem-solving piece of high-temper intellectual steel."
"Your reputation is precious. It’s hard to repair, and you must protect it at all costs."
"Don’t confuse what you want the outcome to be with what the reality is."
"There are no limits for those who can hack the drill at this University."
"Never compromise on values that could reflect on your personal integrity and your reputation, or that of your employer."
"As you go through your professional life, there is nothing more important than credibility."
"My advice tonight, Ladies and Gentlemen, my younger brothers and sisters, is to take the next ten years and get as much additional education and real-world experience as you possibly can."
"Ethics are the cornerstone in business, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an engineer, an accountant, a salesperson."
"Furthering your education will give you options that others don’t have: the option to choose and the opportunity to be chosen."
"Do good wherever you go."
"As you go through your professional life, there is nothing more important than credibility."
"I'm the engineer and I've got your back."
"What I was able to experience far exceeded or went beyond any dreams that I had."
"Think about what your values are. Because first and foremost, you must know yourself completely."
"Project a positive attitude. Be direct. Use your ears. Be empathetic. Remain humble. Maintain a sense of humor."
"We really do impact the health and welfare of the people that we work with."
Banquet Keynote Speakers
Lawrence W. Staley
The speaker was Lawrence W. Staley, entrepreneur. Larry Staley graduated from Michigan Tech in 1986 with a bachelor's in degree in mechanical engineering and later went on to receive an Executive MBA at the University of Toledo.
Heidi A. Mueller
The keynote speaker was Heidi A. Mueller, Supervisor – 2.3L GTDI Engine Calibration, Ford Motor Company. Heidi Mueller graduated from Michigan Tech in 1993 with her bachelor’s in degree in mechanical engineering. She went on to earn her masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1997.
Jolyn L. Russell
They keynote speaker was Jolyn L. Russell, Deputy Program Manager, Satellite Servicing Projects Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Jolyn Russell graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998. She received her MS degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech in 2000.
Denise M. Rizzo
The speaker was Dr. Denise M. Rizzo, Senior Research Mechanical Engineer, Powertrain Modeling & Simulation Team at US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Rizzo is a 2014 alumna with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Robin Johnson-Cash, Technical Training Manager, Ford Motor Company. Cash is a 2015 alumna with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
The keynote speaker was Seth Newlin, Chief Engineer, Oshkosh Airport Products, Oshkosh Corporation. Newlin is a 1994 alumnus with both a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering.
The keynote speaker for the ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program for Fall 2015 was Christopher Duke, 1995 BS in Mechanical Engineering, Design Responsible Manager – Closures, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The keynote speaker was Jeff Zawisza, Fellow at Dow Chemical and a 1983 ME-EM alumnus.
Gerald E. McGlynn III
Gerald E. McGlynn III, 1984 B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Tech, Intellectual Property Attorney, Howard and Howard; J.D., cum laude, from Detroit College of Law in 1988. Mr. McGlynn graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1984.
Lee Ann Rouse
The keynote speaker for the banquet was Ms. Lee Ann Rouse, President and CEO Omni Tech International Ltd. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1987.
Timothy P. Coffield
Timothy P. Coffield earned his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, with high honors, from Michigan Technological University in 1984. He has also completed a business degree from University of Colorado.
Colleen L. Jones-Cervantes
The keynote speaker for the banquet was Colleen L. Jones-Cervantes. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1983. After graduation, Colleen joined Chevron Corporation as a Project Engineer.
Eric Roberts (1993 BSME) was the keynote speaker at the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department Senior Awards Banquet on December 11, 2012. Eric graduated from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1993. He began his career as a Manufacturing / Process Engineer with Kimberly-Clark in New Milford, CT.
John Soyring was the keynote speaker at the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department Senior Awards Banquet. After graduating from Michigan Tech with a BSEE in 1976, the L’Anse, Michigan native John Soyring joined IBM. During his 36 career with IBM, he has held a variety of technical, professional, managerial and executive positions within the company.
Dr. Paul Rogers
Executive Director for Research
Tank Automotive Research Development & Engineering
Stephen L. Williams
Stephen L. Williams earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1986. He went on to earn both an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. After graduation from Michigan Tech, Steve began his career in his hometown of Cadillac, MI at Cadillac Rubber & Plastics as a Project Engineer.
Fall 2010 Banquet
1980 graduate Glen Simula founded GS Engineering, one of several companies that spun off of the Keweenaw Research Center.
Spring 2010 Banquet
1989 graduate Alan Frank is a Sr. Manager Global Product Safety for the Whirlpool Corporation.
Fall 2009 Banquet
Gary Lawrey earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from MTU in 1979. He continued his education at the University of Detroit towards an M.S. degree in Engineering Management in 1986. Gary began his career in the automotive industry with Ford Motor Company in 1979 as a Process Engineer. He advanced to Plant Manager in 1996 at Ford's Berlin Plant in Berlin, Germany. Upon his return to the United States he took a position with Visteon as an Advanced Engineering Manager for the Interior and Exterior Division. In that role, Gary managed systems-related technologies and advanced plastics and processing initiatives. After twenty years with Ford Motor Company, Gary joined Dow Chemical Company's business unit Dow Automotive in 1999 and was named Vice President of Automotive Systems within Dow Automotive in March 2000. He represents Dow Automotive interests with OEM customers on a global basis, their joint-venture relationships and growth in the parts and modules businesses. Gary is also responsible for the support of initiatives that continue future applications and growth for the materials side of Dow Automotive. Gary is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin, Germany. He was the lead speaker at the 2000 National Plastics Exposition where he presented "What you should expect from a supplier - bring innovation to market".
Spring 2009 Banquet
Martha N. Sullivan earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1980 from Michigan Tech and completed studies toward a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Michigan.
Spring 2008 Banquet
Eric A Nielsen earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1980 at Michigan Tech and went on to earn an MBA-Finance & International Business, at the University of Chicago in 1988.
Fall 2007 Banquet
Mike Hofman graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS degree in 1975 and an MS degree in 1977, both in mechanical engineering. Mike started his career with Ford in 1977. He started in their College Graduate Training Program and advanced through various positions of leadership to include Product Design Engineer, Product Development Engineer, Resident Engineer, Supervisor and Manager, and held these positions on one or more of 38 separate Vehicle Nameplate Programs, including the Superduty Truck, the F-Series Trucks, Explorer, Escape, Expedition, Navigator, Taurus/Sable, Lincoln LS, Escort, Aerostar, Mondeo (Europe), Jaguar S-Type and X-Type, and Mazda 6 and Mazda MPV, to name a few.
He was the Manager of several of Ford’s major vehicle platforms to include the Explorer Powertrain Program and the Commercial Truck Powertrain Program. He was responsible for several engine programs to include the 1.3.L, 1.6L, 1.9L, 3.0L, 4.0L, and 5.0 L, which included diesel and gasoline engines, during various stages of his career. This is a remarkable record of contribution to such a large variety of engines and Powertrain platforms.
Mike also has one patent for an idle air bypass valve silencer and has another patent pending.
In March of 1977 Mike retired from Ford after 30 years of service. However he apparently was not ready to end his career. In June of 2007 Mike joined Roush Industries in Allen Park, MI, as Vehicle Engineering Program Manager. In this position he manages customer vehicle development programs for future production applications.
Geoffrey R. Weller
Spring 2007 Banquet
Geoff Weller graduated with a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1975. He then attended Michigan State University and earned an MBA in Supply Chain Management. Geoff started his career with the Oldsmobile Division at General Motors in 1976 and held assignments in Industrial Engineering, Process Engineering and Tooling. Early in his career he held the position of Manufacturing Supervisor.
Later in his career at GM Geoff held positions in Quality Control, Supply Chain Management and Manufacturing Manager at various locations including foundry and forging operations, press metal stamping, vehicle assembly and various corporate office assignments. He is currently Assistant Plant Manager of General Motors newest vehicle assembly center, located in Lansing, Michigan. In this position he is responsible for the day to day operation of the plant.
Geoff is a member of the General Motors corporate relations team for Michigan Tech. He is currently a member of the External Advisory Board of the Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Lansing Area Boys and Girls Club.
While at Michigan Tech he was a member of of the Blue Key and Pi Tau Sigma, the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.
Richard S. Vande Vusse
Fall 2006 Banquet
Richard S. Vande Vusse graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and a BS degree in Engineering Administration, both in 1977. He is currently President and Founder of VanAire Inc. and Ag Solutions, Inc. in Gladstone, MI.
After graduation he started his career at Barclay, Ayers & Bertsch Co. in Grand Rapids, MI. In 1980 he became Warehouse manager at Babco Supply in Negaunee, part of Barclay, Ayers, & Bertsch. In 1984 he became Branch Manager and Sales Engineer for Bertsch Co.
In 1987 he started VanAire but still kept his “day job” as he put it. The focus was waste water treatment but at that stage it was mainly research. He went full-time with his company in 1995. VanAire manufactures wastewater treatment equipment for the animal slaughter and food processing industries; components for automating industrial valves and are the largest manufactures in the U. S. and possibly the world of these components; and chutes for cement trucks. VanAire has approximately 70 employees.
Ag Solutions Inc. is Michigan’s first Biodiesel fuel refinery, which began operations in November 2006. The plant was designed, including most of the processing equipment, was manufactured by VanAire. Ag Solutions has 6 employees. VanAire was named by Granholm to the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list in 2005. Recently Dick Vande Vusse was appointed by Governor Granholm to Michigan’s newly formed Renewable Fuels Commission. Dick is married and has one child and just became a grandparent.
Spring 2006 Banquet
Dr. Terry J. Woychowski '78 BSME, Executive Director Vehicle Systems and Vehicle Chief Engineer Full Size Trucks, General Motors Corporation, presented the Keynote Address.
Spring 2005 Banquet
Manager of Engineering – Engines
• Joined John Deere in 1967 at the Product Engineering Center in Waterloo, Iowa.
• After a training program, he was assigned as a team member on various engine programs including diesels, gas turbines, and 2-cycle snowmobile engines.
• In 1977 he became project manager, supervising various projects including component performance and reliability development, advanced injection systems, engine durability testing, and engine applications.
• In 1986 he transferred temporarily to Detroit to work on the ill-fated joint venture with GM and returned to Waterloo in 1987 to become Department Manager of Application Engineering.
• In 1989 he assumed the position of Manager of 300 Series Engineering which included worldwide design, development, and application responsibility for 300 Series engines produced in Dubuque Iowa, Saran France, Argentina, India, and Mexico.
• In 2001 he became Manager of Engineering for New Engine Programs which includes responsibility for design and development of all Deere engines, as well as emissions development, electronic controls, and all application calibrations.
• He held this position until his “partial retirement” in Feb 2005. Now working part time from his new lake home near Greenville Michigan.
Roger received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1967 and a MS in 1968.
Fall 2004 Banquet
NASA Senior Scientist, Dr. Kathryn Clark, Keynote Address
Kathryn Clark is a senior scientist at NASA, working in the field of human exploration and development of space enterprise. Dr. Clark's primary scientific interests are neuromuscular development and adaptation to altered environments. She earned master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan and then joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in 1993, from which she is on leave. She has served as deputy director of the NASA Commercial Space Center, The Center for Microgravity Automation Technology, which provides imaging technology for the space station. Dr. Clark received the Outstanding International Award from Women in Aerospace and was recently inducted into the National Women's Museum in Dallas. Dr. Clark is a pilot and is a member of the International Society of Women Pilots. Dr. Clark is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. She has been a Member, Michigan Tech Board of Control, 2005 - 2012.
Spring 2004 Banquet
Diana Brehob earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1978. She earned her Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1982 and her PhD in 1985, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
Fall 2003 Banquet
David J. Brule, Sr., received a BS in electrical engineering in 1972 from Michigan Tech. After a brief stint at Northern Michigan University and a taste of a career as a lineman, in 1969 Brule transferred his spark for all things electric north, to Michigan Technological University. Older and a “little wiser,” Brule said he felt committed to the rigorous academic experience Michigan Tech offered.
Samuel T. Wineman
Spring 2003 Banquet
Samuel T. Wineman '56, Wineman Engineering, keynote speaker
Mr. Wineman has over 50 years of Mechanical Engineering design experience for all types of general building construction. His design experience includes Industrial, Residential, Commercial, Utility, Hospital, Clinical and Institutional projects. He has been supervisor of design for both major and minor construction. His work included both new construction as well as retrofit and renovation. He has a knowledge of Mechanical Building Codes and has experiences in what the past code requirements have been as they apply to previous construction projects.
Mr. Wineman has public speaking and considerable classroom instructional experience during which he has conducted technical seminars for HVAC Design, Plumbing Design, Code Interpretation and Construction Management. He is a past member of a major power company Speakers Bureau for public information on technical matters.
He has served as an Expert Witness for over 60 cases, has been deposed approximately 40 times, and has appeared in court. He has also assisted in Arbitration and Mediation matters.
Spring 2002 Banquet
Richard J. Robbins graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (MCM&T) in 1956 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Since 1958, Dick has been a major contributor and a prominent influence in the mining and tunneling industry.