Michigan Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Academy Inducts Class of 2021


Michigan Technological University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) held its 2021 ME-EM Academy induction ceremony May 14 via Zoom.

Eleven ME-EM alumni were welcomed into the academy by JS Endowed Department Chair William W. Predebon. 

“This year’s inductees have made a significant impact in their professions,” said Predebon. “They include alumni who have risen to the top levels of major corporations, professional societies and universities, and those who are successful entrepreneurs.”

Portraits and brief biographies of academy members are prominently displayed in the R. L. Smith ME-EM Building to serve as inspiration for future students.

The ME-EM Academy now includes 88 members — less than 1 percent of all ME-EM alumni. 

“They indeed honor us through their accomplishments,” said Predebon. “It’s a fantastic leadership group.”

The Class of 2021 ME-EM Academy inductees are:

  • Brett R. Chouinard ’88, B.S.M.E., president and COO — Altair Engineering Inc.
  • M. Margaret Cobb ’83, B.S.M.E., president — The Cobb Foundation Northwest
  • Juan Dalla Rizza ’71, P.E., B.S.M.E., president and principal engineer — Dalla-Rizza & Associates Consulting Engineers Inc.
  • Kimberly L. Foster ’94, B.S.M.E., dean of the School of Science & Engineering — Tulane University
  • Pamela Rogers Klyn ’93, B.S.M.E., senior vice president, global product organization — Whirlpool Corporation
  • Karl E. LaPeer ’85, B.S.M.E., partner — Peninsula Capital Partners LLC 
  • Robert S. Messina ’93, B.S.M.E., senior vice president, global product development and product management — JLG Industries Inc.
  • Douglas L. Parks ’84, B.S.M.E., executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain — General Motors Company
  • Gordon W. Renn ’82, B.S.M.E., president, CEO and chairman — Fox Converting Inc. and Accuracy Machine LLC / chairman — Loyality Inc.
  • Sheryl A. Sorby ’86 ’91, M.S.E.M. and Ph.D., professor of engineering education — University of Cincinnati / president — American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 
  • Christopher K. Yakes ’95, B.S.M.E., vice president, global engineering — Oshkosh Corporation