UC Davis Chancellor, Orlando Alumni, & NASA Challenge Top Prize (Feb. 2017)

This week, Gary S. May, Ph.D. (GA A ’86), was selected as the next chancellor of the University of California, Davis. After the vote of the UC Board of Regents, Dr. May will start his new position on August 1, 2017. Currently, he is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

Dr. May has been at Georgia Tech for nearly three decades, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. His master’s and doctorate were earned at the University of California, Berkeley. Click here to read the article from the Los Angeles Times with more information.


In Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, February 18, there was a Tau Beta Pi alumni gathering. TBP Executive Director Curt Gomulinski, MI E ’01, was on hand to present news about the Association. The event was an opportunity for local members to network and for TBP Director of Alumni Affairs, Tricia Gomulinski (SD A ’98), to discuss the possibility of reactivating the Orlando alumni chapter. The image below was taken at the event: (left to right) Lourdes D. Matos, FL D ’16; her guest Charles McClung; and Andrew P. Conrad, MO B ’07.



A team of engineering students from Tulane University (LA) recently won top prize in NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge with their flower-shaped, solar-powered space ferry. The national contest had been narrowed down to five finalist teams trying “to design better ways to assemble spacecraft in space.” According to the news article, the winning team members get paid internships at NASA this summer.

One of the team members that helped design “The Sunflower,” Tulane’s winning concept for stackable hexagon-shaped modules that unfold like origami from a rocket bay at low-Earth orbit is Max W. Woody, LA B 2018. He is majoring in engineering physics. The team attributed its success to the variety of disciplines/ majors of its members, including biomedical engineering, economics, and architecture.


EWeek 2017, MTI Scholarship, & Engineer@Heart Comedian

Engineers Week 2017 is here (February 19-25) and several Tau Beta Pi collegiate chapters are hosting, partnering, and sponsoring events in their local communities and on campus. Here are a few that we’d like to share.

Kentucky Gamma at Western Kentucky University is co-hosting the 17th annual Kentucky Bluegrass LEGO Robotics Competition on Saturday, February 25. in Bowling Green. Elementary and middle school teams must build autonomous robots from LEGO Mindstorm kits to navigate through two different tracks. The event is co-hosted with the WKU Engineering faculty and staff. Learn more here.

Michigan Beta at Michigan Technological University is sponsoring the EWeek festivities on campus and was recently highlighted by the WLUC-TV. MI Beta Chapter public relations chair Morgan Herzog, MI B 2018, was interviewed for the story. Click here for more details and to watch the video clip.

Michigan Epsilon at Wayne State University is hosting a Penny Wars during the university’s EWeek celebrations. The activity is also a fundraiser for the chapter’s scholarship fund. Read more

On Wednesday, February 22, the Utah Gamma Chapter at Utah State University is hosting Beta Bowl. See the schedule of EWeek events on campus.


Ashley A. McKenna, IA A 2018, has received the MTI Bert Kisher Memorial Scholarship to assist in her undergraduate experience at Iowa State University (ISU). McKenna is a junior majoring in materials engineering. According to the news announcement, she was one of two recipients among applicants from North America, Europe, and Asia.

Highlights of her undergraduate career include: completing the Thermal Papers R&D Co-Op with Appviion, Inc., as a process engineering intern at Alcoa Howmet Power, and studying abroad at the University of Limerick (Ireland). Her career plans are to work in industry for a few years before potentially returning to higher education to pursue a Ph.D. in material science.


Engineer and comedian with Technically Funny, Inc., Don McMillan, PA A ’81, will be performing during EWeek at Rooster T. Feathers, Thursday-Sunday, February 23-26. The comedy club is located in Sunnyvale, California. Don has performed his “Engineer@Heart” show at Tau Beta Pi Conventions in 2014 and 2016. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter for more.

Don McMillan, Technically Funny


New President, UMBC EWeek, Museum Engineering Day (Feb. 2017)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has named P. Barry Butler, Ph.D. (IA B ’79), as the sixth president beginning on March 13, 2017. Currently, Dr. Butler is executive vice president and Provost at the University of Iowa. In addition, he has held the position of Dean of Engineering at Iowa where he is also a full professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering.

Click here to read the news announcement for more information on Dr. Butler and his new role at Embry-Riddle.


The Maryland Delta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is hosting a full week of activities to celebrate Engineer’s Week 2017 (Feb. 19-25). The kick-off event is speaker Brian H. Wayman, Ph.D. (MD D ’99), who is a program manager at GE Healthcare. Dr. Wayman will discuss his life journey.

Other events for the week include a scavenger hunt (Tuesday, Feb 21), lab tours (Wednesday, Feb 22), and the Battle of the Engineers (Friday, Feb 24). View the full calendar of events on the MD Delta’s website.


The Riverfront Museum, in Peoria, IL, is hosting an Engineering Day and free day on Sunday, February 19. The event includes regular exhibits and the American Society of Civil Engineers 26th Annual Bridge Contest where middle school students compete to design and construct a bridge using standard index cards.

The Illinois Delta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, at Bradley University, is one of the partners and participants in the events on Engineering Day at the museum. “Engineering Day provides kids with an opportunity to see some of the cool and exciting things that engineering entails,” said Nick Rae, planetarium educator and science curator, “Kids also have a chance to ask questions and interact with some of the people who are doing it for a living.” Read the news announcement for more information.


IEEE Harry Diamond Award, The Bulletin, & Engineer of the Year in Education

The 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Harry Diamond Memorial Award has been given to Bruce W. Suter, Ph.D. (FL G ’72). The award honors individuals for significant technical contributions in electrotechnology while in government service. Dr. Suter is a principal electronics engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) information directorate.

He was cited for “his distinguished career at AFRL and numerous technical accomplishments in the field of big data for aerospace systems.” His current research involves modeling, processing, and communications for sensory information flow in military aircraft systems. Click here for more biographical details.


The February issue of The Bulletin is now available. The issue includes a student written article on the importance of science communication. In addition, the Association will now accept articles written by Tau Beta Pi student members on salient topics.

The issue also includes the list of TBP collegiate chapter anniversaries, the TBP district conference schedule, an article on why the chapter survey matters, and images of new insignia items that are available to help display your membership in The Engineering Honor Society for the upcoming Tau Beta Pi Day 2017 on March 14.


Nancy S. Turner, P.E. (IN A ’79), has been named the 2017 Georgia Engineer of the Year in Education by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. Turner is a senior lecturer in the civil and construction engineering department at Kennesaw State University. She was recognized for her “strong commitment to engineering education and student success at KSU.”

Turner has been an educator for more than 25 years. She was a lecturer at Southern Polytechnic State University (GA) and previously worked as an engineer at Lockheed Martin. Her bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering is from Purdue University. Read the article for more information.


NAE Members 2017, Alumni-Student Workshop, & Tau Beta Pi Day (Feb. 2017)

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President C.D. Mote Jr., Ph.D. (CA A ’59), has announced the election of 84 new members and 22 foreign members into the NAE. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. “Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to ‘engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,’ and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

At least seventeen of the newly elected NAE members are Tau Bates. Click here to see the press release and the full list of newly elected members with the their primary affiliation and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments.


On January 25, the Research Triangle (NC) Alumni chapter of Tau Beta Pi hosted a mock interview and resume review workshop with students from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in preparation for the NCSU Engineering Career Fair. The successful event consisted of six alumni interviewers and four alumni resume reviewers.


Michelle Nanney reviews a student’s resume.

A special thank you to Brooks Strickler, NC A ’96, director of sourcing for major projects at Duke Energy Corp. who had non-stop interviews. Also, TBP District Director Michelle Nanney, TX D ’96, made the trip from Greenville, NC, to Raleigh to review resumes. The event was coordinated and pictures were taken by Research Triangle Chapter president Suzette Morales, NC A ’09.


It is less than 30 days until Tau Beta Pi Day 2017. On Tuesday, March 14 (3.14.17), we encourage you to celebrate Pi Day by wearing your TBP insignia and participating in a STEM-related activity. The list of known activities can be found here. Post your pictures and videos to social networks using the hashtag #TauBetaPiDay.


Attorney of the Year, Engineering Dean Opening, & Lecture (Feb. 2017)

John A. Dragseth, MN A ’91, was one of three named “2016 Attorneys of the Year” in the team category by Minnesota Lawyer for their win at the U.S. Supreme Court for client Halo Electronics, Inc. The case, (Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.) has been widely cited as one of the most important patent cases of 2016.

Dragseth is a principal and attorney at Fish & Richardson. According to the press release, Dragseth’s practice centers on complex legal analysis and writing. He received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota.


The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a job listing for the Dean, School of Mines and Engineering, at Montana Tech of the University of Montana. “Required qualifications include: a Ph.D. in an engineering field from a regionally accredited university and five years of broad-based and progressively responsible administrative/budget experience and responsibility in a regionally accredited university. Licensure as a professional engineer current or within one-year is preferred.”

Click here for more information and to apply.


On Friday, February 17, guest speaker John Young, Ph.D. (AL A ’96), will give his talk entitled “From Zero Hertz to Terahertz: Modern Challenges in Computational Electromagnetics.” Dr. Young is a research assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, where his lecture will take place in the Gatton College of Business & Economics (Room 283).

Dr. Young’s research interests include integral equation methods, finite element methods, electromagnetic theory. He previously worked at Japan Radio Co. All three of his degrees, B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., are in electrical engineering. Read the event page for more details.


Centenarian, Academic All-District Basketball, & Faculty Profile

John J. McKetta Jr., Ph.D. (TX A ’36), is professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) where the chemical engineering department bears his name. Dr. McKetta is a centenarian who has dedicated his life to his students. During his nearly 70-year tenure at UT, he served as vice chancellor of the UT system and dean of the College of Engineering while focused on his duties as a professor.

To list a few of his accolades: served as energy advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr.; elected to the National Academy of Engineering; selected by AIChE as one of the “50 Chemical Engineers of the Foundation Age;” and received the Donald L. Katz Award from the Gas Processing Association. More biographical details can be found on this University of Michigan alumni profile from 2013.


The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has announced the 2016 Academic All-District Men’s Basketball teams, including Division I, II, III, and college (division). All First Team Academic All-District selections advance to the national Capital One Academic All-American ballot.

There are three Tau Beta Pi members that have been named to the 2016 Capital One Academic All-District Men’s Basketball teams: (See the full list)

NCAA Division I: First team (District 1)
Mac Hoffman – (NY U 2017), systems engineering at the United States Military Academy
NCAA Division III: First team (District 2)
Louis Khouri – (DC B 2017), electrical engineering at the Catholic University of America
NCAA Division II: First team (District 8)
Adam R. Klie – (CA Y 2017), bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego


Mississippi State University (MSU) profiled Lauren B. Priddy, Ph.D. (MS A ’08), as she recently joined the university’s department of agricultural and biological engineering as an assistant professor. Dr. Priddy completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSU, maintained a 4.0 undergraduate GPA, and participated as a university cheerleader.

She completed her Ph.D. at Georgia Tech and was involved as a founder of Biolgnite, a nonprofit camp in that inspires middle school students increase their interests in biomedical engineering and STEM topics. Read the article for more information on Dr. Priddy.