University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Summer 2011
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In Memoriam
Rod Dillon, Electrical Engineering, Rodney O. Dillon died November 6 at age 69. He was a longtime member of UNL’s Department of Electrical Engineering faculty.

Dillon was born August 10, 1942 in San Diego, Calif., to Owen E., and Marjorie (Sies) Dillon. He earned his B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1974, then did postdoctoral work at UCLA. He made thin films by electron-beam evaporation and was the first to synthesize the ordered semiconductor Ga-In-Sb by evaporation.

In 1978 Dillon joined the Physics Department at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. In 1982 he began doing research at the University of Nebraska, which included formation of films of poly-crystalline diamond, as well as diamond-like carbon. His most famous work was a systematic Raman spectroscopy study of bonding and atomic-scale disorder in a series of annealed diamond-like carbon thin films. This work was published in Physical Review B, 3482 (1984) and, as of 2011, it has been cited more than 800 times by other scientists in their publications.

In 1986 Dillon was hired by UNL’s Department of Electrical Engineering, where he taught quantum mechanics, solid state physical electronics and devices, and related topics.

After retiring from UNL in 2003, Dillon and his wife, Carolyn, traveled extensively to the Caribbean and Venezuela, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, and Chile. During his work on a joint project with Azerbaijan’s Physics Institute, the Dillons toured that nation and later Outer Mongolia, camping in “gers” from the Gobi Desert to the Russian border.

Dillon was a member of the APS, AVS, MRS, Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

John Gishpert (B.S. Electronics Engineering, 1960) is retired and lives in Denver.

Nancy Keegan and Don Voelte photo

Engineering couple’s $5M gift funds UNL nanoscience facility
UNL civil engineering alumnus Don Voelte ’75 and his wife, Nancy Keegan, chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors, have given a $5 million campaign gift to UNL. In recognition of their gift, UNL's Nanoscience Metrology Facility is named in their honor.

In addition to the Voelte-Keegan gift, a $6.9 million competitive federal grant and a university commitment now fully funds this $13.9 million building.

“We are both extremely passionate about education and about Nebraska, and the University of Nebraska presents the perfect opportunity to contribute to both,” Keegan said. “Nanoscience reaches into our specific backgrounds and interests in engineering, science, medicine and energy.”

The 32,000-square-foot building at 16th and W streets will provide state-of-the-art, centralized research facilities for more than 80 physics, chemistry, engineering and other faculty members from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Voelte, an Omaha native, is the former CEO of Woodside Petroleum, the largest energy company in Australia. Keegan grew up in Omaha and received her degree in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from the Colorado School of the Mines and her MBA from Harvard. Most of her career has been in investment banking.


Todd Baker (B.S. AGEN 1985) is technical director for Horizon Systems in Lawrence, Kan. Horizon works on handling for dry bulk products including food, pet food and plastics.

David R. Gardner (Ph.D. MECH 1988) is the manager of the Explosive and Firing System Department at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Stephen Spady (B.S. CENG 1993) of Hastings, Neb. is architect/owner with Emergent Works, focusing on “novel and biologically-inspired software architectures to solve difficult real-world distributed software complexity testing/development problems.”

Adam McCracken (B.S. MECH 1994) is technology manager for Goodyear Engineered Products, part of Veyance Technologies. The 425-employee operation in Norfolk, Neb., manufactures high-pressure braided wire and textile hoses including those used at curbside gas pumps. For the past year, McCracken was involved in establishing a new plant in China, producing conveyor belts and hoses for Chinese industry use.

Doug Dominisse, P.E. (B.S. CIVE 1997) and Derek Kowalski (BS CIVE 2005, MS CIVE 2007) are design engineers with NUCOR’s Vulcraft Group, Norfolk division. They work on structural engineering projects with steel joists for floor and roof systems.

Ryan D. King (B.S. MECH 1998) is a senior mechanical engineer with Farris Engineering, Inc. in Omaha.

Suzanne Ebert (B.S. BSE 1999) lives in Kingston, Jamaica and works with U.S. Agency for International Development. In her current duties, she serves as an environment officer.

Paul Dudzinski (B.S. CNST 2000) is a project director with McCarthy Building Co., Inc. He has been based in Las Vegas and most recently worked on McCarran International Airport projects.

Matt Callicoat (B.S. ELEC 2002) serves as design engineering team leader for Garmin’s Consumer Automotive group. His responsibilities include the Nuvi portable navigation devices. He’s glad to return to UNL with Garmin for recruiting and has been a speaker for the IEEE student chapter in Lincoln.

Ryan Huff, P.E. (B.S. CIVE 2001, M.S. CIVE 2002) is a traffic analysis engineer with the Nebraska Department of Roads. He previously worked as a consultant, and has enjoyed contributing to safety improvements with NDOR.

Angel McMullen-Gunn photoAngel McMullen-Gunn (B.S. MECH 2003, M.Eng. 2007) was presented with SWE’s 2011 Distinguished New Engineer Award at the national SWE conference, Oct. 13-15 in Chicago. McMullen-Gunn (left) received the honor from SWE President Michelle Tata, who recognized McMullen-Gunn for her significant involvement in SWE as an officer and role model. The Distinguished New Engineer Award honors women engineers who have demonstrated outstanding technical performance, as well as leadership in SWE and other professional organizations and the community, in the first 10 years of their careers. A manufacturing business manager and senior mechanical engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand in York, Neb., McMullen-Gunn and her husband, Darrin, live in Seward with their young son, Lucian.

Drew Rudebusch (B.S. MECH 2005) is an aviation design engineer with Garmin.

Charles Bolden (B.S. CNST 2006) is an assistant project manager with Mortenson Construction. After working on projects in Phoenix including the Salt River Fields and ASU Athletics, he is back in Lincoln to focus on concrete aspects for the Haymarket Arena.

Nick Brown (B.S. MECH 2008) is a special projects supervisor with Gyrodata, based in Houston. In his work for the wellbore navigation company, he spent two weeks in Chile, helping with equipment used to rescue a group of Chilean miners trapped underground; the company also worked on the relief well that helped end the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Philip Yuya (M.S. 2004, Ph.D. 2008) has been appointed assistant professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at Clarkson University.

Kevin Watts (B.S. MECH 2010) is a manufact-uring engineer with Altec in St. Joseph, Mo.

John Tran (M.A.E. 2010) works with Severud Associates in New York.


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