Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2008
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Class Notes

Former Faculty News

World War II separated Lyle Young, who later became dean and professor emeritus of the College of Engineering, from his bride while he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. Their marriage endured and now, 65 years later, their newlywed letters form the heart of a book, Dearest Marguerite: Letters from a Soldier to the Wife He Left Behind. Marguerite "Marge" Swenson Young compiled the excerpts with photos from the era and a strong sense of the important history they lived. The book, published by iUniverse, can be purchased at area or online bookstores (ISBN: 978-0595470709). This labor of love was one of the couple's many retirement activities in the Lincoln community; they participate in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes, play golf, and Lyle is also an artist who carves and paints birds.

Retired mechanical engineering professor Don Johnson's article on "Corrosion Studies on the USS Arizona with Application to a Japanese Midget Submarine" appeared in the October 2007 issue of the JOM, published by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. It is available online and enhanced at jom/0710/wilson-0710.html.

KafonekRichard "Dick" Kafonek, former chair of the College of Engineering's Construction Management department in Lincoln, was recently honored with the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to construction education. The ASC Board of Directors cited Kafonek's exceptional service to academia, teaching, and the construction industry, and noted this is only the fifth time the award has been presented in ASC's 44-year history.

Kafonek graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and holds a Master of Engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a Fellow within the professional construction organization of the American Institute of Constructors. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1976 and led the UNL Construction Management program (now part of The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction) for 11 years.

While retired, Kafonek remains active in furthering construction education through the academic accrediting body of the American Council of Construction Education. He has been married 54 years and has four sons, one of whom is a graduate of Nebraska Engineering's Construction Management program.


Daniel G. Cada, B.S. EE '64, M.S. EE '72,
Cambridge, Md., is retired from service with the U.S. government. He owns and operates a custom cabinet manufacturing company and a personal drink label company. He also enjoys sailing and spending time with his four grandchildren.

Robert Lowe, B.S. ME '67,
Goode, Va., retired following 40 years of employment with Babcock & Wilcox/Framatome/AREVA, which supplies equipment and services for nuclear power plants. He resides in central Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is enjoying golfing and the outdoors.


Don Wilson, B.S. AGEN '74,
is a production engineer in the Special Projects Group for Chaparral, a small independent oil and gas company in Oklahoma. Although he studied agricultural engineering, his work history includes the fields of petroleum, civil, traffic and forensic engineering. Currently a "well doctor," he looks at the problems in oil and/or gas wells and how to maximize production. When a well is too old to be economical, he ensures that it is properly plugged and abandoned.

Kathryn (Kit) Farrell-Poe, B.S. AGEN '79,
holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. She is currently an extension water quality specialist and professor of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona-Tucson. Based at the Agricultural Research Center in Yuma, she is also the current Southwest States and Pacific Islands Regional Water Quality Coordinator.


Kem Ahlers, B.S. '82 and M.S. '84, MSYM,
works in the Building Construction Products Division at Caterpillar in Clayton, N.C. He is the Backhoe Loader New Product Introduction manager, responsible for developing new backhoe loader models, putting them into production, and bringing them to the market. He and his family live in Apex, N.C.

ZvolanekJeff Zvolanek, B.S. IE '86,
was the keynote speaker for Nebraska Engineering's E-Week 2008. His topic, "The American Reality," noted the imperative for the U.S. to stay competitive worldwide, and focused on how engineers are critical in this effort. His company, Industrial Maid LLC, continues to thrive in Cortland, Neb. He is also active on the College of Engineering's Executive Advisory Board.


Darin Sigler, B.S. MSYM '88,
is employed as the plant manager in oilseed processing and commercial animal feed production with ADM Alliance Nutrition. The companies include Ag Processing, Central Soya, and Archer Daniels Midland. He is currently managing the plants in Grand Island and Cozad. He has also been a member of Kiwanis for the past eight years.


S. Mark Haugland, M.S. EE '91,
moved to Houston after UNL and got his MBA in finance from University of Houston in 1996. He adds he is currently employed by Royal Dutch Shell and making extensive use of training in electromagnetics, advanced math and physics in his career. He appreciates the "very useful education" he has received and notes "no trouble competing with the PhDs from Ivy League schools or elsewhere."

LiBingguang Li, Ph.D. IMSE '92,
an assistant professor of supply chain management and quantitative methods at Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University in Virginia, received professional designations of Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute (PMI) and Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) from The American Society for Quality (ASQ). Besides PMP and CMQ/OE, Li also holds the professional designations of C.P.M., CFPIM, CSCP, and FRM. He holds a Ph.D. in industrial and management systems engineering from UNL.

Tony Kaufman, B.S. BSEN '98,
continues to find new challenges within 3M in Minnesota. He assumed the leadership position of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in January. Tony is also involved in service as the United Way chairperson for his division (over 500 employees), and in the community with Relay for Life. Tony and his wife recently adopted their second child, Alita, from Guatemala.

Chet Dawes, B.S. ME '99,
Lincoln, is Business Development manager for Lincoln Composites. He and his family, including wife, Lori, and a son, Mason (2), returned to Lincoln recently after eight years in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Heather (Wilkinson) Geiger, B.S. BSEN '99,
is a busy mom of three children in Littleton, Colo. Her husband, Neil (B.S. ME '99), works for Lockheed Martin. They have started a business, Off the Record, to transfer vinyl LP's to CD.

Eric Penne, B.S. EE '99,
is employed with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He works on Test Equipment Engineering for government systems, primarily military GPS products.


Carissa (Paus) Swanwick, B.S. CM '00,
Lenexa, Kan., serves as strategic planning program manager for Waddell & Reed Financial Services. Her duties include developing and implementing short- and long-term strategies for the financial advisors division. She is also working on an MBA at the University of Kansas, with a double major in finance and strategic management.

Adam Royal, B.S., AGEN '00,
is a performance engineer with John Deere. He is working in the Experimental Product Verification and Validation department for self-propelled sprayers in Ankeny, Iowa. He and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters.

Michael Kimmel, B.S. BSEN '01,
Edina, Minn., is a senior design engineer at Medtronic, Inc. He earned a doctorate in biomedical engineering in December 2007 from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Anderson, B.S., BSEN '02,
finished her master's degree at the University of Florida and is a water resources engineer intern with Jones Edmunds in Gainesville. Craig Hanson, B.S., BSEN '02, was recently qualified as a naval nuclear engineer by Naval Reactors in Washington, D.C. He is a lieutenant serving aboard a nuclear submarine.

Sheldon Lockhart, B.S. EE '03,
Omaha, is Engineer-Asset Performance/Management with Omaha Public Power District. He is currently working toward a MEng degree in Engineering Management.

Jonathan Morse, B.S. '03 and M.S., BSEN '06,
continues to enjoy the challenges of life as a Ph.D. student studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and anticipates doing so for the foreseeable future.

Tony Dang, B.S. EE '04
is Direct Marketing Lettershop Supervisor with World Marketing Atlanta. He lives in Smyrna, Ga.

Adam Huttenmaier, B.S. AGEN '05,
Washington, Ill., is a machine power development engineer at Caterpillar, Inc. He works at the Peoria Proving Ground as a test engineer.

Linjun Gong, M.S. IE '06,
Plymouth, Minn., is a quality engineer with Ameritek International. He is responsible for quality control and production inspection work, as well as helping develop prospective suppliers and qualifications.

Jessica Graul, B.S. BSEN '06,
is an engineer-in-training with Parsons in Denver. She is working on remediation projects, many of which involve biological systems to clean up groundwater for the military.

Isaiah LaRue, B.S. AGEN '06,
passed the Engineer-in-Training exam. He is working as an applications engineer for Smith and Loveless in Lenexa, Kan.

Nicolaus McCready, B.S. BSEN '06,
is a graduate student at Iowa State University, researching biofuel co-products as performance modifiers in asphalt pavements. He is working with lignin produced from a wet-mill ethanol process, with future work studying bio-oil and cellulosic ethanol derivatives. This new research area has caught the attention of the asphalt and biofuel industries.

Reggie Rector, B.S. BSEN '06,
is an applications engineer for National Instruments in Austin, Texas.