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 www.tms.org/pubs/journals/
Richard "Dick" Kafonek,
former chair of the College of
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
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
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
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.
Jeff 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
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,
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."
Bingguang Li, Ph.D. IMSE
an assistant professor of
supply chain management and
quantitative methods at Harry
F. Byrd Jr. School of Business
at Shenandoah University
in Virginia, received
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.