University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Summer 2011
UNL Engineering header graphic
graphic Archives / Subscribe / PDF download
next page buttonback page buttonEngineering@Nebraska > Class Notes
  Class Notes header graphic  


logos unl_logos

In Memoriam
Walter Kilgard, B.S MECH 1951

John William Mueller, a 1939 graduate of UNL’s Department of Electrical Engineering, died May 24, 2011.

He is survived by a son and two daughters, six grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren; he was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Faith.

Mueller was born in Chinook, Mont., in 1917. After earning his B.S. in electrical engineering, he began his career as a field engineer with the Nebraska Power Company. During WWII he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps; he attended Radar College at Harvard University and completed his advanced Engineering Radar training at M.I.T. He was deployed to New Guinea where he commanded a group until the Japanese surrender.

After the war, with his wife and son, Mueller moved to Sacramento, Calif., where his daughters were born; employed with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Project, his work included Shasta Dam Power Plant designs.

In 1954, he joined a 10-man team of engineers to work on power and water plant projects in Ankara, Turkey, where the family lived until 1957. When they returned to the U.S., Mueller worked on the Niagara Power Project. The family relocated to Wash., D.C., when Mueller was appointed Chief of Power for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the Kennedy Administration in the 1960s.

Mueller then became chief of the Power Division for the Glen Canyon Hydroelectric Plant Project, in Salt Lake City, where the family lived for 38 years. When he retired, Mueller and three associates formed Western Land, Water and Power Consultants, with clients that included the World Bank.

In 2002, Mueller and his wife moved to Oceanside, Calif. His memorial service was there on June 18, and his guest book is online at

Patrick Pope (B.S. ELEC 1971 and MBA 1995) was recently selected president and CEO of Nebraska Public Power District, headquartered in Columbus.

Rodney Cushin (B.S. IMSE 1977) was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Award in July 2011 for contributions to the Army's Network Integration Event, the largest ever operational test of tactical network systems. Cushin wrote: “After over 14 years as an Army officer, followed by senior systems engineering positions with TELOS and Northrop Grumman, I worked as a senior engineering manager with Boeing before moving to federal service in 2010 at Aberdeen Proving Ground for Program Executive Office Integration.”


Ken Curry (B.S. 1983 MECH, 1990 MBA) leads Nebraska Public Power District's customer services division as vice president. Curry most recently served as project manager for the utility's strategic planning process. With 20 years of operational and customer service experience, his career with NPPD has included work in nuclear engineering and energy management, as well as leadership positions in corporate safety, operations services, energy services, technical solutions, customer care and energy efficiency. Curry is a registered professional engineer, certified energy manager and key account executive. He earned certification as a Six Sigma black belt and lean leader through BD Medical in Columbus, Neb. He is now on his second term with the Columbus Public School Board and is also a YMCA board member, Rotarian and two-time mentor with the Teammates program. He is an Eagle Scout and strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America program.

Karl Fredrickson(B.S. CIVE 1987) was elected vice-president of Kirkham Michael in Lincoln.

TJ Schirmer (B.S. ELEC 1991), senior principal with The Clark Enerson Partners in Lincoln, has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation.

Curt Dowding (B.S. AGEN 2002) of Waverly joined Cook’s Ham as plant engineer.

Dana Frizemeier Krueger (M.S. IMSE 2005) graduated with a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, with a focus on Quality and Reliability Engineering, from Arizona State University in May 2011, and currently teaches Quality Management and Operations Management at Kansas State University.

Joel R. Johnson (B.S. ELEC 2007) joined the Nebraska Center for Excellence in Electronics (NCEE Labs), located in Lincoln’s University of Nebraska Technology Park, as EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) engineer.

Evan Luxon (B.S. MECH 2009) married Courtney Hejny in June 2009. He is a cofounder of Cortical Concepts, a medical startup, which won the $20,000 grand prize in the April 2010 Wharton School Business Plan competition. That year he also completed his M.S. in Bioengineering Innovation and Design from The Johns Hopkins University. He is currently working on his M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.


link to Nebraska Engineering site Link to UNLs site twitter feed facebook link for Nebraska Engineering hot link: Nebraska Engineering YouTube videos