In early January, Interim Dean Larry Stauffer spoke at an engineering reception at the San Jose Tech Museum and was delighted to visit with the following alumni: Binoy Ackalloor '89 BSEE, Carlos Araquistain '11 MENGR-EE, Jeffry Bennin '11 MENGR-ME/CE, Gregory Contreras '07 BNS/BSME, Jan Crawford '80 BSChE, Scott Dredge '88 BSEE, Rohit Fedane '93 BSCS, Hongmei Han '05 MS Physics, '08 PhD MSE with her husband Qi Yao, Alf Janssen (Dean Allen Janssen’s son) and wife Bonnie, Bryce Johnson '54 BSME, Yukio John Kaku '56 BS ChE, Richard Lange '66 BSEE and Andrew Taylor '92 BSEE.
While in the Silicon Valley, Dean Stauffer also visited Christopher Norris, president and CEO at Alta Devices in Santa Clara. Alta is a venture financed solar company which has raised over $100 million and has set world records for the highest efficiency solar cells and solar modules. Alta's solar cells are based on high efficiency compound semiconductor materials and proprietary manufacturing equipment to grow thin film solar cells. Chris was previously the CEO of MicroDisplay and a venture partner at Blue Run Ventures. Before joining Alta, Norris spent much of his career in the semiconductor industry, first at Intel and then later at Cypress. He has seven patents and in '84 received his bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho and and master's in computer engineering from Santa Clara University. Chris is also an amateur chef and a private pilot, and enjoys wakeboarding, long-distance running, and riding off-road motorcycles with his four sons. Chris is the 2012 Engineering Design EXPO Distinguished Speaker and will present on April 27 at 1:15 p.m. in the SUB Ballroom.
The next day Dean Stauffer headed to San Francisco for an engineering reception at the Fairmont Hotel and enjoyed visiting with the following alumni: Brian Beaudine '81 BSCE and daughter Julianne, Maria Bonilla '79 BSChE, Jan Crawford '80 BSChE, Diana Liu '89 EE, Satish Pamidi '71 MSEE, Jack Swearengen ’61 BSME and Jeff Watts ’64 BSCE. Thank you all for joining us! Congratulations to Jack Swearengen for his forthcoming induction into the prestigious Idaho Academy of Engineers on April 27 at 4:00 p.m. in the SUB.
Dean Stauffer visited with Idaho legislators, engineering alumni and corporate partners at the 2012 Legislative Breakfast early this year at the Capitol in Boise. University of Idaho students met with 82 Idaho legislators and escorted 64 of them up to the 4th floor to view college displays in the rotunda. This meant that 78% of Idaho’s Legislators spoke with a University of Idaho student and 61% of Idaho’s Legislators came to the fourth floor with a student to view our displays. Dean Stauffer had the opportunity to visit with Tim Haener, JUB Executive Vice President, '89 BSCE, civil engineering advisory board member and Chair of the Endowed Chair for Civil Engineering Campaign. Dean Stauffer also met with U-Idaho Foundation member Andy Emerson '97 BSCE, Micron Foundation Executive Director Dee Mooney and University Relations Manager Janine Rush-Byers, Microsoft Software Development Engineers Scott Jeide and David Hardy '03 BSCS.
We dined with our San Diego alumni at the dynamic waterfront Red Marlin Restaurant overlooking the scenic Mission Bay Marina. We visited with Andy Bolt, '87 BSCE, MEngr '88, Bette and Willard Childs '56 BSME, Greg Jr. and Greg Cotten Sr. '97 MEngr, '00 PhD ChE, Mary Ann and Wayne Hager '72 MS ChE, '73 PhD ChE (current Chemical Engineering Advisory Board member), David Honcik '81 BSCS, Walter Johnson '65 BSEE and Cecil Waterhouse '64 BSEE. Careers of these alumni range from environmental remediation, desalination research and satellite and microwave development to structural software design and an assistant Chief of Staff with the Naval Special Warfare Group.
In Los Angeles the State of the College reception was held at the downtown Millennium Biltmore Hotel and we had the opportunity to visit with several engineering alumni including Brian Bradburn '85 BSME, ‘91 MSME Dolores and Don Eddy '85 BSME, Stephanie Heath '06 BA and Jack Hompland '06 BSME, Norman Helgeson '58 BNS, '63 BS ChE, Barb Langdon '84 BS, and James Reed ’84 BSME and his wife. Electrical Engineering Professor David Atkinson joined the group as he is on a one year research sabbatical at JPL in Pasadena working on the NASA New Frontiers Program mission to Saturn.
Dean Stauffer joined President Nellis at the U-Idaho Alumni Association reception at the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California and enjoyed visiting with Drs. Forrest and Pamela Bird.
Earlier that day, Dean Stauffer visited with alumnus Stanley Varner in Palm Desert. Stan is a 1942 mechanical engineering graduate and his father, Merle Varner, was a 1912 graduate in Forestry and a charter member of the U.S. Forestry Service. Stan had a stellar career in the aerospace industry working on important projects from investigating the German Buzz Bombs to find out how the remote controlled aircraft worked and how the jet engines pulsed to several years later interfacing with the preeminent rocket engineer of the Twentieth Century, Wernher von Braun, and his rocketeers at the Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army Base in Huntsville, Alabama where they were developing the booster for the Saturn S2 Launch System for the Apollo program. At 92 years old Stan has several memorable stories to tell and we look forward to posting his biography on our web site soon.
On February 15, the Colleges of Engineering and Business jointly held an alumni reception in downtown Portland on the 11th Floor of the Fox Tower at Moss Adams LLP. Well over 50 alumni attended this fun event with many new faces joining and the evening was a great success.
The following day, Dean Stauffer traveled to Seattle where the College of Engineering hosted a State of the College at the Museum of Flight. Over 60 engineering alumni enjoyed visiting with their fellow Vandals including two College Advisory Board members Bruce Bouton and Mike Simon, Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board member Valerie Jensen and 2011 Academy of Engineer distinguished member Tommy Ambrose.
Earlier that day Dean Stauffer met with Deena Henkins '67 BS ChE. Recently, Deena named the University of Idaho as a beneficiary of a percentage of her estate as an anchor gift to support the Endowed Chair for Chemical and Materials Engineering campaign. Dean Stauffer also met with Don Kaufman '82 BSME, senior software development manager at Amazon.com to discuss student internships in computer science at Amazon.com.