Class of 2021
The University of Idaho recognizes these individuals for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, engineering education, and service to the profession and society.
We salute engineering leaders for their lifetime commitment to advancing the quality of life through achievement, high ethical standards, innovation and commitment.
After receiving his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University, Gordon Bopp joined the chemical engineering faculty at the University of Idaho in 1963. In addition to teaching and research within the chemical engineering department, he helped establish a Faculty Council with representation from each of the colleges of the university. Serving as chairman, he wrote legislation providing for faculty and student participation in university governance and chaired the faculty fundraising effort for the Hartung Performing Arts Center.
Awarded the Merit Citation by the Associated Students of the U of I in 1968, Gordon was also selected as an American Council on Education’s (ACE) Academic Administration Internship Program during the 1968-69 academic year and spent that year at the University of California, Irvine.
During the 1969-70 academic year, Gordon served as acting chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the U of I and in 1970 was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Minnesota Morris campus. He served there until 1978, when he was appointed executive vice president for academic affairs and administration at Eastern New Mexico University.
In 1981, Gordon accepted appointment at the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology as vice president for academic affairs. During his tenure, he established the Technological Innovation Center (TIC), which provided assistance to entrepreneurs in the commercialization of inventions.
Gordon’s experience in technology transfer and the commercialization of inventions led to his receiving an offer to become the first executive director of the newly created Spokane Intercollegiate Research & Technology Institute (SIRTI) in Spokane, Washington in 1990. The five-institution consortium fosters economic development in the Spokane and Inland Empire region.
In 1992, the Westinghouse Hanford Company recruited Gordon to start up an International Environmental Institute in Richland, Washington. Gordon retired from Westinghouse in 1995, and his retirement activities included major involvement in public service most notably with the National Alliance on Mental Illness for the State of Washington (NAMI-WA).
He served as president of NAMI-WA from 2003 to 2009, during which he played a lead role in the state’s Mental Health Transformation Project funded by the federal government. He was appointed by the governor to the Transformation Working Group (TWG) that was responsible for developing and implementing the Mental Health Transformation Plan for the State of Washington. In 2010, he was named President Emeritus of NAMI-WA.
- B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, 1959
- M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, 1961
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 1964
Dean Haagenson is a proud Vandal who, for many years, has given his time, talent and treasure for the betterment of the University of Idaho and many other Idaho charities. Dean is a north Idaho native, born and raised in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and he graduated from Bonners Ferry High School.
Dean graduated from the University of Idaho in 1965 with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he moved to Seattle where he began his career as an associate engineer for The Boeing Company. From 1966 through 1969 he worked as a cost engineer for the large joint venture RMK-BRJ doing construction in Vietnam.
In 1970, Dean took a position as a project engineer/project manager for Baugh Construction Company in Seattle, which at the time was constructing many buildings in the Puget Sound region of Washington. In 1975, Dean co-founded Contractors Northwest Inc. (CNI), a Coeur d’Alene based building construction company, typically employing 40-100 managers and craftspeople. Dean served as president for 40 years.
Dean says his first-rate engineering background was very well suited for CNI’s technical industrial and commercial projects. The company worked in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. A few of CNI’s larger projects include the multi-million dollar Kootenai Cancer Center in Coeur d’Alene, wastewater treatment plant upgrades in Coeur d’Alene and elsewhere, a financial center in Sandpoint, the Boise airport parking garage, and the treasured McKuen Park project in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
While CNI reroofed the Kibbie Dome a couple decades ago, Dean devised a mechanism to access the work in a level position while moving up and down the curvature of the roof. This invention facilitated a cost-effective means to get the job done on schedule and within budget.
Dean was a founding member and first president of the Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and served ABC National as a member of the executive board and as National Treasurer.
Dean brought his technical skills to government by serving in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990, serving as Chairman of the Resources & Conservation Committee from 1987-1990.
Dean believes in philanthropy and wanted to help future students set their course for interesting careers of meaning and significance. He and his wife chose to create the Dean and Cindy Haagenson Mechanical Engineering Endowed Professorship to honor the impact faculty make on students and support one of their favorite charities, their alma mater, as well as an Endowed Scholarship in Engineering.
- B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1965
Dennis Alvah Hanson grew up working in the family-owned engineering and manufacturing business, RAHCO, in Palouse Washington and was mentored by many of the engineers. He graduated from Palouse High School in 1968, attended Washington State University for 3 years and will receive an honorary engineering degree during the winter commencement in December 2021.
Dennis helped grow RAHCO into a world leader in the design and manufacture of specialized construction equipment. Dennis travelled extensively to provide technical support for the operation of RAHCO equipment on construction projects in the US, South America and the Middle East.
Dennis was a member of the United States Delegation to the U.S.S.R. titled, the Design and Construction of Large Irrigation Canals, to study the feasibility of reversing the flow of the Ob River in Siberia. The group traveled from Moscow to Pyatigorsk to Tashkent, where they toured a site that had been excavated using detonations of three 15-kiloton nuclear devices.
In 1977, Dennis launched his own entrepreneurial career, managing Dye Seed Ranch Inc. for the Dye Family before purchasing it in 1983. Dennis designed, built and improved much of the machinery used for the processing of the raw grass seed and the packaging of the clean seed.
In 2001, under the authority of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 19802, Dye Seed entered into Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dye Seed received three individual project letter agreements that supported collaboration with the Initiatives for the Proliferation Prevention Program of the DOE, the United States Industry Coalition, Inc. (USIC), and the cooperating New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (FSU).
Dye Seed became a member of USIC, and Dennis traveled to the FSU several times. Dye Seed tested microbial bugs in Montana and hosted numerous scientific groups to visit the United States from the FSU as well.
Dye Seed also provided Dennis with a reason to fly his own aircraft. He quickly earned his private pilot’s license and instrument rating during his first year at Dye Seed to facilitate his commute from Spokane to Pomeroy and went on to earn his Airplane Multiengine Land Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with Commercial Privileges Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Single Engine Sea, Rotorcraft-Helicopter and Instrument Helicopter ratings.
He also holds a Mechanic Certificate with Airframe and Powerplant ratings and a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. Dennis has over 15,000 flight hours and has had the opportunity to fly notable individuals such as Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Walter Cronkite, Shimon Peres, Benazir Bhutto, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter over the years.
Aviation introduced Dennis to his loving wife, Norma Jean (U of I ’77 BS Bacteriology), whom he married in 1983. They have three sons, all with BSME and MSME degrees from the U of I and one daughter with a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from MIT.
Dennis acquired an ownership interest in Eagle Helicopters Inc, in 1985, a FAA part 135 certificate holder that he continues to be majority owner, Chief Pilot and Check Airman. In 1985, Dennis was instrumental in developing the “HeartFlite” EMS Program for Sacred Heart Medical Center. Over the next 10 years, he designed and fabricated the medical interiors for both the helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, also flying both.
In 1989, Dennis acquired a majority interest in Fasteners Inc, a business headquartered in Spokane that distributed industrial fasteners in Washington, Idaho and Montana which was sold to a national company in 2015.
After Raymond's passing in 2009, Dennis assumed the family leadership to oversee Hanson Industries Inc and its continued development of remaining real estate holdings and a platinum mine in Alaska.
Dennis taught NJ and all four children to fly and they remain active in aviation as a family today. Today, Dennis and Norma Jean fly a Daher TBM 940 airplane, in pursuit of mountain biking, skiing, travel and grandchildren, having flown to Europe and Central America.
- Ph.D., University of Idaho, 2021
In 1977, Tom Henderson started his mining career in the deep hardrock mines of Idaho’s Silver Valley with Hecla Mining Company at the Star Mine. The bottom level of the Star was 8,100 feet beneath the surface (and 2,300 ft below sea level). Mr. Henderson worked as an underground miner until 1982 when he enrolled at the University of Idaho to pursue a mining engineering degree. His advice to professors? “Give a little slack to underground hardrock miners in your class next time. It was not easy being an engineering student after digging and blasting rock for 5 years – a little grace would have been appreciated.”
Mr. Henderson completed his BSc in Mining Engineering in December of 1985. With university completed, Mr. Henderson joined ASARCO Mining Co. and filled roles as Shift Foreman and General Mine Foreman for the ASARCO’s Idaho & Colorado underground mining operations.
In 1989, Mr. Henderson Joined Freeport McMoRan and spent the next 13 years as an expat on the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea training and managing locals at one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world. He spent 5-years as the underground General Mine Foreman and followed by 8-years at the giant open-pit Grasberg Mine as General Superintendent and then Manager. In these roles, he managed over 800 employees.
With children now ready for high school, Mr. Henderson’s family moved back to the USA in 2002 and he continued his career as the Underground Technical Superintendent Barrick Gold in Nevada, Mine Manager for Robinson Mining company in Ely, Nevada, and as General Manager & Vice President for Coeur’s Kensington Gold Mine in Alaska.
Once all children graduated, Mr. Henderson returned overseas in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer for St. Augustine Mining and was responsible for operations, technical feasibility studies and the successful permitting of the mine on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Here, he also had to learn to deal with corrupt politicians, rebels, and communist insurgents – a class he said he must have missed at university – and as, General Manager for the Aurora Gold Mine in Guyana, South America, deep in the Amazon rainforest.
To capstone his career, in 2021, Mr. Henderson assumed the role of GM at the Sunshine Mine. Tom is pleased to be back to Idaho and working in the iconic Silver Valley. A place that launched his career, a place where he met his wife of 40 years, Eileen, and the place he has always planned to retire to.
- B.S., Mining Engineering, University of Idaho, 1985
- M.B.A, Regis University, 2002
Brant Hinze is a mining engineering graduate with over thirty years in the industry both large and small surface and underground mines. As president and chief operating officer for Kinross Gold Corporation, Brant oversaw ten global operations, projects, exploration and corporate technical services. With the senior leadership team, he developed the company’s strategic directions, set corporate standards and established goals for operations, present and future, to further the company’s leadership in the field. Kinross has operations in Brazil, Chile, U.S., Russia, Ghana and Mauritania as well as exploration projects on four continents.
Before Kinross, Brant worked for the Newmont Mining Company after its merger with Battle Mountain Gold Company in 2001. During nine years with the company, he developed an effective leadership team and a plan to exceed standards in safety, production, costs, staff development, environment and social responsibility.
Brant is a Board Member of Beadell Resources Limited, a gold development company. The company’s primary asset is the Tucano gold project, located in Brazil.
- B.S. Mining Engineering, University of Idaho, 1984
After completing his master’s at Stanford, William Thomson worked at AVCO Research and Engineering, designing the heat shield on the Apollo re-entry vehicle. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 1962 on the USS Halsey for 100 sailors.
He served at the National Security Agency for 2 years and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for contributions to the nation’s intelligence efforts. Upon completion of his doctorate, William taught at U of I for 10 years and was instrumental in establishing the Women in Engineering program there.
He served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Washington State University for 16 years and was a major professor for 18 doctoral and 54 master’s students. With over 50 refereed publications in national journals, William was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is a consultant for numerous chemical engineering companies and a member of the Hanford Advisory Panel. He also chaired the Lou Edwards Endowed Chair effort, raising $2.2 million dollars for U of I.
- B.S., Chemical Engineering, Pratt Institute, 1960
- M.S., Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 1961
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1969