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U of I Academy of Engineers Welcomes 2019 Inductees

October 22, 2019

The University of Idaho College of Engineering will induct five members into its Academy of Engineers, U of I alumni and others recognized for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, education, service to the profession and advancement of society. Inductees will be celebrated during a ceremony 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Silver Room of the Best Western Plus University Inn in Moscow.

The 2019 Academy of Engineers inductees are:

  • Donald M. Blackketter
    As chancellor of Montana Tech (MTU), Donald M. Blackketter established standalone mechanical and civil engineering programs, MTU's first doctoral program in material science and helped raise $10 million in state and private funding for MTU's Natural Resource Research Center. With 30 years of engineering experience, Blackketter also served as dean of the U of I College of Engineering from 2008 to 2011.
  • Paul Cooley '77, '80
    Paul Cooley has more than 35 years of experience in the design of aquatic life support systems for marine research facilities and marine parks. He and his wife, Rebekah Gladson, founded PCA Global, an international aquatic life support systems design firm. Cooley has developed more than 200 integrated aquarium life support systems. His projects span the globe, including Sea World Australia, World of Discovery in Dubai and Living Seas Pavilion at Disney Epcot in Orlando Florida.
  • Byron Flynn '80
    Byron Flynn has worked in the utility industry for nearly 39 years and currently serves as Technical Solutions Director for GE, supporting electric utilities across North America. He designed the automation, protection and control system architecture for Consolidated Edison's substation in lower Manhattan, which replaced the station destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • Lisa Grow '87
    A 32-year Idaho Power veteran, Lisa Grow was promoted to president of Idaho Power in October 2019. She began her career in 1987 as the second female to be hired at the power utility and held many engineering positions before moving into management. Grow has also presented at U of I's Energy Executive Course, an internationally recognized training program for industry executives worldwide.
  • Michael L. Olson '65, '66
    Michael L. Olson is a national and international leader in the development of wireless communications and global monitoring with more than 35 years of experience. Between 1979 and 1993, Olson served as the vice president of three startup companies pioneering satellite and cellular technologies for remote data monitoring and transmission. After retiring in 2006, Olson became involved in disaster preparation and management as a volunteer editor on the Deepwater Horizon study group at the University of California, Berkeley.

This year's Inductees will join existing members of the academy to serve as judges for the college's third annual Grand Challenge Scholars Program pitch event at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Silver Room of the Best Western Plus University Inn.

The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is one of the only undergraduate programs of its kind in Idaho, preparing students to take on the biggest engineering challenges of the 21st century, as established by the National Academy of Engineering.

Full biographies and photos of current and past inductees to the U of I Academy of Engineers are available at

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at