Three MIME alumni named Oregon Staters
Academy of Distinguished Engineers
Randall Worsech '83
Randy Worsech is a business architect for an aerospace company. His primary role is to connect strategy with the design of the business’s operations, such as its technologies, processes, information systems, and data.
His career path started in high school in the late ’70s. He could see the growing importance of technology as it made inroads into the cars we drove, classrooms where we learned, products we used to entertain ourselves, and the means by which we solved complex challenges. He saw this growing trend as a path to a viable career and enrolled in a junior college, later transferring to Oregon State as a mechanical engineering student.
“While at OSU, I realized my colleagues were very adept at digging deep into a particular subject,” Worsech said. “I liked understanding a wide breadth of subjects and the value of each to a business.” Consequently, he realized his niche would be bridging the gap between the two perspectives. He augmented his Oregon State engineering degree with an MBA from Seattle University shortly after graduation.
Although his career started in engineering, he quickly transitioned to successive positions in information technology before occupying the niche he originally envisioned while at Oregon State. “Driving changes in an organization is like changing the course of a really large ocean liner. It’s not easy, but it can be done,” Worsech said. “It takes having the right purpose, technology, vision, perseverance, skills, and knowledge, and most importantly the ability to align the hearts and minds of individuals.”
He credits much of his success to Oregon State, where he learned to collaborate effectively with individuals who hold diverse perspectives, to understand that new challenges lead to personal growth, and that one must be diligent in growing one’s knowledge because the pace of change is always increasing.
Council of Early Engineers
Jill Lewis '11
Jill Lewis is passionate about advancing space flight and bringing manned space flight back to the United States. Through her work at SpaceX — a private aerospace company that designs, manufactures, and launches rockets and spacecraft — she and her colleagues are working hard to do just that.
As a structures certification engineer, Lewis is a technical liaison between SpaceX and its biggest customers: NASA’s Commercial Crew space flight groups and the U.S. Air Force. Lewis and her team verify that SpaceX’s Falcon launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft meet all internal design, testing, and analysis requirements. Through detailed presentations, she also ensures that clients understand that in-depth structural knowledge.
Lewis appreciates the theoretical and practical foundation she received from her coursework at Oregon State, and the student clubs enabled her to aggregate her skill set. “The hands-on approach really helped me once I got into industry,” Lewis said, “and I can’t stress how vital the Global Formula Racing team was to my career trajectory. It led to the Formula Student competitions where I was introduced to composites and composite manufacturing. That experience helped me land my first job at SpaceX as a production engineer.”
Lewis says SpaceX has provided her many opportunities to prove and challenge her abilities as an engineer, and she believes she’s been a good steward. “Getting to work with NASA has been incredible,” Lewis said. “I think it was Sir Isaac Newton who said, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants’ — and that’s how I feel every time I talk to the NASA team. Their knowledge, their successes and failures, directly influence the work we do. Having them by our side and on our team is an incredible experience.”
Heidi Wolfe '06
Heidi Wolfe says there are two kinds of people at Boeing: airplane fanatics and those who end up there by accident.
“Aerospace was not on my radar,” she said.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State in 2006, Wolfe was set to begin a graduate program in biomechanics at UC Davis, when she abruptly changed course and moved to South Carolina.
Hired through an employment agency, her first job after graduation was providing administrative support to Global Aeronautica, a newly formed joint venture supporting the Boeing 787 global supply chain. Within a month, she was working as a manufacturing engineer and also tasked with writing operating procedures for other employees in her organization.
Wolfe moved to Boeing shortly thereafter and completed a two-year international assignment in Italy and a Master of Science in Program Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Five years into her career, she accepted her first management role at the company.
Wolfe credits her experiences at Global Aeronautica for enabling her to develop the leadership skills necessary to progress into a management role so early in her Boeing career. She has held numerous management positions, in both engineering and non-engineering functions, and is currently chief of staff to the vice president of the Washington Design Center for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This is a rotational assignment that exposes early-career managers to the engineering executive team and enables them to gain insight from seeing how and why decisions are made.
Wolfe re-engaged with Oregon State though Boeing’s University Relations team and for several years has been active in recruiting trips and organizing opportunities for students to tour the Boeing factory.
“Sharing my own career path and experiences at Boeing with OSU students is one of the best parts of my job,” she said.
Wolfe is actively involved with the Junior League of Seattle and serves as an assistant to the president. She plans to return to academia soon to complete an MBA.
Beaver Overdrive off to strong start
This past fall, Joshua Gess, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and some of his graduate students, started Beaver Overdrive, a student organization aimed at immersing undergraduate students into the technical world of thermal management, electrical engineering, and computer science by participating in computer overclocking competitions.
Overclocking a computer, or pushing the manufacturers designed limits to achieve greater performance, introduces many challenges that cover various engineering disciplines. This multidisciplinary problem has brought students from various fields together to tackle a real-world problem with hands-on experience.
HWBOT is the worlds recognized leader for holding overclocking competitions. On December 7 Beaver Overdrive competed in HWBOT’s Rookie Rumble. This competition involved three tests. First was Intel’s XTU benchmarking, which examines how the system runs as a cohesive unit. Second was SuperPi 1 million—challenging competitors to have their processor calculate Pi to one million digits. Last was GPUPi 1 Billion. This test utilizes each competitors GPU and times how efficiently it calculates Pi to one billion digits. Out of 465 worldwide competitors Beaver Overdrive placed tenth.
Special thanks to Intel, IEEE, and Facebook for their support and getting this group off the ground.
R. Logen Logendran honored for achievments in Industrial Engineering
R. Logen Logendran, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, has received the Award for Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). “This award recognizes those who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the welfare of mankind in the field of industrial engineering. The contributions are of the highest caliber and nationally or internationally recognized.” The award was formally conferred at the IISE Honors & Awards Banquet on Monday, May 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA. Also at the banquet, Carly Stasack was awarded a Dwight D. Gardner Scholarship, and Joshua Schneider was awarded the Harold & Inge Marcus Scholarship.
Logendran also recently joined Oklahoma State University's School of Industrial Engineering and Management's "Cowboy Academy," which recognizes the accomplishments of that school's alumni.
MIME student awarded Fulbright Scholarship
At the end of August, Caitlyn Clark, graduate student in mechanical engineering, will travel to Aalborg University in Denmark for ten months to conduct research and represent the United States through the Fulbright Program.
“I’ll be researching risk and reliability in co-located wind-wave energy systems,” Clark says. “That is, I will explore how risk and failure can propagate through a system that involves both offshore wind turbines and wave energy converters in the same leased ocean space, and potentially how to mitigate those failures.”
“Caity is a brilliant and dedicated researcher and I’ve been so impressed by her drive,” says Bryony DuPont, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and Clark’s advisor. “This award is truly a testament to her motivation to solve marine energy problems, and I’m very proud of what’s she accomplished so far.”
By quantifying and communicating the risk and uncertainty inherent in these novel offshore energy systems, Clark hopes to provide information that can help stakeholders make informed decisions about design of and investment in these systems.
“The researchers I will be working with are trailblazers in risk and reliability in offshore renewable energy systems, so I’m ecstatic to have the chance to learn from them, and to start to develop a relationship between them and the Northwest National Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State,” she says. “This is a fabulous opportunity for growth not only for me, but also for MIME and Oregon State University.”
More early-career standouts for School of MIME
Three School of MIME faculty have achieved early-career benchmarks by earning prestigious and competitive research awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). This is the second year in a row that the school can boast three winners in a single year, and it now lists 14 of its 50 research faculty as past winners. Altogether, research funding for this year’s awards totals more than $1.5 million.
“We’ve seen such impressive growth in recent years, and the recognition of our newer faculty members shows that MIME is poised to remain in a strong position on the national and international stage for years to come,” says School Head Harriet Nembhard.
Two professors, Ross Hatton, assistant professor of robotics and mechanical engineering, and Julie Tucker, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the CAREER award, NSF's most prestigious honor in support of early-career faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research, education and the integration of research and education to forward the mission of their organization.
The third professor, Geoff Hollinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, won an ONR Young Investigators Award, which supports candidates from a pool of college and university faculty who have obtained tenure-track positions within the past five years. This year’s 33 winners were selected from over 360 highly qualified applicants. Read more...
Brian Fronk Receives SHRAE New Investigator Award
Assistant professor Brian Fronk has been selected as the recipient of the ASHRAE New Investigator Award for 2017-2018. The award is given to promising researchers who will contribute to ASHRAE's mission to "advance the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world."
Fronk will use the award to support a student to investigate heat and mass transfer during condensation of new, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant blends that will be used in next generation HVAC&R equipment.
Fronk's research intersts include microscale heat and mass transfer, two-phase flow, natural refrigerants, advanced thermal energy systems, and sustainable energy portfolios.
Chris Hagen Receives SAE Educational Award
PhD student Shane Daly conducts an internal combustion engine demonstration for an ME 312 class.
Chris Hagen, assistant professor of energy systems engineering at OSU-Cascades, has been named a recipient of the 2017 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. The award recognizes Hagen as one of the top young engineering educators in the nation.
Hagen is the only the second recipient of this award who is from Oregon State University, since it was established in 1963. He has been actively involved in SAE nationally, having organized seven conference sessions, and published and reviewed numerous SAE papers. His research focuses on unconventional fuels in advanced internal combustion engines.
"Dr. Hagen takes great pride not only in teaching us the fundamentals of engineering but also in advising us how to develop our careers as professional engineers and researchers," said mechanical engineering graduate student Zac Taie. "To me, his eagerness to teach and advise us in both our academic and professional pursuits embodies the spirit of Teetor award."
As part of the award, Hagen will attend the SAE World Congress in April in Detroit, Michigan to meet and exchange views with practicing engineers.
The Energy Systems Engineering Class of 2016 at their commencement in Bend, Oregon.
Energy Systems Engineering graduates celebrate ahead of their commencement at OSU-Cascades in Bend, Oregon, on Sun., June 12, 2016. Left to right: Michael Leavitt, Dick Veldsma, Justin Conklin, Landon Moore, Ray Kuhn, Jade Hoagland, Gavin Roderick, Elena Blackman, John Knox, Galen Reid, Bryndon Light, Matthew Fisher, Chad Knight, Paul Norman, Austin Sandford, Nicholas Evano, Joe Buck. Photo credit: Adam Foster
- Energy Systems Engineering’s fourth graduating class added 24 more alumni in 2016, the largest class to date. (The first three classes had 11, 12, and 14 graduates.)
- More than 90 percent of ESE grads find jobs in their field.
- Members of the ESE Class of 2016 are working for Pacific Power, Eaton, Aramco, EarthCruiser, AltaRock Energy, Inc., Siemens, BasX Solutions, ColeBreit Engineering, BasX Solutions, Tobolski Watkins Engineering, Northwest Engineering Services, Con-Vey Keystone, CLS Fabrication, PCC Schlosser, Autonomy Technology Inc., and H.A. McCoy Engineering & Surveying.
- The School of MIME has the nation’s fourth ABET-accredited energy engineering B.S. program.
The AIAA 2016 ESRA Rocketry Launch - Benny Beaver Breathes Fire for a Winning Performance
The Oregon State AIAA student chapter has won first place in the 2016 Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering advanced category competition in Green River, Utah. This is AIAA's third trip to the annnual competition and its second year in the advanced category. The rocket, which was completely built by the AIAA students, reached an altitude of 21,200 feet, with a max speed Mach 1.5 and 11Gs'. The team had a great rocket recovery and collected critical data from the onboard avionics. At the competition, students collaborated with teams from all over the world and shared knowledge about high-power rocketry. MIME students really stood out for technical talent and professionalism, and, as is typical with School of MIME student competitive groups, for constructing the entire 65-lb rocket, including the airframe and motor. Pictured above: the group added a flame trench to the launch rail, so Benny breathes fire at liftoff, that is style! Pictured below: The AIAA group at the 2016 ESRA competition.
USAID Supports Research Partnership with U.S., Pakistani Universities
A group of delegates from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, Pakistan, the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) – Peshawar, and Arizona State University visited Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Ore., to kick off a new partnership. This partnership, the US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy, is aimed at building capacity and long-term cooperation to advance graduate student programs, applied research, and academic-industry partnerships. It has been funded for five years by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Access to energy is a key issue for both quality-of-life and economic development in a country where power outages or complete lack of access is far too common and cited at above 40%. A total of approximately 200 Pakistani graduate students will be visiting the U.S. for short-term research experience; 40 of these will be in the College of Engineering at OSU. Lead Oregon State faculty on the project include Kendra Sharp (School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering), David Hill (School of Civil and Construction Engineering) and Brian Fronk (School of MIME).