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Source: Mary Rankin, 785-532-6715, mrankin@k-state.edu

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

K-STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING ALUMNI TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS

MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University College of Engineering will honor 10 alumni for their professional career accomplishments in the first 20 years following their graduation. The honorees will be recognized at ceremonies Saturday, May 2, at K-State.

Recipients of the college's Professional Progress Award were nominated by their respective department heads and confirmed by John English, dean of engineering. The honorees are:

* Mounir G. El-Aasar, Manhattan, received his master's in civil engineering and his doctorate in structural engineering from K-State in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He joined BG Consultants Inc., Manhattan, in 1990. During his time with the company, he has designed more than a thousand Interstate, state highway, county road and city street bridges across Kansas. In 1997, he became a partner and vice president in the company. Some of his key project designs include the first continuous, inverted-T, pre-stressed concrete bridge in Kansas; the erection of the free-standing Titan II and Redstone Gemini rockets and design of the Apollo 13 exhibit at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson; and the orangutan exhibit at the Topeka Zoo. He is involved with several research projects with Kansas Department of Transportation, K-State, University of Nebraska and the University of Maryland involving development of fiber-reinforced polymer bridge decks and crash-worthy handrails for them. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, the engineering honorary, K-State Alumni Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute.

* David D. Haake, Olathe, a 1989 K-State graduate in architectural engineering, is an executive vice president for Henderson Engineers Inc. Since joining the company in 1993, he has worked on various Wal-Mart and commercial projects as a project manager, team leader and head of the electrical department. His current position focuses on human resources and recruiting. Haake is a professional engineer registered in all 50 states, Canada, the Virgin Islands and Guam, and is a member of the Kansas State Architectural Engineering Advisory Council.

* Cameron Epard, a 1992 K-State graduate in chemical engineering, is president and co-founder of Airstream Energy LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz. He is responsible for developing wind energy-generation facilities in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain West. His development activities include site selection, market analysis, financial modeling, public relations, political affairs, power sales origination, and engineering oversight. Epard has more than 17 years of experience in the energy industry. He started with Black & Veatch in Overland Park, where he was a financial analyst in the project development advisory group, later moving to Houston, Texas, to work for Duke Energy. There he led or participated in several power development and acquisition projects including two 600 megawatt projects now operating in Arizona and New Mexico. He has a master's in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

* Chris A. Hess, Carlsbad, Calif., a 1988 K-State graduate in construction science, is vice president, operations, of Lusardi Construction Co. He joined the company in 1989 as a project engineer, progressing to project coordinator, project manager and senior project manager to his current position. He also headed up the estimating department and most recently established the Lusardi Project Management Training Course and Lusardi Academy, both of which target the ongoing education of project management personnel. He serves on the Construction Education and Construction Tech Academy advisory committees of the Associated General Contractors, San Diego chapter; the Point Loma Nazarene University Business Advisory Board; and is a member of the K-State Foundation President's Club.

* Marc Machin, Irvine, Calif., is a 1991 K-State graduate in electrical engineering, completing a master's in software engineering in 2006. He is the vice president of information technology at LSI in Santa Ana, Calif., where he has worked since 2003. LSI, a lender-processing services company, is a provider of property valuation, title and closing services to the nation's top 25 mortgage banks. He leads a staff of information technology professionals in the day-to-day management of the entire information technology infrastructure and helps with the development and deployment of new information technologies. Machin serves on the parent corporation's information technology security council. Prior to joining LSI, Machin worked as an information technology consultant, developer and trainer, and previous to that was employed by the U.S. Department of Defense working in a quality assurance team with the U.S. Navy on missile systems programs. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and its Computer Society.

* Kenton L. Epard, Denver, Colo., a 1994 K-State graduate in electrical engineering, is the co-founder of Airstream Energy LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz. Working in the regional development office in Denver, his areas of expertise include renewable energy site selection and development; wind resource and energy production assessment; renewable energy project valuation; product management and marketing; financial analysis and modeling; and communications services, systems and networks. He has a master's in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

* Scott Aberle, Morton, Ill., a 1992 K-State graduate in mechanical engineering, is the president of Premier Fabrication Inc., a privately owned steel fabrication firm that provides structural steel products and services for all phases of commercial construction; made-to-order production fabrication components and assemblies for agricultural, construction, mining and industrial equipment; and custom fabrication and repair services for municipalities, homeowners and small businesses. He had previously served as director of information technology systems supporting mobile product logistics and repair for Sprint in the Kansas City metro area. Aberle is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and also serves on the board of the Apostolic Christian Counseling and Family Services group, a social services and mental health organization in central Illinois.

* Laura L. Cranmer, Meredith, N.H., is a 1988 graduate of K-State in industrial engineering, completing her master's degree in 1989. She also has a master's in manufacturing systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cranmer is vice president of operations for Airvana, a provider of network infrastructure products used by wireless operators to deliver mobile broadband services. She began her career as an engineer at IBM, transitioning into a management role while at Ford Motor Company. Also employed by Celestica and EFI, Cranmer is a registered professional engineer and has been awarded two patents.

* William E. Kennedy Jr., Benton City, Wash., is a 1973 K-State graduate in nuclear engineering, completing his master's degree in 1975. He is an executive vice president and corporate secretary of Dade Moeller and Associates in Richland, Wash., joining the company in 1995 and helping it grow to 150 employees with offices in seven cities. He works on projects with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and private industry. For 19 years Kennedy worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, advancing to senior research scientist. He is a Fellow of the Health Physics Society and on the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, a congressionally chartered group of 100 scientists providing radiation safety information to federal agencies. The author or co-author of more than 160 journal articles, technical reports and oral presentations, he has lectured for the Harvard School of Public Health continuing education program and for the International Atomic Energy Agency in numerous developing countries.

* Murali Venkatrao, Redmond, Wash., a 1991 K-State graduate in computer science, is a principal software design engineer at Microsoft Corp. specializing in databases. He has contributed to the design of structured query language, an industry standard way of querying databases, and is one of the inventors of MDX, a popular language for querying multidimensional databases. Currently, he is working on the next generation Web-based collaborative platform, Microsoft SharePoint Server. He also teaches yoga, conducting several workshops in the Seattle area.