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College of Engineering alumni earn honors for career success

Monday, March 20, 2017


MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University College of Engineering will honor 10 alumni for professional career accomplishment during the first 20 years following their graduation. The honorees will be recognized at ceremonies on the Manhattan campus April 1.

Recipients of the college's Professional Progress Award were nominated by their respective department heads and confirmed by Darren Dawson, dean of engineering.

The following are the 2017 Professional Progress Award honorees:

Josh Wolters, Atwood, is a 1997 graduate of Kansas State University in biological and agricultural engineering. He began his career with Case Corp. as a Case IH combine design engineer for six years, receiving 12 patents in this field. He joined AGCO in 2006 as a combine engineer, and in 2007 co-founded SureFire Ag Systems, moving back to Atwood in 2008 to become full-time general manager. SureFire Ag Systems provides liquid application and metering systems for agricultural crop inputs across the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, a subsidiary, SureFire Electronics, was created to build electronics assemblies and wiring harnesses. In less than 10 years, the company has grown to 40 employees and is dedicated to rural economic development and community service. Its Big Dream Education Foundation has donated more than $150,000 to Rawlins County schools. Wolters has served on the K-State Research and Extension local executive council for four years, serving two years as president.

Jeremy Martin, Glen Elder, is a 1999 graduate of Kansas State University in computer information systems. He is a vice president of engineering at FireMon, leading a team of 70 developers, engineers and quality assurance testers. His responsibilities include being a thought leader in the information security space, contributing to the FireMon product road map, overseeing a budget of more than $10 million, providing technical expertise and guidance to Fortune 500 clients, and maintaining a productive development team. Martin has been at FireMon for the last five years, and before that had been at SOURCECORP for nine years, working his way up from technical architect to the vice president of development and responsible for a team of more than 200 people.

Chris Althoff, Leawood, is a 2000 graduate in industrial engineering and a 2005 MBA graduate of Kansas State University. He was with both Accenture and Deloitte before launching a management consulting company in 2007 with two of his colleagues. The business, focused on health IT, grew to 40 employees and was listed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country in 2015. In summer 2016, it was acquired by West Monroe Partners, a full-service business and IT consultancy in Chicago. Althoff is currently a senior director for West Monroe where he serves on the firm's leadership team, directs strategy for the health care vertical, and supports industry thought leadership and business development activities. He is actively involved with both the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department and the MBA program at Kansas State University, serving on both alumni advisory boards and acting as current president of the IMSE Professional Academy.

Zachary Maier, Ottawa, is a 2009 graduate of Kansas State University in computer engineering. He is currently a product manager at Google Inc. where his responsibilities include managing the New York team, and setting strategy for Google Maps and Google Local Search, two products used by more than a billion people. Maier began his career in 2009 as part of Google's prestigious Associate Product Manager program, and over the last eight years has led teams building Google's internal infrastructure, Google's advertising products and Foursquare's local business platform. Maier and his family recently established scholarships for students at both Kansas State University and Central Heights High School, where he sponsors and mentors students as part of the FIRST Robotics program.

Robb Raney, Overland Park, is a 1997 graduate of Kansas State University in mechanical engineering. Since 2008 he has worked as a project manager for Burns & McDonnell's food and consumer products division in Kansas City. He has executed and managed projects for clients across the country with responsibilities including safety, front-end planning, detailed engineering, equipment procurement, construction and start-up. Raney oversees projects ranging from new greenfield facilities to integrating new product lines into existing facilities. Previously, he had been an engineering manager for Eaton Corp. where he was responsible for a new plant start-up in Reynosa, Mexico. Raney is an active supporter of Kansas State University with strong ties to the athletic program as a former football player under coach Bill Snyder. He is a graduate of Pike Valley High School, Scandia.

Nathan Bergman, Rossville, is a 1998 and 2002 graduate of Kansas State University with his bachelor's and master's degrees, respectively, in civil engineering. He has been with Bartlett & West for nearly 19 years, currently serving as a senior project manager and the office manager for its Manhattan location. He worked as a project engineer and then a project manager in the company's transportation division in Topeka for the first 10 years, where his projects included highway and local roadway design, and stormwater drainage design and modeling. He has spent the last nine years in Bartlett & West's public works division in Manhattan, managing roadway, water, sanitary sewer and stormwater projects. Bergman, a former resident of Onaga , is a licensed professional engineer in Kansas and a certified professional traffic operations engineer.

Jon Wright, Shawnee, is a 1999 graduate of Kansas State University in chemical engineering. He has served as general manager of the food and consumer products division of Burns & McDonnell since 2012. Under his leadership, the division has enjoyed significant growth in its client base, sales and personnel, and it was recently named the No. 7 food and beverage design firm by the Engineering News-Record for 2016. Wright's primary responsibilities include general oversight of sales, engineering, project and construction management, risk management, and profitability. Previously, he served as operations manager for the Folgers brand, corporate supply chain and lean manufacturing strategist for J.M. Smucker, and operations and supply chain management for Procter & Gamble. An active Kansas State University alumnus, Wright is a member of the external advisory board for the chemical engineering department and the Golden Cats. He has been recognized by Ingram'smagazine as one of its "40 Under Forty" honorees.

Mark Montgomery, Denver, Colorado, is a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University in architectural engineering. He is senior vice president at WSP + ccrd, and currently manages the Denver office as well as overseeing operations for the Denver, Boulder and Kansas City offices. Montgomery's duties include regional strategy, office management, business development and electrical engineering. He has more than 18 years of experience at the firm and has been involved in design of a variety of projects, including hospital, institutional, laboratory and corporate facilities, and data centers. He has been honored with Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine's Top 40 under 40 Award in 2011, as well as his company's Engineer of the Year award in 2004. Montgomery often speaks at building industry professional conferences and has written for and been published in trade and industry magazines.

Jason Gordon, Parker, Colorado, is a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University in construction science and management. He founded Heartland Acoustics & Interiors in Denver, Colorado, in 1998 and serves as president and CEO, with primary responsibilities of leading development and execution of the company's strategic direction, driving company performance and cultivating relationships with clients. Gordon is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-accredited professional and his company has been honored multiple times by Walls & Ceilings magazine as one of the top 50 contractors in the United States. He has been actively involved in the Colorado chapter of the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries, previously serving as president and recognized with the 2016 Person of the Year Award. He recently served as national president of the Ceiling & Interiors Systems Construction Association and is currently serving as immediate past president of the association. His parents live in Concordia.

Deia Bayoumi, Cary, North Carolina, is a 2000 graduate of Kansas State University with a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering. He also has an MBA from DeSales University; a professional engineer license from Ohio's Engineers and Surveyors Board; and an executive certificate in technology, operations and value chain management from MIT Sloan Management. He is currently employed by ABB as head of global product management for distribution transformers, responsible for managing an estimated $1 billion product portfolio. Before appointment to his current position, Bayoumi had several progressive leadership positions at ABB including vice president technology and engineering for its HVDC North America business, and vice president and general manager for its substation automation business. His accomplishments include IEEE senior member status; ABB Inc.'s Inventor of the Year two years in a row; three U.S.-issued patents; and more than 22 patent applications worldwide.


College of Engineering

News tip

Atwood, Concordia, Glen Elder, Leawood, Manhattan, Onaga, Ottawa, Overland Park, Topeka, Scandia, Shawnee and St. Marys, Kansas; Denver and Parker, Colorado; and Cary, North Carolina.

Written by

Mary Rankin