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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University College of Engineering Hall of Fame will induct two new members Friday, April 23.

The honorees are Donald Lenhert, Manhattan, and Louis Von Thaer, Vienna, Va. Induction to the hall is the highest honor bestowed on its alumni by the college. The honorees will be recognized for their professional success and accomplishment, active involvement with and support of the College of Engineering, dedication to K-State, and professional and public service.

Lenhert is a 1956 graduate of K-State in electrical engineering. He has a master's degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University, and a doctorate from the University of New Mexico. He began his academic career at K-State in 1966, retiring in 2009 after more than 40 years as a member of the electrical engineering faculty. Lenhert started out at K-State by teaching graduate courses in networks and communications. He took over the first course in microprocessors halfway through the semester after the death of a colleague. During the next 34 years, he developed more courses using microprocessors and kept the university moving forward in the microprocessor field. His research in the application of microprocessors allowed for sabbaticals with four companies, where he concentrated on the testing of microprocessors and their systems. Lenhert assisted with Telefund for 20 years and was awarded the Telefund Hall of Fame award in 2007. He has made several gifts to K-State programs, including a gift to establish the Dr. Donald H. Lenhert Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship.

Von Thaer is a 1983 graduate of K-State in electrical engineering. He is president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, where he leads a diverse organization of more than 8,000 professionals that provide end-to-end mission systems integration, development and operations support to customers in the defense, intelligence and homeland communities. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat vehicles and systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and mission-critical information systems and technologies. Von Thaer currently serves as chair of General Dynamics Business Development Council and has served on the Corporate Excellence Committee. He holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University. He serves on the board of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and chairs its Cyber Security Council. He is also a member of the Engineering Advisory Council at K-State as well as numerous professional organizations, including the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, National Defense Industrial Association, Surface Navy Association and the Optical Society of America.



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