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College of Engineering honoring 11 alumni for career success

Friday, March 21, 2014



MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University College of Engineering will honor 11 alumni for professional career accomplishment during the first 20 years following their graduation. The honorees will be recognized at ceremonies March 29 on the university's Manhattan campus.

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

• Chris Champagne, Lawrence, 1993 graduate of Kansas State University in mechanical engineering. For the past 20 years he has been employed with the P1 Group Inc., in Lawrence, a Kansas-based company providing expertise in electrical, mechanical and plumbing operations. During his tenure, he has advanced from estimator to project manager to his current position of operations manager where he oversees project management staff, manages the sheet metal fabrication process and evaluates mechanical and plumbing estimates before submission. Champagne is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Kansas and holds a LEED certification. He is active in the Kansas City chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association and the Design-Build Institute of America. Champagne has completed courses in project management through the Mechanical Contractors Association's Institute for Project Management and leadership training through the Advanced Leadership Institute at the Babson School of Executive Education.

• Anita Ranhotra, Lenexa, 1994 graduate of Kansas State University in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, also holding a master's degree in engineering management. She is a product integrity process improvement manager at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo., with responsibility for leading a team focused on large end-to-end process change initiatives. Ranhotra has worked at Hallmark for more than 13 years and has had positions in product integrity, procurement and engineering. She also has worked in production, project management and engineering roles with The Limited and Payless ShoeSource. She is president of the Industrial Engineering Academy, a member of the advisory board for the Multicultural Engineering Program and an emeritus member of the industrial engineering advisory council, all at Kansas State University. She is a former member of the board of trustees for the Institute of Industrial Engineers at the international level and an officer at the local level, and is an officer with the National Association of Asian American Professionals-Kansas City. Ranhotra holds a patent for an ergonomic workstation design and in 2010 was named the Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer of the Year-Industry by the Institute of Industrial Engineers international organization.

• Ryan Ross, Olathe, 1994 graduate of Kansas State University in computer information systems. He is currently a manager of application development in network performance management data warehousing for Sprint in Overland Park. His responsibilities include management of an international team of software engineers through all phases of the software development life cycle. He also is responsible for project estimation, project management, forecasting, budgeting, resource management and technical direction for data warehousing and business intelligence. Ross has served in similar leadership positions at both IBM and Ericsson in their managed services divisions, as well as previous experience at Sprint as a support engineer, test coordinator and software engineer.

Bradley Jeanneret, Shawnee, 1995 graduate of Kansas State University in construction science and management. Having risen through ranks of field engineer, project engineer, superintendent, project manager and operations manager, he is now a stockholder of Hensel Phelps serving as vice president and Pacific district manager. He establishes policies and strategies that allow for growth of the firm, while ensuring the company maintains the high levels of safety, quality and service it has become known for throughout the United States. He bears overall corporate responsibility for the management and direction of all projects in the Pacific district. Jeanneret has been actively involved in the Design-Build Institute of America of which he is a certified professional, Society of American Military Engineers and Associated General Contractors of America.

Paul Deitering, Topeka, 1994 graduate of Kansas State University in civil engineering, with degrees in civil and survey technologies from Kansas State University Salina. He is an engineering manager in the transportation division with Bartlett & West where his responsibilities include design, CADD management and oversight of roadway plan production. He is currently working on the I-70 highway realignment project in downtown Topeka and leads the local street network redesign effort. Before joining Bartlett & West 10 years ago, Deitering worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation in the bureau of design, road section. While there, he designed and provided oversight for consultants working on state highway projects. He serves as treasurer of the local Sunflower State Professionals chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA, enjoys tutoring at-risk elementary school students in reading and math, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Chi Epsilon and the K-State Alumni Association.

• Shane Lanning, Fayetteville, Ark., 1995 graduate of Kansas State University in architectural engineering. He holds both mechanical and electrical professional engineering licenses, is a certified commissioning authority and earned the LEED-AP BD+C credential. Lanning is president of Engineering Elements, a full-service consulting engineering firm offering mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design services. Completed projects have been featured in North American Design and American School and University magazines. He co-founded Pinnacle Energy Services, begun as a commissioning firm and since evolving to include LEED management, energy modeling, measurement and verification, energy auditing and training/education. Current projects include commissioning of military facilities in four states and the Tulsa International Airport remodel in Oklahoma. He and his wife, Sarah, established undergraduate scholarships for the university's architectural engineering department and the College of Human Ecology, and are members of the Kansas State University Foundation President's Club. Lanning serves on the board of trustees for his church and is on the fund-raising committee for the Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith, Ark.

• Navin Nagiah, San Jose, Calif., 1995 graduate of Kansas State University in electrical engineering. He is president and CEO of DNN and has two decades of experience guiding enterprise technology companies to global success. Nagiah has been instrumental in helping DNN acquire more than 2,500 customers who use its software for creating and managing online content, building and nurturing customer communities, and increasing market engagement. Before joining DNN, he served as president and CEO of Cignex, an open-source enterprise content management software company, and was the founder, president and CEO of Xisource, a San Francisco-based enterprise software company. Before Xisource, he was one of the founding employees of Internet Securities Inc., where he set up the company's operations in India, China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, and was the managing director for Asia at the time of the company's acquisition by Euromoney.

• Jeremy Ostrander, Glenwood, Iowa, 1995 graduate of Kansas State University in biological and agricultural engineering. He is CEO and director of sales for AgriVision Group LLC, a 13-store John Deere dealership covering southern Iowa, southeast Nebraska and northwest Missouri. For the past 10 years, he has been a partner in the privately owned dealership with responsibilities for the recent addition of an agronomic decision support department that enables farmers to use large amounts of precision ag data to make key decisions in their farming operations. He leads a team of approximately 50 sales professionals while providing strategic direction for growth and improvement in the AgriVision organization. Ostrander also worked for Deere and Co. out of Illinois for eight years with duties in engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sales. He has been actively involved in a new church plant in the Council Bluffs, Iowa, area.

• Stuart Gillen, Austin, Texas, 1997 graduate of Kansas State University in electrical engineering, who also has a Master of Business Administration from the university and a Vibration Level III Certification from the Vibration Institute of America. For the past 15 years, Gillen has worked for National Instruments in Austin. He is currently the principal marketing manager for the company's condition monitoring platform. His other roles with National Instruments include support, product management and senior group manager of a team responsible for a $25 million hardware and software product line. Gillen was named lead recruiting sponsor for Kansas State University at National Instruments and has recruited more than 50 full-time and intern employees from the university. He has been a member of the electrical and computer engineering department's advisory council at Kansas State for more than five years.

• Nathaniel Fisher, Houston, Texas, 2009 graduate of Kansas State University in mechanical engineering. Fisher is an attitude determination and control officer flight controller for the International Space Station at NASA's Johnson Space Center. He is responsible for the attitude determination and control systems onboard the International Space Station. He is currently in training to become a motion control group instructor, where he will be responsible for the training of other flight controllers and astronauts in the International Space Station's motion control and attitude determination systems. Fisher also works on crew interface software upgrades and on becoming an attitude control software subject matter expert. He began his career at the Johnson Space Center in 2007 as a co-op student where he completed three semester-long tours in various flight control and training groups for the International Space Station and one in space suit design. He has been working in the attitude determination and control officer group since starting full time at the Johnson Space Center in 2010.

Staci Kring, Green Bay, Wis., 1995 graduate of Kansas State University in chemical engineering, and foods and nutrition. She is the executive vice president-retail sales for Schreiber Foods Inc., leading a team responsible for more than $2 billion in revenue, servicing leading retailers and CPG brands across the U.S. She's served in numerous positions since joining Schreiber in 1995, including operations, business sales manager for the West Coast, director of Wal-Mart/Sam's Sales, vice president of retail sales, contract manufacturing sales and customer service. She was promoted to the board of directors of Schreiber Foods in 2012. Kring has won numerous awards for her performance and leadership at Schreiber, including being the recipient of the Schreiber President's Awards for Excellence in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. She serves on the board of directors and executive committee for the Green Bay YMCA, and is serving as president of the board of directors for the Jr. Gamblers Hockey Association.


Mary Rankin


College of Engineering

News tip

Lawrence, Lenexa, Olathe, Shawnee and Topeka, Kan.; Fayetteville, Ark.; San Jose, Calif.; Glenwood, Iowa; Austin and Houston, Texas; and Green Bay, Wis.

At a glance

Kansas State University's College of Engineering is honoring 11 alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers within 20 years of their graduation from K-State.