Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Investiture: Class of 2008

The Investiture ceremony honoring Thayer School’s Class of 2008 was held June 9 in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center. Presiding over the presentation of hoods, caps, and awards to 115 recipients of Bachelor of Engineering and graduate degrees, Dean Joseph Helble told graduates, “I hope during your years here you have learned a little from the faculty and staff. We have certainly learned from you. We have been inspired by you.”

Investiture speaker Richard W. Couch '64 Th'65
Investiture speaker Richard W. Couch ’64 Th’65

The recipient of Thayer School’s Robert Fletcher Award for distinguished achievement and service was Richard W. Couch ’64 Th’65, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Hypertherm, the plasma cutting systems company he co-founded with former Thayer professor Robert Dean. “To receive the same award as my mentor and advisor, Myron Tribus, dean of the engineering school when I was here, is a wonderful recognition,” Couch said in his Investiture speech. He went on to tell graduates, “The advantage of a Dartmouth engineering education is its breadth. The disadvantage is you will have to explain many times that you don’t have an electrical or mechanical degree, you have an engineering degree from Dartmouth.”

The ability to straddle fields is crucial, he said. “Many of the most challenging engineering problems are multidisciplinary. At Hypertherm, we design and manufacture plasma cutting equipment — an electric arc process for cutting steel. Deep knowledge of heat transfer, material properties, physical chemistry, and electronics are necessary to design our equipment. Our core competency is the intersection of plasma process design and high-power electronics. You need both to be successful. There are many organizations that have capability in one or the other, but not many with both.”

Class of 2008 Graduates

CEREMONIAL GESTURE: Professor Erland Schulson places a hood on B.E. graduate Allie Fecych ’07 Th’08 as Professor Robert Graves looks on. Photo by Mark Washburn.
CEREMONIAL GESTURE: Professor Erland Schulson places a hood on B.E. graduate Allie Fecych ’07 Th’08 as Professor Robert Graves looks on. Photo by Mark Washburn.

Honors

The Dartmouth Society of Engineers Prize for outstanding B.E. project: Christina Behrend ’07 Th’08, Shiraz Cassim ’07 Th’08, and Matthew Pallone ’07

The Dean’s Service Award for outstanding service to Thayer School, Dartmouth, or the broader world: Laura B. Weyl Th’08

The Charles F. and Ruth D. Goodrich Prize for outstanding achievement: Luke Wachter ’06 Th’07, ’08

The Caroline Henderson Prize for best M.E.M. project: Matthew Malvezzi ’06, Th’07, ’08

The Thayer School of Engineering Corporate Collaboration Council Engineering Design Prize for best performance in ENGS 190/290: Drew Branden Th’08, Scott Newbry ’08 Th’08, Augusta Niles ’07 Th’08, Kevin Olds ’07 Th’08, Eric Trautmann ’07 Th’08, and Michael Zargham ’07 Th’08

The Thayer School of Engineering Faculty Award for Academic Excellence in B.E. course work: Kevin Olds ’07 Th’08 and Michael Zargham ’07 Th’08

Special Faculty Award for Engineering and Service to Humanity: Kristen Lurie ’08 Th’08

The Brieanna S. Weinstein Engineering Design Prize for new technologies, systems, or devices addressing physical or developmental disabilities: Jessica Ogden ’08 Th’08 and Jennifer Tate ’08

The John C. Woodhouse Engineering Design Prize for cost-effective designs of experimental equipment: Summer Gibbs-Strauss Th’08

The John C. Woodhouse Environmental Engineering Prize for outstanding work in environmental study or research: Benjamin Koons ’08

Excellence in Teaching Award: Benoit Cushman-Roisin

Outstanding Service Award for Faculty: Eric Hansen

Outstanding Service Award for Staff: Mark Franklin ’83 Th’85 and Tracy Rounds

For more photos, visit our Investiture 2008 Flickr page.

Categories: The Great Hall, Investiture

Tags: alumni, award, entrepreneurship, faculty, projects, students

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