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

Thayer Notes

1940s

Tom Streeter ’44 Tu’48 Th’48: I am alive and well and living in Pacific Grove, Calif. At 95, I’m well beyond my “sell by” date. Regards to all.

1960s

Bruce Clark ’60 Tu’61 Th’61: Although never a working engineer, I recently managed the upgrading of our Danbury, Conn., community’s water system with filtration, ultraviolet, and new pumps and thereby avoided a bid to purchase our system by a utility. I was the project manager for the filtering upgrade and the UV change, which allowed us to halve the chlorine level in our water. The investment by the community totaled $300,000, and our financing kept the annual assessments level for about five years. Engineering approaches have served me well repeatedly over my career as a consultant and businessman.

1970s

Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial
Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. Photograph courtesy of William Kellogg.

William Kellogg ’73: I have been very involved in a nonprofit organization called the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, which has endured 27 years of litigation from hostile sources trying to tear down a memorial cross owned by our association. Last year, our association settled the lawsuit. The new and improved, nationally recognized memorial to veterans of all wars—the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial—will now stand in perpetuity in LaJolla, Calif. I was president of the association from 1989 to 2012, and during my tenure I oversaw the design and development of this memorial, which has been declared a national memorial.

Mike Steed ’74: I got my MBA at Stanford after a stint in a solar heating company, and have been working for Hewlett-Packard since—currently 37 years and counting—mostly in Corvallis, Ore. My present assignment is in Germany for a year-plus. I babysit HP’s big T1100 printer— a digital inkjet printer for 110-inch-wide printing on corrugated liner for making into corrugated boxes—at a supplier location and support the few similar ones in Europe.

Steve Askey ’76 Th’77: I’m retired for the second time; this time from BHP Billiton, where I was an independent contractor for five years or so. I’m now playing lead guitar in a classic rock band in the Daytona Beach, Fla., area, doing 55 to 60 gigs a year for fun and profit, as the saying goes!

William Fraizer ’78: I completed my site engineering manager role with the Gorgon LNG Project earlier this year, after Train 1 commenced production and shipped its first cargo. In light of the current downturn in the oil and gas industry and the resulting cancellation or deferral of most major projects, I took early retirement at mid-year. I continue to reside in Houston while I enjoy some time off and travel and consider future opportunities.

1980s

Peter Heymann ’81 Tu’83 Th’83: I am helping to lead a startup launching a cloud-based application suite at StratusCore. We provide a marketplace targeted at digital content creators (the artists who create all the original images, visual effects, and graphical edits that go into movies, episodic shows, ads, video games, animations). Artists log onto our virtual workplace, choose the apps they prefer from hundreds we host, and get to work. Artists can quickly move work around the world, invite additional collaborators, and use as much storage and computing power as they need. The benefits of shifting to the cloud are many: much easier collaboration, workflow automation, improved speed to completion, instant access to all the information technology needed (no need for setup and engineers), tight integration of applications (no need to bounce from one website to another), tight tracking of resource use. And much higher security, plus detailed analytics providing insights on project efficiency and performance of different applications. Downstream, there are much easier online searches for specific clips and artifacts, boosting residuals revenue. I’m using all of my Thayer and Tuck training!

Kimberley Quirk ’82, Th’83: This is my ninth year back in the Upper Valley after almost 30 years in the Boston area in various engineering jobs. I started Energy Emporium in Enfield, N.H., in 2009 to design, install, and maintain renewable energy systems (solar electric, solar hot water, heat pumps, wood). I really love being in the Upper Valley, running my own company, doing something good for the environment and using the technical, business, and people skills that I have developed through the years.

John Hatch Th’84: I have been in private practice as a pediatric and neuro-ophthalmologist in Massachusetts for the last 25 years.

1990s

Quincy Vale ’90: After Dartmouth, I moved away from engineering (a bit) and went to graduate school for law and business. Professionally, I continue to integrate law, business, and engineering by working in renewable energy development; primarily solar, hydro, and wind, but I have done some biomass and energy storage work, too. Currently, I own and manage a leading commercial solar energy company, MassAmerican Energy (massamerican.com), and am working with my law, business, and engineering skills and background every day.

Glenn Liu ’92: I am a professor of medicine and medical physics, director of genitourinary oncology research, and coleader of the developmental therapeutics program at the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. I have formed AIQ Solutions Inc. with Robert Jeraj, PhD, and with a $2.3-million grant have pioneered quantitative total bone imaging to assess changes in total functional and individual lesion response in bone (e.g. metastatic prostate cancer). This tool will greatly improve the efficiency of prostate cancer drug development, as well as provide patient-specific information that will someday guide therapies.

Samantha Truex ’92 Th’93 Tu’95: I am a coinventor on a patent owned by Biogen, now by spin-off Bioverativ, covering an innovative dosing regime for a long-lasting clotting factor used by those with hemophilia B (which is a lack of or defect in clotting Factor IX). Before this innovation, patients had to give themselves intravenous injections multiple times per week—daily for some with fast metabolism—to treat the serious disorder. Hemophilia B manifests itself in boys (X-linked disease) usually by the age of 2, so parents have to provide these frequent injections to their little boys starting that early. The drug has to be refrigerated as well, adding to the complexity of managing the disease while traveling. The Biogen/Bioverativ innovation allows those families and the boys as they grow into men to live a much more normal life by elongating the dosing frequency to weekly or even less often. This allows for sports participation, vacations, college lives, and work lives that are much more manageable. And that’s in the developed world. Biogen has donated millions of units of this innovative clotting factor to developing nations so that hemophilia patients who have often gone undertreated or untreated can get treatment. This innovation helps make possible prophylaxis (to prevent negative effects of internal bleeds that happen routinely in all of us) in a developing world setting, where once-weekly dosing is a stretch for families since they have to travel into the clinic and transport is very unreliable.

Michelle Fortier ’94 Th’95: Jens Voges ’94 Th’95 has a patent on the blender used for F’Real Milkshakes, which can be found in convenience stores throughout the United States. Jens was COO of F’real, based in Emeryville, Calif., which was acquired by Rich Foods in 2012. Jason Fortier ’94 Th’95 has numerous medical device patents related to applicators for DuraSeal, a sealant used by neurosurgeons to protect the dura, and hemostatic patch Veriset, which is used by liver surgeons to stop bleeding. Most recently, Jason is vice president of research and development at Augmenix, the third-fastest-growing private company in Boston, and he works with Kolbein Kolste Th’16. Together, they work on a sealant used by radiation oncologists to protect organs at risk. One product is SpaceOar, used for prostate cancer. Men not treated with SpaceOar are eight times more likely to have declines in sexual, bowel, and urinary declines in quality of life after prostate cancer treatment.

Keith Lenden ’95 Th’95: I’ve worked on the business side of biotech since Dartmouth/Thayer. With a consulting and transactional background in the space, I’ve been able to help scientists find applications that capture the attention of biotech and pharma companies and venture capitalists. Back in 2007, I started spending a portion of my time meeting and working with academic scientists on commercial applications of their research. In 2009, I started a biotech company with a few scientists in San Diego called Receptos. The company is poised to bring a new drug for multiple sclerosis to market in 2018 that was the basis of creating the company. The company went public in 2013 and then was acquired for $7.2 billion in 2015. In this case I was the business cofounder and CEO during formation, licensing, and fundraising, after which I transitioned the role to an industry veteran. I was looking to work with the best scientists, not necessarily on MS, but that’s where the technology took us in the end. It’s unique because the patient and physician communities had been clamoring for a “kinder and gentler” immunosuppressive therapy for MS, and the drug fits that bill very well. It was about two years ago that I started doing the same thing pretty much full time and recently joined a VC fund as a venture partner to drive my future companies.

Hugh Pfabe ’98 Th’99: After a few years working at Mass General Hospital, DEKA Research & Development Corp., and Blackstone Medical Inc., I helped found Incite Innovation, a startup medical device company in Springfield, Mass. We invented, patented, and secured FDA approval on a number of devices in the orthopedic space, spinning our devices into individual LLCs. I also began attending law school at night during this time. After that company pivoted to purely licensing our previous work, I moved to an existing startup in Connecticut, where, among other things, I developed and patented a new surgical retraction device that allows more variable access for performing surgeries through small incisions than any previous device. After that, I became director of research and development, project management, and process development for a medical device manufacturer back in western Massachusetts, then completed law school and went to work at an intellectual property law firm in Hartford, Conn. Currently, I run my own intellectual property law practice, Pfabe Law, and recently started up a product development company, Meta Motive. Both businesses predominantly work with small- to medium-sized businesses, startups, and independent inventors. I am also currently the vice chair for Western Massachusetts SCORE, which offers free mentoring services to small businesses across four counties. I am also a mentor and facilitator with Valley Venture Mentors, which is a volunteer-based incubator and accelerator for startups from across the country and beyond, where I am presently mentoring my third startup (which provides services focused on veterans as well as those with autism).

2000s

Joe Brown ’00: After 11 years in Colorado for grad school and work afterwards, this year I got a job as a tenure-track assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu). I started August 1 and it’s going great so far. You can find my faculty page here. I’m teaching a large lecture class and working on setting up my research here.

iBot
Photograph courtesy of Alex Streeter.

Alex Streeter ’03 Th’04 ’05: I am pleased and humbled that, for about five years, I was a part of a team at DEKA Research & Development Corp. that brought the Luke prosthetic arm into being. This summer, the first commercially available arms were presented to two patients in the Veterans Affairs system. These two patients had, for a number of years, been sporadic users of prototype arms through our clinical trials. Now they get to have these arms—for good; the first of many, we hope. And for the past two and a half years, I have been working on another DEKA project: to update our balancing, four-wheel-drive, stair-climbing wheelchair—the iBot. I hope that it will not be long before people are once again able to experience the independence and mobility that this technology can provide.

Nel Dutt Th’06: I now live in Milan, Italy, and am an assistant professor at Bocconi University, where I teach and do research on strategy. My research primarily focuses on understanding patterns of change triggered by firms’ problem-solving activities. I examine these activities across multiple contexts—renewable electricity, pharmaceuticals, and waste generation—with special emphasis on contexts of environmental significance. In a more recent secondary stream of research, I explore phenomena that capture nascent entrepreneurial activities—both in emerging and developed markets. My research across both streams has been published in Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, and Academy of Management Journal. My research has been recognized with Bocconi research awards (2014 and 2016). I’ve also kept up with some of my hobbies from my time at Dartmouth (running), but instead of rock climbing, I’m more liable to be found at the local wine bar.

Jeff Grossmann ’06 Th’07: I was part of the team that invented and commercialized the TrailerTail, a collapsible, rear-drag-reduction technology that reduces the fuel consumption of 18-wheel tractor-trailers by 5 percent due to improved aerodynamics. I left the company in April 2017 and am now in my first year of teaching high school engineering in Richmond, Calif., through Teach for America. I love the opportunity to get a new generation of students excited about problem-solving, creativity, and the importance of quick design iterations, regardless of whether they pursue engineering in college.

Dan Schneider ’07 Th’08: About a year ago, I moved from the Upper Valley to Seattle, where my wife started her residency program at the University of Washington. Since February, I’ve been working for a company called Whooshh Innovations that has developed a system for moving fish from point A to point B through a tube using an air pressure differential. This past summer, I oversaw the installation of a 1,700-foot-long system that transported sockeye up and over the Cle Elum Dam in Roslyn, Washington.

2010s

Jeff Spielberg ’11 Th’11: A few years ago, I started River Loop Security (named after our favorite cycling route in Hanover) with Ryan Speers ’11 and Ricky Melgares ’11. With the rapid growth of the cybersecurity industry in the last year or two, what was once a small side gig has turned into a 12-person security consulting business with strong representation from Thayer and Dartmouth computer science folks. We focus on helping companies from startups to Fortune 500s secure their products and service lines. We mentor engineering teams in secure design, proactively test the security of companies’ products, and coordinate response to cybersecurity disclosures and breaches. We’re also lucky when we can squeeze in a few hours to build an open-source tool or create a conference presentation. We have a lot of thanks to give to Dartmouth and Thayer for the breadth of skills we learned—we often receive positive feedback on not just the depth of technical work, but also on the collaborative nature of working with a variety of teams and quality of reports and presentations.

June Shangguan ’13 Th’13: After Thayer, I went to graduate school in Michigan and am now doing research on automatic speech recognition for artificial intelligence products Amazon Alexa and “Ok Google” assistant. I am really grateful for my education in Thayer because the research opportunities (Women in Science Project with Professor Mary Albert and presidential research scholarships with Professor Eugene Santos Jr.) opened a door to my current career. Without these research experiences, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have today.

Evan Landau ’15: I’ve been working at a research and consulting firm called Kelton Global, where I work in qualitative design research. I go to different cities every few weeks to perform focus groups and ethnographic interviews to help better design products and experiences for clients. For fun, I woodwork, am working on a business plan for an agricultural startup, and am doing an independent research project about homelessness.

Anna Miller ’16 Th’17: I graduated from Thayer with my BE last March. Since then, I have worked as an intern for the startup Willow in Silicon Valley, working on the first hands-free, mobile breast pump. I’m now at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on a Dartmouth General-Colby Fellowship, researching a new treatment for Kienbock’s disease using stem-cell scaffolds.

Matt Rossi ’16 Th’17: I’m currently interning as a mechanical engineer at a company in the San Francisco Bay Area that designs exoskeletons to improve the lives of spinal cord patients, stroke victims, and construction workers. In my free time, I play as much pickup soccer as I can and film new sights in San Francisco and the surrounding area.

Mariette van der Wegen Th’17: I am currently working as a manufacturing data analyst for MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions. The team I am on is implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in all the MacLean-Fogg facilities. We are currently working in the Saegertown, Pa., facility, located between Erie and Pittsburgh.

Categories: Alumni News, Thayer Notes

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