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

Thayer Notes


Foxy Parker ’48 Th’49: I’ve been retired for many years, am in reasonably good health, and got out to Colorado as usual this winter with Helen, my bride of 61 years, to see our two daughters and one granddaughter and do some skiing.


W. Patrick Gramm ’52: Duplicate bridge, golf, and family take up most of my time. I am lucky to still be alive.

Bart Lombardi ’52 Th’54: After 35 years with IBM, I retired in 1989. I started out as a computer engineer and later found that I could manage IBM’s business activities well with my engineering background. After retiring, I became an independent consultant with Bell Atlantic Mobile (now Verizon). I developed business partnerships with software companies to develop wireless data applications to run on Bell Atlantic’s wireless network. This was in the mid-1990s, when people were wondering if wireless data apps had a future. After several years in this mode, I then become an adjunct professor of computer science at Gateway Community College and Southern Connecticut University in New Haven. I am now fully retired with my wife, Ursula, in Guilford, Conn. We travel a fair amount and enjoy our 11 grandchildren.


Bruce Clark ’60 Tu’61 Th’61: We just completed a $350,000 water treatment upgrade for Danbury, Conn. I am a director and past president on our Lake Waubeeka Association board of directors. I have had responsibility for our water system for about seven years. We were required by the Connecticut Department of Public Health to test our raw-water quality for signs of surface water contamination. That groundwater under the influence of surface water, or GWUDI, study showed signs of contamination, and we agreed to correct the problem with a new filtration system. As a part of that upgrade, we examined our whole system and upgraded many elements, including electrical, pumps, septic, backup power, and piping. This has been the most significant and expensive project in our community’s 62-year history.


William Holekamp ’70: I continue to be involved in commercializing innovative technologies, including a recent purchase of S-RAM Dynamics. S-RAM, an early-stage energy technology development company, is commercializing a heat engine that converts biomass heat to power, a high-performance heat pump that uses environmental friendly air as the refrigerant, and natural-refrigerant oil-free, variable compressors. These high-performance energy applications use S-RAM’s breakthrough variable compressor and expander technology.

Peter Areson ’72 Th’73: I have spent the last several years working as a locum tenens surgeon in Gisborne, New Zealand. My wife, Cyndy, and I have settled back in the United States in Weston, Vt. I am working a long weekend in small Vermont hospitals once a month or so, filling in for general surgeons to give them a weekend off. It keeps me somewhat active without having to commit myself to full-time work and gives me a look at other small hospitals in the area. I have not been doing any engineering, but follow my colleagues at Thayer School with great interest.

Steve Askey ’76 Th’77: I retired from Schlumberger in July 2010 after almost 33 years in various positions, both domestic and international. Retirement lasted for about three weeks. After much encouragement (read: an ultimatum) from wife, Yenni, I returned to the workforce as a consulting quality-assurance engineer for BHP Billiton in Houston, Texas, in November 2010. The good news is that this current job is more enjoyable with less stress and better compensation. The bad news is that I’ve been unsuccessful in retiring again. I hope to remedy that in 2014.

Wayne Ballantyne ’77 Th’78: I am still in engineering, as fellow of technical staff for Motorola Mobility LLC (a Google company), based in Plantation, Fla. I’ve been with Motorola for 34 years and it’s been a wild ride, with the 2011 separation from Motorola Solutions, the Google acquisition, force reductions, etc. I earned my M.S.E.E. from Florida Atlantic University in 1985, and am trying to finish a Ph.D. there next year. I still remember Kelly Carter ’77 Th’78, David Voss ’77, and Radu Tenenbaum ’75 Th’77 from my class, but haven’t talked to them since graduation. John “Jack” Maney ’77 was also in my class. He was working at Harris in Melbourne/Palm Bay, Fla., for many years, and I communicated with him occasionally, but I’m not sure if he is still there. One thing I always remember is the machine shop class where we built the Stirling cycle engine. I was able to parlay that into a summer job at a printed circuit board fab house in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., back in the late 1970s.

William Fraizer ’78: I have been shuttling back and forth between the United States and Western Australia this year in my role to manage the technical support for the construction of the Wheatstone Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project. We are building a Greenfield, two-train, LNG plant just west of the small town of Onslow on the far northwest coast of Western Australia. I work at the construction site office, supervising a team of discipline engineers and interface coordinators and providing oversight and technical assurance to the construction work, which has been under way since our formal groundbreaking in December 2011. The site preparation work is making good progress; we are moving more than 10 million cubic meters of material to elevate and contour the plant site. We are now pouring the massive concrete foundations for the refrigeration compressors, which will form the heart of the LNG production trains. We are also building a material offloading facility, which is an artificial harbor, to allow us to receive all the heavy equipment and preassembled modules that will be installed in the LNG and domestic gas processing units. It is enjoyable to be involved in managing the construction of a multibillion-dollar world-scale energy project that will benefit both Australia and our customers in Japan, particularly after spending the preceding three years in a senior engineering role overseeing the front-end engineering and detailed design of the LNG plant facilities. The far northwest Pilbara region of Australia is a challenging work environment with its heat, red dust, flies, and risk of a tropical cyclone during the summer months. It is far from any large city so we have to construct all our own supporting infrastructure. We spent the first year building the access roads, accommodations facilities, and water supply systems needed to support construction. I live for four weeks at a time in the construction village complex we built to house the 3,500-plus workforce and work seven days a week. Balancing that is the opportunity to have an equal number of weeks off. Last June I was able to return to Hanover for my class reunion and participate in the Thayer School reception for returning alums hosted by Dean Helble.

Michael Geilich ’79 Th’82: I am the senior director of software engineering for Resource Systems Group in White River Junction, Vt. RSG is an employee-owned consulting company specializing in modeling, simulation, and data. RSG was founded by former Dartmouth professors Dennis Meadows, Tom Adler, and Colin High.


Michael A. Komara ’81 Th’83: For the past 30 years, whenever I receive anything from Thayer School, I think about how fortunate I was to be able to go there. Then I immediately think about the single professor who had a major effect on my thinking, creativeness, inventive nature, and eventual success. I attribute my 17 U.S. patents (in cellular) to an old curmudgeon I had for Engineering 21, Professor Frederick J. Hooven. When our group of five sophomore “future engineers” were assigned to him, we all thought, “Who is this old grumpy guy?” Over time, we grew to love and respect him for all of his wisdom. Eventually, I became quite amazed by all of the things that he had invented. I did get him back when I scrambled his mind riding my unicycle to Thayer School—he was just laughing as if he could not believe it. It felt good to be a 20-year-old student making a 70-year-old genius laugh so much—and just one wheel was needed to do it.

While chief scientist at AirNet Communications, I received 17 U.S. patents, including the AirSite product, which won the 1998 Global System for Mobile Communications Association global award. I wrote nearly every hardware specification for the AirNet products for 12 years—from systems to subcomponents. Since 2006, I have been consulting to the wireless industry in intellectual property and radio frequency systems engineering, primarily to LiveTV as the systems engineer to offer super-high-speed WiFi-based connectivity of 12 megabits per second to each passenger of JetBlue and United/Continental using the ViaSat Ka-band satellite-to-aircraft data communications system. You can read more and see a video at

Peter G. Lambert ’82: I am the senior vice president of Nordson Corp., a multinational company with direct operations in 30 countries. I lead the company’s polymer processing systems product lines, which includes Nordson’s extrusion dies and feedblocks through its extrusion dies industries division. I joined the company in 1993 as product development manager in the powder systems group and in 1997 was appointed to the position of managing director of Nordson Australia. I was named director of corporate development and global business information in 2001, VP of packaging and product assembly in 2003, and VP of Nordson’s EFD Inc. in 2005. I headed Nordson’s adhesive dispensing systems segment from 2010 to 2013. I hold a master’s in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

J.D. Lindeberg ’82: I run an environmental consulting firm that focuses on sustainability and zero waste solutions. We are based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and are called Resource Recycling Systems (RRS). RRS employs 37 folks who are located from the outer banks of North Carolina to Half Moon Bay, Calif. We work on a variety of projects, including development of recycling programs for municipalities, life-cycle assessments for packaging developers, raw material supply plans for biomass power plants, and other projects related to preventing and reutilizing wastes in our industrial ecosystem. In business for more than 25 years, we pride ourselves on delivering superior solutions to our customers, providing excellent work for our employees, and making a difference in the world. To prepare myself for this job after Dartmouth, I attended Stanford for a civil engineering master’s and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for a public policy degree. That, together with the Peace Corps, created an excellent basis for being a leader in my work and the marketplace.

Bill Lipfert ’82: I’m the manager of the operations planning and simulation practice at LTK Engineering Services, a firm that specializes in railroads and rail transit. Many of our projects involve real design (preliminary engineering, final engineering, and construction phase services). LTK is working on improving passenger rail service in the Northeast. We are involved in a study for Vermont, with the participation of Massachusetts and Connecticut, to identify upgrades and improvements along the Boston-to-Montreal corridor, via Springfield, Mass., and White River Junction, Vt. I work with three Thayer alums at our Lebanon, N.H.-based office. Alan Talbot ’83 is director of software engineering, leading the team that develops and improves our TrainOps simulation software. Nicholas Willey ’06 Th’08 is a rail operations analyst for projects in New York, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Australia. Russell Primeau ’13 was our summer intern in 2013.

Nicholas Willey, Russell Primeau, and Alan Talbot discuss upgrades to the rail corridor from Boston to Montreal with New England Central Railroad’s Malcolm Blue
ON THE RAILROAD: Left to right, Nicholas Willey ’06 Th’08, Russell Primeau ’13, and Alan Talbot ’83 discuss upgrades to the rail corridor from Boston to Montreal with New England Central Railroad’s Malcolm Blue at a rail/highway grade crossing in Cornish, N.H. Photograph courtesy of Bill Lipfert ’82.

Jim Pedrick Th’82: I regret not having utilized Thayer’s machine shop, but I work with metal now in my blacksmith shop. My latest project was to make two fireplace sets for our church sale, and I have the materials for a dinner bell (triangle). My shop is in my garage in Douds, Iowa. It’s unheated, but I stay warm by the heat of the forge and the exertion of pumping the blower handle.

Jim Pedrick has been working with metal in his blacksmith shop.
PUMPING IRON: Jim Pedrick Th’82 has been working with metal in his blacksmith shop. Photograph courtesy of Jim Pedrick.

Mike Adams ’83: For the past 24 years I have worked for Bechtel, the largest engineering and construction company in the United States (and one of the top 10 in the world). I spent 10 years based in London running the global civil infrastructure (roads, rail, airports, hydro) business for Bechtel. For the past year, I have been the CFO (based in Virginia and San Francisco). My responsibilities include Bechtel’s global sustainability work. I have a vacation house in Vermont and so pass through Hanover several times a year with my family (four boys—all still in school).


Andy Thompson ’00: I am an assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at Caltech. I research ocean circulation around the margins of Antarctica and how it might impact Antarctica’s ice sheets. Our first glider deployment was carried out in the Weddell Sea in January 2012 as part of the GENTOO (Gliders: Excellent New Tools for Observing the Ocean) project. The project title emphasizes the compelling prospect of using ocean gliders to continuously monitor remote but influential regions of the ocean. Data collected by our gliders will provide us with an exciting new view of the variability and interdependence of ocean physics, chemistry, and biology at the boundary between the Antarctic margins and the global ocean. Our group’s second glider deployment took place in the Atlantic last summer. Here is the cruise blog.

Charles Augello ’03: I spent the last many years working as a software developer and financial analyst for AllianceBernstein in New York City, using some of the skills I learned in ENGS 20 (Intro to Scientific Computing) and ENGS 65 (Engineering Software Design) and a whole lot of MATLAB. Last summer I took off from work for a bit of a life reboot. I spent much time reading and traveling though South America and the western United States, got engaged, and moved to Seattle. I am considering the possibility of returning to school to further my engineering education, rueing somewhat that I did not go beyond my A.B. at Thayer.

Charles Augello became engaged to Lauren Pomerantz in Ica, Peru.
HAPPY TIMES: Charles Augello ’03 became engaged to Lauren Pomerantz in Ica, Peru. Photograph courtesy of Charles Augello.

Alex Streeter ’03 Th’05: For more than four years I have been a systems engineer at DEKA Research and Development Corp. in Manchester, N.H., nearly all of that time working on our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored prosthetic arm. Now in its third-generation design, the Luke Arm has been used by several dozen amputees in clinical trials. In addition to modest design contributions, I’ve been performing large amounts of testing: Beating the snot out of the design to demonstrate that it will hold up for its design life. We are negotiating with the FDA for clearance to bring it to market.

Matthew Guernsey ’05 Th’07: In May I married fellow Thayer engineer Dana Haffner ’06 Th’08 in New Marlborough, Mass. We met in the fall of 2006 in the basement halls of Cummings while I was covered in engine grease working on the ethanol-powered Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) car and Dana was working on the hybrid DFR car. We had three other Thayer engineers in our wedding party: Mike Madson ’05 Th’07 and his wife, Liz (Hunneman) Madson ’05 Th’06, who got married in June 2012, and Daniel Hassouni ’05 Th’05, who is engaged to another Dartmouth alum. Also in attendance were Cliff Orvedal ’05 Th’07, Matt Hodgson Th’06, Colin Ulen Th’05 Th’06, and Julie Lisi ’05 Th’06.

Erik Johnson ’06 Th’11: I am president of Synticos LLC, a company that I started with Dartmouth Professor Emeritus Robert Dean Jr. Synticos is based out of a garage bay in Burlington, Vt., and is trying to achieve proof of concept for the world’s first commercially viable abrasive slurry jet cutter (ASJC). An ASJC improves on the current state-of-the-art abrasive water jet cutter (AWJ) and is theorized to have up to five times the cutting speed. My wife, Marie, and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on September 15 with a camping trip to Maine. Also, we got a dog named Ellie that is the best hiker you’ve ever seen.

Lauren Busby ’07 Th’08: I’ve worked for Thornton Tomasetti for the past three and a half years following grad school at Stanford. For the past six months, I’ve been in Christchurch, New Zealand, working on the engineering evaluations for insurance claims related to the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I have evaluated many large buildings in Christchurch and also some wine tanks in the Blenheim wine region for damage from additional earthquakes.

Lauren Busby inspects a wine tank
VAT CHECK: Lauren Busby ’07 Th’08 inspects a 90,000-liter wine tank in the Blenheim region of New Zealand for earthquake damage. Photograph courtesy of Lauren Busby.

Peng Wang Th’09: I have married Yihan Hao ’08. We are both working in Beijing and are natives of the city. We spent a happy mini-honeymoon in Paris and Copenhagen last summer and are planning a more formal one somewhere in the Pacific. I am an investment manager for a Danish state-owned investment fund for emerging markets. As a representative of the fund, I’ve recently joined the board of a portfolio company in China as an alternate board director. My wife’s major was economics, but she is now an architect (with a master’s from Columbia University).

Peng Wang and Yihan Hao were married at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
THE KNOT: Peng Wang Th’09 and Yihan Hao ’08 were married at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Photograph courtesy of Peng Wang.


Matthew Cohen spent six months working in Shanghai.
ASIAN ADVENTURE: Matthew Cohen ’10 recently spent six months working in Shanghai as part of the Siemens Graduate Program. Photograph courtesy of Matthew Cohen.

Matthew Cohen ’10: I’m in the Siemens Graduate Program (SGP), a rotational development program within Siemens. I just got back from six months in Shanghai, China, working on the design and manufacture of equipment for the steel industry. The SGP consists of three eight-month rotations, one of which is completed abroad. I’m in Boston for the immediate future. In Shanghai, my major projects were cost-reduction work in response to new, low-cost competitors and a market-entry business case and project plan for a new product. The most important experience was gaining an understanding of how manufacturing and business as a whole work in China. The Thayer M.E.M. set me up exceptionally well for engineering management in a program like the SGP and at a company like Siemens.

Ben Hemani ’10: In September I left my job as an energy specialist for an economics consultancy for a job as an analyst at a Boston venture capital firm, Braemar Energy Ventures, a fund that specializes in energy tech. I primarily vet companies’ potential for investment (i.e., seeing if they’d make good investments for us) and help our existing portfolio companies grow toward an acquisition or IPO. It’s a very different role than I was in as an energy market consultant. Now I think about the business world much more strategically and about how a specific company can find success, instead of how macroeconomic conditions are driving changes in the energy sector. The background I built as an M.E.M. at the intersection of the business world and emerging technology is critical to being a successful analyst at a venture fund. With my focus on energy, I benefit from the background I built in classes with Lecturer Mark Laser and Professors Charlie Sullivan and Benoit Cushman-Roisin paired with the core Tuck classes required for the M.E.M.

Brandon Cohen ’11: I work as a project engineer for an environmental engineering firm near Philadelphia called CSL Services.

Matthew Dahlhausen ’11: I am an M.S. candidate in the building science group at Penn State University. I research and develop simulation tools for energy retrofit of existing buildings through the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Energy Efficient Buildings Hub. Prior to this graduate program, I served with AmeriCorps as an energy auditor in a residential weatherization program in Philadelphia. I spend my free time reading, writing, and thinking about what ecological limits mean for the future.

Benjamin Meigs ’10 Th’11: I am still with Zodiac Aerospace, designing commercial aircraft interiors in Huntington Beach, Calif. In January, I headed to São Paulo, Brazil, with a team of Zodiac engineers for the joint development phase (JDP) on the Embraer E2 commercial jet program. The JDP involves defining technical requirements, interface points, and envelopes for the floor-to-ceiling interior that Zodiac will design and manufacture on the E2.

Ashie Bhandiwad Th’11: I am at a job that uses my skills from my entire educational background: bachelor’s in chemical engineering, master’s in biotech, and Ph.D. in engineering sciences at Thayer focusing on biofuel production. I work as an associate specialist at the Energy Biosciences Institute at UC Berkeley doing process modeling for predicting different feasibility scenarios for biofuel production on a large scale.

Alison Stace-Naughton ’11 Th’13: I’ve always been interested in the startup world and different products that solve real-world needs. While at Dartmouth, I cofounded a medical device startup, Spiral-E Solutions LLC. I was the project lead on an ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering team that invented an endoscopic vacuum tissue stabilizer. I worked for two years to finalize the design and conduct extensive product testing on tissue. I won the $25,000 first prize in the Dartmouth Ventures competition in 2012, and that June Spiral-E Solutions filed a utility patent on the tissue stabilizer. Since graduation, entrepreneurship in conjunction with engineering has been my main focus. I worked at Thayer last fall as the Cook Engineering Design Center (CEDC) Fellow, working closely with Professors Ron Lasky, William Lotko, and Ryan Halter Th’06 to hone the next year’s capstone projects for 100-plus Dartmouth engineering students. I received the CEDC fellowship for work done on my engineering senior capstone project on fecal transplantation. This project—in which I helped develop a novel filtration and isolation system for fecal transplantation—won first prize in the 2013 National Biomedical Engineering Society’s BMEStart Innovation Competition and first prize in the 2012 National Institutes of Health Innovation Competition. I’ve also been working at Adimab; the CEO, Professor Tillman Gerngross and COO Errik Anderson ’00 Tu’07 hired me to figure out how to collaborate with academic labs to empower academic investors to develop the antibody engineering space. Working there has been a fantastic experience in which I not only learn more about the biotechnology startup world but am also being advised by two very successful entrepreneurs. This mentorship will help me in my future entrepreneurship endeavors.

Jorge A. Bahena ’12 Th’13: I started working at BP Biofuels last fall as a process development associate, working in fermentation, maintaining bacterial cultures intended for the conversion of cellulose into biodiesel.

Natalie Burkhard in Norway
TIME OUT: Natalie Burkhard ’12 got in some hiking during a trip to Norway for research on robotic oil drilling. Photgraph courtesy of Natalie Burkhard.

Natalie Burkhard ’12: I’m a second-year master’s student in mechanical engineering at Stanford and doing research in its Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory. Recently I went to Norway for research related to robotic oil drilling with Robotic Drilling Systems in Sandnes. Our job was to find a way to detect slip between a robotic gripper and pipes, ensuring safe and reliable operation in an automated oil drilling system. We developed and tested a slip-detection algorithm at the Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory at Stanford and then tested it onsite in Norway. My Thayer engineering education influences the way I think and the projects I’m able to work on. Although as an undergrad I studied mostly structural and civil engineering and did mostly biomedical research, I feel comfortable working with sensors and robotics because Thayer’s engineering program encourages us to be well-rounded engineers.

Alex Engler ’12 Th’13: I’m pleased to say that I’ve remained in engineering! Following my completion of the B.E. requirements last fall, I began work at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering as a postgraduate research fellow. I have been designing medical devices to treat esophageal atresia, a congenital anomaly consisting of an interruption of the continuity of the esophageal wall. I have been in and out of the operating room, working with surgeons and neonatologists as well as mechanical and electrical engineers to design a device and corresponding system to non-surgically grow esophageal tissue.

In esophageal atresia, which affects one in approximately every 4,000 live births, the esophagus consists of two blind pouches instead of a continuous connection between mouth and stomach. The current standard of care involves putting the infant in a multi-week coma and putting the two esophageal pouches under traction using sutures that come out through the infant’s back and are tightened daily; while this stretching is effective in growing esophageal tissue, the surgery is incredibly destructive and costly. The device we are designing involves the principles of hydrostatic pressure to induce tissue growth in a non-surgical and minimally invasive manner. We insert the device into the esophagus and, through an embedded attachment method, it affixes itself to the esophageal walls. We then inflate the device with fluid, and its design causes it to expand longitudinally with very little radial growth, applying internal pressure to the inside end of each pouch. We then control the device through pressure feedback, inflating it as the tissue grows in order to maintain a constant pressure that is just below the tissue perfusion pressure for the esophagus. We are finishing up bench-top characterization of the device and are preparing for animal studies at Boston Children’s Hospital to validate that the control limits we impose on our system are able to safely grow esophageal tissue. The design skills I acquired through Dartmouth’s biomedical engineering program have been extremely relevant to my current work—and have definitely given me a leg up on my coworkers!

Scott Lacy ’13 Th’13: I graduated last June with the B.E. and an A.B. in earth sciences. I had planned on continuing to ski after graduation, but a variety of factors influenced my decision to change directions. I spent the summer taking classes at Tuck and spent some time back in Colorado and building (timber framing) a new bunkhouse at Moosilauke. I also cold-called a small product development company in Seattle. They asked me to design my own internship and said they would love to have me join the company. ClaroWorks Product Development specializes in underwater and waterproof products and spends a lot of time testing prototypes via SCUBA diving, skiing, or canoeing. I am their first intern and had the opportunity to design the internship myself (the work, timeframe, pay, vacations, client interactions, daily schedule). It is a bunch of cool engineers who love being outside engineering things to be adventure-proof. I will be spending my time designing and brainstorming, prototyping and manufacturing (they do in-house manufacturing, too), and testing, so pretty much everything. I don’t think I could be with a better company for me. My goal is to use my engineering skills, gain some capital, explore the Pacific Northwest, and even keep up with ski training a little. Skiing is a hard part of my life to leave behind and I have come to realize I will never be done with it.

Categories: Alumni News, Thayer Notes

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