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

Thayer Notes


Tom Harriman ’42 Th’43: I’m involved with the Dynamic Brain Initiative at the University of California, Santa Barbara—a campus-wide research effort for improved resolution of brain imaging with a souped-up fMRI to identify which neurons are impaired, with the goal of rehabbing or replacing them. My role started 30 years ago, when I got to know the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UC Santa Barbara with its emphasis on vision as part of the brain. I now serve on the NRI’s advisory board. When the NRI needed a new executive director, my family came up with funding for a chair as an incentive in recruiting and they were able to bring in a star in neurodegenerative disorders research and teaching. Fast forward to NRI winning a $1.25-million grant from the medical division of the W.M. Keck Foundation, founding a clinic for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment, and learning that “reduction of risk factor” doesn’t sell (even though it works) because it doesn’t seem like a cure. We are now back to research to sharpen imaging and gain the capability of growing neurons where needed, as clinical protocols.


Three of the five students who worked with Michael Gelich
From left, Roxana Gheorghe Th’16, Donald Stayner Th’16, and Adam Grounds Th’16 are three of the five students who worked with Michael Geilich. Photograph courtesy of Donald Stayner.

Michael Geilich ’79 Th’82: I recently had the pleasure of working with a group of Dartmouth engineering students who built a smartphone app for a class project. The app was funded by Advance Transit and is available for public download from both the iTunes and Google Play stores (search advancetransit). Advance Transit provides free bus service around campus and the Upper Valley, and this app shows users bus stop locations and estimates of bus arrival times.

The company I work for, Resource Systems Group Inc., had previously put together the bus tracking and estimation system for Advance Transit. For this project, we built a software application programming interface to the bus location data that the Dartmouth app accesses over the Internet in real time. Incidentally, the project to put together the original bus tracking system for Advance Transit, which used cellphones to track bus locations, was managed by a classmate of mine from Thayer, Bob Chamberlin Th’84. Bob has a new book out about fishing and friends in the Dartmouth grant.


Ed Eacueo ’84 Th’85: In January 2016, I launched E-Tech Consulting, a limited liability company located in Massachusetts. E-Tech Consulting delivers progressive consulting services for data center providers and owners with a focus on defining products and integrated solutions to drive maximum energy efficiency and power density in data center environments.

Ed Eacueo produces an annual batch of wine
Ed Eacueo produces an annual batch of wine. Photograph courtesy of Ed Eacueo.

Since graduating from Thayer School, I devoted more than 30 years to the corporate high-technology market, leading sales, marketing, and engineering organizations with innovation and delivery of energy-efficient solutions for data center environments. During this time, I held several executive-level positions of increasing responsibility with Eaton Corp., Schneider Electric, and Pentair.

In my personal life, I continue to produce an annual batch of homemade wine and still enjoy playing ice hockey with friends and family on our personally crafted ice rink.

Boris Levin Th’87: After completing my M.Eng in 1987 at Thayer, I worked at Bain & Co. in Boston as an associate, followed by earning an MBA from Wharton and a two-year stint at BCG Munich as a consultant. For almost 25 years now I have been an active investor in and manager of different companies, most in a distressed state and most located in Germany. Most of the recent projects involved both straightforward restructuring as well as some sort of technological development, key to a company’s future. Examples of these are Beissbarth Group (held from 2005 to 2007, then sold to Bosch), with the development of optical recognition technology in order to align the wheels and axels of cars and trucks; Gehring Group (held from 2009 to 2013, then sold to Penta), with the development of nano-spray honing technology for the final stage of motor block manufacturing for cars and trucks; and Loewe Technologies (holding since 2014), with the development of comprehensive, high-end home audio, video, and security packages in the consumer electronics space (similar to Bang & Olufsen in terms of positioning). My partner and I use mostly our own funds and run the whole thing as a little family holding.


Qi Wang Th’97: I entered the financial services industry on Wall Street as soon as I graduated from Thayer. Since then I have been applying the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that Dartmouth and Thayer taught me in my daily work. Having an engineering background differentiated me somewhat from the crowd and enabled me to see things that many others were unable to pick up. This is absolutely critical in the investment business. But I never expected technology and finance would converge in such a big way until a few years ago. Admit it: The financial industry is way behind in the technology adoption curve. Just look at how technology changed the retail business. So far, technology has barely made a dent on the financial industry, even though financial services companies are big spenders on information technology.

In 2014, I led a team at MSCI that conducted a comprehensive study on “smart beta” for the Government Investment Pension Fund (GPIF) of Japan. This is the largest institutional investor (asset owner) in the world, with approximately $1.4 trillion in assets. In short, the study was to address the GPIF’s investment challenges using modern technology, something like trying to replicate human investment managers. In doing so, the GPIF aims to have better transparency, risk control, and investment results. It is a ground-breaking study on this topic and it challenges much of the conventional thinking on money management.

Today, I am the CEO of MegaTrust Investments (Hong Kong), aiming to use technology to solve another big investment problem for institutional investors, the China A-share market. This is the second largest stock market in the world but very opaque and difficult to trade.

Hubert “Hugh” Pfabe ’98 Th’99: I have just opened my own intellectual property law firm, specializing in patent law and including trademark, copyright, and trade secret protection as well as intellectual property-related asset transactions. This is a very exciting time for me, and I am hoping to bring my clients the unique benefits of a patent attorney who also has been the client himself at a number of startups. My prior experience includes 15 years as an engineer, designer, project manager, and director of research and development and manufacturing. As the law firm website is being set up, I invite anyone to reach out to me at hwpfabe@gmail.com.


Nicholas Schaut ’05 Th’06: I joined the Haas Formula 1 team in November 2015 as a CFD engineer. Those who don’t follow F1 but have been in the Thayer machine shop in the last few years may still recognize the name from their Haas Super Minimill. Indeed, it’s one and the same. Haas Automation Inc. was founded by Gene Haas, the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR and the Haas F1 team in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Nicholas Schaut works on the Hass Formula 1 team
Nicholas Schaut works on the Hass Formula 1 team. Photograph courtesy of Nicholas Schaut.

Growing up surrounded by amateur racing, I feel very fortunate to have received a great education at Thayer, to have further developed my skills at Exa Corp., and now to have the opportunity to put it all to work in a job that feeds my passion for racing. The environment is fast-paced and challenging. It’s thrilling to be part of the first American F1 team in 30 years and fun to be reminded occasionally of my time with Dartmouth Formula Racing.

Andrew Argeski ’06 Th’07 Th’08: I’m working at Public Service Enterprise Group in New Jersey as the company’s gas planning and design manager. I have a great team of engineers working for me and lots going on! The group that I lead is currently rolling out the design of a three-year, $905-million program that is accelerating the replacement of the aging natural gas pipeline infrastructure in our service territory. This year we are also wrapping up a $350-million gas main replacement project that targeted infrastructure at risk from natural disasters such as Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

In my spare time, I’m a volunteer supervisor with the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and am in charge of 50-plus miles of trails in Harriman and Bear Mountain state parks in New York. Through that work, I have become a certified chainsaw operator for some of the more heavy-duty work, which has been a lot of fun! Kyle Sherry ’09 Th’10 maintains a trail in my area, and we meet up to work and hike when we can. When schedules allow, Matt Malvezzi ’06 Th’07 ’08 and I brew beer together and have been really pushing the boundaries with some amazing experimental beers. I guess we never got tired of being lab partners at Thayer.

Matt Wallach Th’08: After nearly eight great years with BMW, I’m heading back to New England to begin a dual master’s program with MIT. The Leaders for Global Operations program consists of an MBA and an MS in engineering over the course of two years. I’m excited to make the move with my significant other, Katie Esper.

Steve Reinitz ’09 Th’09 ’14: My day job is as a senior innovation fellow at the medical devices center at the University of Minnesota. Basically, it’s a team of eight of us who get paid to invent stuff all day. We shadow in the hospital to identify clinical needs, then build solutions. In addition, I have been continuing to work on a startup, Iometry Inc., with Professor Doug Van Citters ’99 Th’03 and a partner of ours at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The company was born out of a project at Thayer in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of the Ebola response. We are developing the Tib-Finder, a device that enables placement of infusion tools that that can then be used to provide life-saving resuscitation for individuals affected by Ebola. We recently presented at the Design of Medical Devices Conference and took the grand prize in its three-in-five competition (authors of top papers give a five-minute presentation with three slides)! My current role on the Tib-Finder is as cofounder and CEO of Iometry. I am running the business side and working with Dr. Alex Slocum to move the device through the FDA, while Doug is at Dartmouth doing the research side. Our next step is filing our FDA submission, which is ongoing and then getting these out in the field.


Heather Kluk ’11 Th’11 ’15: There are quite a few Dartmouth alumni working at SpaceX—in addition to Julianna Scheimann Th’11 and Paul Seebacher ’11 Th’11 (mentioned in a recent Thayer Coolstuff article)—who deserve recognition: Sean Currey ’11 Th’11, Rachel Forman ’09, and Erik Dambach ’04 Th’05. Sean was involved in designing the thermal protection system for three recent rocket landings, Rachel is involved on the astronaut side of things, and Erik works on the Dragon propulsion systems.

Alfredo Velasco ’13 Th’14: I’m actually changing jobs now. I stopped doing the PhD at Duke and am graduating with a master’s. I’m starting a job doing iOS development with Ticketmaster in Durham, N.C. In the field of computer architecture I noticed that the best research was being developed by people who had industry experience, and I’m thinking it will be very good for me to have that experience now. Something cool that just came up was an article in The Atlantic about research Reed Harder ’13 and I did with Daniel Rockmore in Dartmouth’s math department. Reed and I coauthored the paper, “Measuring Verifiability in Online Information,” that the article cites. Reed is still at Thayer doing a PhD with Professor Vikrant Vaze. The paper is also reviewed in wikimedia.

Kristopher Brown ’14 Th’15: After having spent this past year doing catalysis research at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland (supported by Dartmouth’s Reynolds Scholarship), I will be pursuing a PhD in chemical engineering starting next fall at Stanford University. I don’t know yet what my upcoming work will be, outside of a focus on advancing how we model chemical systems and improving computational and mathematical techniques.

My research project is still in progress, so I will not know about its success within the very near future. I worked on a procedure for depositing nano-scale overcoats to stabilize heterogeneous catalysts used for biomass conversion reactions. I also drew from a variety of atomistic modeling techniques to assemble a predictive model of our over-coating process. On both experimental and computational fronts, I was dealing with types of work quite different from anything I saw at Thayer, which was a challenge and also the reason why I chose to work at this lab in the first place.

Brendan Nagle travels for work
Photograph courtesy of Brendan Nagle.

Brendan Nagle ’14 Th’15: Currently, I work for Oracle in Silicon Valley doing hardware engineering. Specifically, I work in power electronics, and I manage two of the subcontractors who design and build our AC-DC converters for us. The job is a blend of management skills and engineering knowledge, and I have been learning about industrial, supply, power, and other kinds of engineering on a daily basis.

I also have to travel for work, and have been to Hong Kong, southern China, and Munich so far. When I was in Arnstorf, Germany, to meet with one of our suppliers for part of Oracle’s engineered systems, I was able to tour Munich on my own. At the Marianplatz in Munich I enjoyed some mulled wine after a parade came through in a snowstorm. While in Hong Kong, I enjoyed the waterfront along Victoria Harbor during Christmas time. And during a business lunch in Shenzhen, China, I tried a dish that involved sucking bone marrow out of a pork hip bone with a straw.

With respect to alumni groups, I am in the process of joining the board of the Dartmouth Outing Club of Northern California, and I have been participating in its events during the past few months, which have included a cabin maintenance trip and a West Coast Winter Carnival celebration.

Categories: Alumni News, Thayer Notes

Tags: alumni, entrepreneurship, faculty, race cars

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