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

Thayer Notes


Joe Cramer ’60 Th’63: I’ve been happily retired since 2001. I’m busier than before retirement, spending time keeping up with five kids and their families (11 grands now!), and dividing time between Illinois, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. I have a great wife and am very lucky. Every day is a gift. I spent just shy of 38 years with Motorola Communications, and later, Motorola Cellular. I designed radio pagers and then, for a brief time, led some designs for walkie-talkies, mostly in Florida. In the Chicago area, I managed design teams for mobile radios for U.S. markets (police- and fire-type land-mobile radios), then mobile cell phones for the Japanese market, working with Nippon Telephone and Telegraph. I later led engineering and business teams working with many automakers worldwide—Ford, GM, Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, BMW—on mobile and portable cell phones integrated into new automobiles for sale as accessories. There were varying degrees of sales successes, with lots of learning as you go. This work paved the way for the safer automotive cell phone use via Bluetooth links and the integrated navigation systems of today. We visited with both Apple and IBM in the early days, circa 1990 and later, on ideas for marrying cell phone and computer technology, but nothing came to fruition at the time. It was great fun. But we needed to have a better vision of a superb user experience, à la Steve Jobs.

Loren “Jake” Jacobson ’60 Th’61: As I write this, I am sitting in my temporary office at New Mexico Tech, about to complete a semester of teaching “Introduction to Physics,” a course aimed at those students who arrive without the math skills to go into the regular physics course that requires calculus. This is the fifth time that I have taught this course, beginning in the spring of 2007. I recently recalled my time in ROTC at Dartmouth, where I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force (I retired in 1982 as a lieutenant colonel). My last active duty years were spent as a program manager in the materials division at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In my last year at DARPA, the metallurgy manager at the National Bureau of Standards came to visit and asked whether I would be willing to sponsor a sabbatical for Danny Shechtman, a professor at the Technion in Israel. I had worked with Danny some years earlier, so it was not a problem to consider sponsoring him, until I learned that his research would involve rapid solidification technology, which at the time was on a critical technologies list, not for export. I called around to various officials in the Department of Defense hierarchy, and each told me that I would have to make up my own mind as to whether or not to sponsor him. I knew that Danny was going to do something quite fundamental, and decided that basic research of this nature should probably be exempt from export control, so I agreed to sponsor him. In April of 1982, Danny came to my office and showed me an electron diffraction pattern from a rapidly solidified aluminum-manganese alloy that exhibited five-fold rotational symmetry. Under normal circumstances, this is forbidden, since objects with such symmetry cannot fill space—a 2D example would be to try to tile a floor with pentagons—it cannot be done and completely cover the floor. He had discovered a substance that subsequently was called a “quasicrystal” and it was so controversial that it took two more years, until 1984, for a journal to accept his paper for publication. You can imagine my surprise on learning last fall that Danny had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals. It is very satisfying to recall that I sponsored his work, and that I went out on a limb to do so.

Richard Zartler ’62: I have applied my engineering education almost exclusively to a career oriented toward the management and development of technical services, principally in the oil and gas exploration industry. My extracurricular activities mostly involve the out-of-doors, including participation in sports, hiking, and environmental education. I am a certified master naturalist, a Texas A&M/Texas Parks designation.

Mark S. Tuttle ’65 Th’66: On November 12 I started working as chief scientist of Loc8te, a few-months-old startup in San Francisco. It’s the best title I’ve ever had. This neighborhood in San Francisco is said to contain 4,000-plus startups, and the building I work in, RocketSpace, contains 140-plus startups. Being outside healthcare is novel for me. I will be helping to coach high school lacrosse again beginning in January.

Dennis Drapkin ’68 Th’69: I will emerge from a brief retirement to teach “Tax and Fiscal Policy” as an adjunct member of the Southern Methodist University law school faculty starting in January of 2013.


Peter Areson ’72 Th’73: I’ve come a long way since Thayer. I went back to school for an M.S., then drifted into medicine. Perhaps foolishly, I elected for a long, strenuous training in surgery, then wandered to the mid-coast of Maine for a career in general surgery. I have since retired, but spent the last 16 months doing a temporary assignment in New Zealand, again as a general, rural surgeon, in the East Cape area of the North Island. It is absolutely lovely here, and I hate to leave. Leave we must. One son is in Alaska, fishing, and the other at UVM, finishing his medical training. We plan to move near one of them, but we are not sure yet just which one! I miss all my friends at Thayer. I regret having missed our 40th last June, but hope to see you for our 45th! My best wishes, and those of Cyndy, to you all!

Christopher Davis ’76: I’m director of investor programs at the Boston-based nonprofit Ceres, where I work with institutional investors on investment risks and opportunities associated with climate change and other sustainable investment issues. I’m chief of staff to the 100-member Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), whose members include the nation’s largest pension funds and asset management firms (including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, New York State comptroller, BlackRock, State Street, and Prudential) and manage more than $11 trillion. We make the business and investment case for environmentally sustainable investment and business strategies, putting my engineering, legal, and financial background to good use in helping to save the planet. I spoke at Thayer School on January 18 on sustainable business strategies:

Will Fraizer ’78: I have been working in a senior engineering role with Chevron on the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project since June 2009. The detailed engineering and procurement for the LNG plant is being managed from Houston, but the actual plant site is near the small community of Onslow, which is located on the northwestern coast of Western Australia. In 2013, I will be moving to a new position on the Wheatstone project; I will be leaving the engineering team and moving to what we call the project execution team, which is responsible for managing the fabrication and construction work, including all the major subcontracts. That means I will be traveling regularly to the construction site, where I will be technical team leader. Wheatstone is a $29-billion project, which involves development of offshore natural gas fields, an offshore production platform, pipeline to shore, and a LNG production and export facility. My focus is on the design and construction of the LNG plant. I was recently able to visit Thayer School during Dartmouth Homecoming 2012, and with the help of the Thayer career services office, organized an information presentation and discussion on careers in the energy industry for interested students and staff. Thayer Board of Overseers member Christopher Gaut ’78 was generous enough to join part of the discussion and provide his insights on career opportunities for Thayer grads. My next planned visit to Hanover is in June for my class of 1978 reunion.

Michael Geilich ’79 Th’82: I recently moved to Cornish, N.H., after 20 years in Hanover, our first act as empty-nesters. I’m continuing to play clarinet with the Dartmouth Wind Ensemble and sax with a number of local groups. I’m working as director of software development for Resource Systems Group, a company started by Dennis Meadows, Tom Adler, and others as an offshoot of the Thayer/Tuck policy studies program in the 1980s. We do consulting work, mostly related to transportation and environment, but a little bit of everything. My kids are in college and graduate school. Life is good.


Michelle Fortier ’94 Th’95: Jason ’94 Th’95 and I each turned 40 in 2012 and have lots of grey hairs to prove it! Jason heads Covidien’s R&D department in Bedford, Mass. That division works on sealants and other types of medical devices. He and his team were awarded two patents this past year related to a hemostatic patch that will launch in 2013. Early clinical results and doctor feedback are very exciting! I work on a handful of startup investments. The first is a video game review company called Game Empire Enterprises. Based in Santa Monica, Calif., the company has one of the Top 500 YouTube video channels to review new game content. I also help advise an online education company called Studyblue.com, which helps students make online flashcards. It is exciting to see how education is changing rapidly with the adoption of new technologies. On the home front, we are busy as our three kids—Julia (8), Douglas (6), and Sarah (4)—grow. We try to get back to Hanover once a year.

Jan Lammerding Th’97: I married Yu Miyaji in Tokyo on May 13, 2012. Yu and I met at Dartmouth in 1996, when I was pursuing my B.E. at Thayer School and Yu was an exchange student from Keio University. Wedding guests included Mark Banner ’00 and Ming Yan Reinemer, who was a visiting student from Germany at Dartmouth in 1996–97.


Charles Augello ’03: For the past seven years, I worked as a software developer and analyst for AllianceBernstein in New York. I spent the first few years helping to build financial models for its value equities business and the past several years building the models and systems to manage the portfolios in its new Dynamic Asset Allocation product. While there, I became a certified financial advisor charterholder and volunteered with one of the FIRST robotics teams that the company sponsored. I recently decided to change careers, so this summer I left my job at AllianceBernstein and am currently searching for my next career. In November, I spent two weeks in White River Junction, Vt., apprenticing with a local building company, Geobarns.

Kirk Ferland Th’05: On December 2, my wife, Jennifer (Freeman) ’93 Th’95, and I welcomed our third child, Elise Dorothy Ferland, into the world. She joins her brothers Reed (5) and Charlie (3).

Joe Gwin ’05 Th’06 ’09: I recently got a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and I am now VP of research and development at an exciting Boston-based startup called BioSensics. BioSensics develops wearable sensor technologies for point-of-care assessment and telemedicine. One of the ongoing projects is a $1.2-million Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institute on Aging to extend and clinically validate the capabilities of our physical activity monitoring system (PAMSys) for use in telemedicine applications or with older adults. This device will enable early intervention prior to a fall and facilitate rapid intervention in the event of a fall. One of the things I am trying to do is create a relationship between Dartmouth and BioSensics via internships and possibly 190/290 [now ENGS 89/90] projects. I had such a great experience with my 190/290 project, also at a startup, and I’d love to recreate that experience for this generation of Dartmouth students.

Lauren Padilla ’05 Th’05: My very recent news is that I just completed my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Princeton; my thesis defense was on December 10. My husband, Todd Whitehead ’06, and I are now both living/working in Montpelier, Vt. We are very excited to be back in New England and so close to Dartmouth.

Min Song Th’05
ACADEMIC: Min Song Th’05 is an associate dean at the Research Institute of Powder Metallurgy at Central South University in Changsha, China. Photograph courtesy of Min Song.

Min Song Th’05: In November I took a position as an associate dean at the Research Institute of Powder Metallurgy at Central South University in Changsha, China. My responsibilities are academic affairs. My projects/research efforts include metal nanowires, amorphous/nanocrystalline composites, and metal matrix composites.

Andrew Argeski ’06: I work as a supervising engineer for a utility company in New Jersey. After Hurricane Sandy, I spent my time working to provide support and strategy in the repair of gas and electric service. After working for gas for a week helping in the restoration of service, I ended up on a team in electric managing about 300 mutual aid employees from Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and West Virginia. We would compile information from our field-scouting reports and send the crews to locations where they would provide the most impact with their repairs. Our team also provided technical support and circuit information to the field employees. Not having power at home for 10 days really kept me motivated to do my part in getting the work done!

Won-Mo Koo ’07: I am currently serving in the Korean Air Force to fulfill my military duty. And I have been working as a designated interpreter for the minister of national defense.

Laura Weyl Th’08: I’m a designer at Degenkolb Engineers; we specialize in seismic structural engineering. I recently designed my first building—start to finish! It is an executive headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Laura Weyl Th’08 designed her first building. Photograph courtesy of Laura Weyl.


Josiah Gruber Th’10: Several Washington, D.C.-based Thayer alums—Yoonki Park ’09 Th’10, Zach Currier Th’12, Peter Williams Th’12, Tom Carney ’07 Th’10, Erik Bell ’08 Th’10, Calvin Krishen Th’08 and I—started a racing team last June. We’ve bought two cars so far and are going to be competing in the 24 Hours of LeMons event this coming summer. It’s a weekend-long race for cars valued under $500 before the added safety equipment. Our website is fullytorqued.tk (we call ourselves the Torquedos) if you’re interested in checking it out.

Torquedos team and cars
“Torquedos:” Left to right, Tom Carney ’07 Th’10, Justin Rouse, Zach Currier Th’12, Peter Williams Th’12, Yoonki Park ’09 Th’10, Mario Noya, Josiah Gruber Th’10, and Erik Bell ’08 Th’10 pose with the $500 cars they plan to drive in the 24 Hours of LeMons this summer. Photograph by Matt Brown.

Caitlin Johnson ’10 Th’11: I have been living in Boston for the past year and a half, since graduating from Thayer, and absolutely love it. I work as an energy efficiency consultant for Navigant, where I partner with our main client, the U.S. Department of Energy, in their work to set energy efficiency standards for appliances. I occasionally get to don a green jumpsuit, head to our lab, and rip apart appliances piece-by-piece, right down to the very last screw. It’s a lot of fun! In other life news, I ran my first-ever road race—the Maine Half Marathon—this past September and I had a blast! I can’t wait to run my next race!

Miniature thumb
Matt Strand ’10 designed a miniature thumb. Photograph by Matt Strand.

Matt Strand ’10: I am a new design engineer at an industrial controls company called PQ Controls in Bristol, Conn., and I have been working on a miniature thumb. It is roughly the size of an X-box controller joystick, but it will be rated for approximately 8.5 million cycles—and be much more expensive!

Jeff Forsyth Th’11: I work at Mako Surgical Corp. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as an embedded engineer. Along with a few of my coworkers, I recently participated in a 50-mile bike ride in support of those living with multiple sclerosis. I am also training for a triathlon.

Amir Golnabi Th’11: After completing my Ph.D. at Thayer School in June 2012, I joined the pulmonary imaging and bioengineering lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. I am currently working on a “Complex Systems Approach to Bronchoconstriction in Asthma” project. On a personal level, my wife and I welcomed our second baby in January. We are all very excited to have a new little member in our family.

Caroline Hamman Th’11 and Rohan Lathia Th’11 recruit at the Thayer School career fair
Caroline Hamman Th’11 and Rohan Lathia Th’11 recruit at the Thayer School career fair. Photograph courtesy of Caroline Hamman and Rohan Lathia.

Caroline Hamman Th’11 and Rohan Lathia Th’11: After joining life sciences consulting firm Trinity Partners (located in Boston) following graduation from the M.E.M. program, we both celebrated two years with the company in January. We were promoted from associate to consultant in July, and have returned to Thayer to recruit at the career fair for the past two years. As biomedical engineers, we put our science and business training to work at Trinity, providing strategic and tactical insights to clients worldwide. While at Trinity, we have had the opportunity to work on projects spanning a number of disease areas, including diabetes, pulmonary diseases, blood disorders, and oncology, among others. Trinity has proven to be a dynamic and rewarding work environment.

Max McClorey ’11 Th’12: I had been working for a company in New Hampshire doing software for its unexploded ordnance detection operations but in January returned to my job as an engineer for the Sea Education Association, sailing one of their ships from French Polynesia to Hawaii. I’ve been working with them for the past two summers. It’s my responsibility to keep all the ship systems—electricity generation, wastewater, fresh water, etc.—running and happy.

Max McClorey ’11 Th’12 keeps systems shipshape for the Sea Education Association
Max McClorey ’11 Th’12 keeps systems shipshape for the Sea Education Association. Photograph courtesy of Max McClorey.

The first summer I worked with them, a plug shattered in one of the generators, forcing us into an emergency blackout. That was exciting. There is a blog: www.sea.edu/voyages/blog_seamans_244.

Natalie Burkhard ’12: I’m in the M.S. mechanical engineering program at Stanford University with the intention of pursuing a Ph.D. with a concentration in biomechanical engineering. Current research involves studying the effects of gait modifications on the progression rate of knee osteoarthritis. I do a lot of woodturning and woodworking in my spare time.

Dave Seliger ’12: I serve as a disaster logistics coordinator for Hurricane Sandy recovery operations for the N.Y.C. Office of Emergency Management, an opportunity funded by the Dartmouth Dickey Center’s Lombard Fellowship. I started off coordinating the deployment of the city’s emergency supply stockpile to support 76 hurricane shelters. I then had to demobilize 65 of the shelters in less than 72 hours so that school could open! Right now I’m a data technician at the city’s logistics staging area at Citi Field/Mets Stadium, where I work closely with the National Guard, the N.Y. State Guard, and the N.Y. State Emergency Management Office.

Dave Seliger ’12 recorded damage while working on Hurricane Sandy recovery operations for the New York City Office of Emergency Management
AFTERMATH: Dave Seliger ’12 recorded damage while working on Hurricane Sandy recovery operations for the New York City Office of Emergency Management. Photograph courtesy of Dave Seliger.

Categories: Alumni News, Thayer Notes

Tags: alumni, entrepreneurship, history

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