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Jul 01, 2022   |   Dartmouth Engineer

News and notes from Dartmouth Engineering alumni around the world.


Kendrick Kelly ’47 Th’48: I’m 95 now, and I look back fondly at an interesting and exciting career working as a civil engineer on interesting and exciting large construction projects all around the United States and Europe. One of my kids was born in Rome and one in London. A few interesting jobs I worked on as a project manager included a 41-floor office building for IBM in New York City. Building a large structure always presents some problems—and building one in the middle of a large city certainly adds more! In my career I was also assigned to build a large petroleum storage facility on the coast of Greece near Athens. Greece had been through a world war and a civil war and was not in good shape. Getting permits, steel for the tanks, and the special valves and equipment that was needed was quite a problem. Another assignment sent me to the Scottish Highlands to construct a huge antenna system. Our site was not far from a mountain stream, into which we had to make sure we didn’t leak anything because it was the source of water for a scotch distillery

south of our site. The role of project manager was interesting, because in addition to dealing with engineers, architects, and contractors, I had to interact with lawyers, financial folks, government entities, and others. It was like putting together a giant puzzle—with a lot of money involved. Something I liked about Thayer School was that, in addition to having excellent professors, the faculty were usually available to meet and discuss any technical problem I was having.


Jerry Allyn ’59 Th’60: My career as a practicing, wage-earning engineer ceased as of January 1, 2003. My final years before this were spent primarily on personnel and technical business management issues, and I became burned out. One thing I could have used in my Thayer School education was more research findings in this complicated field of management. There’s no question that graduates of Dartmouth and Thayer School soon are placed in management positions because of their broad education. I prize my Thayer School education, along with my exposure to liberal arts in my Dartmouth College courses. I continue to believe that well-rounded engineers are worth their weight in gold. Typically, they can write well, express themselves well, and embrace complicated topics. They become effective spokespersons for their organizations. However, in such positions they are asked to deal with situations that often don’t have resolutions that are embraced by all members of their organizations and resistance can occur. How to continue effective management in the face of such resistance is a challenge. Reinforcement by upper management isn’t necessarily a given. I’ll bet that Thayer could come up with some courses that could prepare graduates for their eventual and likely introduction to the realities of management. This is important. Life after January 2003 has been busy with family, church, music (singing), outdoor sports including sailing, and property management of my 10-acre plot of home, yard, and woodlands. I am 84 years old and enjoying life. Periodically, I have found myself back in the engineering field. One example was the repair and rebuild of the roof supporting trusses in our 1835 brick church in Colchester, Vt. Two of the trusses had begun to fail and couldn’t be easily fixed. I worked with a licensed civil engineer who had expertise in old buildings and explained our proposed rebuild—and cost—to our congregation. The project obtained approval, and the result is two rebuilt trusses and six new steel lintel supports for our big stained glass windows, plus a new raised seam steel alloy roof. The repairs and improvements have been very successful, and the church is now good for another 100 years or so.


John Kunz ’65 Th’66 works with a former student on startup Alice Technologies.

John Kunz ’65 Th’66: I serve on the board of Alice Technologies, a startup that has developed an artificial intelligence-based tool that creates schedules for building projects that minimize cost, schedule, and other risks. The tool is now used in the United States, European Union, and Asia. The founder is a former student of mine from Stanford, where most of the courses I taught covered computer and social methods of modeling and collaboration for building design and management. I challenged lots of civil engineering students to look at a project being built, count the number of workers they saw, and compare that number with the number of occupants the project will have when complete. (Construction projects are mostly empty.) One student took the question seriously, measured utilization of workspaces on two projects, and observed that the hourly workspace asset utilization was about 7 percent! My next question was whether anybody cared about that low asset utilization. This question led to his using AI to generate schedule options—and found Alice. We are now working to get another round of investment, and I have been leading the planning of broad goals and specific objectives for the company. The work is challenging and fascinating as we work to bring highly specialized recommendations to practitioners who, by longstanding tradition, follow a judgment-based practice in this field, which is inherently and appropriately risk averse.

Mark Tuttle ’65 Th’66 Th’68: For the first time in my life, I am officially aligned with, and supporting, an artificial intelligence (AI) effort—specifically on the scientific program committee as a reviewer of the submissions—for the American Medical Information Association’s 2022 Artificial Intelligence Evaluation Showcase. I am not aware of any systematic, scalable, formal “evaluation” efforts for artificial intelligence, and certainly not in healthcare. Under this program, one doesn’t get to present work on AI in healthcare and biomedical research this fall at the national meeting without an evaluation. The key is the focus on evaluation—in this case, the actual influence on patient care. This is both novel and important—and the reason that I accepted an invitation to be on the review committee. Throughout my education and professional life, I’ve been in too many contexts where AI consumed all the oxygen in the room, while the rest of us were trying to do what I call “real work.” At the time, as one colleague put it, AI was “wishful thinking.” With clarity of hindsight, non-AI work was focused on data—the growing amounts of it—and increasing access to computing

resources. After decades, data proved to be the key to success. AI was started in a meeting at Dartmouth in the summer of 1956. By the mid-1960s, ripples hit Thayer School. I got to work on printed digit recognition, which was successful (sort of), and on spoken digit recognition, which was not even close to being successful. These projects and the study of statistics, information theory, and decision analysis enabled me to understand what would be easy or hard going forward with information processing tasks. Later, in graduate school at Harvard and MIT, I got to see various academic “wars” regarding AI research and development. Much later, quietly but suddenly, efforts began to leverage huge online data sources and heretofore inconceivable amounts of computing resources to make dramatic progress. All of a sudden, AI was being built on a foundation of data science. Today, most AI is machine learning, and most machine learning is “deep learning.” These insights and lessons have been slow to penetrate healthcare and biomedical research, but with the Artificial Intelligence Evaluation Showcase, it’s now happening.


Steve Askey ’76 Th’77: I retired in 2015, for the second time, after 38 years in the upstream oil and gas industry and living and working in various parts of the world. A different path to be sure, but quite a ride. I currently live in Ormond Beach, Fla. Since retirement, I’ve been playing lead guitar in a classic rock bar band in the Daytona Beach area. I also play with an acoustic trio occasionally. I wanted to send a shout out to Wayne Ballantyne ’77 Th’78 after reading his notes in the Fall 2021 issue. Wayne and I were both from south Florida. I had a 1966 Mustang, and he would occasionally ride down to Florida with me during breaks. It was always an adventure, and we were never sure if the car would make it. Finally, I also noted the obituary of Professor Stratton in that issue. While there were many brilliant professors at Dartmouth and Thayer at the time, Professor Stratton may have been the best of my entire Dartmouth experience. His ability to make the material clearly understandable, the classes and labs fun, and have me looking forward to the next class was truly motivating, as I was not the best of students. The fact that he seemed to do it effortlessly was certainly a testament to his expertise as an engineer and, perhaps more importantly, as a teacher. Those of us who had the opportunity to attend his class were fortunate indeed.

Michael Geilich ’79 Th’81 Th’82: When COVID hit, I tried to retire, but it didn’t quite work out. Today, I’m splitting my time writing software remotely for Edare in Lebanon, N.H., and playing music with friends.


Laurie Komornik Hartman ’80 Th’80: I retired after 17 years of pastoral care ministry at a large church in the Indianapolis, Ind., area. The problem-solving skills I learned at Thayer translated quite well into working with people—especially those with complex trauma. I still volunteer in this area. My husband, Mark ’78, and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. We enjoy travel, our three married children, and our five grandchildren.

Herbert “Buddy” Livingstone ’81 Th’84: Winter break from college can mean only one thing: some field work with my twin sons, Ryan and Dylan, to study snow-snowboard friction properties at altitude, not to mention the effect of temperature on board stiffness and camber.

Now that he’s retired, Mark Bunker ’82 Th’83 enjoys spending more time with grandson Michael.

Mark Bunker ’82 Th’83: I retired from corporate life last July after worked at Fidelity Investments in Boston for 25 years. I held a number of positions in technology management. On retiring, I was head of data security for the chief information security officer. The position I was most proud of was my three years previously as head of digital security when my team and I safely transitioned Fidelity data and applications into the public cloud. I managed an international team of cyber-security experts and developers charged with designing, coding and deploying automation to constantly check the security status of Fidelity applications and customers in the cloud. Our automation would flag or autonomously correct misconfigurations or weak protections in real time. This is the only way to thwart never-ceasing and ever-evolving cyber-security threats across such a large digital footprint (thousands of applications, millions of customers, and several trillion dollars in personal and corporate assets). Our team also was charged with protecting billions worth of cryptocurrency held by institutional clients. We developed elaborate operational procedures (similar to rules for operating nuclear power plants) for moving crypto assets in and out of digital vaults. The engineering involved was complex: human factors engineering, triple-backup procedures, software coding using blockchain technology, and automated cyber forensics. Dartmouth and Thayer School prepared me how to tackle such complex problems, breaking them down and solving them through deep investigation, learning, subject mastery, collaboration and teamwork, and being open to new ideas and course correction when needed. These days, my wife and I are spending lots of time with family, enjoying our first grandchild (born last May), and preparing for our son’s spring 2022 wedding. I’ve started volunteering in the Boston Public Schools as a math mentor and tutor and for the Mount Washington Observatory as a fundraiser and part-time official weather observer for North Conway, N.H. More free time has also allowed me to spend more time playing, composing, and performing music—something that really brings me joy.


Brian Stenger Th’97: I currently live in Ann Arbor, Mich., with my wife, Cathleen. We have been married for 20 years and have two amazing kids, Peter (18) and Anna (15). I recently changed careers, moving into real estate investing, primarily purchasing, renovating, and renting our single-family and multi-family homes in the metro Detroit area. Previously, I worked at TIAA as a senior director of strategic sourcing in Davidson, N.C. We moved up to Ann Arbor three years ago to be closer to family after my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During these three years, I actively invested in Detroit, purchasing, renovating, and renting out 10 homes in about a year and a half. It seemed to be going well. In the early stages of the pandemic, my employer offered all employees a package to reduce headcount, which became the impetus to take that package and start my own business. In January 2021, I took the leap of faith and went into it full time with the support of my wife. The goal is to have 50 rentals in five years, so about three years after my first purchase, I’m about one-third of the way there and hoping to grow by another 10 by the end of the year if all goes well.


Brian Mason ’03 Th’04 Th’05: Jocelyn ’05 and I continue to make Lexington, Mass., our home—and we are trying to get outside a lot in the winter. Just recently we were up at Wildcat in New Hampshire and had views of Tuckerman’s Ravine in the distance. It made us think back 20 years ago to when Jocelyn and I first met and skied Tuckerman’s. I continue to be in the same job, leading new product development at Sonos. We look forward to getting up to Hanover soon. Our kids believe that Molly’s is the best restaurant in the entire world!


Umair Siddiqui ’10: I have had a very busy year! Our company Phase Four, which is developing a new propulsion system for satellites, has delivered its first units to customers, which have been launched into space on SpaceX missions. We now have six propulsion systems orbiting the earth on our customers’ satellites, with several more launching in the first half of the year. As Tech Crunch reported: “Phase Four aims to roll out its next-gen plasma thruster in the first half of 2022.” Our investors include Green D Ventures.

Scott Lacy ’13 Th’13 races for the U.S. national biathlon team.

Scott Lacy ’13 Th’13: I am currently racing again full time and finally qualified to race for the U.S. national biathlon team for the winter in Europe. It has been absolutely wonderful. So far, we have raced in Norway, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic and will be continuing on to Austria, Italy, and Switzerland to finish the season out. Then I’ll take some much needed at home time this spring before summer training begins.

Evan Landau ’15: I have updates on some projects I’ve been working on as a freelance industrial designer. The first is a product designed in collaboration with Ryan Lisann ’15, now a dentist and avid outdoorsman. The Packbrush is a dental hygiene multitool developed specifically for campers and backpackers, but it is a more sustainable way to take care of your teeth with its re-threadable flosser and replaceable brush heads. The product is patent pending, and we’re seeking out investors/financial backers to help tool and manufacture a first production run. The other project I’m working on is with a carbon-capture research and development group called OpenAir. I’m using my experience with 3-D printing, design, and sustainable materials and manufacturing to help experiment with adding air-sourced carbon to different plastics and creating products with them. The purpose of this is to develop materials suited for mass manufacturing that can be a

scalable endpoint to sequester atmospheric CO2 within—keeping it out of the air and doing a small part in removing the gigaton of carbon necessary to have a real impact on climate change. The ultimate goal of the research is to explore additional manufacturing materials that carbon can be realistically sequestered within to broaden the variety of carbon-storing products beyond plastics, concrete, and fuel.

Kate French ’19 Th’20: I am currently a first-year medical student at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. While I am very busy, I still try to ski any chance I get!

Richa Karve Th’19 married Himanshu Damle, a veterinarian surgeon working for the Indian Army.

Richa Karve Th’19: I studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate in India and interned at a couple of power plants. Those internships drew me to the power industry at large. Post-undergrad, I worked with an energy consulting firm, which directed me toward Dartmouth’s MEM program. MEM allowed me to stick with engineering/quant while expanding my skills in management. Professor [Ronald] Lasky’s Optimization course and Professor [Vikrant] Vaze’s Operations Research course turned out to be some of my favorite and foundational courses during MEM. They shaped my internship with Tabors Caramanis Rudkevich in Boston. I spent a lot of time working on economic dispatch models that represent, simulate, and forecast the power grid. The entire process from inputs to application of model outputs is quite fascinating! After completing my MEM, I moved to Denver in early 2019 and worked with an energy consulting firm, Filsinger Energy Partners (FEP), where my primary role was modeling and forecasting of the U.S. power market. After working at FEP for almost three years, I’ve recently moved back to India and will be staying and working near our capital city of New Delhi. I haven’t figured out my job in India yet—all I can say is I’m very much looking to continue in the power industry and hoping to leverage my Dartmouth and U.S. education in the market here. I hope I’ll be able to continue modeling.

Kayla Wormsbecher ’21 Th’21: I have moved to Huntsville, Ala., and am working for IDEX Corp. as a mechanical engineer. After playing hockey at Dartmouth, I am now volunteering with the local minor hockey association to show both girls and boys that hockey is more than just a game—and in fact, develops character and provides opportunity for growth.

This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of the Dartmouth Engineer magazine.

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