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Thayer Notes: Spring 2023

May 18, 2023   |   Dartmouth Engineer

News and notes from Dartmouth Engineering alumni around the world.

| 1960s |

Ward Hindman '65 Th'68: As a retiree, I don't get a chance to do much engineering. I go to my grandson's games, take care of the yard and the house. I've been messing with my genealogy for decades but now I have time to really work on it. That's about it from Texas. Go Green.

| 1970s |

Mark Totman '71 Th'72: How does one person get two 2x6 14-foot pressure-treated crossbars (2x8s were too heavy) up into the trees for his grandchildren's swing set at our home on Silver Lake in Madison, NH? My solution: One end is allowed to pivot and the other is allowed to slide. Dean Carl Long would be proud! I recall that on the east end of West Wheelock Street (south side) there's a building up on stilts. In Long's class we calculated the resonant frequency, then visited the building and marched around at that cadence. The resultant movement of the structure was quite impressive!

Mike Chapman
Mike Chapman ’76 Th’77 helps a grandchild build a gingerbread house.

Mike Chapman '76 Th'77: During the holidays, I was consulting on construction projects with our grandchildren.

Doug Cogswell '77: I just started a new business focused on healthcare fundraising (fundraising-analytics.com). I'm working to solve some tough data integration challenges and use complex data to create useful content in an ethically appropriate manner. I've spent the past couple of decades leading a venture capital and private-equity-funded data analytics software company. I sold that business a couple of years ago and recently finished the integration into the parent company. Once that happened, people in the industry contacted me about working with them on unsolved data challenges—so I'm giving it a try! Almost all of the data analytics that are being provided to this sector have a very simplistic approach of pulling data to the cloud and then applying standard modeling algorithms. The problem with this is multifold: many healthcare providers do not want their patient data managed by someone else in the cloud; healthcare fundraisers run multiple systems that do not naturally key to each other; there is a lot of raw data that has to be synthesized into usable metrics before it becomes useful; and each healthcare operation is different (models need to be customized). We're working to solve those four problems. We also control who gets access to what level of detail. For example, the management team needs just aggregate metrics, many of the analysts need the model outputs but not the detailed patient data that goes into those models, and the providers actually need to see the patient details to figure out what went on and what it means. So, it's very important to aggregate and provide access to the data in a manner that addresses the specific end-user needs but also provides patient privacy from those who don’t have the need or right to see it.

| 1980s |

Kim (Smith) Quirk '82 Th'83: A few years ago I sold my 10-year-old solar installation company, Energy Emporium, to ReVision Energy, an employee-owned B-Corp that installs renewable energy equipment in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. I am now focused more on engineering and less on entrepreneurship, specifically in the design of commercial and residential battery energy storage systems. This is a great new field to focus on and I'm having lots of fun—it is nice to take a break from "being in charge" and spend some time diving deeply into technical issues!

Andy Wilson
Andy Wilson ’88 reviews the water supply at Diamond Valley Lake, an 800,000-acre-feet reservoir outside of Los Angeles.

Andy Wilson '88: I have just completed my almost eight-year "tour of duty" as a city council member in Pasadena, Calif., where I chaired the municipal service committee that oversaw our $300-million water and power department. My day job is running the Alliance for SoCal Innovation, which is an innovation ecosystem catalyst not-for-profit focused on elevating the region as a global leader in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Though we have a broad mandate at the alliance, much of our work focuses on the commercialization of frontier research coming out of academic and private labs. My eldest son, Spencer, is spending his junior year at the London School of Economics and will return this fall to Babson, where he is studying entrepreneurship. My youngest son, Dylan, had the good fortune of being accepted early decision to Dartmouth, class of 2027, which is extremely exciting and will have me coming to Hanover more often!

| 1990s |

Robert Haupt Th'96: Since graduating from Thayer with my MS, I have been employed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory. I am a senior scientist in the active optical systems group. I am also a research associate at MIT in the civil and environmental engineering department, where I lead research efforts in topics such as noncontact laser ultrasound (NCLUS) for medical imaging, radio frequency ultrasound (RFUS) for brain imaging, seismic-cloaking methods, explosives-detection methods, and standoff landmine detection. I have a number of patents, publications, and awards on those topics. Our NCLUS work is advancing to a system prototype being funded by the US Army for field-forward medicine. Our results were recently published in Nature: "First In-vivo Human Noncontact Laser Ultrasound Imaging." We have multiple patents on this topic and are working toward transitioning to the commercial sector. RFUS is a more recent development and is ongoing research to make a fully noninvasive transcranial ultrasound system for brain imaging and diagnostics.

Qi Wang Th'97: I've been working for MegaTrust Investment (HK), a boutique China fund manager based out of Hong Kong and Shanghai. We help global investors manage China A-share portfolios. In addition, I run an investor newsletter called Daily Reflection on China (qiwang.substack.com), talking about Chinese economy, markets and stocks. Recent articles include "Year of the Temperamental Tiger: My Predictions vs. Outcomes," "China's First Climate Friendly Investment Database," and "US-China Relations: Biotech, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing." Happy to sign up any alumni who may be interested.

| 2000s |

Joe Brown '00: My big update is that I received tenure and promotion to associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa last summer.

Brian Nickerson '00: There are some exciting updates on external recognition for MagicLinks in 2022: named No. 208 in Deloitte's "Technology Fast 500 Winners"; No. 876 in the Inc. 5000 (third year in a row on the list); No. 10 on Los Angeles Business Journal's list of "Fastest Growing Private Companies"; and named to Built In's "100 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles" list. MagicLinks helps brands scalably invest in creator partnerships on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram through our e-commerce marketplace and Match Intelligence creator to brand matching artificial intelligence based on product sales data. We are based in Venice Beach, Calif., and are hiring for several engineering and developer positions.

Adam Han
Adam Han '03 Th'04 and wife Amy Lee are raising Eleanor and Noah in northern California.

Adam Han '03 Th'04: I've recently become a partner focusing on renewable energy at Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a pure-play consulting firm operationalizing sustainability for companies around the world. Two projects with which I'm currently consumed—Eleanor and Noah—are new motivations to pursue this sustainability line of work. 

Afua Amoah Th'06: I am the managing partner of Delwik Group (delwikgroup.com), based in Zurich. We are a venture capital-focused investor since 2018. We serve direct investors and are specialist in private markets. We provide access to invest directly in seed-stage companies with a clearly defined exit path. We will be happy to link students coming out for Thayer with our investors!

Peng Wang Th'09: I am now a managing director at Fosun Group, a large Chinese private conglomerate. I also serve as a partner at RZ Capital, the venture capital and growth private-equity arm of Fosun, responsible for RZ's international fundraising and investment. My wife, Yihan Hao '08, is now a principal at the China Office of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). She is leading RMI's subnational carbon neutral demonstration initiative in China, developing and managing research and collaboration projects focused on enabling the rapid evolution of solutions on provincial carbon neutrality, regional zero-carbon demonstration, and corporate carbon-neutral actions.

| 2010s |

Rezwan Khan Th'13: I started a company last year called Pace. We have 15 employees and are growing fast. How we got here: Justin Dignelli and I worked together at MongoDB helping to harmonize a self-service, product-led go-to-market with an existing, top-down enterprise sales motion. A game-changer in this process was to make real-time customer usage data accessible, understandable, and actionable for revenue-generating teams. Founded in 2021 and headquartered in New York City, Pace enables business-to-business software companies everywhere to take advantage of the efficiency of product-led growth with the efficacy of enterprise sales.

Sean Howe '16 Th'17: I just got a new job at a solar finance-development-management company in Boston called Sunwealth. My role will be manager on the community solar team. I'm excited to bring solar to underinvested communities across the United States.

Matt Abate '17 Th'17: I graduated in August from Georgia Tech with a PhD in robotics. I now work at a robotics startup in Atlanta, Pytheia (pytheia.com), where I am a cofounder. At a high level, we sell software for video cameras that converts the 2-D camera images into a 3-D, real-world representation of the scene. Then, we gather data and analytics on what’s going on in the camera's field of view. There is some artificial intelligence and machine learning and a lot of physics behind our algorithms. We're in a few markets right now: safety for autonomous robotics, working with a robotics company that uses our cameras as a sensor to track robots and pedestrians in crowded spaces; safety for autonomous vehicles, working with a city in Georgia putting our software into their traffic cameras to create live maps of the road for an autonomous shuttle; and warehousing analytics, working with a warehousing company to find inefficiencies by tracking pallets as they're loaded and unloaded from trucks via forklift.

| 2020s |

Michael May and Madison Smith
Michael May Th'22 Th'25 married Madison Smith in December.

Michael May Th'22 Th'25: I got married on December 30! My wife's name is Madison (Smith) May. We are living in Concord, NH, as that is the midpoint between University of New Hampshire, where she is getting an MS in communication sciences and disorders, and Dartmouth, where I am getting a PhD in energy engineering. I am currently working on a high spatial resolution model of thermal power capacity and transmission siting decisions to meet net-zero climate targets. That means I'm looking at all natural gas and coal generators in America and modeling which generators should be retired, redeveloped into new technologies, or retrofitted with carbon, capture, and storage as well as when these decisions should occur. This is done for multiple possible scenarios corresponding to varying rates of technological development, economic growth, and societal factors, moving toward an output that could aid energy policy or investment decisions in the future.


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