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Alumni Awards Program

Early-Career and Distinguished Achievement Awards

The College of Engineering boosts a total of nearly 50,000 living alumni, worldwide. Each year, we have the privilege of honoring a select outstanding members of our alumni community who have made remarkable contributions to their fields. We are pleased to announce the below individuals as the Class of 2023 Early-Career Achievement and Distinguished Achievement Awardees! We look forwarding to honoring these sixteen exceptional alumni at our upcoming Engineers’ Day Banquet in November.
Dr. Kelly R. Stevens (BSBME‘02)
Biomedical Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Associate Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Ms. Julie Cameron (BSCHE‘86)
Chemical & Biological Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. John Gugel ( BSCEE’90, MSCEE‘92)
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Dr. Kevin Lepak (BSEE’99, MSEE’00, PhDEE’03)
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Corporate Fellow
Ms. Rosa Marina “Sama” Bilbao y Léon (MSNE’95, PhDNE‘99)
Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Director General
Professor Lei Lei (PhDIE’88, PhDCS’88)
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Mr. Eric Hansotia (BSME’91, MSME’92)
Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Chairman, President, and CEO
Dr. Ivers Eric Anderson (MSMet’77, PhDMet’82)
Materials Science & Engineering
Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Senior Metallurgist
Dr. Travelle Ellis (PhDBME’13, MD’13)
Biomedical Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
Director of health equity education, strategic partnerships, and medical integration
Dr. Brian Gettelfinger (PhDCBE’09)
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
Personal health care director for work process transformation and digital activation
Mr. Anthony Heddlesten (BSCE’07)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
Mayor; Civil and Environmental Engineering Section Chief
Dr. Justin Reed (MSEE’07, PhDEE’14)
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
President, Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder
Dr. Rachel Slaybaugh (MSEP’08, PhDEP’11)
Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics
Early Career Achievement Awardee
Ms. Maria Palma (BSIE’07)
Industrial Systems and Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
General Partner
Mr. Michael Strand (BSMSE’15)
Materials Science and Engineering
Early Career Achievement Awardee
Director of Engineering
Learn more about our alumni here

Past Alumni Honorees

From early-career entrepreneurs to established government officials and executives, the recipients of the annual College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Awards and Early-Career Achievement Award illustrate the vast impact Badger engineers have across multiple fields and international boundaries. If you know of someone you would like to recommend, please drop us a note.

2022 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Riki Banerjee BSEE ‘00 (MSEE ‘03, PhDEE ‘05, University of Minnesota)
Vice president, R&D, Synchron

Riki is an engineer and visionary leader who has developed and commercialized innovative healthcare technology solutions that improve patient lives.


Jacob Brunsberg BSMS&E ‘09
President and CEO, Sigma Additive Solutions

Jacob is a materials engineer who is a leader in advancing metal additive manufacturing technology, standards and quality and in providing mentorship and educational opportunities to youth in underserved communities.


Zak Koga BSCEE ‘08
Co-founder, Karben4 Brewing

Zak is a civil engineer and entrepreneur who leveraged passion, business acumen and project management skills to found and grow a full-scale brewery in Madison.


Saigopal Nelaturi MSME ‘10, PhDME ‘11 (BEME ‘03, Visvesvaraya Technological University, India; MScME ‘04, University of Bath, United Kingdom)
Director of software research, Carbon

Saigopal is a mechanical engineer whose leadership in research, digital design and technology solutions is shaping the future of modern manufacturing.


Michelle Ranavat BSIE ‘03 (MS ‘04, engineering management, Tufts University)
Founder and CEO, RANAVAT

Michelle is an industrial engineer and entrepreneur who combined her passion for engineering, ancient traditions and personal care to found a luxury beauty products company that also funds education initiatives in rural India.


Kevin Yttre BSChE ‘03 (MBA ‘08, Harvard University)
President, Grace Matthews

Kevin is a chemical engineer and business leader who has improved chemical industry production and operations and successfully managed national and international company mergers and acquisitions.


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

James Braun MSME ‘80, PhDME ‘88 (BS ‘76, University of Massachusetts)
Herrick Professor of Engineering, Purdue University

James is a mechanical engineer, educator and practitioner whose operations and technology research has revolutionized high-performance buildings, particularly in HVAC&R systems.


Bruce Dale BSEM ‘79, MSEM ‘80
Chief engineer (retired), ExxonMobil

We are honoring Bruce as an engineer who championed game-changing technologies in the oil and gas industry and fostered innovation, creativity and excellence throughout his career.


Marion Gilbert Wells BSMetE ‘81
Founder and managing partner, Human Asset Management

Marion is a metallurgical engineer, entrepreneur and passionate mentor who has driven positive change in manufacturers’ corporate culture, customer relationships and sales, and championed a more diverse STEM talent pipeline.


David Hemker BSChE ‘84 (MSChE ‘85, PhD ‘89, Stanford University)
Senior vice president and chief technology officer (retired), Lam Research Corporation

David is a chemical engineer and technology leader whose numerous innovations have advanced semiconductor processing and thin-film applications.


John Kissinger MSCEE ’83 (BSCE/SE ’79, UW-Milwaukee)
President and CEO, GRAEF

John as an executive who has advanced technology in structural engineering and fostered a work environment that has allowed countless engineers to develop and succeed.


Marie Lotto BSBME ‘02, MSBME ‘03 (MBA ‘14, MIT)
Vice president for business development, Hologic

Marie is a product development and marketing strategies leader in women’s healthcare and the surgical sciences who serves as an example of how future engineers can navigate their careers.


John Mulligan BSECE ‘88 (MBA ‘96, University of Minnesota)
COO, Target Corp.

John is an exemplary corporate leader and expert in large-scale merchandising operations and finance and global supply chain planning and design.


Ernest Nicolas MBA ‘02, MSMSE ‘05, (BSMSE ‘99, Kettering University)
Chief supply chain officer, HP

Ernest is a manufacturing systems engineer and business leader who has established transformative approaches for agile and resilient supply chain management.

2021 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Kara Byrne (BSME ’04)
North America Commercial leader, turbomachinery and process solutions-valves, Baker Hughes.

Kara is a technical and strategic leader in energy, valves and turbomachinery whose passion for inspiring women to enter engineering has enabled her to mentor, develop and retain future women leaders in energy industry.


Paul Dauenhauer (BSChE ’04)
Lanny and Charlotte Schmidt Professor, chemical engineering and materials science, University of Minnesota

Paul is a chemical engineer whose ingenious catalytic processes have revolutionized biomass use and led to three startup companies that put his inventions into practice.


Daniel R. Grice (BSMS&E ’09)
Senior materials engineer, Materials Evaluation and Engineering, Inc.

Dan is a materials engineer who has significantly advanced the diagnosis and remediation of material failures, provided exemplary professional society leadership, and promoted careers in STEM.


Benjamin W. Longmier (BSEP/physics ’04, MSEP ’05, PhDEP ’07)
CTO and co-founder, Swarm Technologies

Ben is a nuclear engineer whose expertise in aerospace engineering has enabled him to found three companies focused on high-altitude/low-earth-orbit communications to accelerate the Internet of Things.

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Bjorn Krogh Borgen (BSME ’62)
Chairman, Borgen Investment Group

Bjorn is a leading financial manager and entrepreneur whose success has enabled him to support educational, athletic and cultural causes that have benefited people across the United States and in his home country of Norway.


David Ira Epstein (BSECE ’76, MSECE ’78)
Executive Director, Susilo Institute for Ethics in a Global Economy, Boston University; venture advisor, investor and management consultant, Epstein Advisors

David is an exemplary entrepreneur and executive in cleantech, semiconductors and healthcare who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social responsibility and ethics in engineering and business.


Moo Hwan Kim (PhDNE ’86)
President, Pohang University of Science and Technology

Moo Hwan is a nuclear engineer and academic leader who has made innovations that significantly improve fundamental understanding of two-phase flow and heat transfer as applied to nuclear energy systems.


Brian E. Luedtke (BSChE ’85)
Vice president, Asia Pacific region, global corporate communications and clinical education, Hollister Inc.

Brian is a chemical engineer and executive who has improved life for patients with chronic conditions by supporting innovative technology development, effective partnerships with healthcare providers, and sustained community engagement.


Stephanie M. Whitehorse (BSMS&E ’96)
Director of intellectual property, physical sciences, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Stephanie is an engineer and patent agent who has applied her expertise to evaluating, patenting and commercializing more than 1,500 UW-Madison inventions, which have generated more than $100 million of royalty income and formed the basis of 45 startup companies.

2020 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Subbu Rama (MSECE ’05)
Founder, Accio Ventures

Subbu is a visionary and entrepreneurial leader in technology innovation, including pioneering virtualization of hardware accelerated devices.


Karien J. Rodríguez (PhDBME ’10)
Research technical strategist-life sciences, global research & engineering, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Karien is a biomedical engineer who is shaping the personal care industry through her creative and innovative research.


James Tamplin (BSIE ’06, MSIE ’07)
Founder partner, Founder Collective

James is a systems engineer and entrepreneur who has fundamentally transformed and greatly simplified mobile and web applications development.


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Michael F. Conway (BSChE ’78)
Retired president, Shell Trading, Royal Dutch Shell

Michael is a chemical engineer who rose to the top of the international oil trading business while serving as an exemplar for management practices that reflect his values of integrity and civic responsibility.


Steven R. Erbstoesser (BSMineE ’74, MSMineE ’75)
Owner, Global Operations and Management Advisors LLC; retired, ExxonMobil

Steven is an engineer, scientist and executive who, through caring and vision, has transformed organizations and led global teams to achieve world-class safety, operational and business performance in oil and gas operations.


Peter Holsten (BSME ’72)
President and managing broker, Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation

Peter is a mechanical engineer and humanitarian who is devoted to the principle that everyone deserves affordable, quality housing and who strives to build and maintain healthy communities.


Todd Kelsey (BSEE ’87, MSEE ’89)
President and CEO, Plexus Corp.

Todd is an exemplary leader of a Wisconsin‐based global company who demonstrates commitment to creating new technologies and products that build a better world.


Laurie Lindborg Parsons (MSCEE ’87)
Water Resources Division Director, Ramboll US

Laurie is a respected civil and environmental engineer, leader and advocate for clean water who has been a role model for women in STEM.


Jeffrey J. Rotsch (BSIE ’72)
Retired president, worldwide sales, General Mills

Jeffrey is an industrial engineer and visionary leader who drove global business success in the consumer foods industry.


Oscar Marcelo Suárez (MSMetE ’93, PhDMetE ’00)
Professor and coordinator of the materials science and engineering program, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez

Oscar is a metallurgical engineer who has led innovations in university education, promoted STEM, and advanced research on composite materials and nanotechnology.


Amy Warner (BSEM ’91)
Vice president and general manager of IT digital business solutions and corporate director of accessibility, Intel Corp.

Amy is an IT leader whose professional adaptability and commitment to empowering those of all abilities make her an example for future engineers.

2019 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Amanda Engler
Experimental scientist, 3M
BSChE and Chem ’05, UW-Madison (MSChE ’07, PhDChE ’11, MIT)

We are honoring Amanda for the outstanding technical and creative contributions she has made in synthesizing novel polymeric materials for antimicrobial applications and delivering bioactive compounds.


Chris Klündt
Co-Founder and CEO StudyBlue/Flash Tools Chegg Inc.
BSBME ’05, BSCS ’05, UW-Madison

We are honoring Chris as a visionary entrepreneur who capitalized on the intersection of trends and technology to found a company now used by millions of students to learn collaboratively.


Navrina Singh
Product and technology leader
MSECE ’03, UW-Madison (BSEngr. ’01, College of Engineering at Pune, India; MBA ’13, University of Southern California)

We are honoring Navrina as an exemplary technological innovator who has built innovative software and silicon products, promoted a strong startup ecosystem, and is an inspiring and passionate leader in STEM education, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities.


Nancy Spelsberg
President, BCP Transportation
BSIE ’99, MBA ’06, UW-Madison

We are honoring Nancy as an inspiring industrial engineer and entrepreneur who is driving success in the trucking industry through continuous improvement and systems thinking.


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Dan Adamany
Founder and CEO, AHEAD LLC
BSME ’97, UW-Madison

We are honoring Dan as an entrepreneur whose focus on strategy, solutions and technical expertise in enterprise information technology has enabled his company’s success.


Cynthia Bachmann
Vice president of engineering and product development, Kitchen and Bath Americas, Kohler Co.
BSEE ’83, UW-Madison

We are honoring Cynthia as a respected industry leader whose optimism and positivity are infectious and inspiring.


Annie Caputo
Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
BSNE ’96, UW-Madison

We are honoring Annie as a leader whose policy work and dedication make a difference nationally and inspire young engineers.


Rodney Hassett
Vice president, treasurer and director (retired) Strand Associates Inc.
BSCE ’62, UW-Madison

We are honoring Rod as a respected civil engineer, visionary leader and mentor who is a passionate advocate for diversity in engineering.


Mark Hoffmeyer
Senior technical staff member, IBM Systems
BSMetE ’83, MSMetE ’85, PhDMetE ’90, UW-Madison

We are honoring Mark for his expertise and leadership in physical metallurgy, which have led to significant innovations in microelectronic devices in areas that include materials design, assembly, packaging and manufacturing.


Sunny H.K. Lo
Chairman, Café de Coral Holdings Ltd.
BSChE ’77, UW-Madison (MSChE ’78, Stanford University)

We are honoring Sunny as an entrepreneur who has helped change business models and China and proudly serves as an ambassador for UW-Madison in Asia.


Duane Radtke
President and CEO, Valiant Exploration LLC
BSMineE ’71, UW-Madison

We are honoring Duane as a respected mining engineer and corporate leader who has been an innovator in the oil and gas industry throughout his career.


Thomas Werner
Chairman and CEO, SunPower Corp.
BSIE ’82, UW-Madison (BSEE ’86, Marquette University; MBA ’95, George Washington University)

We are honoring Tom for innovations in solar technology that have transformed the global energy industry.

2018 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Justin Beck
CEO, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison


Gilbert Haddad
Director, Point72 Asset Management
Staff Advisor, SparkCognition
BSME ’07, American University of Beirut
MSME ’09, UW-Madison
PhDME ’11, University of Maryland


Andrew Hanson
Chief Technology Officer, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison


Gregory Hudalla
Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor and Pruitt Family Term Fellow, University of Florida
BSChE ’04, Illinois Institute of Technology
MSBME ’06, PhDBME ’10, UW-Madison


Rahul Shinde
Executive Director, DIL
BEME ’99, College of Engineering-Pune, India
MSMSE ’01, PhDIE ’05, UW-Madison


Forrest Woolworth
Chief Operating Officer, PerBlue
BSCMPE ’09, BSCS ’09, UW-Madison


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Wendy Harris
COO and GM, Commercial Operations, GE Healthcare
BSECE ’90, MBA ’99, UW-Madison


Robert J. Heideman
Senior vice president and chief technology officer
A.O. Smith Corp.
BSMetE ’88, PhDMatE ’15, UW-Madison
MSMetE ’92, Purdue University


Arthur Janes
CEO, PDS Technology
BSME ’67, BBA ’67, UW-Madison


W. Kent Lorenz
Chairman and CEO (retired), Acieta LLC
BSEM ’84, UW-Madison


William S. Monfre
BSChE ’85, UW-Madison
Engineering and Manufacturing Management, Procter & Gamble (1985-2008)
President/Owner, Quality Insulators Inc. and Asbestos Removal Inc. (2008-current)


Brian Mullins
BSCEE ’77, JD ’80, UW-Madison
Partner, Axley Brynelson LLP

2017 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Nidhi Aggarwal
Founder, Qwiklabs
MSEE ’06  (PhDCompSci ’08)


Ross Radel
President, Phoenix Nuclear Labs
BSNE ’03, MSNEEP ’04, PhDNEEP ’07


Christopher Meyer
Director, Sector 67 Inc.
BSME ’08, MSME ’10


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Stephen Spiegelberg
President and Co-Founder,
Cambridge Polymer Group
BSChE ’88  (PhDChE ’93, MIT)


Alain Peyrot
Retired President, Power Line Systems
MSCEE ’66, PhDCEE ’68


Adam Steltzner
Engineering Fellow, CalTech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Chief Engineer, Mars 2020 Project
PhDEM ’99
(BSME ’90, UC-Davis; MS applied mechanics ’91, Caltech)


Daniel Piette
Board member, Petroleum GeoServices
BSMineE ’80


Denita Willoughby
Vice President, Sempra Energy
BSIE ’88  (MBA Harvard)


Sharon Farrens
Director of Process Integration, Quora Technology Inc.
MSNE ’83, MSMatSci ’85, PhDMatSci ’89
(BS physics ’81, Nebraska Wesleyan University)


Christine Schyvinck
CEO, Shure
BSME ’89
(MBA  engineering management ’99, Northwestern University)

2016 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Jonathan Baran
Co-founder and CEO
BSBME ’08, MSBME ’10


James Hillier
Chief of Staff for Global Manufacturing and Refining
BSChE ’00, BS Biochemistry ’00, BS Molecular Biology ’00


Jenna Marquard
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MSISyE ’04, PhDISyE ’07 (BSIE ’03, University of Iowa)


Nicholas Balster
Vice President of Industrial Applications
Groom Energy Solutions
BSMSE ’00 (MBA ’13, Babson College)


Distinguished Achievement Award

Stephen H. Siegele
Chief Executive and Consultant
BSChE ’84

Jun Lee
SRI Design
BSCE ’68, MSCE ’69, PhDCE ’73

Xingyi Xu
Founding President
Shanghai Dajun Technologies
MSECE ’83, PhDECE ’90 (BSEE ’82, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)

Gary Krellenstein
BSNE ’79 (MBA ’81, Cornell University; post-master’s degree, computer applications ’84, New York University)

Kim Christopher
Director of Product Management,
Optum Solutions and Technology
BSISyE ’81 (MBA ’88, University of Minnesota)

Boyd Mueller
Vice President of Technology
Alcoa Power and Propulsion
MSMetE ’83, PhDMetE ’86 (BSMetE ’82, Michigan Technological University)

Frank Sanders
Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group; Director, Global Systems Supply Chain and Technology Enabling
Intel Corp.
MSMSE ’92 (BSME ’89, University of Illinois; MBA ’07, Northwestern University)

2015 Engineers’ Day alumni award recipients

Early Career Award Recipients

Laura Leonard
Senior Product Line Manager, reforming and isomeriation technologies
BSChE ’01
Western Springs, Illinois

Gregory Piefer
CEO and founder
SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc.
BSEE ’99, MSNEEP ’04,
PhDNEEP/MedPhys ’06
Middleton, Wisconsin

Daniel Reich
Member of Strategic Operating Committee
Great Oaks Venture Capital
New York, New York


Distinguished Achievement Award

Norman Doll
Chairman (retired)
Pieper Electric
BSCE  ’77
Mequon, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Graves
MTS Systems Corporation
MSMetE ’85, PhDMetE ’87
Wayzata, Minnesota

Shen Luo
Deputy General Manager
Mindray Medical International
PhDECE ’94
Madison, Wisconsin

Craig Palmer
San Francisco, California

Todd Pulvino
Co-founder and Principal
CNH Partners
BSME ’84
Sarasota, Florida

Patrick Quirk
Founder and General Partner
ORCA Equities
BSIE ’79
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Kirk Schnoebelen
Head of Sales
BSNE ’82, MSNE ’84
Fairfax, Virginia

Bahram (Barry) Siadat
Founder, President and Managing Director
SK Capital Partners
BSChE ’75
Miami Beach, Florida

Malcolm Theobald
President of Bits and Advanced Technologies
BSMineEngr ’83
Houston, Texas

College of Engineering Alumni
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