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Graphic for Engineers' Day
October 20, 2017

College honors 10 exceptional alumni during Engineers’ Day festivities

Written By: Staff

At the 70th annual Engineers’ Day banquet, held Oct. 20, 2017, the College of Engineering will honor 10 outstanding alumni—three of whom are early in their careers and already have made exceptional contributions.

When they graduate from the College of Engineering, our alumni go on to be respected for their contributions and leaders in the workplace because they learn from the best faculty in their fields, and because they know how to be creative, and to solve problems.

The 2017 award recipients work in areas ranging from corporate leadership and entrepreneurship to academia and engineering. They are thoughtful engineers; creative, bold thinkers; and certainly, outstanding leaders.

This diverse group of people includes educators, entrepreneurs, and executives—and their work continues to make a difference in the lives of countless people.

This year’s Early Career Award recipients include:

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

We honored Nidhi for exemplary leadership and engineering innovation in the cloud computing and learning sectors, and for vigorous support of diversity in engineering education and practice. Read more about Nidhi.

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

We honored Ross for corporate leadership that has led Phoenix Nuclear Labs to become an internationally recognized manufacturer of neutron sources for medical diagnostics and detecting clandestine materials. Read more about Ross.

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

We honored Chris for leadership in achieving a unique vision of education, entrepreneurship and community development through Sector 67, which has enabled more than 100 companies and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas and dreams into reality. Read more about Chris.

This year’s Distinguished Achievement Award recipients include:

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

We honored Stephen for foundational developments in polymeric materials design, testing and processing methods that have greatly impacted the biomedical, chemical and food industries. Read more about Stephen.

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

We honored Alain for exemplary achievements as a structural engineer, faculty member, entrepreneur, philanthropist and UW-Madison alumnus. Read more about Alain.

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)

We honored Adam for pioneering accomplishments that have yielded new ways to explore and expand the knowledge of our universe. Read more about Adam.

Daniel Piette
Board member, Petroleum GeoServices
BSMineE ’80

We honored Dan for career-long leadership in mining engineering and big data, which has helped introduce new technologies to the energy industry. Read more about Dan.

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

We honored Denita for her inspiring track record in sales, supply chain management and government affairs and for her passion for developing leaders and improving education among youth. Read more about Denita.

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

We are honoring Shari for pioneering significant innovations in wafer bonding and advanced packaging technologies that are critical processing steps in semiconductor device manufacturing. Read more about Shari.

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

We are honoring Chris for her leadership in microphones and the audio electronics industry, which has led to exceptional results in product quality and corporate profitability. Read more about Chris.