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FALL 2017


Desalination Bus for Navajo


PLUS 5 Smarter Control for Border Patrol

Designing an Autonomous Border-Surveillance System

8 UA Engineering Homecoming 2017 Engineers Breakfast Kicks Off Festivities

10 Advancing Hypersonic Flight Navy Awards UA Engineers Nearly $2M 40:2

Fall 2017




Upholding a Tradition of Excellence Is About Far More Than Numbers

Everything we do in the College is geared to helping intelligent young people become hungry, humble and people-smart engineers. You can support these efforts in countless ways. IT WAS GREAT to see so many of you at Homecoming 2017, and to reflect on times gone by and share visions for the College’s future. That future looks extremely bright. College enrollment is growing, we are meeting faculty hiring goals, and our partnerships are more robust than ever. Perhaps most importantly, students are graduating with the skills to meet daunting local, national and global challenges. Alumnus and generous supporter John Somerhalder has put it this way: “I’ve been side by side with engineers from universities like MIT and Purdue and Georgia Tech over the past 40 years. The UA provided absolutely the highest level of education.” With our reputation for high-quality programs in sync with industry needs, College enrollment is up by 75 undergraduates and 100 graduate students, bucking national trends. Bolstering partnerships on and off campus remains a priority. On campus, our work with the Honors College is crucial to attracting the best students. Our research projects in biomedical devices, biofuels and bioproducts, hypersonics, quantum computing, and satellite systems are yielding discoveries and development of consumer-oriented, sustainable products. Our expertise and leadership are integral to interdisciplinary University programs such as the BIO5 Institute, Institute for Energy Solutions, Water & Energy Sustainable Technology Center, space object awareness and Transportation Research Institute. These programs boost the profile, impact and student opportunities of both the College and the University. College partnerships with industry continue to reap benefits. For example, our collaboration with Raytheon is resulting in an experimental wind tunnel to rival any in the Mach 1-7 range in the U.S. Speaking of faculty, we welcomed 10 new faculty members in August. That makes 130, with two more hires expected in January and the College on track to add 10 more positions in fall 2018. Expansions in marketing, development and alumni relations are enabling the College to more effectively communicate our strengths and potential to friends, supporters and the wider public. As you read this edition of Arizona Engineer, please take a few minutes to think about how your time on campus helped shape the person you are today. Drop us a line. By telling your stories and sharing your experiences, you will help us help our students become hungry, humble, people-smart engineers. We look forward to hearing from you. Bear Down and have a great holiday season!

Jeff Goldberg, Dean • 520.621.6594 • Twitter: @UA_ENGR_ Jeff_G

P.S. Design Day 2018 is set for April 30, 2018. Mark your calendars, and be a part of success in motion.








FALL 2017



6 Desalination Bus for Navajo Nation

2 Dean’s Message

With a solar-powered water-purification system and lab on wheels, environmental engineers extend infrastructure to a community and supply educational opportunities for its students.

12 Class Notes 15 Building Our Legacy: Hall of Fame 2017



On the Border—Researchers are designing an autonomous system for launching border-surveillance drones.

Homecoming 2017—Engineers Breakfast kicks off big weekend with notable alumni and visionary speakers.

The University of Arizona College of Engineering P.O. Box 210072 Tucson, AZ 85721-0072 Twitter: @azengineering Facebook: @UACollegeofEngineering 520.621.3754 •


Believe the Hype—Navy awards $2M to build hypersonic wind tunnel and study high-speed materials failure.

Arizona Engineer is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the University of Arizona College of Engineering. Stories in this print edition have been edited for length, and it is not feasible to include related multimedia such as photo galleries, video and audio files, and links to related websites. Visit Arizona Engineer online at for full stories, news archive, people profiles, and photo and video galleries. All contents © 2017 Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved.

Managing Editor Contributors Art Director Photography

Pete Brown Karina Barrentine, Emily Dieckman, Jill Goetz, Paul Tumarkin David Hostetler Pete Brown, Paul Tumarkin, Kristin Waller

The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information in its programs and activities.

Cover: The Wildcat Racing car goes off-road at Redington Pass, Arizona, in October 2016. (Photo: Laurence Wolf)

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Trio Steps Up Global Negotiating Skills in Washington Students lead mock treaty talks and meet scientists and diplomats during AAAS workshop.


THREE UA ENGINEERING students were among 32 participants – including students, researchers and professionals from many countries – selected to attend a science diplomacy workshop. The American Association for the Advancement of Science hosted the program in Washington, D.C., in September. “One of my favorite parts of the workshop was a negotiation simulation concerning an international response to mercury contamination,” said chemical and environmental engineering senior Leah Kaplan. “I was chair for my committee and had to act as mediator between representatives from seven countries and three NGOs. It was really challenging, but in the end we reached consensus.”

Newest Class Is Accomplished and Eclectic

Students include five Flinn Scholars, a tech blogger, and a mother and daughter.


THEY BRING DISPARATE backgrounds, experiences, skills and perspectives, but the College’s newest undergraduates share a singular passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Many participated in UA STEM education programs like the College’s introductory course for high school students and KEYS research internships before becoming freshmen. Five of 10 new Flinn Scholars at the University are in engineering: Zcheecid Aguirre, Amanda Bertsch, Nizhonabah Davis, Paxton Tomooka and Stanley Wong. The awards, for academic achievement and leadership, cover four years at an Arizona public university. “Growing up in a Hispanic community, there are racial stigmas, financial hardships and, for us women, gender stereotypes that can make it hard,” said Aguirre, who looks forward to four years down the road when she can tell her nana, “Look, I did make it.” Brian Winkler transferred from Pima Community College to the UA to

study journalism before switching to electrical and computer engineering. He writes a tech column for the student newspaper. “While I really enjoy writing, I truly love designing and building things,” he said. Ghazal Moghaddami and her mother, Neda Ahmadi, are juniors who transferred from Wichita State University. “Not many people experience going to school with their daughter,” Ahmadi said. “I’m loving every second of it.”

Fount of Knowledge—From left, Flinn Scholars Stanley Wong and Nizhonabah Davis, mother-daughter team Neda Ahmadi and Ghazal Moghaddami, and Daily Wildcat columnist Brian Winkler compare notes on their first month as Wildcat engineering students.

Student Clubs Build Practical Knowledge

Top Talks—UA students Leah Kaplan, left, Andisheh Ranjbari, second from right, and Stephanie Zawada, right, met with Román Macaya, second from left, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the U.S., at the Costa Rican embassy during their visit to Washington, D.C.

Also attending were doctoral students Andisheh Ranjbari, transportation engineering, and Stephanie Zawada, electrical and computer engineering. All three students received funding from the College of Engineering Dean’s Endowed Fund for Excellence in Engineering, made possible in part by John and Rebecca Somerhalder. In addition to AAAS training sessions, the program included lectures, embassy visits and a trip to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Hassan Vafai, UA research professor in civil engineering and engineering mechanics, organized the trip and was a guest speaker.




Rockets soar, human-powered vehicles shoot past competitors, and off-roaders race across unforgiving terrain.


COMPETING AND TOURING with UA engineering student clubs provides experiences no classroom can. “Being part of the club taught me what it is like to work with other engineers,” said Steve Smith, of the UA chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The group won a silver medal in the 30,000-footelevation category at a June 2017 rocketry competition in New Mexico. Another club placed ninth out of 24 teams at a regional 2017 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. The Baja Team, which builds a single-seat off-road vehicle every

year, competed in a four-hour race in Gorman, California, in April. The Wildcats finished 45th out of 85 teams, a big improvement over their 72nd-place finish in 2016. The UA Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration received its eighth Outstanding Student Chapter award in early September 2017. And chapters of the Design-Build Institute of America and American Society of Civil Engineers teamed up to take first place in a competition during the ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference in April 2017 at the University of California, Irvine. Eighteen teams planned a sidewalk repair, built concrete pads, and presented their projects to judges.

Under Surveillance—Department head Young-Jun Son, second from right, and PhD students from the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering flight-test a drone. (Photo: Chris Richards)

Smarter Control for Border Patrol UA engineers are designing an autonomous border-surveillance system to collect, assess and act on data in real time — and deploy drones on its own.


YOUNG-JUN SON, head of systems and industrial engineering, has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to build an integrated, autonomous surveillance system for land and aerial vehicles monitoring the nation’s southern border. The research is expected to give the U.S. Department of Homeland Security a clearer picture of activities along the 1,900-mile-long border with Mexico for swifter, better-coordinated responses. “By integrating multiple surveillance technologies, we can far surpass their individual capabilities,” said Son.

Sum Bigger Than Its Parts

surveillance team at just the right time to precisely locate and safely respond to targets. “Once we have detected, located and identified our targets of interest, we must decide which vehicles to deploy, and how many of each, to best meet objectives while considering tradeoffs of performance, cost and safety,” Son said.

Weighing the Tradeoffs Establishing when and where to send UAVs versus personnel on foot or in trucks is a balancing act. Factors considered include fuel consumption, accessibility, weather conditions and the possibility of armed smugglers.

Homeland Security’s Border Patrol unit uses unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with cameras and radar to identify suspicious activities over broad swaths of remote and mountainous areas. The unit’s fixed and mobile ground sensors are better for detecting objects and people on cloudy days or beneath trees and producing higher-quality images.

“To track a group of people moving in mountainous areas under clear blue skies, the optimal solution might be to deploy six UAVs and two trucks driven by border patrol agents,” Son explained. “For monitoring a group of the same size traveling in an urban area on a cloudy day, two UAVs and six ground patrol vehicles might be more effective.”

The challenge for the UA researchers is choosing the right combination of aerial and ground vehicles – given different terrain, weather conditions and predicted crowd movement – then activating the

The border-surveillance framework uses artificial intelligence, based on realistic computer simulations, to integrate information from different sources, including NASA geographical data.

From Simulation to AI The researchers have written hundreds of motion-detection and geolocalization algorithms to simulate and predict how groups of people move when traveling on flat desert and mountains, in uninhabited areas and cities, and in dry, dusty conditions or during monsoons. While the researchers are not fieldtesting at the U.S.-Mexico border, they are conducting experiments outside the lab – with sensorized, remote-controlled quadcopter drones, a ground vehicle model resembling a toy car, and human volunteers – to help understand and predict crowd behavior, such as gathering and splitting. Son’s team is also including aerostats in their simulations – blimps with radar used to detect low-flying aircraft and drones carrying Young-Jun Son drugs across the border. And the researchers are analyzing and testing wireless network technologies for the surveillance drones to communicate and cooperate over varied distances. 40:2

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Desalination Bus for Navajo Nation With a solar-powered water-purification system

and lab on wheels, environmental engineers

extend infrastructure to a community and supply

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Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic

educational opportunities for its students.


UA RESEARCHERS, partnering with local consulting firm Apex Applied Technology, delivered a mobile watertreatment system to a school in a water-scarce Navajo community on Sept. 7, 2017. The solarpowered system is built into a refurbished school bus, which also houses an educational laboratory. “It’s a way to extend infrastructure to these communities,” said Bob Arnold, professor of chemical and environmental engineering. The Navajo Nation desert in northeastern Arizona gets only 7 to 11 inches of rain annually. But there’s plenty of groundwater. It’s just high in salinity and contaminated with metals, including, in some areas, uranium.

STAR School students and other members of the Navajo Nation will learn how to operate the lowmaintenance system. “We want students to be motivated to learn more and hopefully go into hard sciences, and help their people that way,” said the school’s cofounder Mark Sorensen.

micron ratings – 10, 5 and 1. The lower the micron rating, the smaller the particles a filter can remove. A grain of ordinary table salt is about 100 microns. Next the water is forced through a series of semipermeable membranes. “With the pressure that we apply, we basically

“It’s a way to extend infrastructure to these communities.” BOB ARNOLD, chemical & environmental engineering professor

This makes the third water purification system to come out of the UA-Apex Applied Tech partnership. It is the first, however, to be built into a school bus.

“It can provide water for many decades if we treat it,” said Vicky Karanikola, chemical and environmental engineering research professor.

“Our mission is to take the research and apply it to technology to solve real-world problems,” said AATech vice president Jing Luo, who earned a PhD in environmental engineering at the UA in 2003.

Out of the Lab and Into the World

Technology Under the Hood

The multicultural team, including a number of graduate students, developed the waterpurification system for the pre-K-8 STAR School, which operates off the grid near Flagstaff, Arizona.

The system is straightforward. Water is drawn up from wells into a feed tank on the bus. Then it passes through three filters with progressively lower

squeeze clean water through the membrane,” said Karanikola. About 20 percent of the water is filtered into drinkable water. The rest is returned to the source.

Maintaining low recovery levels extends the life of the operation.

Birth of an Idea The bus notion came to Sorensen a few years ago as the Standing Rock Sioux began pushing back against Dakota Access Pipeline developers to protect the tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands. With nearly 40 percent of families on the Navajo Reservation living without running water, and much of the available water either unsafe or unpalatable, he shifted his thinking homeward. “If you get together a great group of people who are motivated and can think creatively, you can solve some pretty serious problems at the local level,” Sorensen said.

The Brains Behind the Bus—From left, Ilse Rojas, Jing Luo, Peter Zhou, Rodolfo Peon, Bob Arnold, Vicky Karanikola and Bob Seaman.


Fall 2017




High-Powered and Full of Heart


“THE WORLD REVOLVES around engineering,” UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said in remarks at his first Engineers Breakfast.

“I sold my car, rented a motorcycle and spent six months traveling throughout southeast Asia,” he said.

More than 400 University of Arizona alumni, faculty, students and industry partners attended the 54th annual Engineers Breakfast in the Student Union Memorial Center on Oct. 27.

He saw how people in the country were going blind simply because of cataracts.

Man of Vision

Convertible Cats—Wilma and Wilbur Wildcat parade past the College of Engineering tent on the UA Mall.

Alumnus of the Year

Professional Achievement

Young Professional Achievement

Alan Boeckmann, BS electrical engineering 1973, joined Fluor Corp., an engineering and construction firm specializing in large and complex international projects, just out of college and rose through the ranks to become its chairman and CEO. Company revenues topped $27 billion when he retired in 2012.

“I have had a passion for planes since I was a kid,” said Michael Slattery, BS aerospace and mechanical engineering 1988, president of United Rotorcraft, a world leader in emergency medical air transport.

Ryan Kanto, BS chemical engineering and engineering management 2007, describes himself as a “trained engineer instilled with a permanent sense of wonder.”

The Tucson native recalled his mother driving him to a now-defunct airport so he could watch a plane land every 10 minutes.

He worked in the oil and gas industry, becoming a vice president of production at Rice Energy in 2011. Kanto ascended to two more executive posts at Rice before leaving the company in April 2017 to co-found Quantum Spirits distillery with his wife, Sarah Kanto. The company plans to start producing custom spirits in 2018.

His leadership in international standards for business and engineering ethics earned Fluor numerous awards. “We honor Alan not only for his remarkable professional achievements, but for his ability to understand and operate in many different cultures, always in an ethical way,” said College of Engineering Dean Jeff Goldberg, also thanking Boeckmann for his philanthropic support of the College, including serving on the Industry Partner Board.


Keynote speaker Andy Doraiswamy mountaineered in Nepal and visited remote villages, including one with a free eye surgery clinic, after getting his UA master’s degree in materials science and engineering in 2003.

“I knew nothing about health care, but I knew this blindness could be prevented,” said Doraiswamy, who volunteered at the clinic and found his calling. He later founded Oculeve, which was purchased by Allergan for $425 million in 2015. Now Doraiswamy advises early-stage health care companies and serves on the board of Surgical Eye Expeditions International.



Slattery became a licensed pilot and worked on major medical evacuation projects, including the Black Hawk Medevac, L-1011 Flying Hospital and S-70 Firehawk, and has served as a consultant to the aviation industry. United Rotorcraft has supported team projects for the University of Arizona Engineering Design Program, and Slattery has served as a judge at Design Day.

A founding member of the College of Engineering’s Young Alumni Board, he will continue sharing career tips – not to mention cocktail recipes – with other Wildcats.

Engineering Design Projects: Prototypes for Career Success Seniors work on design projects each year, and many receive job offers as a result. Meet three graduates whose projects landed them right where they wanted to be. Project Nets Student a Fitting Biomedical Job Biomedical engineering student Martin Galaz was lead design engineer on the “Lightning Legs” project, initiated by Hermelinda Bristol for her son Jeffrey, who has cerebral palsy. “All I ever wanted was to make something meaningful out of my senior design project,” said Galaz.

“The project helped prepare me for working at Caterpillar,” said Daughenbaugh, who interned at the company before working on the project. Since graduation he has participated in Caterpillar’s rotational training program, working at various locations, including the company’s new offices in downtown Tucson. “We’re testing Caterpillar’s massive machines to their limits. Some are trucks with wheels 13 feet in diameter. Others are almost like small houses, with bedrooms and bathrooms.”

Jeffrey and his mother demonstrated the exoskeleton to hundreds of visitors at Design Day and watched the team win an award for engineering ethics. “Within the first two weeks of using the exoskeleton, Jeffrey was able to stand and maintain his balance by himself,” Galaz said. “He is making amazing progress.” Mobile App—Martin Galaz, right, and his “Lightning Legs” design team helped another UA student gain mobility.

After college, Galaz applied to biomedical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. “The company asked a lot of questions regarding my senior design project,” Galaz recalled. “They liked that I was able to manage a group of engineers.” He got the job.

Self-Propelled from College to Caterpillar Kyle Daughenbaugh built human-powered vehicles in the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers through all his years at UA. He and his team sought donations so their club could support the vehicle as their senior design project.

Check It Out—Summer Garland, right, mentored the Xeridiem-sponsored team that won best prototyping for its nasogastric tubing system in 2017. She also led the previous year’s project on the biomedical device and now works for the company.

New Hire Pays Advisory Role Forward Biomedical engineering major Summer Garland led her senior design project team in developing a nasogastric tube placement-verification system, winning two awards on Engineering Design Day 2016 for best presentation and best innovation. Project supporter Tucson-based Xeridiem Medical Devices hired her on the spot. “I felt it was my responsibility to maintain an unmatched level of professionalism when interacting with Xeridiem, and ensure that this trait was reflected by our entire team,” she said. The plan paid off. Garland graduated in December 2016 and took a job the following month as Xeridiem’s customer success engineer.

People Power—Kyle Daughenbaugh leans over his team’s 2016 human-powered vehicle, which helped him land a job at Caterpillar.

Garland advised the 2016-2017 Xeridiem-supported team on further refining the feeding tube. The team won the award for best prototyping. “I know these students are better prepared for working in industry as a result of working on their senior design projects,” Garland said.

Learn more about the Engineering Design Program at


Fall 2017



Navy Awards Aerospace Engineers $2M to Study Hypersonics The College of Engineering is building two additional wind tunnels to explore instability and materials failure in vehicles traveling at extremely high speeds.


ENGINEERS ARE INSTALLING three 20-foot-long tubes for a new highspeed wind tunnel in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building, ushering in an era of hypersonic discovery at the University of Arizona. “There have been peaks and valleys in U.S. hypersonic research since World War II,” said assistant professor Stuart “Alex” Craig, who joined the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in 2016. “With China and Russia flighttesting hypersonic drone aircraft whose missile payloads can strike targets thousands of miles away in less than an hour, we’re definitely seeing an uptick.”

Research Is Booming

has potential applications beyond the military, he said, perhaps even for commercial flight – as aerospace giants like Boeing and space tourism visionaries like Elon Musk move hypersonic commercial jets and civilian spacecraft closer to reality. The wind tunnel under construction, expected to be ready for testing in spring 2018, is a low-disturbance, or quiet, Mach 4 tunnel. A second quiet tunnel, slated for completion in 2020, will move air at Mach 5. These new facilities will supplement the UA’s existing wind tunnels, where researchers conduct experiments at subsonic and supersonic speeds.

simulations and modeling. In the new wind tunnels, Craig will put Fasel’s computations to the test. Also participating is professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics Anatoli Tumin, who researches how gases and sound waves behave at hypersonic speeds. Air begins to change chemically and becomes an electrically charged field at Mach 5 and above. Craig, Fasel and Tumin are studying the complex and still poorly understood phenomena that occur at the boundary layer between laminar, or smooth, and turbulent airflows at such high speeds.

When vehicles traveling at hypersonic speeds Craig and two other faculty encounter airflows at in the department, both the laminar-turbulent pioneering researchers in fluid dynamics, won STUART ‘ALEX’ CRAIG, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering boundary, they experience high drag and become awards in spring 2017 dangerously hot, which totaling nearly $2 million is why rockets require deep layers of from the Office of Naval Research to study “Relatively few U.S. universities have thermal insulation to prevent them problems of instability and materials wind tunnels capable of airflows at Mach from burning up when re-entering failure for aircraft and missiles flying at 4 or 5,” said Craig. “Quiet flow tunnels are Earth’s atmosphere. highly supersonic, or hypersonic, speeds especially important for approximating of Mach 5 and above. Mach 5 is five times the calm conditions encountered by These investigations could help overcome the speed of sound – about 3,800 mph. aircraft in the atmosphere.” some of the challenges of high-speed flight, Craig said, and help manufacturers “The Navy is looking to develop High-Speed Mysteries design more efficient vehicles with greater hypersonic missiles for ship-to-ship Craig is collaborating with professor of warfare that would be harder for enemies aerospace and mechanical engineering controllability and larger payloads. Hermann Fasel, an expert in computer to shoot down,” Craig said. The research




“Relatively few U.S. universities have wind tunnels capable of airflows at Mach 4 or 5.”

Startup Licenses UA-Invented Radar System for Auto Industry College inventions aim to improve automotive radar systems with Luneburg lenses.


THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA has licensed College-developed technology to UA startup Lunewave Inc. Lunewave is commercializing the inexpensive, high-performance, 3-D printed Luneburg lenses to provide improved radar systems for the auto industry. Hao Xin, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was the lead inventor on the research underlying the lens and associated sensors. “These technologies have applications in sensing and detection, autonomous cars and drones, pollution, water vapor detection, as well as wireless communication,” Xin said. Current driver-assistance systems require multiple expensive sensors,

and ultrasonics and optics that have limited ranges and are sensitive to adverse weather conditions. The new radar system uses a 3-D printed Luneburg lens combined with embedded electronics to create systems that scan more efficiently, avoid interference from other radar systems, and cover a full 360 degrees.

Lens Flair—Co-inventor Min Liang holds the new 3-D printed Luneburg lens, which has potential for small applications such as automotive radar.

The inventors worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the office of the UA that commercializes inventions

stemming from University research, to protect the intellectual property and develop their company launch strategy. “We see huge opportunity,” Xin said.

Sunscreen Licensed to Leading Aloe Vera Supplier Faculty-student team turns its sol-gel research into new sunscreen product.


THE UA HAS LICENSED a new nonpenetrating sunscreen to Mexico’s largest producer of organic aloe vera. Douglas Loy, professor of materials science and engineering, worked

with graduate student Stephanie Tolbert to develop the formulation, which has been licensed to MexiAloe Laboratorios, a subsidiary of Mexican marketing giant Novamex. The UA’s Tech Launch Arizona worked with Loy to protect the intellectual property and license the invention.

Douglas Loy

Sunscreens work by encasing ultravioletlight-blocking molecules, such as oxybenzone,

in microscopic capsules – known as pearls – which can break down and release their contents. The American Association of Dermatology says oxybenzone is safe, but public concern remains. The UA sunscreen binds oxybenzone in such a way that it does not seep into the skin. According to Loy, the inspiration for the invention came from Tolbert. “Stephanie wanted to improve cosmetics by introducing sunscreens that wouldn’t pass through the skin,” Loy said. “In addition to being nonhazardous, we made the sunscreens last longer so they wouldn’t have to be reapplied as frequently.” 40:2

Fall 2017





Product development engineer at Urbix Resources Kurumi Austin, BS/MSE 2017, won first place in the 14th Annual Materials Bowl in April, shepherding Kurumi Austin safe return of the Territorial Trophy from Arizona State University to its rightful place in the UA Mines Building.

Aaron Ben

Aaron Ben, BS/ ChE 2017, spent his first summer after graduation working at the Andeavor refinery in Gallup, New Mexico, and helping his mother herd and shear sheep on her property. He is pursuing his MS in chemical engineering at the UA.

The first woman ever to receive a mining engineering degree at the University of Sonora in Mexico, Ana Ingstrom, MS/ MGE 2015, now lives in Colorado and works for the U.S. Forest Service in permit processing for mining on federal lands.

Mingyang Li, PhD/SIE 2015, is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at the University of South Florida. Kaitlyn Mensing, BS/ChE 2015, worked at W. L. Gore & Associates before starting law school at Duke University in fall 2017. She plans to focus on patent law or another area of science and technology. “My time in the UA program and my work experience gave me a significant advantage in the law school application process and even preparing for finding a position as a summer associate.” Senior preconstruction engineer Wes Walling, BS/CE 2015, and project manager Kristen Reinke, BS/EngMgt 2009, work at Phoenix-based Ryan Companies, where they have helped lead major construction projects, including the 20-acre Marina Kristen Reinke Heights development. Reinke is working on an outreach center to “enhance St. Vincent de Paul’s ability to feed, clothe, house and heal the most vulnerable populations in Phoenix.”

Plane Sailing—Leading a tour at Honeywell for the SHPE Phoenix professional chapter, Maira Garcia shows visitors the cockpit of a Boeing 757 flight-test aircraft.

Maira Garcia, BS/AE 2014, won the 2017 Professional Role Model Award from the national Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. The Honeywell control systems engineer helped establish the UA’s SHPE Alumni Scholarship. “Who’d have known that little Maira from West Phoenix would receive a national award like this?” XianBiao Hu, PhD/CE 2013, is an assistant professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Ningxin Wang, BS/ChE 2012, is pursuing her doctorate in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is conducting research in atmospheric science. In May 2016, she participated in the Finokalia Aerosol Measurement Experiments on the Greek island of Crete.


Laura Kelsey, BS/AE 2009, an aerospace engineer at Paragon Space Development Corp., led a water-processing project that won the company a 2017 Copper Cactus Award for innovation from the Tucson Metro Chamber.


Virtuous Cycle—Erica Clevenger, BS/ChE 2017, won the Women’s Division Club Road Race at the 2017 USA Cycling Collegiate and Para-Cycling Road National Championships. (Photo: Casey B. Gibson)




Western Window Systems’ vice president of design and supply chain Cameron Wyatt, BS/EngMgt 2006, and manufacturing engineer manager Kraig Hoekstra, BS/EngMgt 2008, recently celebrated the company’s first-ever Crystal Achievement Award for innovative manufacturing from Window and Door magazine.



Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Stempfley, BS/ EngMath 1991, directs the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She is former deputy assistant secretary in Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.


Betsy Wilkening, BS/ChE 1982, organized a three-day underwater robotics and engineering design workshop for Arizona high school teachers in summer 2017. She is water education coordinator for Arizona Project WET, which co-sponsored the workshop.

supply. Curtis especially loved running a 1,000-employee plant in China and wrote, “The people I worked with there were bright, passionate, hardworking and so eager to learn. They are still some of my best friends.”



Built for Speed—Dustin Wright, BS/ME 2006, second from left, is owner and senior

Embedded Computing mechanical engineer of Phoenix Race Works, which builds Formula One cars. Design magazine for Lockheed and other companies and named Bill Mensch, was responsible for diagnostic design BS/EE 1971, a 2017 Top Embedded and structural analysis on amphibious Innovator. The CEO and founder of assault vehicles for the U.S. Marine Western Design Center pioneered Corps. Now retired, he and his wife have embedded microprocessor design. three children and seven grandchildren and are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. s Scott C. Roberts, BS/ChE 1969, retired Doug Draper, BS/EE 1960, worked on from Royal Dutch Shell in 2008 after 35 torpedoes for Aerojet General Corp. in years in many roles, including president California and Hudson Laboratories in of Shell Mexico and vice president for New York, where he met his wife. “It manufacturing in northwestern Europe. was a fun job, because we were often on He and his wife, Catherine, have lived ships in the Atlantic going to Bermuda, and worked in several U.S. states and the Caribbean islands and Europe.” He countries. He has served on advisory earned master’s and doctoral degrees boards for Cornell University, Colorado in engineering at Pennsylvania State School of Mines and the University of University and Oregon Graduate Washington, and chaired boards for Institute and taught engineering for organizations increasing collaboration years in Portland, Oregon. “I have spent between U.S. and Mexican engineers most of my professional life teaching and manufacturers. “My passions engineering – my reward for an include helping young people expand excellent education,” he wrote. their potential and building peace in the world.”


Proud Alumna—Cindy Klingberg, right, accepts her 2017 departmental Alumni of the Year Award from Young-Jun Son.

The Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering honored Cindy Klingberg, BS/IE 1988, with its 2017 Alumni of the Year Award for her more than 20 years of dedication to UA Engineering students and programs. It has been a watershed year for Tony Mulligan, BS/ME 1988, and the company he founded, EMILY rescuerobot manufacturer Hydronalix. The company won 2017 awards from the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Manufacturers Council and U.S. Department of Defense and was a 2017 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Award finalist. Bonnie Curtis, BS/ChE 1980, has retired from Procter & Gamble after 37 years. She joined the company out of college and rose to become vice president for product

Robert Skelding, MS/ AE 1963, a 31-year IBM veteran, managed the company’s design group at Kennedy Space Center during the Saturn V Apollo launches and helped develop a computer for NASA’s Viking Mars Lander. He consulted


Arms Race—Richard Bates, BS/ME 2016, is a design engineer with California-based Space Systems Loral, which has built every robotic arm for NASA’s rovers and landers.


Fall 2017





Robert M. Jones, BS/ME 1958, has served as an Air Force pilot, acquired an MBA and PhD, and spent three decades working as an engineer in capacities ranging from brass casting and soybean processing to nuclear energy production. And he shows no signs of slowing down. The great-grandfather of seven officially retired in 2001, putting pen to paper and camera to eye, but still consults for SKF Reliability Systems. His second book, “Short Takes, 86 Maintenance Case Histories,” was published in 2016. “With the thought that we can’t

live long enough to make enough mistakes to learn from, I’ve put together case histories from my 34 years as a maintenance and application engineer.” From their home in Las Vegas, he and his wife of 58 years, Kaye, have traveled throughout the Americas and on safari in Africa in his quest for the perfect

wildlife shot. Having moved to Tucson when he was 12, Jones remembers his alma mater almost 60 years on. “My first semester in ’54 cost $60 plus books, ROTC was taught in Old Main, and the football stadium was open on both ends. Today, the University pretty well covers the area where I had my first paper route.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES Thanks to all alumni who wrote in identifying our mystery alumna from the last edition. She is Zlática Kraljevic, MS/ChE 1977 and PhD/ ChE 1981, and is pictured working in Alan Randolph’s crystallization lab. Watch out for a profile of Kraljevic in an upcoming edition.

Green violetear hummingbird. (Photo: Robert M. Jones)

Generous $1M Unrestricted Gift Gives Dean Flexibility “I’ve been side by side with engineers from universities like MIT and Purdue and Georgia Tech over the past 40 years,” John Somerhalder has said. “The UA provided absolutely the highest level of education.”

Generous Gift—From left: UA Alumni Association President Melinda Burke, John Somerhalder, and College of Engineering Dean Jeff Goldberg, at the 2016 UA Alumni Awards. (Photo: Jacob Chinn)




Somerhalder. “They know where the most important needs are, and we want to give them the flexibility to take care of what’s most important at the time.”

Somerhalder, who earned his BS in chemical engineering at the UA in 1977, and his wife, Rebecca, have made a $1 million gift to the Dean’s Endowed Fund for Excellence in Engineering, a crucial resource for the College.

This year Goldberg will use the funding to further train instructors in the use of technology for interactive and small-group learning – creating more collaborative teaching environments and better engaging undergraduates.

“In this case, my wife and I have simply gained a level of trust with the people who are administering this gift,” said

Somerhalder was the College of Engineering 2016 Alumnus of the Year. “He got a strong education here, worked really hard, had some good luck and moved up through the energy industry,” said Goldberg. “Now he gives back to his communities.”

Somerhalder continues to serve as an industry and civic leader after retiring as CEO and board chair at Atlanta-based AGL Resources, the nation’s largest natural gas-only distribution utility.

Inaugural Hall of Fame Members Leave Their Marks Meet the entrepreneurs, educators, pioneers and explorers who make up the Hall of Fame Class of 2017. David Allais earned BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering in 1954 and 1958. Without him, the world might not have some of its bar code applications, including the first-ever alphanumeric symbology, Code 39. David Areghini, a 1965 civil engineering graduate, has held many leadership positions, including associate general manager of the Salt River Project. He has been highly active in the College and the UA’s National Leadership Council and Alumni Foundation. Robert Barksdale, a third-generation engineer who earned a BS in civil engineering in 1958, has held executive leadership positions with several companies, overseeing the construction of 24 hydro projects and four international airports. Richard Edwards received the University’s first PhD in chemical engineering in 1964. He is a recipient of the Navy’s Purple Heart for his service in World War II, UA professor emeritus of chemical engineering, vice president emeritus of student relations, and former associate and acting dean of the College of Mines, which preceded the College of Engineering.

David Allais

David Areghini

Agnes Raclare Cordis Kanal

Kim Fox, a 33-year veteran of General Electric, received his mechanical engineering degree in 1959 when it was one of only four College majors. Fox and his wife, also a UA graduate, have established the Kim and Corinne Fox Scholarship. Rudolf Jimenez, a WWII vet who earned BS and MS degrees in civil engineering in 1950 and 1952, is UA professor emeritus of civil engineering. He has chaired the annual Arizona Roads & Streets Conference for 20 years. Robert Hall, who received a BS in civil engineering in 1949 and retired from the Spink Corp. in 1992 after 35 years, has led projects in housing, roads, utilities and communications, including the design of fiber optics conduits for the Golden Gate and Mackinac bridges.

William “Bill” Lynch Jr., a real-estate developer and corporate investor, earned a BS in electrical engineering in 1959 because, he said, “My father was an electrical engineer, and he always stressed the value of an engineering background regardless of the industry.” S. Jack McDuff, a 1951 metallurgical engineering graduate, retired from Johns-Manville Corp. in 1982 after 30 years. Then he started a financial and property management business. McDuff works tirelessly to engage alumni from coast to coast.

Agnes Raclare Cordis Kanal was the first female member of the UA chapter of Tau Beta Pi and sole woman in the 1954 graduating class of engineers. Her husband, Laveen Kanal, has established a memorial scholarship to inspire women in engineering.

Roy Medina, who earned a BS in 1960, was the first in his family to finish college. He managed numerous manufacturing companies and with his wife, also a UA graduate, founded Polydrive Industries Inc. They generously support students and faculty. “It all started with a mechanical engineering degree,” he said.

J. David Lowell, a 1949 mining engineering graduate, has discovered more copper – including the world’s largest deposit in Chile — than anyone, ever. He found his calling at age 7, separating ore on his father’s small mine

Blanche “Peggy” Lightowler Peckham found time to get a pilot’s license and participate in sorority activities on her way to becoming, in 1945, the first female graduate of the College of Mines, predecessor of the College of Engineering.

Robert Barksdale

J. David Lowell

in southern Arizona. Benefactor of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, the Lowell family has given millions to the University.

Richard Edwards

William “Bill” Lynch Jr.

Kim Fox

S. Jack McDuff

Rudolf Jimenez

Roy Medina

Robert Hall

Blanche “Peggy” Lightowler Peckham 40:2

Fall 2017




The University of Arizona College of Engineering P.O. Box 210072 Tucson, AZ 85721-0072

CALLING ALL ALUMNI! Where has life taken you since graduation? We’d like to know and so would your College classmates. Please email us with details (about 300 words) and be sure to include the following information: • Name and year you graduated • Major • Degree (BS, MS, PhD, etc.) • Details of your activities

We’d also be interested to see – and share – pictures of your family, your latest project at work, or that boat or hot rod you just finished building in your garage. Vacation photos are great, too. We’ll publish your news and photos online and in the next print edition.

BEEN IN THE NEWS LATELY? Let us know if you’ve been getting some media attention. Just email a link to us and we’ll continue to spread the news via the College website and social media sites.

Please send your email to

FROM THE ARCHIVES Help us identify the people and the project in this photo. It looks like an early version of the human-powered machine, but we need your help to be sure.




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Arizona Engineer | Fall 2017  
Arizona Engineer | Fall 2017