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FALL 2018


NASA Funds $30M Project to Study Cloud-Aerosol Interactions

8 Homecoming 2018

Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future

10 Bridge to the Doctorate

Helping Minority Students Overcome Barriers to Graduate Education

11 Lightning Legs

UA Engineers Help a Fellow Wildcat Walk After 19 Years in a Wheelchair


Fall 2018




Engineering the Fourth Industrial Revolution

As the University of Arizona, under the leadership of President Robert C. Robbins, embarks on strategic objectives focused on creating technology for humanity’s changing landscape, it’s an exciting time to be at the College of Engineering. UA ENGINEERING is poised to play a key role in the university’s new strategic plan, inspired by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Researchers are working on 5G wireless technology, smartphone apps for cancer detection, space missions, autonomous vehicles, hypersonic travel, and quantum computing and communications, to name just a few of the focus areas. Faculty are investigating and integrating teaching methods for active collaborative learning and creating new courses and laboratories. A four-year design program, featuring community projects and concept creation, aims to immerse undergraduates in real-life problems and entrepreneurial thinking. One aspect of the program would involve juniors pitching product and system concepts (think Shark Tank) to potential sponsors during Engineering Design Day – with the goal of turning their ideas into capstone projects. It’s a win for students, industry and the college. Plans to assess the feasibility of building an Engineering Design Center are rapidly moving forward. The Engineering Design Center would create a hub for the four-year design program, capstone course and student support services. Speaking of the world’s next highly skilled engineers, mark your calendars for April 29, and come see the results of seniors’ hard work. Projects at Engineering Design Day 2019 range from a grasshopper harvester for turning agricultural pests into assets to a CatSat, a CubeSat for testing inflatable deep space communication systems. Please join us for one of the most exciting days of the year. A national search for the new dean is underway. The college expects to host candidates on campus during the spring semester and fill the position by the start of the 2019-2020 academic year. Advancements in the college’s design programs, teaching methods, and facilities for learning and research would not be possible without our alumni and partners. Thank you! Your generosity, dedication and vision will pay off for decades to come. Wishing you and yours the very best in the new year,

K. Larry Head Interim Dean




klhead@email.arizona.edu • 520.621.6594 • Twitter: @UA_ENGR_Larry_H






FALL 2018

View from plane showing Armin Sorooshian’s cloud-sampling probes.



6 NASA Funds $30M Project Led by Armin Sorooshian to Study Cloud-Aerosol Interactions

2 Dean’s Message

University of Arizona research will further investigation into tiny particles with huge impacts on climate, air quality and human health.

13 Class Notes 15 Building Our Legacy


Homecoming 2018—Engineering alumni converge on campus for a weekend of connecting with friends and faculty.



Bridge to the Doctorate—Million-dollar NSF grant helps minority students overcome barriers to graduate education.

Lightning Legs—Inspiring story of how engineering students helped fellow Wildcat walk after 19 years in a wheelchair.

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

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 news.engineering.arizona.edu for full stories, news archives, and photo and video galleries.

All contents © 2018 Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved.

Managing Editor Contributors Art Director Photography

Pete Brown Emily Dieckman, Pam Scott David Hostetler Pete Brown, Emily Dieckman, Patricia Fortlage, Dustin Holbrook

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.

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Veteran Student Forges Her Own Path

UA Provides Outstanding Support to Transfer Students



ROSLYN NORMAN is a 2018 da Vinci Scholar, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, a mechanical engineering major, an art minor and a leader in STEM outreach for young women. She believes creativity and communication are some of the most important skills for engineers.

STUDENTS STARTING off in community college have found success in the College of Engineering. Samuel Portillo enrolled at the UA after high school, but scheduling conflicts, transportation issues and uncertainty about a major led him to drop out his first semester. With encouraging emails from UA advisers, including transfer student enrollment coordinator Joseph McCollough, Portillo started over at Pima Community College and transferred into the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering after one year. Such emails are just one part of a welcoming culture.

Roslyn Norman: “A lot of people don’t see the creative side of engineering.” (Photo: Patricia Fortlage)

Fernanda Fraijo Arce

“A lot of people don’t see the creative side of engineering, but that’s really what it is: You have to creatively problem-solve to make something better than what you started with,” she said. “And you have to able to communicate well too.”

Twin sisters Alejandra and Fernanda Fraijo Arce also transferred from Pima. With the help of UA faculty and staff, Fernanda joined what was then the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Alejandra is pursuing a chemical engineering degree.

Future Engineers and Dough Rise at Solar Oven Throw Down


AT THE Solar Oven Throw Down, nearly 600 freshman engineering students baked biscuits on the UA Mall using solar ovens they made from cardboard, aluminum foil, duct tape, newspaper and polyester film. The event, sponsored by W.L. Gore & Associates, was the culmination of introductory engineering course ENGR 102. Students spent the first six weeks designing their ovens and developing thermodynamic models to estimate peak temperatures – predictions most closely met by teams in Ken George’s class. The Solar Chicks, supervised by Cac Dao, won the All-in-the-Same-Boat Award for their strong teamwork. The Roasties, advised by Armin Sorooshian, were runners-up.




Members of team UA Slay and engineering freshmen Carolina Gomez, left, and Eric Lawson enjoy the Tucson sunshine as they focus its rays in their solar oven.

Fab Fun!


ENGR 102 students gathered Sept. 17 and 18 to fabricate hundreds of water pasteurization indicators, or WAPIs, at the first-ever FabFest, sponsored by the Salt River Project. WAPIs are made of wax enclosed in glass tubes. In water, the wax melts at temperatures much lower than boiling point, but hot enough to kill dangerous microbes. The water can be deemed potable without using the energy to boil it. The class plans to donate the devices to Engineers Without Borders for distribution to people in need.

Gordon Downs is helping develop new ways to analyze data from the NASA Curiosity Mars rover as a collaborator on the Mars Science Laboratory science team.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Mines Data From Mars Rover


GORDON DOWNS, an electrical and computer engineering and mathematics double major, has worked with a UA team for about a year developing new ways to analyze data from the CheMin instrument on the NASA Curiosity rover. The team’s method will help more critically identify materials on

Mars, bringing the mission closer to answering the question of whether it would have been habitable to microbial life. Eight UA researchers and graduate students are also contributing to the international project, but Downs is the only undergraduate collaborator at the UA.

Engineering students build water purifiers in the classroom.

CLASS OF 2018: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Mechanical engineer Jesse Chen applied to several graduate programs. The full funding offered by the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering brought him back to the UA to pursue his PhD, focusing on active flow control. Cameron McHugh chose the UA because of its swim program. She earned All-American honors in the 800 free relay and was named to the CSCAA Scholar AllAmerica team. Now that she’s completed her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, McHugh is headed to Stanford for her master’s in mechanical engineering. Cameron McHugh

Anthony Vega has played organized baseball since he was 5. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 and has been playing for the Long Island Ducks since 2015. After studying computer engineering in New York, Anthony Vega Vega transferred to the UA. He balanced professional ball with schoolwork, and earned his degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in May. Austin Grimm liked the UA for its engineering program and campus. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering, he became a tower engineer at ME Elecmetal in Tempe, Arizona, where he and his team create castings used worldwide in mining and construction. 41:2 Fall Fall2018 2018 || 41:2




HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH A $30 million NASA grant will help Armin Sorooshian further research tiny particles that affect both our climate and our well-being.

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ARMIN SOROOSHIAN, a UA professor of chemical and environmental engineering, has spent his career at high altitudes – whether he’s soaring above the Pacific Ocean collecting aerosol samples or in his lab atop the Physics and Atmospheric Sciences building examining them. With a grant from NASA totaling up to $30 million over five years to research the interactions between aerosols and cloud properties over the Western Atlantic, Sorooshian has reached new heights. “The selection of our project is a testament to the University of Arizona’s role as a harmonizer between several institutions focusing on one of the most pressing issues impacting this planet: climate change,” said Sorooshian, also a professor in hydrology and atmospheric sciences and in public health. “I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to lead this NASA mission to reduce uncertainty about human-caused effects on the atmosphere, specifically interactions between aerosol particles and clouds.” The funding comes from NASA’s Earth Venture-class program, which supports projects investigating important, but not wellunderstood, aspects of Earth system processes.

Sorooshian and four other investigators from around the United States make up the third cohort of Earth Venture suborbital investigators. NASA selected their projects from among 30 proposals, and

balance. From aboard two research aircraft based at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia – an HU-25 Falcon and a B-200 King Air – Sorooshian and his team will gather measurements

“This NASA grant for earth investigations is a great achievement for professor Sorooshian, the engineering program and the University of Arizona.” ROBERT C. ROBBINS, UA President

awardees will take to the field beginning in 2020. Sorooshian has spent his career studying aerosols, microscopic particles that can be released into the air by everything from sea spray and pollen to vehicles and power plant emissions. While the particles affect climate and human health, current understanding of their chemistry, the way they interact with elements such as moisture, and how they change during their aging in the atmosphere is limited. Sorooshian’s investigation will focus on marine boundary layer clouds over the western North Atlantic Ocean that have a critical role in our planet’s energy

from above, below and within the clouds. The project team includes Sorooshian and Xubin Zeng from the UA, plus scientists and engineers from NASA Langley Research Center and several other universities and research centers. “This NASA grant for earth investigations is a great achievement for professor Sorooshian, the engineering program and the University of Arizona,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “Armin Sorooshian has long been a nationally recognized leader for his expertise in measuring the impact of aerosols on clouds. This is critical work for the future of our world and an outstanding example of the

UA’s capacity for positive impact globally.” Sorooshian earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona and his MS and PhD degrees at the California Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering. He has served as a reviewer on four NASA panels, and received the NASA Group Achievement Award for his team’s work on the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys, or SEAC4RS, mission. Sorooshian and Zeng said the project benefited from the strong support of UA interim Provost and former Dean of the College of Engineering Jeff Goldberg, College of Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz, and the Earth Dynamics Observatory cluster hire initiated by former Provost Andrew Comrie and former Senior Vice President for Research Kimberly Espy.

Armin Sorooshian


Fall 2018



Award Winners The college honored several alumni for their wealth of accomplishments since graduation. Claire Tomkins, founder of the online platform Future Family, which helps families navigate fertility issues, earned her bachelor’s degree in systems and industrial engineering and public policy in 2001. She received the Young Professional Achievement Award for her work in developing clean energy policies and launching Future Family. Joaquin M. Martinez, a 1993 graduate in civil engineering, received the Professional Achievement Award for his career at Hess Corp., where he has risen through the ranks from operations manager to general manager – Asia. He also mentors Native American and Hispanic students in Tucson. The college named Dylan E. Taylor, global president and chief operating officer of Colliers International and founder of Space for Humanity, its Alumnus of the Year. During his senior year as a materials science and engineering student in 1993, he was president of the Engineering Student Council, and one of his responsibilities was to present the Alumnus of the Year Award at Homecoming. He never imagined he’d be receiving it himself 25 years later.




Members of the UA Chain Gang Junior Honorary celebrate Homecoming aboard a bus in the 2018 parade.

Homecoming 2018

Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future


MORE THAN 500 College of Engineering faculty, staff, students and alumni – from the Class of 1949 all the way through the Class of 2018 – gathered in the Student Union this October for the 55th annual University of Arizona Engineers Breakfast.

Engineering Student Council president and biomedical engineering senior Nancy Pham took the podium to talk about how she found her home in the college after starting off as a dispassionate biochemistry major.

UA President Robert C. Robbins said the college is at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or the convergence of physical, digital and biological realms. He added that the college, led by interim Dean Larry Head since former Dean Jeff Goldberg became interim senior vice president of academic affairs and provost, is in excellent hands.

“Pursuing engineering has allowed me to explore the possibilities and opened the door to a world of opportunity,” she said. “I chose engineering because I was captivated by every aspect of it.”

“It’s great to be here at the UA,” Head said. “There’s so much going on, our days are packed, our students are excited. It’s a fun time.”

From left: Mechanical engineering alumnus Steve Sargent, Class of 1981, enjoys the homecoming festivities on the UA Mall with daughter Maddie, who is double-majoring in biosystems and mechanical engineering, Maddie’s friend Amanda Garcia, and his wife, Anne.



ATOROD AZIZINAMINI, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University, spoke about the future of bridge engineering at the UA Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Mechanics’ Centennial Lecture. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, nearly 40 percent of bridges in the United States are 50 years old or older, and 9.1 percent of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2016. This equates to 188 million trips across a structurally deficient bridge every day. Azizinamini advocated for a method called accelerated bridge construction, in which most of the construction of a bridge is done offsite, minimizing the environmental impacts of construction and making bridges and the

process of building them safer and more sustainable. He is also an advocate of ultrahigh performance concrete, or UHPC, an extremely strong material that is not only useful for building new bridges, but for retrofitting existing ones simply by applying it over existing concrete.

Atorod Azizinamini

“So, you can have your cake and eat it too,” he said. “I firmly believe the future of bridge engineering is tied to UHPC.”



CHRIS LEWICKI, CEO and president of asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, was the breakfast’s keynote speaker. He recalled his time at the UA fondly, saying his days as a student lobbying department heads for funding prepared him for a career lobbying Congress.

Chris Lewicki

“In the last 10 years at Planetary Resources, I have had the opportunity to be involved in more

things than I could have possibly imagined,” said Lewicki, who graduated with BS and MS degrees in aerospace engineering in 1997 and 2000. “And I can trace the ability and gumption to do it all the way back to my days as president of a student group at the UA, my experience lobbying department heads and deans to get funding to build a project, and galvanizing teams and trying to figure out how to connect people.”



MICHELLE ASH, chief innovation officer at Barrick Gold Corp., spoke about the importance of innovation in the mining industry at the 13th annual Lacy Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering to honor the department’s founder, Willard “Bill” Lacy. Ash said her role at Barrick, along with her very first job as a blasting engineer, have been the most exciting positions in her career.

She suggested technology ranging from improved communications and sensor systems to automated equipment and artificial intelligence could make the mining industry safer, more efficient and less wasteful. But she added that a diversity of voices is equally important when it comes to fostering progress and making the most of technology. People with different backgrounds and life experiences can contribute unique ideas on how to move a company forward.

“I think one of the reasons I’ve stayed in mining this long is the excitement of watching your work move mountains, literally,” she said.

“It’s not this black box that some innovation group does in the back room,” she said. “Innovation is everybody’s business.”

Michelle Ash


Fall 2018



Helping Minority Students Overcome Barriers to Graduate Education A $1M NSF grant allows the UA to continue helping underrepresented students with the Bridge to the Doctorate Program.


EZE AHANONU WAS first introduced to engineering in middle school, when he attended the UA Summer Engineering Academy. Somewhere between designing aerodynamic car bodies in SolidWorks, 3D-printing them, and testing them in a miniature wind tunnel, he realized he wanted to pursue a degree in engineering. But it wasn’t until his senior year at the UA that he decided he wanted to attend graduate school.

The current Bridge to the Doctorate cohort students, with UA faculty and staff. Back row, left to right: Terrance DeLisser, Zachary Binger, Joseph Moya, Samuel Cabral, Nathan Reiland, Erica Vanover, UA professor Jim Field, Pierce Longmire, Joseph Agosttini, Jorge Castro Maldonado. Front row, left to right: UA program coordinator Shetara OliwoOlabode, Andres Zuniga, Anissa McKenna.

He applied to the Bridge to the Doctorate project established by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. The project is designed to prepare underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering or math fields to enter competitive doctoral programs. “The moment I was accepted was extremely exciting,” said Ahanonu, now a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “I never expected I would be chosen to receive an opportunity like this.”

New Leaders for CAEM and AME


Dominic Boccelli joined the UA in July 2018 as head of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Mechanics. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1993 and 1994, respectively. He got his master’s degree in environmental engineering at the University Dominic Boccelli of Cincinnati in 1999 and his PhD in civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. He researches real-time network modeling to help monitor and improve water quality and strengthen leak-detection and contamination-warning systems. Peiwen “Perry” Li was appointed head of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in August 2018. Li earned his PhD from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China in 1995, where he focused on the application of thermal science to energy and power engineering. Before joining the UA, he spent two years at Xi’an Jiaotong University as a lecturer. He was also a research scientist in Peiwen “Perry” Jennifer Barton Li the Japanese National Mechanical Engineering Laboratory and Kyoto University, and a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh.

Barton’s Team Makes Next Move in Fight Against Ovarian Cancer A little scope with big impact could increase survival rates for cancer patients.


WITH A $863,000, three-year grant from the United States Army, Jennifer Barton, director of the BIO5 Institute and professor of biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and optical sciences, is continuing her research into a disposable falloposcope to detect early-stage ovarian cancer. Barton and her team have demonstrated the feasibility of a minimally invasive, inexpensive and highly sensitive falloposcope, but this funding will allow

Jennifer Barton




them to ready the device for the clinic and test it for the first time in vivo, or in a living person. Certain factors can increase a woman’s risk of contracting ovarian cancer, and physicians often counsel them to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a precaution. “If you could go screen for cancer and tell with certainty that a person is perfectly fine … then women wouldn’t be having these life-altering surgeries unless they’re absolutely necessary,” Barton said.

UA Engineers Bring Life Source to San Carlos Apache Community Engineers Without Borders and the UA partner with a nonprofit to revitalize 80 acres on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.


WHEN MADCHIEN THOMPSON turns on a faucet in her home on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, the water sometimes comes out purple. Parts of the community’s groundwater have high levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, and there are frequent reports of E. coli contamination. “That’s a big concern,” said Thompson, secretary of Arizona’s Nalwoodi Denzhone Community, or NDC. “There’s a lot of cancer in the community.” The UA chapter of Engineers Without Borders, or EWB, and Vicky Karanikola – postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering – are

teaming up with NDC to revitalize 80 acres of reservation land into the Nnee Nalwoodi, or Strong Apache Life Center. “The Nalwoodi Denzhone Project is very important,” said Carrie Curley, NDC board member and San Carlos Apache who drives to nearby Globe with her family to pick up five-gallon tanks of water for cooking and drinking. “Water is life, and we want clean water.” While EWB offers consulting on how to restore the property’s two wells and develop an irrigation system, Karanikola is developing a system to purify and assess water quality. The purification system will pass the well water through filters with

Carrie Curley, Nalwoodi Denzhone Community board member and San Carlos Apache: “Water is life, and we want clean water.”

pores of decreasing size. The filtered water will then be squeezed through semipermeable membranes. The system is simple to use by design, so community members can operate it themselves, without depending on engineers. “I can’t believe I am here in the safety of my home, and three hours away there are people who don’t have access to clean water or proper sanitation,” said Karanikola.

Students Help Fellow Wildcat Walk After 19 Years in Wheelchair Senior design team enables young man to retrain his brain and muscles after an aneurysm.


WHEN JEFFREY BRISTOL had his first brain aneurysm at age 2 1/2, doctors said he’d probably never get out of bed on his own again. Thirteen days later, his neurologist almost fell over in surprise when Jeffrey ran up to greet him. When Jeffrey had his second brain aneurysm a year later, they said the same thing, but his mother, Hermelinda Bristol, shrugged it off. Jeffrey was a fighter – he’d be back on his feet in no time, she thought. Twenty years later, Jeffrey stands in his kitchen with metal braces attached to his feet, practicing taking a few steps like he has every day for the past year. The foot braces are all that remain of the “lightning legs” exoskeleton a team of senior engineering students created for Jeffrey as their Engineering Design Program project in 2017.

The exoskeleton originally weighed more than 20 pounds, and included elements that ran up Jeffrey’s legs and around his waist. The waist support, said Hermelinda, was key: It held Jeffrey’s torso upright so that he didn’t lean forward and lose his balance when he tried to take a step. With practice, Jeffrey has retrained the way his brain communicates with his muscles and has removed the leg and waist elements one by one. “I felt like I was ready,” said Jeffrey, a 23-year-old senior at the UA studying accounting. “My muscles were strengthened, and I just felt that I needed to take the next step and do my best, as I always do.”

At Design Day 2017, Martin Galaz, left, demonstrates the unpowered exoskeleton he and teammate Jason Keatseangsilp, right, built to help Jeffrey Bristol walk better on his own.

Hermelinda said: “He graduates in May, and our goal is that he will walk with the class.” 41:2

Fall 2018



Chemical engineering and engineering management alumnus Ryan Kanto stands behind the bar at Quantum Spirits, the “molecular distillery” he founded in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Dustin Holbrook)

Lifelong Learners Pay It Forward


WHEN RYAN KANTO was earning his bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and engineering management at the UA, he took a few classes with University Distinguished Professor Paul Blowers, who was just beginning to experiment with collaborative teaching methods, such as using a classroom with a more open layout and incorporating interactive screens and tablets into lessons. “It definitely made an impact on me,” said Ryan, who graduated in 2007.

“Probably the most critical skill is learning how to learn, and I think that’s something the college did an excellent job on. Your skill set will constantly change, so in a new situation you need to figure out ‘how do I learn the appropriate skills and coordinate with people to get the job done?’” When his younger sister, Kara Kanto, returned to the UA to earn her chemical engineering degree, she reported back to Ryan how far collaborative learning methods in the college had come.

Ryan and his wife, Sarah, who opened their own distillery in early 2018, were inspired to make a generous gift that will support collaborative teaching and active learning efforts in the College of Engineering over five years. “The fact that the UA provided me with so many opportunities makes me feel somewhat obligated,” Ryan said. “Sarah and I both want to pay it forward and try to improve the outcomes for students in the future.”

From Chemical Engineering to International Consulting


BEFORE SHE WAS a CEO, the author of a book on global leadership and a senior fellow at the George Mason University School of Law, Zlática Kraljevic was a Wildcat. Kraljevic and her husband, Werner Hahn, came to the University of Arizona to earn their PhDs in chemical engineering after working as chemical engineers in South America, where they earned their bachelor’s degrees at the University of Chile. “The University of Arizona was willing to take a chance on foreign students,” Kraljevic said. “They also offered financial aid because they were interested in investing in their students, and we appreciated that.”




Kraljevic landed her first position as a research assistant in the chemical engineering department after spending six months working hard on her English. From there, she went on to become one of the first women to graduate from the UA with a doctorate in chemical engineering. Kraljevic used the professionalism she developed at the UA to start her career

at Exxon, open her own consulting firm and become VP of international business at an $80 million startup. She also worked in academia, as an associate professor at the University of Houston and the dean of institutional relations at a university in Saudi Arabia. Today, she is the CEO of the Anders Frontier Group LLC, the company she founded to coach companies on how to compete effectively in a global environment. “The basis of a PhD in chemical engineering was fantastic, because you learn to ask the right questions,” she said.

Zlática Kraljevic

“Without that degree and without that experience at the UA, my life would not be the same. My career would not have evolved in the same way.”



Adrian Suherman, BS/CompE 1995, is helping Indonesian people and businesses participate in the digital economy with his e-commerce startup OVO (PT Visionet Internasional). His goal? For OVO to become the primary wallet of its users.

Anthony Vega


Anthony Vega, BS/ECE 2018, balanced a professional baseball career with the Long Island Ducks with schoolwork while he completed his degree, and is now back on the field. “I enjoyed my time at the UA, and I’m glad that the college and the department gave me a way to achieve a dream of mine.” Travis Sawyer, BS/OptE 2016, and Jeannie Wilkening, BS/ChE 2016, were among only 15 students in the U.S. selected as 2016 Churchill Scholars. This year, they collected their MPhil degrees from Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, Wilkening in earth sciences and Sawyer in physics.


Deanna (King) Owens, BS/ChE 2005, recently attended a UA career fair as the tech development campus recruiter at Micron Technology. “It’s nice to see that the warm and supportive CHEE department has not changed much in 13 years.” Nedlaya Francisco, BS/CompE 2004, has worked at IBM for 14 years, racking up 29 patents, three published inventions and countless volunteer hours as a robotics teacher for precollege students. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society awarded her their 2018 Technical Excellence Award. Esko Mikkola, BS/EE 2000, MS/ECE 2002 and PhD/ECE 2008, is the founder and CEO of Alphacore Inc., a mixed-signal and RF electronics technology startup in Tempe, Arizona, that announced the formation of its advisory board this fall. Matt Engelman, BS/EE 2008, is the company’s program manager.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat! But now, Travis Sawyer and Jeannie Wilkening are Cambridge Cats too.

Bill Gibbons, BS/CompE 1993, is the principal engineer of the IT Energy Systems group at Tucson Electric Power. “The UA gave me the opportunity to become a professional engineer with a prestigious career. I’m proud to say that I am part of the University of Arizona alumni.”

Bill Gibbons

Ray Meicke, BS/ME 1992, owns and operates Manufacturing Specialists Inc., a contract manufacturing firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s also founded businesses in real estate investing and finance. “I always have plenty to keep me busy!”

Troy Musselmann, second from right in front row (he also featured in last edition’s archive photo – see page 14).

Justin Williams, BS/SE 2000, is the founder and former head of Startup Tucson and executive director at Innovate UA. Next up, he’s co-directing the Tucson Founder Institute, a business startup launch program.

Troy Musselmann, BS/ME 1992, and his team won the award for best mechanical engineering design project his senior year. Today, he’s a program manager of operations at ViaSat, pictured here with some of the UA engineers he works with. He’s behind the flag, “tall, bald and proud!” 41:2

Fall 2018





Tom Fagan, BS/EE 1985, retired from Raytheon Missile Systems in July 2017 after working with the company since his UA graduation, and now serves as a senior project engineer at the Aerospace Corp. His son Jim Fagan, BS/ME 2017, started at Raytheon in October 2017. Carl Nichols, left, and wife Robin enjoy the scenery at the lower falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.


Frank “Eric” Holler, BS/CE 1978, retired in 2014 after a 36-year career with the Bureau of Reclamation. He still does volunteer and consulting work to help develop a reliable, renewable water supply for Pima County.

“My degree from the UA was the greatest accomplishment of my life. It’s the best civil engineering department anywhere.”

Eric Holler

Carl Nichols, BS/ChE 1973, retired in 2006 after 27 years in the mining industry. Now, he’s raising three teenage boys and advising chemical engineering seniors in mining at Montana State University.


James Blacklock, PhD/CE 1969, was a professor of engineering and construction for the University of Arkansas for 45 years before his retirement in August 2018 at age 82.

Devendra “Deven” Patel, BS/ChE 1965, worked for chemical manufacturing companies and engineering contractor corporations as a project manager, an engineering quality manager and a corporate staff engineer before retiring in 2014. He also earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

and Whitney, a California aerospace company. He is an active big game conservation hunter. Jerome “Jerry” Koupal, BS/ME 1956, spent 38 years in the power industry doing everything from engineering to business development all over the world. He still has a hand drill he made as an undergraduate at the UA. “It was a great career. Thank you to the UA mechanical engineering department for starting it.”

Ronald Brown, BS/ChE 1961 and MS/ ChE 1963, retired to Denver in 2013. He started his career operating a plant for solvent extraction and electrowinning copper recovery and later worked as a financial consultant.


Chuck Aiello, BS/ME 1958 and MS/ ME 1972, is a retired colonel with the U.S. Air Force, having also worked for the chemical systems division of Pratt

Joy and Jim Blacklock

FROM THE ARCHIVES Many thanks to all the alumni who wrote in to identify the people in last edition’s archive photo. Pictured from left are Lisa Bernal – now Lisa Bernal Brethour – BS/ME 1993, and Edward “Evan” Caffee, Ray Meicke and Troy Musselmann, all BS/ME 1992. Meicke and Musselmann both explained that the photo was taken when the four of them won best mechanical engineering senior design project in 1992. Their device could punch arrow vanes out of material, making operations safer and more efficient for Precision Shooting Equipment. Thanks to the design project, Meicke began his career at PSE right after he graduated.




Building Our Legacy | Our Greatest Treasure Reflecting on a Year of Fruitful Collaboration YOUR TREMENDOUS SUPPORT has helped make 2018 a year of significant progress for the College of Engineering. Thank you! Many generous alumni gave their time, talent and resources to advance UA Engineering’s mission to be one of the top colleges in the nation. As we look toward a new year, here are a few highlights.

Speakers Deliver Special Student Learning Experience The Lessons in Engineering Leadership speaker series, brainchild of former Dean Jeff Goldberg, launched in January to provide a unique learning opportunity for students and engage alumni and industry partners. The series featured Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene, BS/IE 1982; retired Sundt president and CEO Dave Crawford, BS/CE 1972; and Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of engineering Laura McGill. We look forward to the 2019 series, starting on Jan. 30 with Water1st International founder Marla Smith-Nilson, BS/CE 1991. See news.engineering. arizona.edu/news/students-get-rare-look-microsoft-execsmo. The second talk, on Feb. 27, is by UNS Energy senior vice president and chief operating officer Susan Gray, BS/EE 1996, and the series concludes on March 27 with Jerry Hunter, senior vice president of engineering at Snap Inc., who graduated with a BS and MS in systems engineering in 1988 and 1990.

Distillery Founders Support Collaborative Teaching Ryan Kanto, BS/ChE and EngMgt 2007, and his wife, Sarah, are founders of Quantum Spirits and dedicated believers in research and the scientific method. They accepted a funding proposal in March for a collaborative teaching and active learning research project. Their multiyear commitment is allowing the college to capture data and publish findings on how students respond to different types of instruction, ultimately advancing the most effective teaching methods in higher education. See news.engineering.arizona.edu/news/ lifelong-learners-pay-it-forward.

his wife, Nancy, will support the biomedical engineering program and fund creation of a biomedical device fabrication lab, on which the college is expecting to break ground in summer 2019. Look for details in coming College of Engineering articles at news.engineering.arizona.edu.

College Honors Pioneers in Commercial Space Exploration At Homecoming in October, the college recognized two alumni who have played important roles in the commercial exploration of space – a pillar of the UA’s new strategic plan. Dylan Taylor, BS/MSE 1993, who has supported strategic investment in space exploration, was Alumnus of the Year. Chris Lewicki, BS/AE 1997 and MS/AE 2000, who is developing space mining technologies, was keynote speaker at the annual Engineers Breakfast. See news.engineering.arizona.edu/news/ homecoming-2018-honoring-past-looking-future.

Connect With a Team Devoted to Your Vision, and Keep UA Engineering in the Vanguard The development and alumni relations team is dedicated to bringing together your interests and the best giving opportunities in teaching, learning and research. As in these examples – which are synced with the college’s strategy for change and growth – the development team is here to help you create the perfect circumstances for contributing! So please stay connected, and let us know how we can help. Most importantly, thank you for your generosity. Wishing you all the best in the new year,

Biomedical Engineering Gets Monumental Boost With Salter Gift A transformational gift secured in July from Peter Salter – founder of global medical devices company Salter Labs – and

Margie Puerta Edson, CFRE Senior Director of Development & Alumni Relations 520.626.0572 • puertaedson@email.arizona.edu


Fall 2018




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 classnotes@engr.arizona.edu

FROM THE ARCHIVES This old photo has us stumped. There were no notes on the back of the print to give us a clue, so we need your help identifying the person and project.




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Profile for University of Arizona College of Engineering

Arizona Engineer | Fall 2018  

Arizona Engineer | Fall 2018