Page 1

FA L L 2 0 1 3

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology S A I N T LO U I S U N I V E R S I T Y

Parks Alum, Capt. Brandon Cordill

Shares His Experience as a Blue Angel INTRODUCING PARKS COLLEGE’S

Newest Faculty


Entrepreneurship in Engineering PAGE 12




Dear Colleagues, As I reflect on my first year as the Dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University, I can say that throughout the year, practically on a daily basis, I was favorably impressed in some way by our outstanding students, faculty, alumni, staff and global community of friends of the College. The final embodiment of our work is the quality of our graduates. Whether our students are flying airplanes, building bridges or designing entrepreneurial products, they are extremely passionate about what they do. They are also among the smartest, most dedicated, hardworking and community-minded students I have seen in my career. It is these attributes of our students, and the knowledge that after graduation they will continue to lead with contributing improvements to society, that compel our faculty and staff to give their best on a daily basis, and makes our work so fulfilling. PARKS today

FALL 2013

Employers tell us they value the high level of professional preparedness of our graduates. We achieve this through our hands-on research and project-based learning, which is a hallmark of a Parks College education. Parks students excel in many ways both in and out of the classroom. As you will see in this issue of Parks Today, our students are continuously pushing the boundaries and exploring new areas. This past May, we graduated our first class of civil engineering students in the 21st Century. We also awarded the first Ph.D. in Aviation in the world. You will also see many examples of how our students work side-by-side with professors on groundbreaking research. For instance as we go to press we plan to launch (in November 2013) a small satellite in conjunction with NASA, and we will report further on that achievement in future issues. Entrepreneurship is very high on the daily agenda at Parks College. With the help of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) we are instilling an innovative and value-inspired mindset to our students through various hands-on activities and outreach. This program is pushing our students’ minds beyond just their classical training by challenging them to think “outside the box” and plan for a future through innovation and collaborative entrepreneurship. In accordance with our strategic plan, vision and mission, we have made a long-term commitment to expanding the college’s excellence in research activities. As such, I invite you to learn more about a few of our newest faculty members. Combined they have an awe-inspiring wealth of research experience in areas from fracture mechanics, to civil and biomedical engineering. Our research is market relevant, and has and will continue to make a difference in the world. None of our work would be possible without the tremendous support of our alumni, benefactors and friends. It is because of you, and your generosity that we are able to do such great work. Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Parks Today. With kindest regards

Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D. Dean Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology

CONTENTS Vol. 84, Issue 2 EDITOR


Robbie Barnhart Susan Bloomfield Christine Hoffman Beth Lauver Lauren Tancock PHOTOGR APHY

Steve Dolan Patrick Yursik DESIGN

Nikole Frietsch Jamie Klopmeyer


Parks College graduates its inaugural class of civil engineers.





SLU students are thinking “outside the box”.

Highlighting five Parks College faculty members who are advancing their fields.


Capt. Brandon Cordill flies over Pensacola Beach, FL (in his Boeing/FA-18 Hornet) Parks Today is published by Saint Louis University. Opinions expressed in Parks Today are those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of the University administration. Unsolicited manuscripts and photographs are welcome but will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Letters to the editor must be signed, and letters not intended for publication should indicate that fact. The editor reserves the right to edit all items. Address all mail to Parks Today, McDonnell Douglas Hall, 3450 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63103. We accept email at and fax submissions at (314) 977-8403. Address fax submissions to Editor, Parks Today.


Youth Gateway to Aviation Alum Returns as Conference Speaker Students Participate in Homeland Security Competition Tau Beta Pi Parks to Launch Satellite with NASA EAA Adventure at Oshkosh


 arks College graduates the first Ph.D. in  P Aviation in the world to Damon Lercel.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Parks Today, Saint Louis University, 3450 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63103.


This issue of Parks Today was printed by the Printing Source.

 apt. Brandon Cordill talks about how Parks got him   C to where he is today, a U.S. Marine Corps Blue Angel.

Worldwide circulation: 12,000 © 2013, Saint Louis University All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.





Class Notes Alumni Merit Award Winners In Memoriam Obituaries



arks College teamed up with The Boeing Company to host the Youth Gateway to Aviation event in April. The event took place at the St. Louis Downtown Airport and attracted more than 200 people. The event was designed to foster youth aviation education through hands-on experiences. More than 110 teenagers took discovery flights from SLU certified flight instructors and the EAA Young Eagles. The Boeing Company provided their F-18 simulator. Parks College staff, students and partners including Garmin International, Wicks Aircraft, Greater St. Girl Scouts take part in Youth Gateway to Aviation. Louis Air and Space Museum and Air Associates, offered additional interactive opportunities and demonstrations. With opportunities to meet with ROTC, Parks College and Southwestern Illinois College representatives, some participants said that they were now considering a career in aviation for the first time.



team of students from Parks College were selected as finalists in a nationwide competition sponsored by the Department of From left: Jeremy Payne, Grant Spencer, Ellen Pifer and Homeland Security Kevin Keadle. (DHS). Students were challenged to develop a small, unmanned aircraft that would be relatively quiet during low altitude operations, support Border Patrol and provide surveillance of the U.S.-Mexican border in search of illicit drug traffic and illegal aliens. After submitting a written proposal, the SLU team learned that they were one of four schools selected to receive $22,000 to produce a sub scale prototype of the proposed aircraft. Their proposal for an all composite, tailless aircraft would be launched from the roof of a car and recovered in a net. The students presented their prototype when DHS visited SLU in April 2013.



ernando Abilleira (BSAE 99, MSAE 01), a mission design engineer and trajectory analyst with NASA, returned to Parks College in April for the Region V Conference of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Abilleira offered the keynote presentation about his experience helping to land the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

From left: Theodosios Alexandar, Sc.D. Dean of Parks College; Fernando Abilleira (BSAE ’99, MSAE ’01); John George Professor Emeritus at Parks College; K. Ravindra, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Parks College

Parks College hosted the conference, and nearly 80 students from five other univer-

Dean Awarded $1.4 Million for Medical Device Research


research team led by Parks Dean, Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., was awarded £886k (about $1.4m) by the Invention for Innovation (i4i) Program of the National Institute for Health Research to develop a novel mechanical circulatory support device. The proposal is titled TURBOCARDIA: Mechanical Circulatory Support Installed Via Minimally Invasive Surgery. Alexander and his team are developing two mechanical circulatory support devices: TURBOCARDIA, designed


PARKS today

FALL 2013

sities attended and presented papers. Parks students took third-place in the conference’s team competition. Their project was based on building an atmospheric unmanned aerial vehicle to fly on the planet Uranus to collect data. Additionally, aerospace engineering senior, Ben Winokur, was awarded the Distinguished Service Citation Award by the Region V AIAA Student Regional Advisory Committee.

for stage IV Congestive Heart Failure, developed in London, England and PICS (Percutaneously Implantable Cardiovascular Support), designed for stage III Congestive Heart Failure, developed at SLU’s Parks College in St. Louis, MO. Both are designed for installation without cardiopulmonary bypass and with minimally invasive surgery. This work is a paradigm shift in cardiac assist devices, which promises to change medical practices in the field. The outcome of this research has enormous implications for the quality of life for patients and their caregivers, and also provides long-term financial advantages for these patients and for their medical provision.


Billiken BEAMS


LU’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter and Parks College hosted the Third Annual Billiken BEAMS (Building Engineering Awareness in Metro St. Louis Schools) Competition in February. The event is designed to foster an interest in engineering among St. Louis Metropolitan area high school students and help SLU students understand the value of good citizenship and service. Darion Mayhorn, Civil Engineering student. SLU civil engineering students and faculty helped train the high school students to design, draw and structurally analyze their balsa-wood bridges using computer modeling. The objective of the competition was to see who could design, construct and test the most efficient bridge. This year, the high school teams built 22 bridges, with more than 100 students, teachers and parents in attendance.


Grigoriy Yablonsky, Ph.D.

Academy of Science Honors Yablonsky with Outstanding Scientist Award

T Inductees of SLU’s Missouri Epsilon Chapter of Tau Beta Pi.


he Missouri Epsilon chapter of Tau Beta Pi (TBP) was installed at Saint Louis University on March 23 with a banquet and ceremony that included the formal election and installation of the chapter’s charter officers and advisors. TBP is the oldest engineering honor society in the United States and the second oldest collegiate honor society in America. The national president of TBP, Larry Simonson, Ph.D., officiated the installation of the society’s 248th collegiate chapter at SLU. The new Epsilon chapter at SLU is comprised of thirty-seven undergraduate students and six alums. Included in the inductees was Frank Lyons, as an honored alumnus, and Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, as eminent engineer. TBP honors engineering students who have shown a history of academic achievement, as well as a commitment to personal and professional integrity. More than 550,000 members have been initiated since its inception in 1885.

he Academy of Science of St. Louis presented Parks College Associate Research Professor of Chemistry Grigoriy Yablonsky, Ph.D. with the 2013 James B. Eads Award at their annual Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Award banquet. The award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in engineering or technology. Yablonsky is an expert in the area of chemical kinetics, catalysis and chemical engineering, particularly in catalytic technology of complete and selective oxidation. Yablonsky has numerous international designations as Honorary Professor, Fellow, Doctor and Member of prestigious science academies and universities in Belgium, India, China and Russia.



Parks Scholars Received Funding from the Presidential Research Fund


everal professors at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology have received Presidential Research Funding grants from SLU’s Office of the President. These opportunities poise Parks College for great achievements. As Principal Investigator on one of the funded research projects, Parks College Dean, Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D. and co-PIs, Grigory Yablonsky, From left, Rebecca Fushimi, Ph.D., Eugene Pinkhassik, Ph.D., Ph.D. and Paul Jelliss, Ph.D. will Irma Kuljanishvili, Ph.D., Grigory Yablonsky, Ph.D., Theodosis work with Rebecca Fushimi, Ph.D., Alexander, Sc.D., Paul Jelliss, Ph.D. Eugene Pinkhassik, Ph.D. and Irma Kuljanishvili, Ph.D., on Advanced Understanding of Nanostructured Materials for Novel Interdisciplinary Applications. This grant is valued at nearly $50,000. Biomedical engineering faculty members Scott Sell, Ph.D., and Silviya Zustiak, Ph.D, were each awarded $25,000 through this funding. Sell’s funding will go toward creating an off-theshelf dermal regeneration template that can modify the local cellular response to promote accelerated wound healing and scarless closure of large tissue defects. Zustiak’s funding will support her work with cancer cells. She plans to collect preliminary data to study drug resistance mechanisms as related to cell-material interactions and potential treatments.



n Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 Parks College hosted an alumni reception in its booth at the 2013 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Approximately 100 alums both young and old gathered to reminisce about their experiences at Parks, talk to Dean Alexander and share in good food and conversations. Parks faculty, flight instructors and current students were on hand to talk about the state of Parks today. It was a successful event that connected many current students and young alums with potential mentors and industry connections.

Alums, faculty, flight instructors and students gather at the Parks reception.


D David Peters, Ph.D.

avid Peters, Ph.D. joins Parks College as Distinguished Professor of Aeroelasticity. Peters is a new face on campus, but no stranger to Parks College or Saint Louis University. In 2007, Peters devoted a sabbatical to SLU’s department of aerospace and mechan-

ical engineering. During that time, he worked with the senior design class on their project of autonomous swarms of micro-helicopters. Additionally, Peters has been coming to SLU’s campus regularly as a guest lecturer in the aerospace engineering program for years.

Peters’ research interests lie in dynamics, aeroelasticity and applied aerodynamics (especially in helicopters). Specifically, his publications center on aerodynamic models for rotorcraft that run real-time applications to flight simulators and design calculators.

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES SPACECRAFT COPPER (SLU-01) is the first spacecraft designed, built, tested and operated by students at SLU’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. COPPER’s NASAsponsored mission launched November 19 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, VA. In addition to NASA’s launch sponsorship, the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Missouri Space Grant funded the project development.

Students work on COPPER in the Space Systems Research Laboratory.


PARKS today

FALL 2013

More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students have worked to create COPPER over the past three years. Primarily students in aerospace, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering have participated, however physics, computer science, civil engineering, biomedical engineering and many other majors have made important contributions. COPPER is a product of the Space Systems Research Laboratory, which is led by Michael Swartwout, Ph.D. and Sanjay Jayaram, Ph.D., of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Kyle Mitchell, Ph.D., of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Class of ’63 Returns to Parks for 50-Year Reunion


he 1963 classes of Parks College and the Institute of Technology celebrated their 50-year reunion during SLU’s Homecoming in September. For more photos from Homecoming 2013, visit

Upcoming Alumni Events Santa Fly In

Join Parks alumni on Saturday, Dec. 7 as we kick off the holiday season with our very special guest – Santa! Visit SantaFlyIn2013 for more details.

Basketball Pregame Receptions

Join us as the Billikens men’s basketball team hits the road this season. For more details about events and watch parties, visit billikens1314.

BOLD (Billikens Of the Last Decade)

Join 2003-2013 graduates for a pregame party before the VCU game Saturday, Feb. 15; Pre-game party: 11:30 a.m. Moto Museum (at Triumph Grill; Tip-off: 1 p.m. at Chaifetz Arena Cost: $25 per person; includes game ticket, pre-game party and $5 gift to the Emergency Scholarship Fund. For more details, visit boldevents.

True Blue Alumni Fan Rally

Join alumni and Billikens fans on Saturday, January 18 for a pre-game party before the Billikens play the Fordham Rams. For more details, visit

Members of the Class of ’63 in McDonnell Douglas Hall during Homecoming 2013.

Theatre Events St. Louis Events

Join alumni and friends at an upcoming Fox performance! Dinner will be served prior to the show on SLU’s campus. Visit for more information.

First Friday Mass and Speaker Series

Join SLU alumni and friends on the first Friday of every month (through May 2). Mass begins at 8 a.m. followed by pastries, coffee and a brief presentation and discussion. The on-campus event is free, but reservations are appreciated. RSVP to Kevin Doyle at 314-977-2204 or


Parks College St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Thursday, March 13, 2014

BOLD Beer Tasting

Friday, March 28, 2014

SLU Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Black Alumni Association Prayer Breakfast Saturday, April 26, 2014

Save the Date for Homecoming 2014!

The festivities have been scheduled for the weekend of September 26-28 2014.

2014 Reunion Celebrations

Did you graduate from Parks College or the Institute of Technology in 1964? Do you want to revisit campus? How about reminiscing with your classmates? The Alumni Relations Office is searching for representatives from the class of 1964 to act as reunion chairs. Interested? Contact Chris Hoffmann at (314) 977-8447 or For more information about alumni events, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at 314-977-8336 or visit



Graduating class of Civil Engineering, May 2013.


he administration hosted a luncheon for faculty, staff, students and their families as part of the graduation celebration. Faculty and student speakers reflected on the quick progress made since the department’s inception. Associate Dean, Krishnaswamy Ravindra, Ph.D., who wrote the initial proposal for the civil engineering program, recalled the excitement and support from the St. Louis engineering community — particularly from SLU IT Civil Engineering graduates, when the idea for the program first came about in 2008. Just over one year after the proposal, 10 students entered the program in the Fall 2009 semester. Associate professor, former department chair and Director of the Center for Sustainability, John Woolschlager, Ph.D., noted that most engineering programs lose students during the course of their studies, while this class actually grew. “We started out with ten and we finished with twenty. Most programs that start out with ten finish with five!” he


PARKS today

FALL 2013

said. “I think that’s a tremendous reflection of the quality of the faculty and students in our program,” adding that of all the strides the department has made, he is most proud of “the overall quality of the students and the ability we’ve had to retain them.” Students and faculty have come a long way since the program’s creation four years ago. With almost no equipment, no lab space, the program only had its one necessity: students. Once the space for the department was secured, there was a haste to design, develop, and construct the laboratory space. Thanks to a generous gift from the Holloran family, the department was able to create and equip state-ofthe-art laboratory facilities. Even though the department is only four years old, students have already created a chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and have participated in two regional competitions, including placing first

Top left: Darion Mayhorn addresses his classmates during the luncheon. Civil Engineering students and their families gather for the inaugural class luncheon.

in a concrete bowling ball competition. The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) does not give any new program accreditation until a year after its first class has graduated. That process is already underway, and the department expects to have the accreditation completed over next year. Though it was courageous on the students’ part to enroll in a not-yet-accredited program, the faculty have made it a worthwhile experience. While overcoming the initial challenges, Parks’ Civil Engineering department has developed a unique and impressive program to attract prospective students. The curriculum is designed to be project-based, rather than theoretical, in order to prepare students for professions in the field. Studies have shown that not only do students learn better with this approach, but also they use the knowledge more effectively. Because the department is small, the faculty is accessible to students. Unlike larger departments at other univer-

sities, core courses are all taught by Ph.D. faculty, rather than teaching assistants. The faculty comprise a team of experts within their field, and much of their experience has attributed to the popularity of the program. All of the current faculty members have engaged students in funded research projects, and two new outstanding faculty members recently joined the department in August 2013. Interim Department Chair, Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D. commented, “I would call this class ‘the class of heroes’ not only because they took the risk to be the first to join a newly established program, but also they contributed significantly to establishing student organizations, enhancing the curriculum, and working hard inside and outside the classroom.” The department’s three primary areas of focus in sustainability engineering, infrastructure design and restoration and transportation analysis take a forward-looking approach to the field. They offer a number of

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE CIVIL ENGINEERING CLASS OF 2013: • 40% on Dean’s List • 88% completed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam before graduating • Four students received full scholarships to attend graduate school


2013 Civil Engineering graduates with faculty and administrators of Parks.


PRIMARY FOCUS AREAS: • Green design and sustainability engineering • Infrastructure design, evaluation, and restoration • Transportation planning, analysis, and design


PARKS today

FALL 2013

cross-curricular opportunities with other fields of engineering, and graduates will have an edge in their professional pursuits. The transportation emphasis provides students ties to the Parks aviation department. The country’s aging infrastructure also works-hand-in hand with transportation, and the need for green design carries through all areas of engineering; the department notes the necessity for sustainability and efficiency within these systems. Transportation is not just the tires on the road— it’s the wheels on the tracks, the wings in the sky and the hulls in the water. Creating more efficient systems, even just slightly, will improve our relationship with the environment. Graduates of the program are not hard pressed to find employment after graduation. Over the next several years, St. Louis’ Metropolitan Sewer District will allocate $4.8 billion to the improvement of the city’s waste treatment, an opportunity for Parks graduates to engage in regional infrastructure improvement. Looking ahead, Dr. Theodosios Alexander, Dean of Parks College, pledged to the faculty, students and their families at the graduation luncheon, “As dean, I assure you of my full commitment to the further development of this program.” The department hopes to grow enrollment in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. With 80 students currently enrolled, the department hopes to have more than 100 students within the next few years. Alexander further added, “The development of the program hinged on the participation of many alumni and donors. We are particularly grateful for the assistance we received from the

donors who made possible the launch of the program four years ago, and we are looking forward to the continued help and support of our constituents to enable the program to flourish further in the future.” Darion Mayhorn spoke on behalf of his fellow graduates at the luncheon. “The Civil Engineering program has given me a foundation to be successful in the field,” he said. After studying abroad and completing several internships and co-ops during his undergraduate studies, Darion received multiple job offers. The first member of his family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, he addressed the faculty and staff to thank them for creating a “sense of camaraderie in the department. The time you’ve taken for us will be with us forever.” Ravindra, recalled the excitement and support from the St. Louis engineering community when the idea for the program first came about in 2008— particularly from many IT graduates who were quite excited to know that Civil Engineering was coming back to Saint Louis University after nearly 35 years of hiatus. Ravindra remarked “The quality of the program is evident from the type of employers who are seeking our graduates, the scholarships and fellowships our graduates are receiving to pursue higher studies in reputable universities, and the percentage of students who have successfully passed the Fundamentals in Engineering (FE) exam on the first try, a whopping 88%!” Parks College is thrilled with the success of this inaugural class, and looks forward to many prosperous years for the civil engineering program.


IN THE WORLD Just as in 1929 when Parks Air College was awarded Certificate No. 1, making it the first federally certificated pilot training school in the nation, Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology continues to lead the way in aviation. On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Saint Louis University conferred the first Ph.D. in Aviation in the world to Damon Lercel. This historic international milestone also marks the first Ph.D. completed at Parks College. Damon Lercel, Ph.D. and Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., Dean of Parks College.


ean of Parks College, Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., said, “This success is a momentous and historic milestone for aviation, Parks College and Saint Louis University.” He added, “Parks College is dedicated to excellence in research-led education via building collaborative and inter-disciplinary research capabilities. The doctoral programs in aviation and engineering are part of the foundation for the national and international recognition of Parks College as a leading powerhouse for cutting-edge, industry-relevant and science-driven research.” Manoj Patankar, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Parks College’s Center for Aviation Safety Research, funded and supported Lercel’s research through his grant, and calls this success “a dream come true.” Parks College has been working on the concept of a Ph.D. degree in aviation for more than 10 years, recognizing the need for such a degree as well as the academic rigor and research funding required in order to achieve this milestone in aviation.

Lercel, who also serves as the Program Director of Parks College’s Center for Aviation Safety Research, is thrilled to be the first to receive a Ph.D. in aviation, and said “The program offered not only an in-depth immersion in research, but also opportunities to interact with both the domestic and international aviation industries.” He further added, “It’s a victory for the advancement of aviation.” Lercel’s doctoral research has generated a body of new information through interviews, literature reviews, surveys and interactive workshops. This body of information formed a discourse, which enabled him to suggest a unique approach to breaking the current gridlock in implementing Safety Management Systems (SMS) programs across domestic repair stations. This approach to shifting the dialogue from position-based detailed arguments to interest-based collaborative development offers not only a promising solution to the specific challenge of SMS implementation, but paves the way for many similar safety challenges in aviation and beyond.


Catching Up with Capt. Brandon Cordill

Cordill flies inverted as part of a Blue Angel maneuver.

BLUE ANGEL PILOT AND PARKS ALUM ‘01 Capt. Brandon Cordill talks about his experiences as a Blue Angel and how Parks prepared him for his exciting career. Tell us a little about your childhood? Did you know you always wanted to be a pilot? Specifically, did you always want to be a Blue Angel? I grew up in Hemet, Calif. and I was interested in aviation at a very young age. I was seven years old when my Grandpa built a Christen Eagle II stunt plane in the garage of his house. From that point on, I knew I wanted to fly. When I was a freshman at Parks, I saw the Blue Angels perform at an air show in St. Louis. Seeing that show really sparked my interest in military aviation. However, I never thought it would be possible for me to become a Blue Angel. I’m glad I proved myself wrong!


PARKS today

FALL 2013

Below: Blue Angels in action.

St. Louis is a long way from Hemet, Calif. What made you choose Parks at Saint Louis University?

During my senior year of high school, I had no idea where I wanted to go to school. All that I knew was that I wanted to fly. After researching a couple of different schools that offered aviation programs, several things about SLU started to stand out from the other schools. The fact that Parks was the first federally recognized flight school was important to me. I knew they had been in the business a long time; therefore they were probably among the best. Secondly, I liked the location of the campus. I liked that it was located in the heart of Midtown St. Louis. Lastly, I wanted to attend a university that was not all about aviation. I have always had the dream to fly, but I also wanted to have a well-rounded college experience and be able to interact with students from different fields, including my wife, who graduated from the Doisy College of Health Sciences.

Could you identify any particularly influential professors you had during your time here?

I had many influential professors at SLU, but the one that stands out the most is Fr. James Sebesta, S.J. He taught many of my classes and I even had the opportunity to fly with him on several occasions. Fr. Sebesta has more diversified flying experience than any other pilot I know. One of the lessons he taught me, which I still use today flying in the Blue Angels, is never be afraid to think outside the box. There are many procedures and standardizations when it comes to flying safely. However, every aviator, at one time or another, will experience something in which there is no written procedure. That is when intuition, skill and knowledge kick in to get you home safely.

What do you consider the most valuable aspect of your Parks education? What did you learn while at SLU that has been most beneficial in your career? The most valuable aspect of my Parks education has been the teaching skills I learned during my junior and senior year of college. I had the opportunity to earn my flight

instructor ratings during my junior year, and then flight instruct part-time at Parks during my senior year. As the training officer and slot pilot for the Blue Angels, I find myself falling back on these valuable skills daily.

What is your favorite memory of Parks and/or SLU?

My favorite memory at Parks has to be my first solo in an aircraft. I was 18 years old in the second semester of my freshmen year when my flight instructor, Saul Robinson (who still teaches there today), jumped out of the aircraft on the taxiway and sent me on my way. Shorty after takeoff, a line of St. Louis spring thunderstorms hit the field, and it turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. My first solo flight was through rain, lightning and a little hail.....It was great!

How did you get where you are today?

It was my senior year at SLU. I had an interest in military aviation, but I was afraid of the commitment. So I was contemplating going to the airlines. My choice was made for me as I walked into Bruce Hoover’s Air Carrier Operations class on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The TV was on, and I sat glued in my seat as two aircrafts hit the World Trade Center that day. At that moment, I made the firm decision that I was going to serve my county. I then joined The United States Marine Corps with a guaranteed pilot slot. I made a commitment to myself to always try my hardest no matter the odds. I have taken that mindset through my entire military career, and I truly believe that is why I am here today. I have had the opportunity to deploy and serve in both conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and now with the Blue Angels. Hard work has been my key to success.

What is your favorite part of serving with the Blue Angels?

My favorite part of serving with the Blue Angels has been the opportunity to represent all men and women in the military. Having supported combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have had the opportunity to see the heroic acts and sacrifices that and our military men and women display on a daily basis. As a Blue Angel, I get to tell their story to the public and showcase the men and women of the United States Military.

What is your favorite (or most challenging) aspect of the demonstration?

My favorite part of the demonstration is the maneuver called the Double Farvel. It is a maneuver with the diamond where Boss and myself roll inverted and fly upside down in formation down the show line at 200 feet and 400 knots. The Double Farvel is also one of the most challenging maneuvers I fly. Flying inverted in formation with another airplane with minimal canopy to fuselage separation, all while being close to the ground is by far the most surreal experience that I have ever had in an airplane. I doubt anything will ever top that.





PARKS today

FALL 2013

Left and above: Students engage in a KEEN-sponsored Weekly Innovation Challenge.

TODAY’S STUDENTS ARE LEARNING IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD, PUSHED FURTHER EVERY DAY BY NEW INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES CREATED BY ENTREPRENEURS. TO HELP THEM HIT THE GROUND RUNNING IN THIS ENVIRONMENT AFTER GRADUATION DAY, PARKS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, AVIATION AND TECHNOLOGY IS PREPARING STUDENTS TO THINK LIKE ENTREPRENEURS NOW. THANKS TO THE KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION AND COLEMAN FOUNDATION, SLU IS ON THE LEADING EDGE OF ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE FROM THEIR COURSES TO EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM. With a partnership between Parks College and the John Cook School of Business, SLU is one of only 19 select institutions participating in the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN). This unique partnership gives Parks students an advantage in their professional pursuits. “Most engineering students don’t have a business sense. We are working to incorporate an entrepreneurial mindset into all course work

at the college,” said Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D. As the interim chair for the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department and KEEN fellow, Condoor emphasizes that the entrepreneurial mindset is essential to leadership in the future. KEEN’s mission is to graduate engineers equipped with an actionoriented entrepreneurial mindset who will contribute to business success and transform the U.S. workforce. Now in its sixth year at SLU, the KEEN program includes the SPICE speakers’ series, the iScholars program and Weekly Innovation Challenges, among other elements. While the program is primarily operated by Parks College, faculty and


staff, opportunities are available to the general SLU population and help encourage innovation and leadership throughout campus. Students and faculty have been especially inspired by the Innovation Challenges. In this activity, teams of three people must include one engineering student, and can include one faculty member, offering the chance to work with students studying a variety of fields, much like a professional environment. In fact, Condoor noted that marketing students from the John Cook School of Business are required to participate in the Innovation Challenges as part of their class. Challenges have been offered every Wednesday afternoon in the Parks rotunda during the past three years. While participation has varied from eight to 15 teams, each week a buzz of enthusiasm fills the rotunda with a flurry of activity among the teams and spectators lining the halls and stairwells. Each week, the winning team receives a $300 prize, and an additional $100 prize is awarded for submitting the winning written reflection on that week’s challenge. The enthusiasm for the Innovation Challenges thrills Condoor

“While I do like math and science, I wanted my engineering experience to be more than just studying academics.”

iScholars Engineer Entrepreneurship


he iScholars program just completed its second school year, encouraging a group of extraordinary students to learn by leading. An important part of the KEEN program, iScholars is a grass-roots, student-led initiative to promote the entrepreneurial mindset across the Saint Louis University campus. Twenty three students were selected from a highly competitive pool to participate in the program during this school year. They have engaged in different roles and activities, including community outreach, innovation leadership, creative thinking and design projects. “They lead other students at SLU, organize activities, including outreach activities, and lead teams in competitions,” said KEEN fellow Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D. “They also learn new tools and techniques by participating in boot camps at SLU and other schools,” he said. Students have access to experts from the field for several hours each week and a tinker lab, which provides the tools needed to take their ideas to the next level. Junior electrical engineering major Emily Hart has not only benefitted from the variety of opportunities available, but she has also given back to the SLU community as part of her iScholars experience. “As an iScholar, I have helped lead innovation challenges at Ritenour High


PARKS today

FALL 2013

because “it is amazing to see what students can achieve when they put their heart into solving the challenge. They forget the world around them, focus on the task and get immersed in the project for one hour. It engages students better than most courses.” The competitors are not told ahead of time what the challenge will entail, and with the exception of a few specific challenges, teams are not allowed to access the Internet or outside resources during the one hour competition time. Challenges during the 2012-2013 school year have required a range of capabilities, including constructing an urban garden with limited light exposure, writing and delivering a speech with big goals for the United States and creating smart phone packaging that would appeal to senior citizens. Winning teams have included participants from a variety of departments. Greg Keogh, who recently completed his Masters in mechanical engineering, worked with Condoor to develop the challenges. “He’s the brains behind it and I help him come up with some challenges. If any students have an idea for a challenge, we’ll consider that too,” said Keogh. Condoor and Keogh were recognized with an Excellence Award at the national KEEN conference for an iBook they wrote about the Innovation Challenges. Keogh’s work with Dr. Condoor and the Innovation Challenges has grown his passion to work as an entrepreneur in the future. “KEEN got me connected with all of these other people,” which he said has presented him with exciting opportunities to work with creative start-up companies after graduation. Emily Hart, a junior studying electrical engineering at Parks, par-

School for students interested in the field of engineering,” said Hart. “We also encourage high schools to come visit our building, McDonald Douglas Hall, where we can show them first-hand what it means to be a college engineering student at Saint Louis University.” She believes these opportunities as well as the team competitions have “improved my networking and communication skills and my ability to tie engineering into the larger world of business and marketing. Being an iScholar has helped me balance the technical skills I am learning with real-world social skills that will help make me a well-rounded employee in the future.”

Students participate in “The Spaghetti Challenge” during a Weekly Innovation Challenge.

ticipated in all of the challenges during the 2012-13 school year, including three winning teams. One of the victories was with the team that won the challenge to build an aesthetically pleasing freestanding two foot tall arch made out of vegetables. Competing every week was a demanding time commitment, but Hart made it a priority because of the exciting opportunity to learn in this environment and to collaborate with a variety of students. “When most people think of engineers, they picture students with pocket protectors pouring over a physics book. While I do like math and science, I wanted my engineering experience to be more than just studying academics,” said Hart. “The iScholars program and the innovation challenges are the perfect balance to schoolwork; they allow students to integrate innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship into engineering.” The final challenge of last year provided a unique opportunity offered by the Red Bull beverage brand to build a prototype for a flugtag, which is a homemade, human powered flying machine. Fifteen teams were pre-selected to participate because they had either won or done well in previous challenges. The teams had 90 minutes to design and build their flugtag, using only the materials provided, which ranged from aluminum foil, wrapping paper and cardboard to pipe cleaners, plastic utensils, Styrofoam and much more. Each team was then judged on the distance their prototype flew, as well as creativity and showmanship. Red Bull offered the winning team a special opportunity to apply for their National Flugtag competition. With so much experience thinking like entrepreneurs before they’ve even entered the workforce, today’s Parks College students will be more ready than ever to lead a new generation of innovators. To learn more about the Innovation Challenges and read students’ weekly reflections, visit the Entrepreneurship and Innovation page at

SPICE Inspires Innovation


arks students have the opportunity to learn directly from technology visionaries through the Speakers Pioneering Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (SPICE) series, a key element of the KEEN program. The goal of SPICE is to influence the ecosystem by connecting students with role models who have experienced both the thrills and challenges in developing breakthrough innovations. The speakers’ series, which takes place throughout the school year, enhances students’ engineering education because speakers “are passionate about innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D., KEEN fellow and interim chair of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. In choosing speakers, Condoor said, “we are looking for people with a story to tell,” citing speaker Paul Wessel as one of the most inspiring, now a successful inventor and entrepreneur, mr. Wessel nearly lost everything as he worked to create a device that would connect his son’s love of video games with the need to monitor his juvenile diabetes. The resulting product, Glucoboy, ultimately became a huge success and mr. Wessel is now the CEO and Founder of Innovation Consulting Partners, LLC. Thanks to the sponsorship of KEEN and the Coleman Foundation, all SPICE events are free of charge. Visit for more details.


MEET THE AT PARKS Parks College is making a long-term commitment to expanding the college’s excellence in research activities, while also enhancing the quality of its educational programs through innovative teaching and hands-on, project-based learning. Five new faculty members are helping Parks advance toward this goal.


PARKS today

FALL 2013

Will Lindquist Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor Civil Engineering

Meet these new expert professors. Will Lindquist, Ph.D., P.E.

Will Lindquist, Ph.D., P.E., joined the Civil Engineering department as an assistant professor this summer. His research focuses on improving the resiliency and durability of civil engineering structures. He has worked extensively to improve the durability of bridges across the country and works on aspects of both design and construction. Lindquist is working on projects with Missouri Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation to identify the causes of deterioration in bridges, recommend alternative designs and innovative materials, and identify potential retrofit strategies for existing structures. Lindquist teaches a number of courses in the areas of mechanics, structural design and materials, and has been recognized with several awards for excellence in teaching. In addition, he is a registered Professional Engineer in Kansas, a LEED-accredited professional, and serves as a consultant in his area of expertise. Prior to joining Parks College, Lindquist served as an assistant and associate professor at Trine University from 2009 to 2013.

He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Kansas. While at the University of Kansas, Lindquist’s research focused on improving the durability of reinforced concrete bridge decks across the nation. This research included an in-depth field investigation, numerous laboratory studies and the construction of several bridges. The research, while focusing on bridge decks, resulted in the development of specifications and other guidelines that are now widely used for applications that desire low-cracking, highperformance concrete. Lindquist maintains active memberships in numerous technical societies including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Concrete Institute (ACI), Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). In addition to his teaching responsibilities while at Trine University, he served as the chief adviser for the Indiana Epsilon chapter of Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society), faculty lead for the sustainability track in the Master in Science in Leadership program and as the adviser for the concrete canoe team.


Paul Paris, Ph.D.

Amanda Cox, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor Civil Engineering

In December 2012, Paul Paris, Ph.D., known as the father of modern methods for predicting crack growth and its control in aircraft structures joined Parks College as Distinguished Professor of Mechanics. Paris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering mechanics from the University of Michigan as Distinguished Professor well as a Master of Science of Mechanics and doctorate in applied mechanics from Lehigh University. In 1955, while completing his master’s, Paris began working part-time at Boeing. That year, he made the engineering breakthrough that now bears his name — Paris’ Law of Crack Propagation. The law describes crack growth with the aim of predicting the number of cycles to failure, and thus the remaining lifetime of a part. It is now routinely used to design parts that vibrate, such as flight vehicle and automobile cranks. During the next 20 years, Paris taught courses on a new analytic method called fracture mechanics at both Boeing and Lehigh, and from 1976 on at Washington University in St. Louis, introducing the subject to many colleagues who continued to develop the field with him. Today, fracture mechanics is a standard component of an engineering education. Paris has received numerous awards for his contributions to fracture mechanics. In 2003, he was awarded the third Crichlow Trust Prize (a medal and a $100,000 honorarium) by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2009, he received the George Irwin Gold Medal from the International Conference on Fracture in Ottawa, Canada, the first gold medal ever issued by that conference. In addition to his awards and honors, Paris served as a member of the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the National Research Council from 1973 to 1980. He is a longtime member of the American Society for Testing Materials; since 1963, he has held several positions within the society in regard to fracture mechanics. In 1968, he served as the managing editor of the Journal of Engineering Fracture Mechanics; he became an honorary editor in 1997. His scholarly works continued with the publication of three books, The Stress Analysis of Cracks Handbook, Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics, and Gigacycle Fatigue in Mechanical Practice with collaboration from others. He is also the primary author on numerous papers in international journals. Paris has given numerous presentations on fracture mechanics and served as a consultant for many large corporations, such as the U.S. Air Force, Exxon, Westinghouse and John Deere, just to name a few. Paris’ academic experience and acute knowledge of the industry have earned him the title of “Father of Fracture Mechanics.”

Paul Paris, Ph.D.

Amanda Cox, Ph.D., P.E.

Amanda Cox, Ph.D., P.E., joined the faculty of the Civil Engineering Department as an assistant professor in August 2013. Cox received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri - Columbia and her master’s degree and doctorate in civil engineering from Colorado State University specializing in hydraulic engineering. Cox has been conducting research in hydraulic engineering for more than 10 years and has completed more than 45 research projects. Her experience includes physical hydraulic modeling of river systems, channel rehabilitation structures, bridge pier scour and outlet works. Cox has extensive research experience with erosion control countermeasures including riprap revetment, articulated concrete block revetment systems, rock-filled gabions mattresses, concrete-filled cellular systems, and vegetated and non-vegetated turf reinforcement mats. Her dissertation research provided a design method for articulated concrete block systems. Cox’s broad experience relating to hydraulic modeling includes studies of in-stream rehabilitation structures funded by the Bureau of


PARKS today

FALL 2013

Reclamation. Her master’s thesis evaluated the hydraulics of cross-vane, w-weir and bendway weir in-stream flow control structures, including energy losses, scour and structure stability in a mobile-bed channel. Cox has conducted additional river engineering studies, such as a physical modeling study funded by the Army Corps of Engineers that evaluated artificial substrate for white sturgeon spawning habitat in the Kootenai River, a large-scale physical model study of sloped-rock weirs to evaluate rock sizing, and two physical model studies to evaluate sedimentation near a pump intake on the Sacramento River. In addition to river engineering studies, Cox has researched stormwater hydraulic structures, including curb and gutter drainage inlets, highway median drainage inlets and an ellipse-shaped detention-pond weir outlet. She also evaluated hydraulics associated with stormwater roof-drain water-quality treatment systems and permeable pavers, conducted water-quality tests of rolled sediment retention devices for stormwater runoff, and collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct laboratory testing of a new stormwater sampling device.

Scott Sell, Ph.D.

Scott Sell, Ph.D. joined Parks College as an assistant professor in the fall of 2012. Sell was educated at Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Biomedical Engineering. Following his graduation, Dr. Sell completed a three-year polytrauma research post-doc fellowship at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va. Sell conducts research in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, particularly focusing on the potential for electrospinning to create extracellular matrix analogue scaffolds for dermal and musculoskeletal repair. He has also done extensive research on the incorporation and controlled release of plateletrich plasma from electrospun scaffolds. At Parks, Sell is responsible for

running the Tissue Engineering Scaffold Fabrication Laboratory. The focus of this lab is the creation and evaluation of tissue engineering scaffolds capable of replicating both the form and function of the native extracellular matrix (ECM). Sell is primarily interested in the use of the electrospinning process to create nanofibrous polymeric structures made from fibers approaching the same diameter as those of the native ECM. The versatility of electrospinning enables it to be used in a wide range of tissue engineering applications: from round tubes for vascular grafts, to highly aligned structures similar to the cruciate ligaments in the knee. After spending three years working at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Richmond, Sell became extremely interested in the treatment of chronic wounds and blast injuries. With a clinical need for wound closure and a

Scott Sell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering

reduction in scarred healing, Sell saw electrospun scaffolds as a great fit. Currently, most of his research focuses on the creation of an off-the-shelf alternative to current treatment strategies, with such a scaffold having the capacity to modulate the local wound environment while simultane-

Silviya Zustiak, Ph.D.

Silviya Zustiak, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering

Silviya Petrova Zustiak, Ph.D., joined the Biomedical Engineering Department as an assistant professor last spring. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bioelectrical Engineering from Technical University in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2002 and her doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). During her doctoral studies, Zustiak developed hydrogels as scaffolds for neural tissue engineering. She conducted post-doctoral research for three years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., at the Laboratory of Integrative and Medical Biophysics, using spectroscopic techniques to study solute transport within hydrogel matrices. Zustiak’s research focuses on tissue engineering. She has identified one of the major concerns of tissue engineering as the difficulty in building three-dimensional in vitro models for studying tissue physiology and pathology. Three-dimensional in vitro models are the bridge between conventional two-dimensional tissue culture, which does not capture the complexity of human tissue, and animal models,

ously guiding repair and reducing scarring. Most recently he has been investigating the incorporation and controlled release of platelet-rich plasma derived growth factors from electrospun scaffolds to stimulate cells in a wound site, resolve inflammation and promote true healing.

which are expensive and raise ethical concerns. In her lab, Zustiak is attempting to engineer a complete toolbox for building 3D in vitro models. These models can have an immediate impact on the development of platforms for toxicology screening. By providing in vivo-like cell microenvironment, her models have the potential to address growing concerns about drug failures in clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or unexpected side effects. Further, models play a role in preventive medicine by answering the urgent need for efficient platforms enabling the screening of the plethora of environmental hazards linked to incidences of diseases such as cancer. The immediate goal of Zustiak’s lab is to engineer and characterize synthetic biomaterials to build in vitro models as platforms for toxicology screening and for the study of disease progression. Her current focus is on models of solid tumors as well as models to study neurotoxicity, a side effect associated with chemotherapy. In addition, Zustiak looks for ways to apply her work toward other disease systems and congruous research areas, such as biosensors and drug delivery.


class notes Mike Benne, (Parks ’76)

received The Boeing Company’s 2013 top invention award as part of a team that invented a way to detect leaks in composite tools. He has been with Boeing for 37 years and lives in St. Paul, Mo. Robert Bernier (Parks ’70)

retired from a 37-year career as a military and commercial pilot in 2008 and now helps restore vintage airplanes at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. He and his wife Carol live in San Diego.

Francis Fiorillo (Parks ’91)

lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife Kathryn and children, Justin and Ethan. He is the senior director of the Central Electronics Shop for the New York City Transit Authority, which repairs and maintains all the electronics associated with the subway, buses and fare collection systems, as well as integrating emerging technologies such as the Communication Based Train Control.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Please send us your letters, class notes and address changes. There are three easy ways to reach us.



Parks Today

(314) 977-8403


Saint Louis University 3450 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63103.




( ( ( ( ( RANCH C A L L assigned to Stryker Spine (France). Her collaborator was Bryan D. Milz. Van Johnson (Parks ’77)

retired in 2012 after six years in private industry and 27 years working for the U.S. Navy International Programs Office as a country program director.

Michael J Martin (IT ’58)

SEND IN YOUR OLD PARKS PHOTOS TO PARKSTODAY@SLU.EDU TO BE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE In this photo is John George Ph.D., who is still teaching Aerospace Engineering courses as a Professor Emeritus.

is the owner of Martin Languages Services, which teaches Spanish language and culture. Thomas Martin (Parks ’85) is program

technical director of system safety for the Commercial Space Transportation Division of the FAA. Jim McIrvin (Parks ’86) retired

Glenn Brueckner (Parks ’58) received the

FAA’s Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award for 50 years of service in February. Ross Buch (Parks ’13) works

at the St. Louis operations base of Cape Air. Gene Feher (Parks ’81) joined

Boston’s Nutter McClennen & Fish’s IP litigation practice as partner. He has more than 24 years of experience in intellectual property litigation and previously was an aircraft engineer, analyst, and contract specialist on the AV-8B Harrier project for McDonnell Douglas Corp. He is also a licensed pilot and aircraft mechanic.


PARKS today

FALL 2013

John Graff (Parks ’59) served

32 years with the NOAA, National Weather Service (NWS) as a field forecaster in Detroit and Washington, D.C. He also was a technical assistant and executive assistant in the office of the director, NWS. His final 10 years with the NWS were as the senior scientist, the meteorologist in charge of the Minneapolis Weather Service Forecast Office. In his retirement, he has consulted with the Control Data Corp. and traveled extensively installing weather workstations from the Nordic countries to Saudi Arabia. Christine Hermann (Parks ’03)

received her first medical patent, “Instrument for inserting surgical implant with guiding rail.” It was issued on April 23 and

from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 and is now the chief pilot for Southern Bleacher Co. in Graham, Texas. Darren Pais (Parks ’07) went

to Princeton on a fellowship to complete his doctorate. He finished graduate school in September 2012 and now is focused on control systems and machine learning applications for drilling with ExxonMobil Upstream Research in Houston. Frederick Peters (Parks ’57)

held the positions of Apollo Project engineer, Skylab Project engineer and director of planning, scheduling and budgeting for the Space Shuttle program, Orbiter Project and International Space Station at NASA/JSC during his career.

Sam Rimell (Parks ’86) received

the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Distinguished Career Award in September 2012. Jeff Rodger (Parks ’87) has

been with MiTek USA in Chesterfield, Mo., for 20 years, serving as the director of software quality assurance for the last 11 years. Gary Schultz (Parks ’76) is a

senior field service engineer with United Technologies Aerospace Systems. The company was formerly called Sundstrand Aerospace, then Hamilton Sundstrand. He has been with the organization for 33 years. Arthur Terrell (Parks ’63) has

lived in Alaska for nearly 57 years. His first wife passed away in 2009. However, he is happily spending his retirement with second wife, Lemma. Donald Wahl (Parks ’74) has

worked in various settings such as hospitals, universities, colleges, primary/secondary schools, technical schools, businesses, military and non-profit organizations sharing methods for preventing violence and managing conflict, and redesign-

RANCH C A L L ) ) ) ) ) ing social emotional skills for enhancing relationships, among many topics. Larry Willis (Parks ’77) retired

In May 2012, moved to northern California and purchased the Gables Wine Country Inn in Santa Rosa, Calif.

In Memoriam Don Baker (’58) James P. Gardner (’56) Thomas F. McAfee (’56)


2013 Alumni Merit Award Winners

OBITUARIES Paul Czysz Paul Czysz (Parks ’55) died in August. During his career at McDonnell Douglas, he served both on the military and civilian side at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and at the facility in St. Louis. He retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1991 to return to Parks and was appointed as the Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair. As a consultant for industry and media outlets, he was considered an expert in his field, especially in the areas of aerodynamics and hypersonic flight.

George “Bud” Day “Bud” Day left a legacy in the Parks ROTC program on both sides of the river, serving as assistant professor of air science in the detachment. He was shot down in Vietnam and became a prisoner of war, sharing a room briefly with now Senator John McCain. After the war, he devoted his law practice to veterans’ health benefits. He died at his home in Florida in July. Kenneth L. Atkins, Ph.D.

John Cantwell, Ph.D.

The Oliver Parks Alumni Merit Award is given each year to a Parks College graduate who exemplifies, to an outstanding degree in daily life, the example of Oliver L. Parks. The 2013 Oliver Parks Alumni Merit Award winner is Kenneth L. Atkins, Ph.D. (Parks ’58). Atkins served nine years as an officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force. During this service, he earned his M.S. in aerospace engineering at the USAF Institute of Technology. He then completed his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois. Atkins retired from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2002 after 34 years, many of them in leadership roles. John Cantwell, Ph.D. (IT ’57), was honored with the Institute of Technology Alumni Merit Award. Cantwell received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from SLU and his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in 1962. After spending a few years at other universities, Cantwell returned to Saint Louis University as a professor of mathematics. After a long career with the department, he retired in 2012. To learn more about the careers of Atkins and Cantwell and to nominate an alum for the awards please visit

Fr. Joseph Lackner, S.M. Father Lackner died in April in Seoul, South Korea. He was an expert in biblical languages and historical theology and taught both at Parks College in Cahokia, Ill., and at Saint Louis University’s main campus.

Ben Ulrich Ben Ulrich, affectionately called “Babbling Ben” by his students, died in January. He was a retired WWII Navy commander and remained in the Navy Reserves until 1982. He came to Parks in 1966 as a professor of aerospace engineering. .


Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage


One N. Grand Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63103 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

St. Louis, MO Permit No. 134

PA R K S . S LU . E D U

Giving really does change lives. “financial assistance, such as the Dean’s Scholarship, has allowed me to walk in the footsteps of my role model, Gene Kranz (Parks ’54), as I work toward a degree in Aerospace Engineering.”

That’s why Saint Louis University is launching a matching program for undergraduate scholarship gifts of $100 or more. Give now, and you can double your gift, making sure it goes further. Make your gift online at or call Chris Hoffmann at 314-977-8447 to discuss scholarship gifts. If you’ve already made a gift or estate commitment to SLU, thank you.



PARKS today


Please visit giving.slu. edu/gofurther to view a full list of qualifying match scholarship funds.

Parks Today -Fall 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you