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Notes from the 2008 CEE Alumni Tea
Harold Tseklenis '53 spent 42 years with Fluor Corp. in different capacities, ultimately that of senior vice president. In retirement, he has been involved in civic activities, philanthropy, church, traveling and "calling my time my own."
Bill Bayer '58 worked in different parts of the country as a structural engineer. "I became more appreciative of MIT as I viewed it through others' eyes," he said. Years ago he sat as an arbitrator in Boston with Werner Gumpertz '48, S.M. '50, B.E. '54 as an expert witness. "I was in many of his classes and it was fun to listen to him from my side of the desk," Bayer said.
While Dan Brand '58 originally started off in mechanical engineering, he switched to civil because "Professor Myle Holley was such a nice guy," he said. After lecturing at MIT, then Harvard, and serving as undersecretary at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for four years, he was involved in transportation planning at Charles River Associates for 30 years.
"I have been a general management consultant for many years," says Ottello Breda '58, who enjoyed seeing some Course 1 classmates for the first time in 50 years.
Still working as a civil engineer in a design and consulting office, Victor Carroll '58 commented on the big changes in computers over the years.
Fred Fisher '58, S.M. '61 says, "I did construction from the day I got out of MIT." He has owned Construction Coordinators since 1983; his son is now part of the team.
Dan Huestis '58 is president of a heavy construction company in Montana. Previous activities include service in the U.S. Air Force, serving as chair of the Montana Transportation Commission, president of the National Association of General Contractors, and being named a Fellow of the ASCE.
Retiring after 17 years as a construction engineer, Marvin Katz '58, S.M. '59 became a dealer in art and antiques, and happily continues in this track. One of his specialties is in objects sent to the U.S. from 19th-century missionaries to be sold to support the missions. Having worked with textiles and embroideries, he said he has also learned to do petit point needlework.
For two decades, Ed Krokosky '58, S.M. '61 taught civil engineering and materials at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon), and started up the school's materials testing lab. Now he runs a construction supplies business and raises horned Dorset sheep. He describes them as "the ultimate green machine, able to convert grass into meat as well as providing fertilizer."
Jaime Rosenthal Oliva '58 runs 20 businesses in Honduras, including a cement factory, financial service company, cattle ranch, bank, real estate company, newspaper and a TV station. His four sons have joined him in the family business, Imversiones Continental. He has 13 grandchildren.
Mark Tenney '58, S.M. '59, Sc.D. '65 taught for 10 years in the Notre Dame civil engineering department, then ran two consulting engineering companies for 25 years. He is now an environmental consultant for Brown & Caldwell in California. After 32 years in the Army Reserves, he retired as a major general.
While Benjamin Abrams '58 never graduated due to a complicated family situation, he warmly remembers his professors: Howard Simpson, Werner Gumpertz, Frank Heger, Al Dietz, Charles Norris and Harl Aldrich. Now doing structural design, he has worked in construction and contracting in many different capacities.
Following his MIT senior project to design an airport for Boston harbor, Art Cole '68, S.M. '69 designed real airports for the U.S. Air Force in Germany. Later he did computer modeling for Ford Motor Co., and helped change the way shippers and carriers do business. He founded a company for logistics engineering, Edwards & Drew, Inc., in Ann Arbor, which is still in business. As a member of the MIT Educational Council, he interviews prospective students in southeast Michigan.
During his academic career, Joe Olsen '68, S.M. '74, Ph.D. '78 spent 11 years on the faculty at the University of Utah, then moved to the University of South Alabama at Mobile. As head of civil engineering, he developed the school's first graduate program and built up the department. He remembers MIT's third floor geotech labs, Professors Chuck Ladd and Herbert Einstein, and the long hours spent doing thesis work.
Karla Karash '68, S.M. 70, Ph.D. '83 focuses on transportation in the Boston area and public transportation for TranSystems.
While having a soft drink with his wife Judy on campus, Robert "Marty" Czarnecki S.M. '73 said he realized that "not one moment when I was a student was I as relaxed as I am now." He is a senior vice president with URS Consultants in San Francisco, specializing in earthquake engineering, infrastructure, water, buildings and seismic retrofit. Currently he is working on the seismic rehabilitation of water systems, including the Hetch Hetchy system that supplies San Francisco. He remembers studying with Professors Robert Whitman, Bob Hanson, Myle Holley, Mel Biggs and Jose Roesset, and that Mrs. Malinovsky was the nearby secretary.
After working for 14 years building nuclear power plants, Fern DoVale '78 has retired to raise three children and be a Girl Scout leader. She particularly remembers Professor Jose Roesset, who is now at Texas A&M.
Among her many post-graduate positions, Sheila Luster '78 did combat construction for the Army Corps of Engineers, served in Korea, then moved to commercial construction and design. Now a FEMA administrator, she lives in Texas with her three children and some goats that keep the poison ivy under control. She has particularly warm memories of MIT ROTC, German House, friends and playing basketball.
When John Slater '78 was a civil engineering faculty member here from 1982 to 1988, he taught 1.00 Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving, steel design and a junior-level statistics class. He also worked on the development of software for supply chain management. He is now the vice president for manufacturing planning at Logility, a Massachusetts company specializing in supply chain management.
Manoj Shahi '88 worked in financial services in Japan, and now lives in Nepal with his wife Kazuko.
Inspired by Professor Sallie Chisholm, Suzanne Krolikowski '88 was "an early environmental engineering student before there was formally EE in CEE," she said. She became an environmental lawyer and spent nine years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Because I knew what DNA was, as opposed to some other lawyers, I did regulations on genetic engineering in pesticides," said Krolikowski, who now works for the U.S. Navy on remediation of previously contaminated sites in the Northeast.
Nadine Alameh S.M. '97, Ph.D. '01 works with NASA in Washington, D.C., doing geoscience, interoperability and intersystem data sharing. She says it's "really cool" trying to distribute all the satellite imagery to everyone who wants it. She and her husband Hisham Kassab, an alumnus of electrical engineering and computer science, announce the birth of their son, Ibrahim (Abie) Kassab, on Aug. 22, 2007.
Jazlyn Carvajal '03 works for Epic Management in New Jersey. Her current job is in Union City, the most densely populated city in the country, serving as project manager of a high school being constructed with a football stadium on its roof.
"I am down the street working on a Ph.D. in water resources at Harvard, so it doesn't feel that MIT is that far away," says Linda Liang '03. She encourages her friends to visit or contact her.
"After working in Cambridge for four years, I am now pursuing my M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, along with Ana Albir '04," says Sandi Lin '03. "My technical background has truly been an asset, and I hope that my future work will still be related to civil engineering and transportation," said Lin. In July 2007, she was a contestant on Jeopardy! "After dominating the first half, I lost my buzzer Zen and came in second," she said.
"Surveying camp in 1941 was one of the highlights of MIT," writes Russ Coulson '43. "We developed a lot of good friends and had great times roaming the lake and areas around the camp, while becoming experts in all types of surveying. My first job was on the F4U-1 Corsair at Chance Vought in Stratford, Conn., and my last job was with Martin Marietta working on the proposal for the Viking spacecraft, which successfully landed on Mars in 1976. Until I retired in 1999, I had my own contract engineering company with up to 700 employees." Active in MIT clubs since 1951, Coulson was the former head of MIT educational recruiting in Alabama and Mississippi. During college, Coulson remembers one day at the Old Howard theater in Scollay Square when a newsreel showed the presidents of MIT and Harvard. Cheers rang out from class-cutting students all over the house. CEE thanks Coulson for donating his lavishly autographed 1941 "Benchmark" from Camp Tech to the CEE archives.
Cranston "Chan" Rogers S.M. '51 was named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in June 2008, the society's highest accolade. He was honored for his "distinguished career in the design of some of the most challenging transportation projects of our time, coupled with outstanding management of U.S. Army Engineer Reserve units and contributions to ASCE," according to the citation.
This year's ENR Award of Excellence winner was Clyde Baker Jr. '52 and S.M. '54, who appeared on the cover of the April 7/14 issue. The lead article says, "Engineers the world over credit Baker with an enterprising pursuit of efficient foundations that result in lucrative savings for building developers, while giving builders the confidence to deal with the most troublesome soils."
Because he was in Guangzhou, China, on business, Frank W. Sheeman '68 regretfully missed the alumni events. He is the CEO of CMS (China Managed Services). "Building a road near Dalat in Vietnam as company commander preceded any of my college classes. The Army sent me back to MIT in 1972-73, and as I was in the Corps of Engineers, the department choice was easy. But I got caught up in the computer revolution and spent most of the subsequent 35 years associated with computer and Internet businesses."
"Since 1968, I have worked with transportation in public and private settings including highways, parking, vehicle design, futuristic systems, high-speed rail, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian," writes Roger O'Dell '68. "While working at GM's research labs in 1970, I was stunned by the 53,000 deaths on the roads that year. As transportation systems engineers and planners, why are we not raising more commotion about this terrible loss of life? Why is the public silent? Why do politicians and government employees do so very little? Civil and environmental engineers are meant to shape the environment, kindly, to serve humankind. Deaths should be a rarity, not something that happens 125 times every day in the U.S.A. Mobility is a basic human right, secured with dollars and good design, not lives. As transportation systems engineers and planners, we need to be raising awareness, raising a ruckus and raising the standards."
Many CEE alumni saw senior lecturers Pete Shanahan '73, Ph.D. '82 and Eric Adams S.M. '72, Ph.D. '75 during the Singapore International Water Week conference in June. The two reported greeting Junko Sagara M.Eng. '00; Rosanna Tse S.M. '97, who works with CH2M-Hill in Oakland, Calif.; and Arthur Mynett Sc.D. '80, a professor at Delft Hydraulics Lab in the Netherlands. S.C. Poh M.Eng. '03 of CH2M-Hill in Los Angeles was co-author of two poster papers at the conference. Brendan Harley Ph.D. '71 of CDM in Cambridge and Singapore also delivered a paper. Shanahan visited with his old friend, Laszlo Somlyody from Hungary, "who worked with Professor Don Harleman and me in the 1980s. We've kept in touch, and I delivered his paper at the conference when he came down with the flu," said Shanahan.
Barbara Ostrom '78 describes her job with the Federal Highway Administration's Long-Term Pavement Performance program as "counting trucks for a living. For almost 20 years, the program has collected a wide variety of data important for design and rehabilitation of pavements on 2,600 sections located throughout the U.S. and Canada. I've been with the program since 1992 working first on the pavement database including its design and management. I have since transitioned to co-PI responsibilities and have the lead on evaluation of traffic data, specifically truck loading information through software and database development, review guidelines and training, and field validation of weigh-in-motion equipment. Real data is ugly. "Good data is expensive. We're working to provide the best quality data to improve America's roadway infrastructure-and no, trucks aren't to blame for potholes," she wrote. An avid science fiction reader since junior high, she recently provided a sizeable endowment to the MIT Libraries' science fiction collection.
Nand Sharma S.M.T. '03, a former student of Carl Martland '68, S.M. '72, C.E. '72, does demand modeling for the Central Transportation Planning Staff of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Shortly after his graduation, Mathias Craig S.M. '03 founded blueEnergy, a company that produces and installs small wind-power turbines in Nicaragua. Recently his company won the national award for Nicaragua in the 2007 Energy Globe Awards competition with the proposal, "blueEnergy: Locally made Wind Turbines for Sustainable, Low-Cost, Environmentally Sensitive Energy Service in Poor Areas." The group received