Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers inducts new members

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On October 27, 2016

Six professionals with ties to Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers at a dinner and induction ceremony held at the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus on Oct. 13.

The academy recognizes outstanding alumni for their professional achievement and success, and provides organized assistance to the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at Missouri S&T.

New members are:

  • Andrea C. Dorr of Tacoma, Washington, senior vice president for business development at Accurus Aerospace Corp. in Irving, Texas. Dorr earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1992. She also holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a former director of aerostructures for Titanium Metals Corp. and former manager of aircraft sales and marketing at Toray Composites Inc. Dorr has more than 20 years of experience in aerospace business development leadership and technical program management, covering complex metal components, titanium, and carbon fiber-reinforced composites.
  • Dr. James R. Friend of Pacific Beach, California, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1992, 1994 and 1998, respectively. Friend began his career as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado. In 2004, he moved to Melbourne, Australia, as a senior lecturer in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Monash University, where he conducted research on micro/nanodevice engineering for medical applications. He was named professor and associate dean for research in 2010. In 2011, he led the design and construction of the new $35 million Micro Nano Research Facility at RMIT University in downtown Melbourne as a vice chancellor’s senior research fellow. After its completion under budget and one month early in mid-2014, he returned to the United States as a professor at the University of California, San Diego.
  • L. Wayne Garrett of Carmel, Indiana, retired chief manufacturing officer for Harman International Industries Inc. Garrett earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1972. He also holds a master of science degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Detroit. Garrett spent his career in the automotive and electronics industries. Past positions include chief operations officer for ArvinMeritor’s Light Vehicle Systems business group, general manager of manufacturing technology for General Electric and various leadership roles at Chrysler, including development engineering for the initial front-wheel-drive transmission.
  • Michael Ludwig of St. Louis, senior manager in test programs management for The Boeing Co. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1978, a master of science degree in engineering management in 1988 and a master of science degree in systems engineering in 2005, all from Missouri S&T. Ludwig began his career with McDonnell-Douglas, where he served in engineering and management positions with increasing responsibility in flight test engineering in several locations, including Israel, North Korea and Singapore. In his current position, Ludwig works in Boeing’s test and evaluation business unit, covering Phantom Works Advanced Global Strike programs.
  • David C. McMindes of Kansas City, Missouri, engineering director and chief technology officer for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1988. He also holds an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master of science degree in engineering management from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. McMindes began his career with Honeywell in 1988, serving in various engineering and management positions from project leadership and program management to numerous residency positions at several national laboratories.
  • Jeff Thornburg of Madison, Alabama, president of Interstellar Technologies LLC. He earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1996. He also holds a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Before forming Interstellar, Thornburg was senior director and later vice president of propulsion engineering at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California.  He began his career in the U.S. Air Force as a flight commander and aircraft maintenance officer on KC-135R tanker aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, then was selected to attend the Air Force Institute of Technology. He was then stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he joined the liquid rocket engine branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He was also a lead propulsion engineer and turbomachinery technical project manager for the J-2X engine development program at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

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