Honorary professional degrees to be awarded at UMR Commencement

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On November 30, 2005

The University of Missouri-Rolla will award 12 honorary professional degrees during its winter commencement Saturday, Dec. 17.         

Commencement begins at 11 a.m. in UMR’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building. About 550 degrees will be awarded.       

UMR graduate Zebulun (Zeb) Nash, manager of ExxonMobil Chemical’s plant in Baytown, Texas, will deliver the commencement address. Nash and Richard Vitek, retired chair and chief executive officer of FOTODYNE, will also receive special honorary degrees from UMR.         

Preceding graduation, the campus will hold its 2005 Winter Graduation Jubilee from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at the Havener Center on campus.      

The professional degree recipients are:

Mark Algaier

Vice President of Research and Development, Hillyard Industries Inc.

Mark Algaier earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with emphasis in life sciences from UMR in 1975. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University in 2000. After graduation from UMR, he joined Cook Paint and Varnish in Kansas City, Mo., as a research chemist in the trade sales laboratory. He was promoted to laboratory supervisor in 1977. Algaier was named manager of coating applications and senior research chemist for Hillyard Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of gymnasium finishes and janitorial products in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1979. He was promoted to vice president of research and development in 1987. While at UMR, he was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma honor society. Algaier and his wife, Lynn, reside in St. Joseph, Mo. They have four daughters, three sons and one granddaughter. 

Valentino T. Bates

President and Owner, KHAFRA Engineering Consultants

Valentino T. Bates earned his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from UMR in 1976 and 1978, completing both degrees in five years. After graduation, he accepted a position with Ch2M Hill in Milwaukee, Wis. In 1984, Bates was transferred to the firm’s Atlanta office. Two years later, he opened KHAFRA Engineering Consultants, a full-service professional environmental engineering design and architectural firm. While attending UMR, Bates was active in Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, ASCE and Chi Epsilon. He also served on the Chancellor Search Committee. Bates is currently president of the UMR Academy of Civil Engineers, to which he was inducted in 2001. He is active in the MSM-UMR Alumni Association, is a member of the UMR Order of the Golden Shillelagh and has served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on African American Recruitment and Retention. Bates has four children and resides in Atlanta.

Robert L. Benner

Founder and President, TBW Industries Inc.

Robert L. Benner earned his master of science and Ph.D. degrees in metallurgical engineering from UMR in 1961 and 1965, respectively. Following graduation from UMR, he worked as a researcher for Norton Co. in Worcester, Mass. He spent three years at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J., in research and development laboratory, managing materials testing and analysis of military munitions. He then worked in research and development for Cardinal Engineering in Conshohocken, Pa. In 1974, Benner founded TBW Industries Inc., a supplier of superabrasive products. While a student, Benner was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Alpha Sigma Nu and the Baptist Student Union. He lives with his wife in Chalfont, Pa. 

Flake C. Campbell

Senior Technical Fellow, Manufacturing Technology, The Boeing Company 

Flake C. Campbell earned a master of science degree in metallurgical engineering from UMR in 1972. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in metallurgical engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Maryville University in St. Louis. Campbell has worked his entire 36-year career at The Boeing Company, formerly McDonnell Douglas. In his current position, he conducts research and development in advanced metallics and composite materials. He is also an adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Campbell is the author of Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Composites and recently completed work on a second book, Manufacturing Technology for Aerospace Structural Materials, which has been accepted for publication. Campbell and his wife, Betty, have two grown children, Steven and Lindsay, and two grandchildren. They reside in Chesterfield, Mo.

Richard M. “Mike” Chiles

General Manager, Watts Radiant

Mike Chiles earned a bachelor of science degree in economics and psychology from UMR in 1973. Following graduation, he joined his brother, Dan, in forming a company to design and construct timber frame homes, log homes and bridges. From 1981 to 2000, he served as president of Heatway, a manufacturing and distributing company specializing in radiant floor warming equipment and supplies. Since August 2000, he has held his current position of general manager of Watts Radiant. As a student, Chiles was a member of the General Delegation of Independents, the UMR Spelunkers and Student Council. He and his wife, Mary, have seven children. They reside in Springfield, Mo.

Kimberly K. Denney

President, Air Liquide America L.P.

Kimberly K. Denney earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from UMR in 1982. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rice University. After graduation from UMR, Denney began her career with E.I. DuPont and the USI division of National Distillers and Chemicals as a supporting engineer and progressed to production superintendent. She joined Quantum Chemical Co. in 1988 as operations superintendent and moved on to energy manager in 1992. Denney joined Air Liquide America L.P. in 1995 and has been gradually promoted from business manager to president of the company. While a student, Denney was involved in Tau Beta Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, theater and band. She is a member of the UMR Academy of Chemical Engineers. Denney and her husband, Terry Doyle, have one daughter, Alex. They reside in Houston.

Thom H. Dunning Jr.

Director, National Center for Supercomputing Application (NCSA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thom H. Dunning Jr. earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from UMR in 1965.  He also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from California Institute of Technology. Following post-doctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology and Battelle Memorial Institute, Dunning accepted a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1973. In 1978 he was appointed group leader of the theoretical and computational chemistry group at Argonne National Laboratory. Beginning in 1989, he held several positions at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, becoming director of the Environment Molecular Sciences Laboratory in 1994 and the first Battelle Fellow in 1997. Dunning worked from 1999-2001 as assistant director for scientific simulation in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. He then served as professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2002, he was appointed director of the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, distinguished professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Tennessee, and distinguished scientist in computing and computational sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He joined the University of Illinois faculty in 2005 as director of NCSA, an organization that leads development and deployment of new computing and software technologies for the scientific and engineering community. 

Michael A. Haas

President, Orion Energy and Director of Renewable Development Co. (RDC)

Michael Haas earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from UMR in 1987. He also holds a master of science degree in aero
nautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford University. Following graduation, Haas worked for McDonnell Douglas Corp. before taking a position at Kenetech Corp., where he led the development, finance, implementation and construction for projects totaling 350 megawatts of installed capacity and directed over 1,000 megawatts of contracted projects through various stages of development worldwide. He also served as general manager of the “56-100” wind turbine division, responsible for the engineering, manufacturing, operations and maintenance of over 500 megawatts of wind turbine energy. In 1997, he founded Orion Energy LLC, a company specializing in developing and operating wind energy projects in the United States and abroad. He currently serves as president of the company and director of Renewable Development Co., Orion’s affiliate in Great Britain. As a student, Haas was active in the intramural sports program, Blue Key, Sigma Gamma Tau, and was chair of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He and his wife, Rocia, live in Oakland, Calif., with their son, Matthias.

William R. Kennedy

President and CEO, Jack Kennedy Metal Products and Buildings Inc.

William R. Kennedy is president and CEO of Jack Kennedy Metal Products and Buildings Inc., a multinational mining ventilation company involved in research consulting and equipment manufacturing. The author of Practical Mine Ventilation, Kennedy has served as a guest lecturer for college students in mining engineering courses and worked with students taking continuing education courses. He has worked extensively with the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the former U.S. Bureau of Mines on ventilation problems, investigations, research, and the formulation of new federal regulations. He also pioneered work in mine fire investigation. Kennedy is a member of the development board of mining engineering at UMR. He resides in Taylorville, Ill.

John A. Mattingly

Project Engineer and Director of Engineering, Nicholas J. Bouras Inc.

John Mattingly earned a master of science degree in civil engineering from UMR in 1976. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Saint Louis University. Following graduation from SLU, Mattingly served as research engineer for Granco Steel Products until 1973, when he joined The Brinkley Co. as project engineer. In 1986 he accepted the position of project engineer and director of engineering with Nicholas J. Bouras Inc. Mattingly holds a patent on a standing seam panel. He has served as a board member and chair of the technical committee for the Metal Construction Assoc., and was the first recipient of the MCA’s Larry A. Swaney Award. He has been involved with the Steel Deck Institute, serving on several committees, and has provided technical assistance to the UMR Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures. Mattingly resides in Summit, N.J. He has four children and four grandchildren.  

Charles D. Naslund

Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, AmerenUE

Charles D. Naslund earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from UMR in 1974. Following graduation, he joined Union Electric Co., now known as AmerenUE, in St. Louis and has worked there his entire career. He began as an assistant in engineering and construction and later served as construction engineer for nuclear construction at the Callaway Nuclear Plant. Naslund held a series of supervisory posts before being named superintendent of plant start-up in 1984 and manager of nuclear operations support in 1986. He was named manager of nuclear engineering in 1991 and served in that position for seven years before being named vice president of power operations for AmerenUE. In 2004, Naslund was named site vice president of the Callaway Nuclear Plant and in 2005 he was appointed to his current position. He is a member of MSPE and several other professional associations. While a student he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He is also a member of the UMR Academy of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the UMR Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Naslund and his wife, Jean, reside in St. Louis and have three children, Greg, Brian and Marissa. Greg Naslund earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from UMR in 2002.

Stephen A. Szymanski

General Manager-Service Centers, Electrical, Agricultural and Industrial Equipment, United States Steel Corp.

Stephen A. Szymanski earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering management from UMR in 1974. He also holds two master of science degrees: one in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and one in business management from Marquette University. After graduating from UMR, Szymanski began his career with U.S. Steel, proceeding through various sales positions in Chicago and Milwaukee until 1981, when he was named sales representative for the company’s central region. In 1983, he was named product manager for heavy products. Szymanski was promoted to manager of sales for the Midwest region in 1988. He was named district sales manager for the Chicago area in 1992 and to manager of sales and service for the Midwest region in 1997. Szymanski was promoted in 2005 to U.S. Steel’s Global Design Network Initiative and is now General Manager of Enterprise Resource Planning. While a student, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. Szymanski and his wife, Liza, reside in Naperville, Ill. They have two sons.

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On November 30, 2005. Posted in People