Honorary professional degrees to be awarded at UMR Commencement

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On November 28, 2006

The University of Missouri-Rolla will award 10 honorary professional degrees during its commencement Saturday, Dec. 16.

Commencement begins at 11 a.m. in UMR’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building. About 500 degrees will be awarded.

The professional degree recipients are: 

Frederick M. “Rick” Booth, principal, Golder Associates, St. Louis

    Rick Booth received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in geological engineering at UMR in 1986 and 1988, respectively. He has also completed graduate studies in engineering management at UMR. He has worked for Golder Associates since 1988, serving first in Atlanta, then moving to St. Louis in 1995. His responsibilities include project management and performance of environmental and hydrologic investigations. He routinely provides expert witness testimony related to surface water and groundwater quality. He has served as a guest lecturer at UMR and St. Charles Community College.

Robert C. “Bob” Feldmann, vice president, F/A-18 Programs, Global Strike Systems, Integrated Defense Systems, The Boeing Co., St. Charles, Mo.

    Bob Feldmann received a master of science degree in computer science from UMR in 1980. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern University and a master of science degree in business administration from the executive program at Washington University. Feldmann began his career at Boeing in 1976 as a software engineer on the F/A-18 mission computer. His responsibilities include the development and production of the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and the development of the EA-18G, a derivative of the Super Hornet modified for the electronic attack mission.

Lewis Daniel Israel, principal and senior vice president, Terracon Consultants Inc., Evergreen, Colo.    

    Dan Israel received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from UMR in 1983. In 1984, he began work for Sverdrup Corp. and five years later began a 17-year career with Terracon Consultants Inc., advancing from senior project manager to senior vice president and principal. Israel is responsible for 10 offices located throughout Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. He chairs Terracon’s transportation and infrastructure group and is a member of the operations and governance committees and the board of directors. For more than 20 years, Israel has worked as a reserve deputy sheriff. 

Paul A. Lang, president of western operations, Arch Coal Inc., St. Louis

    Paul Lang received a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering from UMR in 1983. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. As president of western operations for Arch Coal Inc., Lang is responsible for the company’s mining operations in the western United States, including Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Since joining Arch in 1984, Lang has held a series of engineering, operating and management positions in eight divisions during his 23-year career. Most recently he held the position of president of Thunder Basin Coal Co. and Arch of Wyoming.

Guy R. Mace, founder, Turblex Co., Springfield, Mo.

    Guy Mace received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UMR in 1965 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Missouri State University in 1963. Following two years in the Army, Mace worked for process equipment manufacturing companies in water and wastewater treatment, progressing through positions of research and development, sales and general management. In 1980, Mace founded the Semblex Co., which was sold to an English water company in 1998. Mace founded Turblex Co. in 1989. He is an internationally recognized expert in his field.

Darrel A. “Del” Mank, director, Tundra Semiconductor Corp., Campbell, Calif.

    Del Mank received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering management from UMR in 1969 and 2002, respectively. He also holds a master of science degree in business administration from the University of Dallas. Mank began his high-tech career with Texas Instruments and has spent the past 30 years in the industry. He currently serves on the board of directors for Tundra Semiconductor Corp. and is a management consultant and executive coach to high-technology start-up companies. Since 2005, Mank has served as lecturer in the management department of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. 

William Oberbeck Sr., Advance Valve Co., Fenton, Mo.

    William Oberbeck Sr. received a bachelor of science degree in metallurgical engineering from UMR in 1939. Following graduation, he went to work for Curtis-Wright, then moved on to several national companies, including one in St. Louis. From 1941-45, Oberbeck served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. In 1960, he served as a manufacturing representative for Spence Engineering and Kundle Valves. Using his business sales and engineering experience, Oberbeck founded three successful businesses.

Marc Thornsberry, director of public works, Springfield, Mo.

    Marc Thornsberry received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from UMR in 1983. He has served as public works director in Springfield, Mo., since 1992. He is responsible for a $50 million budget in addition to an adopted six-year $220 million capital improvement program, oversight of 375 full-time employees, and administrative assistance and oversight of labor relations and public information for the department’s eight divisions. Thornsberry held previous positions as director of public works for Cole County, Mo., and as engineering supervisor for the department of public works for Jefferson City, Mo

John R. Twitty, general manager and chief executive officer, City Utilities of Springfield, Mo.

    Since 2002, John R. Twitty has served as general manager and chief executive officer for the City Utilities in Springfield, Mo., where he has worked since 1991, starting as director of consumer affairs. Prior to that, Twitty served as general manager and business manager of the Rolla Municipal Utilities. He received a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Missouri in 1975. Twitty is active in the community through involvement with United Way of the Ozarks, Springfield Business and Development Corp. and several other organizations. He serves as chair of the board of the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C., and chair of the board of the Energy Authority in Jacksonville, Fla.

Ann E. Whitty, vice president and general manager, Alcoa Rigid Packaging Division, Warrick, Ind.

    Ann Whitty graduated from UMR in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She later received a master of business administration degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. After working as an intern for Davenport Works, Whitty joined the facility in 1979 as an electrical engineer. She eventually became the engineering manager of Davenport Works. In 1999, Whitty was promoted to general manager of engineering at Alcoa World Alumina in Perth, Australia. After almost four years in Australia, Whitty returned to the United States to continue her career.


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On November 28, 2006. Posted in People