Missouri S&T to award honorary professional degrees

Posted by
On May 2, 2008

Missouri University of Science and Technology will award 10 honorary
professional degrees during its spring commencement Saturday, May 17.

Commencement begins at 11 a.m. in Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman
Multi-Purpose Building. About 600 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded in
addition to the honorary degrees. About 200 graduate degrees will be awarded
during a special commencement ceremony for graduate students (master’s degrees
and doctorate degrees) to be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 16, in the
Multi-Purpose Building.

The professional degree recipients are:

Samuel D. Conzone

Samuel D. Conzone of Clarks Summit, Pa., is global technology manager for
the quartz and ceramics division of Momentive Performance Materials. Conzone
earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic science from Alfred University in 1994.
He also earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in ceramic engineering from Missouri
S&T in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Conzone received the Norbert J. Kreidl
award in 1999 for his research into biodegradable glasses used for medical
applications. His work, which received a U.S. patent, was licensed by a
pharmaceutical company and is being used by MoSci Corp. to develop new
bioactive/high prosperity products.

David A. Dillard

David A. Dillard of Blacksburg, Va., is the adhesive and sealant science
professor in the engineering science and mechanics department at Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dillard, who has co-authored more
than 125 referenced journal articles and several book chapters, received
bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri S&T in engineering mechanics
in 1976 and 1978, respectively. Dillard served for five years as director of
the Center for Adhesive and Sealant Science and served as founder and interim
director of Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech. He
recently completed a term as president of the university’s Adhesion

John W. Edwards

John W. Edwards of Fort Wayne, Ind., is the senior vice president and chief
operating officer for Bonar Group. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil
engineering from Missouri S&T in 1972. Edwards also holds a master’s degree
in civil and environmental engineering from North Carolina State University. He
is a registered professional engineer in seven states and is a board certified
environmental engineer and diplomat of the American Academy of Environmental
Engineers. Edwards has been the principal in charge of Bonar Group’s
environmental engineering consulting practice in Indiana and adjoining states
since 1995.

Gary L. Foutch

Gary L. Foutch of Stillwater, Okla., is the Regents’ professor and
Kerr-McGee chair at Oklahoma State University. He earned bachelor’s, master’s
and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1976, 1977
and 1980, respectively. Foutch is a registered professional engineer in
Oklahoma. He has been an Oklahoma State University faculty advisor to the state
Regents’ Chancellor and chairman of the University Faculty Council. He has
received two faculty awards and one professional award. Foutch is the founder
and president of Focus CS L.C., which he established in 1996.

Thomas F. Hughes

Thomas F. Hughes of Sterling, Va., is the vice president of the National
Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee at AT&T Operations Inc. He
also serves as chair of the Industry Executive Subcommittee, which makes
national security and emergency preparedness recommendations to the president.
Hughes received a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Missouri
S&T in 1991. He also holds an MBA from St. Louis University. Hughes has
served on the Missouri S&T Corporate Development Council and currently
serves as president and fund-raising chair for two Missouri S&T
organizations. He spent four and a half years in Missouri serving as AT&T’s
liaison with the Missouri Public Service Commission for regulatory matters and
working with the Missouri Legislature on telecom related policy.

Alan S. Kornacki

Alan S. Kornacki of Houston, Texas, is the senior staff geochemist for Shell
Oil, Co. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Missouri S&T in
1974. Kornacki also holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Harvard
University. He has served as manager of two technical service organizations
that supported global exploration and productions operations in Royal Dutch
Shell. Kornacki is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the
U.S. War College and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1997 with the rank
of lieutenant colonel.

Jeffrey L. Theerman

Jeffrey L. Theerman of St. Louis is the district executive director for
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District and is responsible for all aspects of the
utility’s business. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from
Missouri S&T in 1980. Theerman also holds a master’s degree in civil
engineering from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He currently serves
as secretary to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and is on the
Management Advisory Board of the St. Louis University Cook School of

Christopher A. Thomason

Christopher A. Thomason of Highland, Mich., is the senior manager for
Advanced Vehicle Architecture at General Motors Corp. He leads a team of
engineers in the development of new GM global architectures with the Warren,
Mich., Advanced Vehicle Development Center. Thomason earned a bachelor’s degree
in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985. He also holds a
master’s degree in management of technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. Thomason holds a U.S. patent for an automotive bumper system. He is
the functional recruiting lead for product engineering on the GM University
Relations Team for Missouri S&T.

Benjamin P. Winter

Benjamin P. Winter of Northville, Mich., is the chief engineer of the
minivan product team for Chrysler. He is responsible for all aspects of product
planning, development, launch, cost and quality for Chrysler and Dodge
minivans. He earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from
Missouri S&T in 1980. Winter also holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in
metallurgical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
He holds two U.S. patents for his work on cylinder block casting and
manufacturing. Prior to working at Chrysler, Winter was employed by Ford Motor
Co. for 22 years.

Michael E. Woessner

Michael E. Woessner of Rolla, Mo., is the president, chief executive
officer, and founder of Investment Realty Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in
civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1976. Woessner also earned his real
estate license and broker’s license in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He is a
member of the Missouri Enterprise Board of Directors and the Rolla Lions

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On May 2, 2008. Posted in People