Missouri University of Science and Technology will award 11 honorary professional degrees during spring commencement ceremonies to be held May 15-16.
The professional degree recipients are:
Kim Colter, M.D. – a physician in Washington, Mo. Colter earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1973. He received an NCAA post-graduate scholarship for research at University of California-Berkeley. He earned a master’s degree in 1974 and graduated from medical school at Washington University in 1978. In 1981, Colter completed a family medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he served as chief resident. Colter was one of the founders of Family Health Care in Washington, Mo., which is now a division of Patients First Health Care.
Dr. J. Daniel Jones – executive vice president of Radiance Technologies in Huntsville, Ala. Jones earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from Missouri S&T in 1971 and 1974, respectively. He served as vice president for missile and air defense at Computer Science Corp. and Nichols Research Corp. He is a co-recipient of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization’s Outstanding Achievement Award. During his career, Jones helped provide initial requirements for many of the interceptor missile shield elements currently being used by the Missile Defense Agency.
E. Louis Kapernaros – retired CEO of General Electric’s Industrial Diamond Operations. Kapernaros earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering in 1950. He held various positions with a farming equipment manufacturer, a cast iron foundry and a steam-generating and fuel-burning equipment manufacturer. In 1956, he joined GE and stayed with the company until his retirement as a CEO in 1987. After retirement, Kapernaros started a private consulting company and processed start-up companies internationally, serving on the boards of some and as CEO of others for short periods.
Wayne Laufer – retired founding CEO of Bois d’Arc Resources Ltd. and Bois d’Arc Offshore Ltd. Laufer earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1967. He started his career with Shell Oil Co. In 1977, he took a position with S.A. Holditch & Associates, now a part of Schlumberger. He also served as vice president of engineering and operations for two small Dallas-area oil producers in the early 1980s. Laufer was an independent oil and gas producer for one year before co-founding Bois d’Arc Resources and Bois d’Arc Offshore.
John Moritz – vice president of business planning and international for Olin Brass, a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper Inc. Moritz earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1976 and 1982, respectively. He joined Olin Corp. in 1977 as an industrial engineer and spent 32 years with the company in various positions, including production control manager, general manager, corporate director of planning and interim financial officer. Moritz is chair of the board of Olin-Luotong Metals in Guangzhou, China, and is a member of the board of DOWA-Olin Metals in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Dr. Franklin Schowengerdt – part-time professor of physics at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Schowengerdt earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Missouri S&T in 1966, 1967 and 1969, respectively. He is director of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems and president of SpacePartnerships.com. Schowengerdt held a post-doctoral position at the University of Nebraska before serving as a professor and head of physics at the Colorado School of Mines. Schowengerdt retired from the Colorado School of Mines in 2003 to join NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as director of the Space Product Development Program.
F. Arthur Simmons – president of Eleison Composites LLC. Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1966. He also holds a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Chicago. Simmons worked for two years at General Motors, and then held positions of increasing responsibility at several other companies. In 1984, he founded Astechnologies Inc. In 1993, he created Euro American Composites Technologies to expand the business to Europe. He sold much of the company’s assets to Eleison Composites in 2005, but he retained ownership of EAC.
James Steibel – manager of advanced ceramics technology with GE Aviation. Steibel earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ceramic engineering from Missouri S&T in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He has 20 years of experience in ceramic engineering and is active in the Cincinnati-Dayton Section of the Miner Alumni Association.
James O. Stoffer Jr. – technical manager of North America for Becker Acroma Coatings. Stoffer earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Missouri S&T in 1983, and returned to earn a master’s degree in chemistry in 1988. He worked with Eastman Chemical Co., Carboline Co., and Akzo Nobel Coatings in various technical services positions. He has worked on coating systems for structures around the world, including the Golden Gate Bridge. Stoffer currently works with environmentally friendly wood coatings. His father is Dr. James O. Stoffer, Curators’ Professor emeritus at S&T.
Dr. Steve Sullivan – senior technology officer for Lucasfilm. Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T (1989) and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sullivan joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1998. He has worked on more than 50 films. He has received awards for the MARS motion and structure recovery systems and ILM’s image-based modeling system. In 2002, he became director of research and development. In 2004, he initiated an effort to unify ILM film technologies and LucasArts game technologies in a common framework for all the Lucas companies.
David Wang – vice president for The Boeing Co. and president of Boeing China. Wang earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1977. He began his career with General Electric, working his way up to general manager of the Juarez, Mexico, plant. In 1990, he moved to Beijing to negotiate GE’s first joint venture with China. In 1995, he became the president of GE Malaysia and GE Singapore, and in 1997 he served as the chair and CEO of GE China. Wang is co-chair of the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program and the Export Compliance Working Group at the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.