Seven professionals with ties to Missouri University of Science and Technology were recently inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers.
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:
— Michael A. Haas, chief executive officer of Orion Energy Group and managing director of Renewable Development Co. Haas earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1987. He earned a master’s degree in aeronautical and aerospace engineering from Stanford University in 1990. Haas began his career with McDonnell Aircraft Co. in a research and development group. He served in various executive capacities at Kenetech Corp. before founding Orion Energy Group in 1999. He also co-founded Renewable Development Co. in the United Kingdom. And, in 2008, Haas founded Alliance for Climate Education, a non-profit group dedicated to educating high school students on the science of global climate change.
— Robert J. Hoffmann, vice president and co-owner of Hoffmann Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning. Hoffmann earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1981. He began his career with Proctor and Gamble before co-founding Hoffmann Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning in 1988. In 2004, Hoffmann Brothers was honored with the World-Class Customer Satisfaction Award from the Better Business Bureau. Hoffmann serves on the board of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. He was voted Air Conditioning Contractors Man of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2002 for his leadership in the HVAC industry. Hoffmann is on the advisory boards of Rankin Technical College and Vatterott Technical College. He is also on the executive board of the Better Business Bureau and the board of Associated Builders and Contractors.
— Dr. Darrell W. Pepper, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Pepper earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1968. He also earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering (1970) and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering (1973) from Missouri S&T. After postdoctoral work in 1974, Pepper joined the E.I. Du Pont, Savannah River Laboratory. In 1987, he was appointed chief scientist of the Marquardt Co., where he worked on the national aerospace plane program. A year later, he co-founded Advanced Projects Research Inc. In 1990, he was appointed professor of mechanical engineering at California State University. He moved to his current position at the University of Nevada in 1992. Pepper founded the Nevada Center for Advanced Computation Methods and Nevada Energy and Environmental Systems, and he co-founded Alexander Energy Resources International.
— Fred “Art” Simmons, president of Eleison Composites. Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1966. He also earned an MBA degree from the University of Chicago. Simmons worked for two years at General Motors. He then held positions of increasing responsibility at several other companies. He was general manager of the Wickes Corp., vice president and general manager of LaSalle Steel, vice president and general manager of the construction equipment group at International Harvester, and vice president and general manager of the International Harvester agricultural equipment group. In 1984, Simmons founded Astechnologies Inc. In 1993, he created Euro American Composites Technologies.
— Thomas J. Spiegel, director of integration and support engineering at Boeing. Spiegel graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1973. In 1993, he earned an MBA degree from Webster University. At Boeing, Spiegel is responsible for providing a strategic vision for integration and support engineering. He facilitates development of standard processes, systems and tools. Spiegel works to leverage and deploy best practices and lean functional excellence to the engineering teams. He has worked on many projects, including the integration of ergonomics, build/assembly analysis and the development of various work instructions for 3D modeling.
— Chris A. Thomason, senior manager of advanced vehicle architecture at General Motors. Thomason holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T and a master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received a professional degree from Missouri S&T in 2008. Thomason began his career with General Motors in 1985. While at GM, he has been involved with several new vehicle programs, including the Saturn VUE and Pontiac Solstice. He is currently the senior manager for GM’s future product architectures.
— Donald J. Mathews is being inducted posthumously as an honorary memorial member. Mathews earned his degree in mechanical engineering in 1948. He worked as an industrial engineer for two years with A. P. Green Fire Brick Co., and then moved to Standard Oil of Indiana as a lubrication sales engineer. He retired in 1988 after 31 years in sales and sales management from Jefferson Smurfit Corp., an international paper manufacturer. After retirement, Mathews was a managing partner of PCB Investment Club. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served in active and reserve duty for 22 years. Upon his death in 2004, the Don and Alwilda Mathews Scholarship was established.