Four alumni honored by S&T computer science academy

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On November 4, 2015

Four alumni of Missouri University of Science and Technology with ties to the computer science department were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Computer Science during the group’s banquet and induction ceremony, held Oct. 22, 2015, at Matt’s Steakhouse in Rolla.

The academy honors outstanding computer scientists for their contributions to the profession and their involvement with Missouri S&T students and faculty. The academy also serves as an advisory group to the computer science department.

The 2015 inductees are:

  • William K. “Bill” Brune of Houston, Texas, who earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Missouri S&T in 1969. Brune retired in 2015 from Hewlett-Packard Co. as lead project manager for Global Data Center Services. During 12 years at HP, he held positions managing eCommerce and supply chain systems infrastructure architecture and was the lead infrastructure architect for HP’s Data Center Consolidation. Brune joined Texas Instruments (TI) in 1969. While working for TI and later Price Water House and Co. (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) he earned an MBA from the University of Houston in 1977. During his 40-plus-year career, Brune led the distributed processing and office automation implementations at El Paso Natural Gas;  installed the first Ethernet in Houston connecting Xerox workstations that pioneered the modern mouse-driven user interface; managed the Houston Data Center for another pipeline company; and held IT management positions in the environmental and health care fields. He is secretary of the Miner Alumni Association board of directors and is active with the admissions ambassador program, the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center and the Houston Marathon.
  • Jeff Marker of St. Louis, senior vice president of customer services for Junction Solutions, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1988. Prior to his current position, Marker served as senior vice president of multi-channel retail. Before joining Junction Solutions, Marker was owner of Marker Consulting, a vice president at FutureNext Consulting, a partner with Horizon Consulting and a senior manager with Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Throughout his career, Marker has specialized in the implementation of retail, manufacturing and distribution ERP systems in middle market and enterprise. He is a member of Missouri S&T’s Business and Information Technology Department Advisory Board, where he supports the department’s emphasis on enterprise resource planning. During his tenure on the board, the department attained accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Junction Solutions has co-taught a 300-level enterprise resource planning course using the Microsoft Dynamics AX software.
  • Susan Klemmer of Clarkston, Michigan, was named an honorary member of the academy. Klemmer, who earned a master of science degree in computer science in 1966, was one of the first three women to earn such a degree. Klemmer spent seven years at the General Motors Research Labs before returning to college to become a doctor. After two years of pre-med training at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, she was accepted to Michigan State College of Human Medicine. Today she is a retired dermatologist.
  • Ralph Edward Lee, formerly of Rolla, Missouri, was inducted as a posthumous member of the academy. Lee, who earned a master of science degree in physics from Missouri S&T in 1949, had a 40-year career with Missouri S&T. He joined the faculty as a math professor in 1946. During the summer of 1956, Lee worked as a senior research mathematician for North American Aviation on the use of computer methods to solve ballistic missile problems. That experience convinced him to develop a course on computers at Missouri S&T, which he taught for the first time in 1957.  In 1959, Lee was one of 12 faculty members in the United States chosen to attend a National Bureau of Standards program on teaching other professors how to use the computer. That fall he received a $30,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase the university’s first computer. With the delivery of the first computer in 1960, Lee became director of the university computer center, a position that he held until his retirement in 1986. Lee passed away in 2010.

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