Missouri S&T honors alumni for professional distinction

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On December 21, 2015

Missouri University of Science and Technology presented five Awards of Professional Distinction during winter commencement ceremonies held Saturday, Dec. 19. The awards recognize the outstanding Missouri S&T graduates for professional achievement.

The following S&T alumni received the Award of Professional Distinction:

Paula Lutz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with a life science preference from Missouri S&T in 1976. She also holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Duke University. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke and the University of North Carolina, Lutz joined the Missouri S&T faculty as an assistant professor of life sciences in 1987. She was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and to professor in 2000, the same year she was named chair of biological sciences. In 2002, she was named dean of Missouri S&T’s College of Arts and Sciences. During her tenure, she was known for encouraging diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She earned more than a dozen awards for outstanding teaching and faculty excellence and served as primary investigator on a series of National Institutes of Health grants to study the effects of lead on children’s immune systems. In July 2007, Lutz joined the faculty of Montana State University as professor of cell biology and neuroscience and dean of the College of Letters and Science. While at MSU, she chaired the Native American Education Advisory Board and served as principal investigator on the $14.9 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) C06 construction grant to renovate MSU’s Cooley Labs for biomedical research. She also served as principal investigator on MSU’s NIH “Bridges to the Baccalaureate” grant for Tribal College students. She has served on the Board of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and now serves on the Finance Committee for the American Association of Immunologists. Lutz and her husband, Len, are members of the Missouri S&T Order of the Golden Shillelagh. They make their home in Laramie, Wyoming.


Julie E. Maurer, a member of Jennings, Strouss and Salmon who practices primarily in the commercial litigation group, earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Missouri S&T in 1996. She earned a master of public administration degree from Arizona State University in 1998 and a juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2004. Her areas of expertise include commercial litigation, insurance bad faith, transportation, and tort and catastrophic injury. Maurer was listed in Arizona’s Finest Lawyers in 2014, was listed in the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2013, and was named a Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers for civil litigation defense in 2013 and 2014, and for employment litigation defense in 2012. Maurer was appointed as a judge pro tempore for the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County in 2015. She is a member of the Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Board of Litigation and the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment board of directors, and is vice president of the Phoenix ToolBank board of directors. She is also a member of Suns Charities, the Conference of Freight Counsel, the Transportation Lawyers Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona and the Notre Dame Club of Phoenix. She lives in Phoenix.


Ranney McDonough, president of McDonough Engineering Corp., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1966 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving in III Corps Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. Capt. McDonough flew combat missions for the 187th Assault Helicopter Company and single ship missions for the 25th Aviation Company. Combat missions were generally north of Saigon in the “Iron Triangle” area and occasionally into Cambodia. He was awarded the Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters by the U.S. Army, and was presented certificates of commendation from the South Vietnamese government for combat flight assignments. McDonough began his civil engineering career in 1969 in Houston, Texas, and in 1977, he established McDonough Engineering Corp., a civil engineering design firm. The firm provides design and project management services for public and private-sector clients primarily in the Gulf Coast area. McDonough has led the successful completion of over 2,000 civil engineering design and surveying projects throughout the Gulf Coast Region. For many of these projects, he has served as design engineer or principal in charge. McDonough is a licensed professional engineer in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Utah, and is a registered professional land surveyor in Texas. He is a member of the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh, an honor member of Chi Epsilon, and a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2012, he established the McDonough Engineering Corp. Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate civil engineering students. McDonough and his wife, Linda, live in Houston, Texas.


Louis P. Steinhauser, vice president of new product development and chief technology officer for Watlow Manufacturing Co., earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1980. He has led the conversion of many novel concepts and technologies from research and development projects to new product lines. He invented unique solutions in demanding thermal system applications for a diverse array of markets including semiconductor, energy processing, food preparation, medical, life science and others. Steinhauser led the development of the first thick-film and plasma-sprayed electric heaters for industrial applications. He holds over 30 issued U.S. patents, with many others pending. Steinhauser has held a variety of progressively more responsible positions within Watlow since joining the company over 30 years ago. Before that he was a machine designer with Industrial Automation Inc. and a project engineer with Orchard Corp. of America. He enjoys helping young people gain confidence and realize their potential. His work in that area has resulted in several programs that help young people of high school age through mentoring them as young professionals. He initiated and now oversees Watlow’s George Desloge Memorial Scholarship Program, which awards annual scholarships to Missouri S&T students pursuing manufacturing engineering degrees. He is a member of the Missouri S&T Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. A certified Stephen Minister, Steinhauser and his wife, Judy, live in St. Louis.


David John Wisch, a Fellow at Chevron Corp. and the company’s global technical authority for civil, structural and marine engineering, earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1975 and 1977, respectively. His career has spanned operations, design and construction, standards leadership, and technology development primarily for offshore facilities. Wisch has been involved in numerous first-of-their-kind offshore developments, including engineering oversight for the world’s deepest self-standing structure. He has worked and led standards activities in both the United States and internationally for over 35 years. Wisch joined Texaco in 1977. He was appointed a Texaco Fellow in 1997 and a Chevron Fellow in 2001 and served as chair of the Texaco/Chevron Fellows for 10 years. As one of 12 Fellows, he began the design, development and implementation of the Mentoring Excellence in Technology (MET) program, which he coordinated for six of its 10 offerings, successfully guiding the program through the Chevron Texaco merger. He also develops and teaches civil and structural courses for the Chevron Horizons program, a competency-based employee development program for all new technical employees with five or fewer years of industry experience. An active member of the American Petroleum Institute, he has been active in its offshore structures and standards activities for 30 years. He has chaired numerous task forces and subcommittees, including a task group in response of mooring failures during hurricanes Ivan, Katrina and Rita. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the International Organization for Standards, received the Minerals Management Service Award and served on the National Academies Marine Board. Wisch is a member of the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers and the Academy of Miner Athletics. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Richmond, Texas.

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