Eight professionals with ties to Missouri S&T were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers at a dinner and induction ceremony held at the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus on Oct. 11.
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:
John L. Adams Jr. of Wildwood, Missouri, senior manager for the F-15 Airframes Structures team at Boeing in St. Louis. Adams earned a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida and a master of science degree in engineering management from Washington University in St. Louis. Adams began his career with McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) as a structural design engineer on the F/A-18 then advanced through positions of increasing responsibility, including team leader in the Advance Design area and manager in Phantom Works. He also led larger teams on the V-22 Airframe for Return to Flight, Phantom Works Advance Weapons programs and T-45 follow-on Navy Trainer study. He was later named senior manager for the Design Manufacturing Engineering function in St. Louis, Macon, Georgia, and Mesa, Arizona, before taking his current role.
David M. Baer of St. Louis, senior manager on the Boeing MQ-25 Unmanned Air Vehicle program. Baer earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Following his graduation cum laude, Baer began his engineering career with McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). During his career, he has worked on a number of the production and prototype tactical aircraft programs.
John L. Hampton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, senior manager and chief engineer for military seating engineering and testing for United Technologies Aerospace Systems. He earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985 and 1991, respectively. Hampton began his career at McDonnell Douglas in aircraft and crew escape systems design. His career has spanned corporate acquisitions by Boeing, Goodrich and United Technologies. He is a member of the Survival and Flight Equipment (SAFE) Association and has supported multiple local university senior design project teams and the Air Force Academy Cadet Engineering Projects. Hampton is one of the few technical experts in aircraft ejection seat engineering, airworthiness and ejection injury mitigation.
Kent E. Koederitz of Skippack, Pennsylvania, deputy fire chief, West Point for Merck and Co. Inc. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1984 and a master of science degree in engineering management from the University of Tennessee in 1990. Koederitz is a fire service professional currently serving a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company’s fire and rescue department. He has served over 30 years in multiple suppression and specialty team assignments during his career, and is a certified firefighter, hazardous materials technician, rescue technician, hazmat incident commander, incident safety officer, fire officer II and emergency medical technician. Koederitz is also an adjunct instructor for Bucks County Community College Public Safety Training Center and a fire service instructor for the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy. While attending S&T, he worked on the team that utilized high-pressure water to fabricate the stone for the university’s Stonehenge replica, which was erected in 1984.
Robert R. Lankston of Hernando, Mississippi, managing director of aircraft engineering and technical planning for FedEx Express in Memphis. Lankston earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985. After graduation, he began his career as a flight test engineer with Lockheed in Atlanta. Since that time, he has held positions in engineering, international marketing, business development and program management with Honeywell in Phoenix. Lankston is a private pilot and is active in the local flying community at his home in Mississippi.
Michael J. “Boots” Miller of San Antonio, Texas, retired as civilian executive director in support of the U.S. Air Force’s international training operations worldwide in 2017. Miller earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1974. He also holds a master of science degree in aviation management from the University of Oxford Extension, and a master of arts in management and an MBA, both from Webster University. After graduating summa cum laude, Miller was commissioned as a distinguished graduate into the U.S. Air Force. He retired as a colonel from the Air Force as a command pilot with more than 5,900 flying hours, including instructor, demonstration, test, evaluation and combat flying. Miller held multiple commands at the Flight, Group, and Wing levels, retiring as the commandant of the Defense Language Institute, English Language Center. Staff tours included the Joint Staff, Office of Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. European Command staff. He was an exchange pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), where he became the first foreign national to fly with the RAAF demonstration team called the Roulettes. Upon retirement from active duty in 2006, he was appointed civilian executive director in support of the Air Force’s international training operations worldwide, where he served until retirement in 2017.
Dr. Robert M. Wagner of Knoxville, Tennessee, director of the National Transportation Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Wagner earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1993, 1995 and 1999, respectively. He began his career at ORNL as an undergraduate research assistant in 1992. His formal career began in 1999 as a post-doctoral research fellow. He also serves as a professor with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee and serves on several journal editorial boards and university advisory boards and has held leadership positions with the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Dr. Scott R. White of Champaign, Illinois, former Donald B. Willett Professor in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was inducted posthumously. White earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985, then earned a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Illinois faculty in 1990. White was a visionary researcher in the area of composite materials and was instrumental in creating the field of self-healing materials. He established the Autonomous Materials System group at the Beckman Institute develop new materials with biologically inspired functions. In recognition of his research contributions, White and his team were honored as a finalist for the 2001 Tech Award recognizing outstanding contributions in technology from the Tech Museum of Innovation. Popular Science acknowledged his work on self-healing materials as one of the Top Ten Scientific Innovations for 2001. Scientific American also recognized his work in microvascular systems with the SciAm 50 prize in 2007. In 2012, his work on mechanophores was cited by Popular Science as one of the Top Ten Concepts to Know for 2011. He received numerous honors and awards including the Bepi Colombo Prize Finalist, a Humboldt Research Award, the American Society of Composites Outstanding Research Award, the Society of Experimental Mechanics M. Hetényi Award and the Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award. He was a Fellow of the American Society for Composites and the Society of Engineering Science. With over 20 patents, his internationally recognized research had significant impact in both the academic community and commercial sector. White founded Autonomic Materials Incorporated, and was a founding partner of CU Aerospace LLC. White passed away May 28, 2018.