Eight electrical and computer engineers with ties to Missouri S&T were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Electrical and Computer Engineering during the academy’s induction ceremony, which was held at the Comfort Suites Conference Center in Rolla, Missouri, on April 25.
The academy is an advisory group to the Missouri S&T electrical and computer engineering department. Founded in 1980, the academy is composed of alumni and other electrical and computer engineers who have made outstanding contributions to their profession.
New members were recognized for their service and leadership in the field. They are listed below:
— Dr. Geoffrey A. Akers of Branson, Missouri, associate professor of engineering at the College of the Ozarks, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1996. He also holds a master of science degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, both in electrical engineering. Akers began his career as a low observables engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1997. In 2000, he moved to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, serving first as test flight commander and then chief test engineer for the National RCS Test Facility. From 2003 to 2006, Akers served as Advance Concepts Branch chief in Washington, D.C. Then, after earning his Ph.D., joined the Air Force Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in 2009. In 2011, he was named branch chief, and in 2012, he became deputy head. From 2013 to 2016, he served as program manager of special programs in Arlington, Virginia, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. That same year, he joined the faculty of College of the Ozarks, where he also supervises the Acoustics Services Workstation and advises the Engineering Club. Akers is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASEE, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi and the Christian Engineering Society. He has been a reviewer for IEEE, IET and ASEE journals and conferences since 2009, and he has served as an ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission program evaluator since 2017.
— F. Scott Aschinger of Robertsville, Missouri, president of Aschinger Communications and an adjunct instructor at Jefferson College, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1988. He also holds an MBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). During his undergraduate years, Aschinger worked as an electrician, draftsman, estimator and junior project engineer, then joined MU as a research assistant during graduate school. Since 1990, he has served as a project engineer for Aschinger Electric. In 2000, he was named president of Aschinger Communications. He has taught at Jefferson College since 2010. A licensed professional engineer in Missouri and Arkansas, Aschinger is a registered communications distribution designer, a certified installation contractor with several manufacturers, and is photovoltaic certified with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. He is a member of the Building Industry and Consulting Services International and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
— Sharon Beermann-Curtin of Arlington, Virginia, senior advisor to the director of the Strategic Capabilities Office for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1987. Beerman-Curtin began her career as a design engineer for McDonnell Douglas Electronics Systems Co. then joined the Naval Undersea Warfare Center as an electronic engineer in 1989. In 1994, she joined the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as a program manager for the Torpedo Defense and Tactical Environments Portfolio. Following a two-year stint as chief technology officer in the Program Executive Office-Aircraft Carriers the Naval Systems Sea Command, she returned to ONR, where she held leadership positions in the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department and the Strategic Capabilities Office before taking her current position in 2018. Beermann also served four years as a program manager for the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA). She is a member of the Defense Science Board.
— Nancy A. Pendleton of Ballwin, Missouri, vice president of engineering mission systems for Boeing Defense, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1988. She also holds master of science degrees in engineering management and management technology from Washington University in St. Louis. After graduation, Pendleton began her career at McDonnell Douglas in engineering guidance, navigation, and control and operations analysis. In 1997, she moved to Boeing Phantom Works, where she worked in program and project management. After two years as senior manager of systems engineering for Boeing Defense, she returned to Boeing Phantom Works, serving as director of proprietary systems engineering and integration; electronic effects and enhancements; and systems engineering, integration and test. In 2014, she moved to Boeing Research and Technology as director of systems technology, then served as vice president of system support and analytics before taking her current position in 2019. Pendleton is a systems engineering mentor at S&T and a mentor for women in engineering at Washington University. She is Diversity Council executive focal for Boeing Research and Technology, executive focal for the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University and an executive sponsor for Boeing St. Louis Local Society of Women Engineers.
— Martin O. Penning of Joplin, Missouri, vice president of commercial operations for Empire District Electric Co., earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1980. Penning joined Empire District Electric Co. in 1980 as a substation engineer. Throughout his career, he held positions of leadership in System Protection and Planning, corporate planning, engineering, commercial operations for both the Eastern Division and the Western Division. Penning, who is active in his church and the local Rotary Club, serves on numerous Southwest Power Pool committees. At Missouri S&T, he is an alumni admissions ambassador and has served on the electrical and computer engineering department’s Industrial Advisory Committee and the Corporate Development Council.
— Christopher A. Philipp of Cottleville, Missouri, senior electrical engineer for Ross and Baruzzini, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1982 and a master of science degree in engineering management in 1989, both from Missouri S&T. Philipp began his career as an electrical field engineer for Stone and Webster, then served as an electrical engineer at Booker Engineering and Sverdrup Corp., before joining Sachs Electric Co. as a project manager in 1989. He was promoted to senior project manager in 1996, design manager in 1998, assistant vice president of engineering in 2000 and vice president of design/build in 2001. In 2017, he moved to Ross and Baruzzini, where he is a senior electrical engineer. Philipp is a licensed professional engineer in 25 states plus the District of Columbia, holds an electrical contractor license in five states plus the District of Columbia, and holds a master electrician license in three states and the District of Columbia. A member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Philipp served as co-chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies/National Electrical Contractors Association Committee for 16 years.
— David R. Saunders of Scottsdale, Arizona, senior systems engineer for Viasat Inc. in Tempe, Arizona, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1983. He also holds a master of science degree in engineering and an MBA from Arizona State University-Tempe. Saunders began his career in an engineering co-op position at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis. In 1984, he joined Motorola Inc. as a principal staff systems engineer and stayed until 2006, when he took his current position as senior systems engineer at Viasat Inc. Saunders holds 25 patents with another pending, has presented at several international workshops and conferences, and authored the COTS Journal in July 2009. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Order of the Engineer, and IEEE, serving as a member of the Communications, Solid-State Circuits, and Microwave Theory and Techniques societies.
— H. Ward Silver of St. Charles, Missouri, owner of RBR Engineering and Aetherworks Publishing, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1978. He began his career as a field engineer for Environmental Measurements, then worked as a design engineer with Wesmar Electronics and data communications staff engineer for Physio-Control/Medtronics. From 2001 to 2005, he served as an adjunct faculty member. Since 1984, Silver has been the owner and chief engineer of RBR Engineering and Aetherworks Publishing. He is the lead editor of ARRL Handbook and ARRL Antenna Book and the author of “AARL Licensing Guides,” “Grounding and Bonding for Radio Amateurs,” and “Ham Radio for Dummies” through its third edition. Silver holds four patents for medical devices and processes. He received the Bill Orr Technical Writing Award in 2003 and 2016 and is president of the Yasme Foundation.