S&T Academy of Civil Engineers inducts 14 new members
Fourteen professionals with ties to Missouri S&T were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers during the academy’s induction ceremony, which was held Thursday, April 25, at Hasselmann Alumni House.
The academy recognizes outstanding alumni for their professional achievement and success, and it provides support and experience to help the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department at Missouri S&T to reach its collective mission and vision.
New members are:
— Tom Abkemeier of St. Louis, vice president and St. Louis office manager for Shannon and Wilson, earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1987 and 1992, respectively. A licensed professional engineer and past director of the Engineers Club of St. Louis, he is active in many organizations, including the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the St. Louis Railway Club and the American Public Works Association. Abkemeier is also active in his community, serving as a youth coach for basketball, baseball and soccer. He and his wife, Melissa, have been married 22 years and have four sons ages 12-20. Their oldest son is studying to be a physical therapist, his twins recently graduated from high school – one is studying chemical engineering at S&T—and his youngest is in seventh grade. Abkemeier enjoys playing softball and volleyball and woodworking. His service to the CArE department includes participation in various student activities and hands-on support of the implementation of geotechnology lab updates.
— Michael Buechter of Webster Groves, Missouri, a program manager for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District and a licensed professional engineer, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from S&T in 1990. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. Buechter, who has served as a manger of both in-house labor and consultant companies, has served on many special and standing committees and has played a significant role in ensuring compliance with the regions MS4 permit. He provides leadership and manages the daily operations of several programs within the MSD engineering department and administers the Small Contractor Program. Buechter is active with ASCE, serving as president of the St. Louis Chapter from 2016-17 and as a member of the EWRI Institute. He taught courses at Saint Louis University and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He is president of the St. Louis Chapter of MSPE, was on the Engineers’ Club board of directors, authored or co-authored many publications and has been a technical speaker. His engineering experience includes both water resources and transportation. Buechter participated in Boy Scouts for over 13 years and founded the Missouri Stream Team 3543, combining his interest in scouting and the environment. He served eight years on the Webster Groves Board of Zoning Adjustment and he has served the Civil Air Patrol as an administrative and finance officer. Buechter and his wife, Rita, who is also an environmental engineer, have four sons, two of whom are Eagle Scouts. Their oldest son, Stephen, is studying technical writing at S&T.
— Don DaSaro of Klamath Falls, Oregon, assistant professor of management at Oregon Tech University, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from S&T in 1967. Before college, he served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat engineer and explosives expert. An assignment to design and build a running track for the Kaneohe Bay Marine Base in Hawaii, sparked his ambition to become a civil engineer. DaSaro joined Caterpillar after graduation, and spent 41 years with the company in various management roles in international marketing, sales, labor relations, management development, leadership and human resources. The majority of his career was spent in the Asia-Pacific region, but he also traveled extensively in Latin America and spent time in the Caterpillar World Trade Group. DaSaro spent significant time working with and training engineers from different disciplines and encouraging their management skills. He developed and implemented a management training program for Asian-born personnel focused on strategic and soft skills tied to each candidate’s long-term career path that would fit with Caterpillar’s succession plan. DaSaro spent five years Washington, D.C., working with the World Bank, U.S. EXIM, the United Nations and other multilateral lending institutions serving as liaison with the worldwide Caterpillar dealer organization and Caterpillar. The focus was on major hydroelectric dams, irrigation and major highway projects around the world. He testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including former U.S. Sen. John McCain, on lifting our embargo and opening Vietnam for business in 1991. His work contributed to the lifting of the embargo in 1994. While in Washington, he completed an MBA from Marymount University. He was awarded a 4th degree black belt from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation of South Korea. After retirement, Don and his wife, Amy, moved to Oregon from Singapore to be closer to family. They have five children and six grandchildren. After relocating DaSaro began teaching general business, marketing, leadership, international business and engineering management courses at Oregon Tech.
— Thomas M. Feger of Springfield, Illinois, part time special consultant for Hanson Professional Services Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1969 and has worked in both the public and private sectors. He has solved engineering issues from the perspective of a utility engineer working for Illinois Power Co.; a planning, construction and sewer system engineer for the city of Springfield; and as a senior civil engineer for Hanson Professional Services Inc. Feger is active in a wide variety of professional, civic, alumni and community organizations serving in various positions of leadership. They include the American Public Works Association, serving as director and president of the Prairie Branch and Illinois Chapter membership committee chairman; the National Society of Professional Engineers; the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers; the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Quantum Growth Partnership infrastructure committee; numerous roles at St. Aloysius Catholic Church and Grade School; and youth summer leagues, junior high and high school baseball coach. Feger is active in the Miner Alumni Association, serving as a founding member and member of the board of directors of the association’s Lincolnland Section. He is a former area director and an admissions ambassador, serving as point person at college fairs and prospective student receptions in central Illinois. In 2008, Feger was named Outstanding Engineer of the Year by the Capital Chapter of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and in 2016, he received the Frank J. Mackaman Volunteer Service Award from the Miner Alumni Association. Feger has three sons, Thomas M. Jr. and twins Bryan and Brett.
— Bernard D. Held of Plainfield, Illinois, a retired senior vice president at Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT), earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1975. He joined CMT in 1976 and served most recently as director of water resources. He retired in 2018, but has continued to serve as an adviser. Held has 42 years of progressive engineering experience in the water and wastewater industry. He has worked as a resident engineer, design engineer, project engineer, project manager, program manager, department manager and director for CMT. Over his career, Held has managed several multi-million-dollar construction programs for wastewater and drinking water improvement programs for a variety water reclamation and municipal clients. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, and the Illinois Water Environment Association, where he was inducted into the 5S honor society in 2017. A member of the National Board of the United States Minority Contractors Association, Held served on the Miner Alumni Association board of directors from 2012 to 2018, and he is an alumni admissions ambassador helping recruit students to S&T. Held and his wife, Jane, have four grown children (one a civil engineering alumna) and 13 grandchildren.
— Gary W. Hines of Frisco, Texas, vice president of operations for Pipeline Research Council International Inc. (PRCI), earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1995. Prior to joining PRCI, he was vice president of learning and professional development at the Southern Gas Association (SGA). Before SGA, Gary worked for Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline Inc. in Owensboro, Ky. He has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry with over 10 years in various leadership and management roles. Prior to his tenure in management, he held positions in project engineering, project management and managing environmental remediation projects at both Southern Star and The Williams Companies in Tulsa, Okla. Hines discovered his passion for learning and helping others to learn while at Rolla. He has served as a program evaluator for ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and mentored peers and emerging leaders in preparing for the Certified Association Executive (CAE) accreditation exam. Hines earned an MBA from Colorado State University in 2005. He also holds a private pilot’s license. He is a registered professional engineer in Missouri and has earned his CAE credential. An active member of the Miner Alumni Association, Hines serves on the board of directors and is an area director representing Texas. He is married to his high-school sweetheart, Nicole, and they have three teenagers – Emily (a student at Ole Miss), Alex and Aaron.
— Tim Hudwalker of St. Louis, vice president of BSI Constructors, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1988 and a master of engineering degree from Clemson University in 1990. A two-sport athlete at S&T, he earned letters in both basketball and golf and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Chi Epsilon and Theta Tau Omega. Hudwalker started his career with H.B. Zachry Co. constructing oil and gas facilities in the gulf coast region and in 1995, joined BSI Constructors as project engineer. He moved his way through the ranks and became vice president in 2013, and currently serves as project executive for numerous notable clients in the St. Louis region. He serves on the building committees of Ursuline Academy and Mehlville School District, and was recently appointed to the executive committee of the AGC of Missouri. Hudwalker and his wife, Shari, have three children, Curtis, Megan and Jonathan, who earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering management from S&T in 2018.
— Richard Jaquay of Goodyear, Arizona, a retired construction manager for Black and Veatch, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1963. Jaquay spent 41 years with Black and Veatch on the construction side of water and wastewater systems, serving in leadership roles on many projects. He has been recognized at the highest levels, including being named Engineer of the Year in Construction for the state of Arizona in 1988. He was elected president of the Arizona Society of Professional Engineers in 1992. Jaquay has been active in both professional service and community service, and has served in many volunteer roles for K-12 education, including judging science projects through his local high school, and with international community sanitation and health. He was recognized for his statewide leadership with MATHCOUNTS. His brothers are also Miner alumni. Francis is a 1977 mechanical engineering graduate, and Steven, who passed away in 2005, was a 1976 chemical engineering graduate. Jaquay loves to read and owns an extensive private library. He has visited every continent and over 60 countries. His wife, Barbara, is a geography scholar who holds a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M. She has taught in six states.
— LaWanda Jones of St. Louis, corporate marketing manager for ABNA Engineering Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1991. She earned an MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2007 and a community development degree from Saint Louis University in 2008. Jones’ engineering career began with an internship at Consolidation Coal Co. (CONSOL) ensuing project experiences throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. She also holds professional engineering licensure in most of these states. Her career continued at ABNA Engineering Inc., providing project management and civil designs in site design, complex utility projects, planning, environmental and historical compliance, water and wastewater resources, and community engagement. During Jones’ 30 years of experience, she developed a portfolio of engineering leadership on a number of exciting capital projects, some of which plunged her 700 feet below ground and dangled her over 225 feet in the air (of course with a bedazzled safety harness). Jones is an active S&T alumna. She has served as a keynote speaker for Honor, Hurdles and Heroes, she chaired the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention (CACAARR), endowed two S&T scholarships, and is a 2015 Miner Legend and a 2019 Women Hall of Fame inductee. She is also active in several civic, social and professional organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Jones loves learning and uses her motivating spirit to attract the next generation of engineers into the science and technology field. She and her husband, LeRoye, have two children, Maya and Isaiah.
— Brent Massey of Bella Vista, Arkansas, principal in charge of CEI Engineering Associates Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1995. He joined CEI after graduation and has worked on engineering designs for development projects all over the country, rising to principal and vice president of operations for the 100-person firm. Massey is licensed in 23 states and has had the opportunity to work on projects in 49 of the 50 states. His projects include public streets, watermains, trails and commercial developments for corporate America such as McDonald’s, Auto Zone, Walmart and Kohl’s. He is the Engineer of Record for the Walton family’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. Active in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas (ACEC/A), Massey has served as a director of the council, as well as the Arkansas president and PAC chair. He is currently serving an appointment to the advisory committee on Arkansas Public Schools Academic Facilities. Active in church and community, Massey has served as a youth coach in basketball and softball. For many years he has chaired the men’s ministry of the First Baptist Church in Bentonville, and has chaired “Bucks and Boats,” a Christian outreach program in Northwest Arkansas. He and his wife, Melissa, have two children.
— Col. Scott Preston of Alexandria, Virginia, a student at the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1997 and a master of science degree in engineering management in 2002, both from Missouri S&T. An ROTC student, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at graduation. While on active duty, Preston served in roles of increasing responsibility at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Korea, Heidelberg and Bamberg, Germany, and Fort Knox, Ky. He commanded the 169th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he trained the army’s vertical construction engineers, firefighters, mappers, divers and sapper leaders. He most recently served as an assignment officer with Colonel Management Office, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army in the Pentagon, where he managed the careers of all colonels in the Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps. He will complete a master of arts degree in strategic studies from the Marine Corps War College in June. This summer, he will take command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District. He is a graduate of the Engineer Officers Basic Course, Captains Career Course, Airborne and Ranger School, and Command and General Staff College. Preston’s combat deployments include Kosovo in 1999, Iraq in 2003 and 2008, and Afghanistan in 2010. His volunteer activities include serving as alumni advisor for the S&T chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Cub Scout den leader and a Scouts BSA assistant scoutmaster. He received the Miner Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award and the Academy of Civil Engineers’ Young Alumni Award. From the Army Engineer Association, he received the Bronze Order DeFleury Award and from the Army, the Meritorious Service Medal and Bronze Star Medal. Preston and his wife, Christy, have two children.
— Dr. Kevin Sutterer of Terre Haute, Indiana, professor and head of civil and environmental engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1982 and 1984, respectively. He also earned a master’s degree from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. At Rose-Hulman, Sutterer teaches courses in geology as well as geotechnical and transportation engineering. His research interests include waste utilization in structural fills, seismic stability of earth structures, geosynthetics, ground modification and geotechnical construction. His research interests include open-ended project-based learning, curriculum development and learning through case studies. A registered professional engineer, Sutterer has worked as a consultant in most areas of geotechnical engineering. Among his honors, Sutterer was named to the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni at Georgia Tech and Young Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1996. He was awarded Outstanding Faculty Advisor by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2008. In 2018, he was honored by the American Society for Engineering Education with the George K. Wadlin Distinguished Service Award. Sutterer and his wife, Kathy, have three grown children and are grandparents.
— Mike Woessner of St. James, Missouri, president of Investment Realty Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1976. He received the university’s Award of Professional Distinction in 2008. Woessner worked for BCI, a local wood truss manufacturing company from 1976 to 1984. In 1978, he obtained his real estate salesperson license and then in 1980 he received his Broker’s license. He opened Investment Realty Inc. in Rolla in 1984 and has become a leader in the commercial and development market and leads a staff of over 35 people. Woessner has been involved with numerous commercial and residential developments in and around Rolla and is also responsible for the Miner Alumni Association purchase of the property for Hasselmann Alumni House. He is a member of several professional and civic organizations, including the National Association of Realtors, the Rolla Regional Economic Commission the South Central Board of Realtors, the Rolla Lions Club, the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri 100 Club. He is also a member of the S&T Chancellor Search Committee. Woessner and his wife, Linda, have two grown children and five grandchildren.
— Dr. John J. Myers of Rolla, Missouri, associate dean of academic affairs for the Missouri S&T College of Engineering and Computing, was inducted as an honorary member. Myers earned a bachelor of science degree in architectural engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 1987. He also earned a master of science degree in civil engineering and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Myers joined the S&T faculty in 1999 and has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor, acting vice provost and dean, associate vice provost and dean for academic affairs, director of the Structural Engineering Research Laboratory, director of the National University Transportation Center, Architectural Engineering Program coordinator and the CArEE assistant chair. Myers is known for the high caliber of his work, but also for his ability to engage his students in the classroom and the laboratory. He supports campus recruitment programs and other student-related activities. Myers helped prepare the successful proposal for the architectural engineering program at S&T, and he led its implementation through the first two accreditation cycles. Myers is active in a variety of professional organizations, including the American Concrete Institute, the Prestressed-Precast Concrete Institute, The Masonry Society, IIFC, ASCE’s Architectural Engineering Institute and the American Society for Engineering Education. He also serves on the editorial board of the Swiss-based Journal of Sustainability. A recognized Fellow in many of these same organizations, he has received numerous awards for his efforts as an educator, including being recognized by the Academy of Civil Engineers in 2017 with the Inaugural Joseph H. Senne Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award. Myers and his wife, Angie, have three children, Tyler, Makenna and Cailyn.
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