Four engineering management professionals with ties to Missouri S&T were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Engineering Management on Oct. 26.
The academy, established at Missouri S&T in 2004, is an advisory group to the university’s engineering management and systems engineering department. New members are selected based on input from department faculty and development officers and voted on by the academy membership.
The October 2023 inductees are:
James E. Koch of Arlington, Virginia, senior vice president and mid-Atlantic regional director of Michael Baker International, earned a Ph.D. in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1993. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Washington and Lee University, a master’s degree in civil engineering and a doctor of engineering degree in construction engineering both from Stanford University. Koch spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army working on construction projects in Saudi Arabia, Korea, Turkey and Iraq as well as throughout the U.S. After retiring from the Army, Koch spent time at Missouri S&T as director of the Lemay Center for Composites Technology and as a research associate professor and consultant. He then held leadership positions at Kwame Building Group, Washington University in St. Louis, Hill International and AECOM. Koch is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, has authorized several papers, was selected Hill International Project Manager of the Year in 2004 and is a past member of the Board of Advisors for the Missouri S&T engineering management department.
Tom Mertens of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, project manager with AECOM, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1968 and a master’s degree in engineering management in 1971, both from Missouri S&T. He has over 30 years of aviation design, construction and program management experience and has worked on airport projects at Salt Lake City International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Houston Airport System, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. A registered professional, engineer in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, Mertens is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airports Council International of North America.
Julia Hilton of St. Louis, vice president of Made in America Task Force Strategy, North America Operations for Schneider Electric, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 2005. She also holds an MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Hilton has worked for Schneider Electric for 17 years in a variety of global and regional roles, including category management, strategy, offer management, offer marketing, sales enablement, portfolio management, and site leadership and facilitation. Before joining Schneider Electric, she worked at Deere and Co. in diesel engine product management for power generational and marine propulsion.
Sondra N. Rotty of St. Louis, senior vice president of Tarlton Corp., earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 2004 and a master’s degree in engineering management in 2008, both from Missouri S&T. Rotty joined Hensel Phelps as a field engineer in 2004. In 2005, she moved to Tarlton Corp. as a project engineer and moved up the ranks as senior project engineer, project manager, senior project manager and project director until 2019, when she was named vice president of operations, a position she held until 2023 when she took on her current role. Her projects include the renovation of Bryon Hall at Washington University in St. Louis and the construction of a new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences at St. Louis Community College. Rotty has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 Women in Construction list and its 40 Under 40 Women in Construction list. In 2015, she was named the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers Civil Engineering Exemplary Young Professional. Rotty is a member of the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter Education Committee, the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis and Girl Scouts of America.