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Home : Volume 22 : Winter 1995-96 :
College faculty/staff honored at Engineers' Day 1995

James A. Dumesic

James A. Dumesic
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Professor James A. Dumesic, the 1995 Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award recipient, has consistently been rated an outstanding teacher, capable of making even the most difficult topics easier to comprehend while still challenging students to learn more. His student evaluation score for the course Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design was 3.7 on a 4.0 scale, three-tenths of a point higher than the department average.

Students have praised Dumesic's genuine interest in their education. He shows this concern by welcoming questions and comments, and fostering a relaxed classroom atmosphere with his sense of humor. In particular, his enthusiasm for kinetics and catalysis research has led many undergraduates to pursue related graduate courses.

Dumesic is author of the internationally respected textbook The Microkinetics of Heterogeneous Catalysis, which has revolutionized the way this subject is taught to the new generation of computer-oriented engineering students. Methods defined in his book are leading to the development of new catalysts to meet changing industrial needs.

Dumesic earned his BS from UW-Madison and his MS and PhD from Stanford University.

John R. Conrad

John R. Conrad
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Wisconsin Distinguished Professor John R. Conrad is the 1995 recipient of the Byron Bird Award for excellence in a research publication based on the patent he received for the invention of plasma source ion implantation and five publications describing the process.

After hearing a description of the PSII process in 1993, President Clinton summarized its importance by saying it "...could revolutionize American industry." Conrad and his students, staff and UW colleagues, along with his industrial and national laboratory collaborators, are on the way to doing just that. Companies like General Motors, Gillette, Racine Fluid Power, Kimberly Clark, Varian, IBM and Asea Brown Boveri have all used PSII to enhance the surface properties of materials and products ranging from razor blades to Zircalloy rods for nuclear fuel containment.

Conrad earned a BS in physics from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, in 1968 and a PhD in physics from Dartmouth College in 1973. He accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at UW-Madison in 1975. He was promoted to associate professor in 1980 and full professor in 1985.

C. Allen Wortley

C. Allen Wortley
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For more than 30 years of outstanding commitment to professional engineering organizations, Professor C. Allen Wortley is the 1995 Ragnar E. Onstad Service to Society Award recipient.

Wortley is past-chair of the national American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Waterways, vice-chair of the International Marina Institute and treasurer of the Association for Media-based Continuing Engineering Education.

Since joining the College of Engineering faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor, and later serving as associate dean of engineering outreach, Wortley has effectively applied his real life experiences to the classroom. As a member of the Department of Engineering Professional Development, he regularly presents lectures such as "Professional Responsibility" and "Engineering Ethics and Practice." In addition to UW-Madison, these talks are broadcast to the UW-Eau Claire campus via two-way video. Additionally, Wortley has lectured at more than 200 technical institutes, conferences and short courses on engineering practices dealing with docks and marinas, geotechnical and ice engineering, construction and structural engineering, and public works. He has written numerous articles on these subjects.

Richard J. Casper

Richard J. Casper
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Since the late 1960s, UW-Madison's Materials Science Center (MSC) has grown from a mere concept to a major center of analytical instruments. Throughout this time Richard J. Casper, the facility's senior instrumentation engineer, has played a key role in its success. For his academic and technical contributions, Casper is the recipient of the college's 1995 Bollinger Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award.

A defining characteristic of Casper is his ability to straddle the line between academics and technology. For example, when trying to find the origin of some extraneous X-ray signals in a new, high-resolution transmission electron microscope, Casper worked with the X-ray detector company to determine how to stop the extraneous X-rays. Later, with this information, the microscope manufacturer was able to redesign its electron microscope columns to eliminate this problem.

Casper's reputation for care with instruments has enabled the MSC to obtain new equipment and avoid maintenance contracts with outside sources. When purchasing new equipment, faculty rely heavily on his recommendations. He is known throughout the research community as "the wonder technician of Madison."

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Date last modified: Thursday, 14-Dec-1995 12:00:00 CST

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