Engineers’ Day

Engineers’ Day

Robert C. Armstrong
Chevron Professor & Department Head
Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Terry D. Gerhardt
Vice President of Corporate Technology
Sonoco Products Co.

Joseph L. Goss
Vice President, Worldwide Manufacturing Operations

James R. Jaeschke
Owner & Manager
Electronic Systems Consultants, LLC

Thomas C. Leonhardt
President/CEO/Consulting Engineer (Retired)
Rust Environment & Infrastructure

Jane R. Mandula
Co-owner & Vice President
Gen/Tran Corporation

Kim A. Pearson
President & CEO
Pearson Technical Software, Inc./LANovation

Kenneth P. Phillips
Manager, Advanced Development
Drives Business, Rockwell Automation

Roger W. Rolke
Director, Engineering
Equilon Technology Company

S. David Sanders
Manager, Manufacturing Operations
Caterpillar Corporation

Syed M. Shahed
Vice President, Research & Development
Honeywell Turbocharging Systems

Ralph J. Stephenson
Engineering Consultant

Robert C. Armstrong

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Robert C. Armstrong

As graduate students at UW-Madison, Robert C. Armstrong and his wife, Debbie, loved the winter walk to school: The couple lived in Eagle Heights; the campus was only a short jaunt across the frozen Lake Mendota.

"We grew up in Baton Rouge," said Armstrong. "If you could walk on water in Louisiana, you were something special."

Since receiving his PhD in 1973, Armstrong has become a leader in the fields of fluid dynamics, kinetic theory, and rheology of polymeric liquids. The Chevron Professor and chemical engineering department head, Armstrong has spent 28 years advancing education and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Armstrong received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970. He completed his graduate work at UW-Madison two years and nine months later and joined MIT's chemical engineering faculty shortly thereafter.

His 30 years of research into understanding mechanics of non-Newtonian fluids led to improvements in the manufacturing of plastics and polymers like those found in synthetic fibers, soda bottles and film. He pioneered using laser-Doppler and flow-visualization methods to map stability diagrams, ultimately to increase manufacturing productivity.

Armstrong is a co-author of the two-volume treatise Dynamics of Polymeric Liquids, which was named as a "Citation Classic" by the Institute for Scientific Information in 1988 for the large number of citations it received in scientific and engineering journals.

He served two years as president of the Society of Rheology and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Rheology. Armstrong has received many invitations to present lectures on rheology, polymer processing and a variety of engineering education topics.

While Armstrong visits Madison often on business, this is Debbie's first trip back since graduation. Debbie received a masters of science in social work from UW-Madison and now is a psychotherapist in private practice. They are avid Boston Red Sox fans. They have two sons, David, 24, an Internet marketing businessman, and Eric, 21. Eric is a senior English major at Lafayette College; this summer he is screening movie scripts for a film company in Los Angeles, a profession he would like to pursue.

Terry D. Gerhardt

Terry D. Gerhardt view larger image

Terry Gerhardt

At UW-Madison, Terry D. Gerhardt discovered that jogging to Picnic Point and relaxing with friends on the Union Terrace balanced the long hours spent studying Elasticity Theory and Applied Mathematics. During his 20-year research career, Gerhardt focused these theoretical principles on wood and paperboard structures and developed new products and design methods that are now used globally.

As vice-president of corporate technology at Sonoco, Gerhardt's responsibilities include identifying and pursuing emerging technologies that provide new business opportunities and competitive advantage. Sonoco is a Fortune 1000 packaging company with 295 locations in 33 countries.

Gerhardt's success story began with four degrees from UW-Madison: a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering, an MS and PhD in engineering mechanics and an Executive MBA. He credits Mechanics Professors Alois Schlack for encouragement to pursue graduate work and Shun Cheng for illustrating the value of fundamental approaches in solving research problems. While conducting research at Forest Products Laboratory, Gerhardt developed an accurate method to compute stress concentrations in anisotropic materials using complex variable theory. This led to a design methodology for notched, wood beams now called the Gerhardt CFHS Theory in the engineering literature. This methodology is used internationally to design wooden pallets.

In 1985, Gerhardt joined Sonoco in South Carolina to start a solid mechanics research program focused on structural behavior of products converted from recycled paperboard. In 1987 he returned to Madison to establish, staff and manage a satellite Sonoco R&D location at the UW Research Park. Mechanics findings from the Madison team have been patented and commercialized into Sonoco products in Asia, Europe and the U.S. After a series of promotions, including senior research fellow, Gerhardt returned to South Carolina in 2000 to assume his current role.

For seven years, Gerhardt served as coach of the MathCounts team at Madison's Jefferson Middle School. For this activity, he was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the Madison Metropolitan School District and a Teacher of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers.

Gerhardt's wife, Teri, also took MBA courses at UW-Madison. Their son Spencer received his philosophy degree here in 2000; their daughter Teena is a math major at Stanford University.

Joseph L. Goss

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Joseph L. Goss

With interests that include world economic development and politics, Joseph L. Goss is more than just a successful metallurgical engineer. His proclivity for international culture and travel set him apart as a vice president for worldwide manufacturing operations at Schlumberger.

While attending UW-Madison for his bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering, Goss met several exchange students from France. Enamored with the culture of the region, he added a French course to his master's studies at MIT, and then landed a position at the French Iron and Steel Research Institute in Metz. Here he performed applied research in the electromagnetic stirring of continuously cast steel.

Goss met his wife in France, and the couple moved back to the states while Goss completed his PhD at MIT. They returned to France, this time Paris, and stayed for nearly a decade.

Goss joined Schlumberger in 1986, moving quickly from development engineer to researcher to director of engineering. He accepted a promotion to regional marketing manager, a move that led him to Jakarta, Indonesia. Two years later, now a general manager, Goss and his wife were in America again. His recent promotion to vice president keeps him moving between Texas and France, a lifestyle that suits him well. As vice president, Goss is responsible for 23 factories worldwide, $1.2 billion in revenue and 3,500 employees. Specifically, he manages the Schlumberger Test and Transactions operations, which provides smart card-based solutions, semiconductor equipment and services, and corporate network solutions.

"My work experience has been in a truly diverse multinational, multicultural environment," said Goss. "I believe that my education at the University of Wisconsin helped create the foundation for me to work under these diverse conditions."

A past chamber of commerce member in France, Asia and Texas, Goss participated in the Indonesia Economic Advisory Council on Business Development. He helped with fund raising and structuring contracts with large western oil companies.

Goss and his wife Isabelle have four children, all of whom are fluent in both English and French. His longtime love is rugby, a sport he played at MIT and in France for many years. He's also run more than a dozen marathons.

James R. Jaeschke

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James R. Jaeschke

Two years ago in September, James R. Jaeschke received his sixteenth patent, the latest in a long list of electrical engineering accomplishments. As the owner and manager of the Pewaukee, Wisconsin, based Electronic Systems Consultants, Jaeschke is building on more than 35 years of experience in the power electronics field.

He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from UW-Madison, worked at Bendix Research Labs before serving two years in the U.S. Army including one year in Vietnam. He joined the Louis Allis Corporation in 1970 where he learned the industrial control and power conversion trade by applying eddy current, DC, AC 6 step, and AC PWM drive systems. He moved to the Eaton Corporation in Milwaukee in 1975. For more than a quarter century, Jaeschke advanced in the company, serving as an electrical design group supervisor, the manager of corporate research and development in both the electrical and the power conversion groups and served five years as the U.S. delegate to an IEC working group establishing drive standards.

The Eaton Corporation was one of two original companies that assisted in forming the Wisconsin Electric Machine and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC) becoming the first WEMPEC sponsor. Jaeschke helped the company become an outstanding supporter and contributor to the consortium. In March of 1999, Jaeschke retired from Eaton and formed his own consulting company to help customers develop power electronic systems for fuel cells, and power circuit designs and study power line harmonic issues.

His contributions to the industry are best illustrated in his collection of patents, which include motor drive circuitry, a general purpose AC switch and special fiber optic- and radiant energy-activated solid-state switches.

Jaeschke and his wife Judy have four children and two grandchildren. Their hobbies include ham radio and sailing on his sailboat Electra, which he and Judy race every Wednesday night and cruise on the Great Lakes in the summer. He is currently on the board of directors of South Shore Yacht Club and is the webmaster of the club's site,, plus three other yachting sites.

Thomas C. Leonhardt

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Thomas Leonhardt

Thomas C. Leonhardt spent many of the early years of his career with his mind underground. When he joined Donohue and Associates, Inc., Sheboygan, Wisconsin, after receiving his civil engineering master's degree from UW-Madison in 1971, he helped many Midwest communities and industries plan and design sewer systems and wastewater treatment facilities. He was instrumental in helping the first community in Wisconsin obtain federal and state funding for a comprehensive sewer system evaluation survey. Leonhardt also managed the Milwaukee MSD sewer study as part of its major wastewater pollution abatement program.

In the late 1970s, Leonhardt pioneered the use of computer-aided design at Donohue. The innovation not only improved the company's design-process efficiency, but also enabled it to establish a separate business that provided geographic information systems (GIS) to telephone and electric utilities. Later, the firm developed GIS maps of military bases in the United States and Europe, and Leonhardt oversaw international work in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. As vice president of operations, he expanded the company's computer technology and spearheaded implementation of Total Quality Management. In 1990, he became the company's president; in 1991 Donohue was acquired and became Rust Environment & Infrastructure. From then until his retirement in 1999, Leonhardt saw the Rust organization grow into an international consulting organization with a staff of nearly 5,000 in more than 80 offices.

The Sheboygan native earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from UW-Madison in 1962 and was commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers, where he served two tours of duty in Vietnam before returning to complete his master's degree. He was a member of the college's Vision 2000 Committee and is a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Visiting Committee.

Today he and his wife, Ginny, live in the Vail Valley of Colorado, where they enjoy outdoor activities and participate in local volunteer organizations.

Jane R. Mandula

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Jane Mandula

With aptitude and interest in both music and the engineering basics, Jane R. Mandula arrived her freshman year at UW-Madison with scholarships in both fields. In the end, she decided engineering would be the more rewarding career.

The Milwaukee native earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1987 and worked as an industrial and manufacturing engineer at ROLM Systems, while at the same time, pursuing a master of business administration from Santa Clara University, California. In 1989, she became a management consultant for Deloitte & Touche and, when the firm reorganized its internal structure, she managed a large operating budget and the consulting end's day- to-day service-line activities. Later, she led a Deloitte internal-development team that wrote, published and trademarked a business-process reengineering methodology called, "Reengineering for Results." The methodology was widely publicized in the consulting industry and Mandula received notoriety in a number of print sources, including the Wall Street Journal.

In 1999 she joined Gen/Tran Corporation, the family business her father started in 1982 to manufacture transfer switches and accessories for portable generators, and in 2000 the company was selected as one of the 50 fastest-growing companies in Atlanta. Now vice president of finance for the firm, Mandula works a couple of days a week in the Gen/Tran office and devotes the remainder of her time to her family and other business ventures, which include a horse farm and a vineyard. She and her husband, John, a vice president in the company, have three daughters: Michele, 8; Megan, 6; and Madison, 3. They share many interests, including wine-making, horseback riding, Thoroughbred racehorse breeding, antique automobiles, water and snow skiing, weightlifting, hiking and backpacking.

Mandula is a member of the American Production and Inventory Control Society and a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Kim A. Pearson

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Kim A. Pearson

One of the most important skills Kim A. Pearson learned at UW-Madison was independent thinking — the seed that blossomed into entrepreneurial aspirations years later. Now the owner of his own software company, Pearson helps other companies reap technological advances.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from Syracuse University in 1979, Pearson earned his master's degree in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison two years later. He knew that he wanted to own his own business, and the budding information-technology field provided new opportunities in engineering.

He worked as a mechanical engineer in nuclear fuel safety design at General Electric in San Jose, California, for the next four years, gaining the on-the-job experience he needed to lead a company.

Then in 1985, he realized his goal and founded Pearson Technical Software, Inc. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, based company develops real-time data acquisition and control applications for biomedical research.

In 1992, Pearson launched the LANovation division of Pearson Technical Software to develop products to easily manage Windows software distribution on large enterprise networks. Within a year, LANovation shipped its first product, LAN Escort, and expanded its distribution internationally. Then in 1997, the company introduced its PictureTaker family of software distribution products.

Over the past 12 years, Pearson's companies have grown to 28 employees and now includes a network of manufacturers' reps and international distributors. He is also a senior programmer/analyst at the University of Minnesota Microcomputer Group.

"The most rewarding thing about owning my own company is watching young people's careers develop," said Pearson. "We're constantly giving our people opportunities to explore new areas. When they find the perfect match and that helps direct their future, it's amazing."

When he's not helping engineers sow their own career seeds, Pearson's usually engaged in new magic tricks, windsurfing or canoeing. He and his wife Vicki, have a daughter and son, a 13-year-old aspiring, yet already accomplished, flutist, and an 11-year-old aspiring soccer athlete.

Kenneth P. Phillips

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Kenneth P. Phillips

Kenneth P. Phillips has become a key leader in power electronics, influencing the industry's advanced research directions, particularly in electric-drive technology. Early on, he applied his knowledge of electromechanical concepts to solid-state power conversion techniques in the textile, machine-tool, test-stand, Navy-control, elevator and crane industries. And throughout his career, he developed many advances in alternating current power conversion.

Today he is manager of Rockwell Automation's Advanced Development Group in Mequon, Wisconsin. As a member of Rockwell's Technical Council, he helps set engineering technical direction for the corporation, and is responsible for setting the direction of its advanced research projects. Prior to that position, he worked in several capacities at Eaton Corporation/Cutler Hammer, Litton/Louis Allis, and Control Technology Corporation, Milwaukee. Phillips began his career at General Dynamics Electronics in Rochester, New York.

He received his bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in electrical engineering in 1960, and 30 years later, earned a master of business administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management. He is a founding member of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium, one of the largest technology transfer organizations of its kind, and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In addition to committee work, Phillips also has lectured about engineering graduate needs at UW-Madison.

The Racine native has been married since 1992 to his wife, Ann, and has four sons and three grandchildren. Son Tim is a senior electrical engineer in Milwaukee; Mark is a jazz musician and educator. Mike is a free-lance writer in New York City, while Jeff is employed at a local processing industry. Phillips, a long-time jazz enthusiast, admires Frank Lloyd Wright's work, and often visits homes and buildings the architect designed. He and Ann enjoy gardening, grandparenting and spending time year-round at their home in Wisconsin's Door County.

Roger W. Rolke

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Roger W. Rolke

After he received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1963, Roger W. Rolke took a summer engineering job in California that influenced his life's direction for the next 38 years. After earning his PhD in chemical engineering under Professor Richard Wilhelm at Princeton University in 1967, the South Milwaukee native returned to California and began a 34-year career at Shell Oil Company.

Early on, he was involved in many chemical engineering research and technical service projects, especially those in coal liquefaction and combustion/chemical waste incineration. He led an Environmental Protection Agency-funded project to develop basic usage guidelines for emission-controlling afterburners. In 1971, Rolke moved to Houston and began his first formal management position as supervisor of production engineering research. His research group developed significant new oil and gas projection technology, often carrying out chemical reactions in production zones one to two miles below the ground's surface.

He accepted several positions of increasing responsibility, including manager of materials science and engineering at Shell's renowned Westhollow Technology Center, and senior technical and operating management positions in the company's Norco Refinery and Chemical Complex and Offshore Production Division in Louisiana. There Rolke helped introduce several key technical support and management system improvements, including deployed technical teams and enhanced automated operations monitoring and control.

When he returned to Houston in 1986, Rolke soon became director of engineering, a position he currently holds. Presently part of Equilon Technology, the organization includes many world-renowned scientists and engineers, and supplies technology to many Shell and Texaco units and third parties through Shell Global Solutions.

Rolke is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and has served on advisory boards at the University of Texas, Texas A&M, University of Texas-Houston, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1966, he married his wife, Judy, an associate director of literacy and a mentor-teacher through Rice University's Center for Education. Together they enjoy Houston's many cultural and dining opportunities, but also spend time traveling, hiking in the mountains, and piloting private flying excursions. They have two children, Kristie and Bob, who live in San Francisco.

S. David Sanders

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S. David Sanders

Within the metal-casting industry, S. David Sanders is recognized for advancing Caterpillar, Inc.'s foundry-operations technology for producing diesel-engine cylinder blocks and heads. The company's Mapleton, Illinois, foundry also is known as a leader in cast-iron production technology because Sanders developed and helped implement casting technologies in such areas as compacted graphite iron production, heat transfer and solidification computer simulations, wire inoculation, integral-core blow-molding for large cylinder block production, and the encapsulated-core process for producing cylinder heads, among others.

A native of Alabama, Sanders received a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa in 1964 and master's and PhD degrees in the same discipline from UW-Madison in 1966 and 1969. He started his career in cast metals as an instructor and research assistant during graduate studies at UW-Madison. Later he became an associate professor of metallurgical engineering at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa before joining Caterpillar in 1976. Currently on special assignment for the company's Cast Metal Organization, Sanders also has managed several of Caterpillar's functional areas, including manufacturing operations, facility and manufacturing engineering, planning and casting technology.

He is a member of the American Society for Metals, the Iron and Steel Society, and the American Foundrymen's Society (AFS), in which he has participated extensively at both the local and national levels, including a three-year term as its national director. For his service to the society and the industry, AFS honored Sanders with its Joseph S. Seaman Gold Medal Award in 1999. He is national director for the Cast Metals Institute, the educational arm of AFS, and president-elect of the Foundry Education Foundation (FEF). Through his activities in the FEF, Sanders has maintained ties with UW-Madison and is proud to be able to contribute to young engineers' development and advancement.

Sanders and his wife, Sonja, have been married for 35 years. They have two children: Grant, 32, an attorney in Illinois, and Sara, 29, who is finishing a PhD in social work at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. In his free time, Sanders enjoys golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, reading, and with his wife, traveling to Minnesota, Norway and other locations.

Syed M. Shahed

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Syed M. Shahed

As a leader in both professional societies and the workplace, Syed M. Shahed champions efficient, high-power-density and environmentally benign transportation power systems. He has conducted internationally recognized research on understanding how pollutants form in diesel engines, controlling emissions and improving efficiency through advanced fuel-injection and charge-air boosting and cooling systems.

After a year as a lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley, Shahed spent nearly 20 years with Cummins Engine Company, moving from senior engineer through various positions to executive director. In 1989, he moved to Southwest Research Institute and soon after became director of engine research. Since 1995, Shahed has been vice president of research and development for Honeywell's Garrett Engine Boosting Systems, Torrance, California.

Shahed received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. He earned master's and PhD degrees from UW-Madison in the same area in 1969 and 1970. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Combustion Institute, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The SAE is an international organization of more than 80,000 automotive engineers and practitioners; in 2002, Shahed will become its president—the fifth person associated with UW-Madison to hold the prestigious position. Among his many honors, he is a fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, ASME and SAE. He has received SAE's Forest R. McFarland Award for Service to Society twice, as well as four additional awards for excellent research papers, lectures and presentations.

During his graduate studies here, Shahed met his wife, Asha, a horticulture and biochemistry master's student who later earned her doctorate from Indiana University. They married in 1970 and have a daughter, Joohi, 25, a physician on a neurology residency at Duke University. In his free time, Shahed likes to read philosophy, history and literature, and expects he'll return to school when he "retires."

Ralph J. Stephenson

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Ralph J. Stephenson

When asked what circumstances in his life contributed to his success, Ralph J. Stephenson explained that his teaching experiences under the watchful eye of UW-Madison College of Engineering Professor Phil Bennett shaped his future. As the principal of his own engineering consulting company, Stephenson is still educating and training practicing professional engineers.

His educational contributions as an instructor for the college's Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD) span nearly 20 years. He has taught classes and offered training programs and seminars for EPD students. Stephenson received his bachelor's degree from the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Highland Park, Michigan, in 1943. His master's degree came later in 1948 from Michigan State University.

Stephenson served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Army Infantry for nearly three years, during which he was responsible for field engineering and demolition projects as a line officer. He was commissioned first lieutenant upon discharge from the Armed Forces. Stephenson joined Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, Inc. in 1948. As a structural engineer for the firm, he performed a wide range of drafting and design activities, including the structural calculation preparations for a variety of steel, concrete and wood structures. From 1950 to 1958, Stephenson worked with Victor Gruen Associates, where he was vice president of the firm and project manager for the Kalamazoo, Michigan, mall, one of the first downtown malls in North America.

Stephenson joined H.F. Campbell Company, a design and build firm, in 1960. As a vice president, he was responsible for estimating, graphics and marketing. Two years later, he went into business for himself as a private consulting engineer. He has since handled several hundred commercial, institutional and private projects ranging in size from $100,000 to $400 million. He provides services in design and construction, project management, construction planning, project programming, plant location, land planning, and training and education for the planning, design and construction profession. He is also involved in partnering and alternative dispute resolution. Additionally, he has acted as a project consultant and director on several large land use studies, and has been retained by many owners and architectural, engineering and contracting firms as a technical management consultant for functional and organizational matters.

Stephenson has taught hundreds of technical and management seminars in the United States, Canada and Europe. He is the author of several magazine articles and two books, one on critical path method and one on partnering and alternative dispute resolution for the design and construction industry. Stephenson lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with his wife, Betty.