1990 Award Recipients

Engineers' Day Information:
Diane Randall
608/265-4048
drandall@engr.wisc.edu

FERREL G. STREMLER
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The 1990 Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award

GEORGE E. P. BOX
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Statistics
The 1990 Byron Bird Award

CLAYTON O. SMITH
Assistant Dean of Research, College of Engineering
1990 Bollinger Academic Staff Award

NORMAN A. BERG
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

ROBERT L. DOUGLAS
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

GRAHAME J. FARQUHAR
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

NARENDRA N. GUNAJI
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

WARREN R. HAUG
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

THOMAS N. HENDRICKSON
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

FREDERICK Z. HERR
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

DALE M. MEADE
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

MORTON G. SPOONER
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

KUO-KING "KK" WANG
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

GARY C. WENDT
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

RICHARD L. WILKEY
Distinguished Service Award Recipient

FERREL G. STREMLER

FERREL G. STREMLER (Large image)

FERREL G. STREMLER

The 1990 Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for excellence in teaching of engineering students goes to Professor Ferrel G. Stremler. As an educator, Stremler enjoys an enviable reputation with students and colleagues alike. He is known for his innovative use of animated, computer-generated demonstrations of mathematical concepts used in communications theory. Constantly in pursuit of better educational tools for his students, he continues to revise lecture notes and develop new software for classroom use.

His students recognize their good fortune. One former student notes, "Despite equipment limitations, he always excited and impressed his students with such demonstrations as holography, spatial filtering and matched filtering." Others say, "he shows the practical side to teaching what are typically abstract subjects," and "he continues to inject a practical and intuitive aspect into his teaching."

One former student says Stremler's teaching abilities "are second to none ... After taking numerous classes from other universities, I am certain that he must rank among the top engineering educators in the country."

Stremler is probably best known for his undergraduate text, Introduction to Communication Systems, which is a standard at major engineering schools around the country and abroad. It has been described as "clear, precise, organized, systematic and helpful." One colleague notes that "other textbook authors are just beginning to include the sorts of practical topics that Stremler covers in his well-known first edition.

Stremler received his AB in mathematics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1957, followed by a BS in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1960. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology awarded him an SM in electrical engineering in 1960, and he received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1967. Stremler has been a member of the college faculty since 1968. He served as the electrical and computer engineering department chair from 1984 to 1986, and as the college's associate dean for academic affairs from 1978 to 1982. He received the Polygon Outstanding Teacher Award four times, the UW-Madison Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1976, and the ASEE Western Electric Fund Outstanding Teacher Award in 1975.

GEORGE E. P. BOX

GEORGE E. P. BOX (Large image)

GEORGE E. P. BOX

Professor George E. P. Box is this year's recipient of the Byron Bird Award for excellence in a research publication.

Box has been a professor in the Department of Statistics since 1960 and has been called "one of the world's most distinguished statisticians." His work in engineering statistics has had a fundamental influence on both colleagues and students. His pioneering work on techniques of response surface methods, non-linear estimation, and time series modeling and control is utilized by engineers all over the world.

In 1985, Wadsworth published The Collected Works of George E. P. Box. This two-volume set is considered to be one of the most important and comprehensive texts in engineering statistics.

One colleague notes that Box's work had a following as early as the 1960s. "In the 1970s, his articles and books started to be quoted. In the 1980s, researchers and industrialists from Japan came to visit him." He has shown himself to be "a world authority on the theory of statistical methods used in industry, government and in academic research."

Born in Gravesend, England in 1919, Box did undergraduate work in chemistry at the University of London. After the war, he continued his education at the University of London, and he holds bachelor of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in mathematical statistics from that institution. In 1961, he received a doctor of science degree from the University of London, and the University of Rochester awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree in 1975.

Box first came to UW-Madison in 1960 and was founder, professor and chairman of the statistics department until 1965 when he left to become a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. Since his return to UW-Madison in 1966, Box has been appointed to the Ronald Aylmer Fisher Chair of Statistics and the Vilas Research Professorship of Mathematics and Statistics. He joined the Department of Industrial Engineering in 1984.

During his career, Box has received numerous awards, including the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for excellence in teaching engineering students. Box is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, an honor he shares with, among others. Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Darwin.

CLAYTON O. SMITH

CLAYTON O. SMITH (Large image)

CLAYTON O. SMITH

This year's recipient of the Bollinger Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award is Clayton 0. Smith, for his outstanding contributions to the success of the college's research programs.

As an assistant dean for research, Smith is involved on a daily basis with negotiations and problem solving related to research grants and contracts. But, as his nomination papers demonstrate, Smith goes "above and beyond the call of duty" in accomplishing his assigned goals. Comments from his faculty colleagues have included the following: "Most of his efforts are self-initiated and geared to solving problems, preserving programs and protecting UW interests"; "Clayton does an outstanding job of representing the college on campus, in Washington, and with our industrial partners"; "He is an invaluable source in dealing with federal funding agencies, particularly the National Science Foundations."

Smith has been called one of the unsung heroes of the college's successful research programs. Several faculty members report that they are personally indebted to him for his efforts in research contract negotiations, noting how he "pitches in when things get tough."

His personal qualities have been of great value to the faculty members he assists: "His persistence drove the project to a successful conclusion"; "His insight is phenomenal"; "His quiet, unflustered approach and reasonable negotiation procedures are well received and very effective"; "People know that when Clayton is involved, things will be done in a businesslike and fair manner"; "Clayton has a great intuitive sense of how to 'read' people."

Smith studied business administration at the University of Rochester during the early 1950s. At that time he worked for Eastman Kodak in the engineering, construction, maintenance and utilities division. He came to the College of Engineering in 1961 as a project assistant in the Solar Energy Laboratory. He continued his studies in engineering mechanics and, in 1963, become a special assistant to the director of the Engineering Experiment Station, where he was later appointed associate director. In 1981, he was awarded an indefinite status academic staff appointment by unanimous vote. He has served in his present capacity as assistant dean of research since 1986.

NORMAN A. BERG

NORMAN A. BERG (Large image)

NORMAN A. BERG

Norman A. Berg has been a leader in developing and marketing cast steel products, particularly pressure poured cast-steel wheels, to the railroad industry. A 1963 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in mechanical engineering, he joined Griffin Wheel Company as a sales engineer after graduation.

After managing the Brake Shoe Sales Department and the Technical Services Sales Department, Berg went on to become the central regional sales manager for Griffin Wheel.

In 1978, Berg moved to a sister company of Griffin Wheel, American Steel Foundries, where he began as an assistant vice president in sales. He was promoted to vice president of sales in 1979 and vice president of marketing in 1980. Berg has been president of American Steel Foundries since 1984.

American Steel Foundries and its parent company, Amsted Industries, have been strong supporters of the Cast Metals Program at UW-Madison, largely through Berg's efforts. Amsted Industries has also promoted engineering and foundry education at Wisconsin through the Foundry Educational Foundation.

Berg is active in alumni affairs in the Chicago area and has consistently supported UW-Madison College of Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering events in that area. He is a member of the college's Industrial Liaison Council and the Mechanical Engineering Board of Visitors, and was an officer in the UW Alumni Club of Chicago. He will serve as chairman for the college's capital gifts campaign this year.

Active in church and community organizations, Berg also serves on the Board of Trustees for Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and formerly chaired its Rail Transportation Division. He is also a member of the Western Railway Club and a past president of the Railway Supply Association, and he holds two patents related to railroad products.

Berg and his wife, Sharon Nosal, have two grown children, Eric and Susan, and live in Wheaton, Illinois.

ROBERT L. DOUGLAS

ROBERT L. DOUGLAS (Large image)

ROBERT L. DOUGLAS

After completing his bachelor's degree in physics at UW-Whitewater, Robert L. Douglas attended UW-Madison where he received a master's degree, also in physics. Upon his graduation in 1962, Douglas joined the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin.

At Parker Pen, Douglas became director of the physical laboratory before he left in 1969 to join Janesville's Gilman Engineering and Manufacturing Company as a project engineer in research and development.

Douglas moved through positions of increasing responsibility at Gilman and became vice president of engineering in 1979. In 1984, he was named vice president and general manager of Gilman where he stayed until 1986. During his tenure at Gilman, the firm became a premier custom designer and builder of automated assembly systems for U.S. industry.

In 1986, Douglas moved to Litton Industrial Automation Systems where he became president of the Engineered Systems Division. Since 1989, he has been assigned responsibility for marketing as vice president of Litton's Material Handling Division in Hebron, Kentucky. His outstanding engineering and leadership contributions at both Gilman and Litton have made a significant impact on U.S. manufacturing automation.

Douglas is a member of the advisory boards for the University of Kentucky Center for Robotics & Manufacturing Systems, the University of Cincinnati Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Services, and the Thomas More College Industrial Education Curriculum. While in Wisconsin, he served on the boards of directors for the Visiting Nurse Service and the United Way Fund.

A registered professional engineer in Wisconsin, Douglas is a member of the American Physical Society and a senior member of the Society of Mechanical Engineers Robotics International. In 1984, he attended Dartmouth's Tuck Management Development School.

Douglas, a native of Whitewater, Wisconsin, is married and has two sons.

GRAHAME J. FARQUHAR

GRAHAME J. FARQUHAR (Large image)

GRAHAME J. FARQUHAR

Canadian-born Grahame J. Farquhar came to the United States just long enough to earn a PhD. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Farquhar attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his PhD in sanitary engineering in 1968. That same year Farquhar returned to the University of Waterloo as an assistant professor of civil engineering.

Since July of 1979, Farquhar has been a full professor at Waterloo where he currently serves as department chair. In 1982, he received the University of Waterloo Distinguished Teaching Award.

Farquhar has concentrated his career in sanitary and environmental engineering and has become a renowned expert in these fields. A distinguished teacher and researcher, Farquhar has published extensively on topics such as acid rain, groundwater contamination, and leachate and gas migration problems associated with landfills. His articles have appeared in numerous refereed publications including the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, the Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, and Water, Air and Soil Pollution.

Farquhar is an editor of the book Industrial Waste Treatment and Utilization: Theory and Practice of Waste Management, Pergamon Press, Oxford 1979, and its 1982 updated volume. He is on the editorial board of journals Hazardous and Toxic Substances: Generation, Analysis and Control, and Waste Management and Research, and serves as a referee for several other publications.

Farquhar is in high demand as a speaker, and frequently travels, presenting papers and lecturing at conferences and symposia in various countries around the world.

A member of the Canadian Society of Professional Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, he has served as an examiner for APEO for the last 10 years.

Active in community organizations, Farquhar serves on the board of directors of the Sandford Fleming Foundation and the Sandford Fleming Engineerium and does committee work for the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church. He has provided technical expertise to his community through service on the Region of Waterloo Waste Management Advisory Board. He is married, has two children, and lives in Waterloo.

NARENDRA N. GUNAJI

NARENDRA N. GUNAJI (Large image)

NARENDRA N. GUNAJI

Narendra N. Gunaji has had a career in civil engineering that spans several decades and includes numerous accomplishments and accolades. A native of India, Gunaji received, with honors, a bachelor of civil engineering degree from the Government College of Engineering, University of Poona, India. Two years later, in 1955, he earned an MS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by a UW-Madison PhD in hydrology and water resources in 1958.

In 1958, Gunaji joined Ohio Northern University as an assistant professor of civil engineering. He next joined the faculty of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he directed two civil engineering projects: the Engineering Experiment Station and the Building Materials Research and Testing Institute.

During his directorship of these projects, engineering research at NMSU grew tremendously with research activities and dollar volume quadrupling in a 16-year period. While at NMSU, Gunaji initiated doctoral programs in water resources, hydrology, environmental control, and hydraulics.

In 1987, Ronald Reagan appointed Gunaji to the post of U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S.-Mexico, in El Paso, Texas. In his position as commissioner, he has developed innovative technical, managerial, and diplomatic approaches for international water quality improvement, water distribution, and flood control along the 2000 mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Gunaji has published extensively on the subjects of water resources management, waste treatment, and hydraulics, among others. He has continued his education in civil engineering, water resource management and hydraulics with short courses at such institutions as MIT, the University of Washington, and the University of California-Davis.

A member of numerous professional and honorary organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Water Resources Association, Gunaji received the Outstanding Service Award from the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers in 1967. That organization named him Engineer of the Year in 1985. Gunaji lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

WARREN R. HAUG

WARREN R. HAUG (Large image)

WARREN R. HAUG

Warren R. Haug, who currently serves as vice president of research and development for Procter & Gamble Company, has made significant and innovative contributions to the consumer goods industry over the past 25 years.

A 1961 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in chemical engineering, Haug went on to earn master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in 1963 and 1965, respectively.

Haug began his career with Procter & Gamble in 1965 as a project engineer in exploratory development. In 1971, he was promoted to product development section head of the Bar Soap and Household Cleaning Product Development Section where he later became associate director.

In the early 1980s, Haug served as director of the Soap, Toilet Goods and Paper Technology Division and later, director of the Product Development Department of the Packaged Soap and Detergent Division. Haug assumed worldwide responsibilities in research and development for the Laundry and Cleaning Products Sector in 1987, and was appointed vice president in 1988.

Haug currently serves on both the Industrial Liaison Council of the UW-Madison College of Engineering and the Advisory Council of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering Applied Science of Northwestern University. He also acts as an advisor for the Northwestern University Chemical Engineering Department and for the Monell Chemical Senses Institute.

A member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Soap and Detergent Association, Haug represents Procter & Gamble in a number of university programs across the country including the UW-Madison Bioprocessing and Metabolic Engineering Consortium. The consortium, one of the most successful university and industry cooperative programs in the nation, coordinates cooperative research among groups in industry and at the College of Engineering.

Haug, a Milwaukee native, and his wife Karen have three children and reside in Loveland, Ohio.

THOMAS N. HENDRICKSON

THOMAS N. HENDRICKSON (Large image)

THOMAS N. HENDRICKSON

In 1969, Thomas N. Hendrickson left his job as a chemical engineer at Eastman Kodak to form his own company, Computerized Pollution Abatement Corporation. His goal was to design and manufacture equipment capable of removing silver from used photoprocessing solutions, thereby reducing the potential for pollution from discarded solutions.

Hendrickson, who holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester, had worked extensively with photographic solutions in his research at Eastman Kodak. He believed that photoprocessing companies would become subject to pollution control regulations, and that recovering silver from used solutions could be both economically and environmentally sound.

Hendrickson's company, now known as CPAC, Inc., has become phenomenally successful with five manufacturing sites in the U.S., plans for a site in Europe, and international marketing strategies. In addition to the silver recovery and recycling equipment, CPAC, Inc. specializes in producing chemicals for the photographic, microfilm and x-ray industries. Hendrickson serves as chief executive officer of the company and oversees administration of its subsidiaries.

Hendrickson is widely known as an authority on recovery methods and pollution control in the photographic industry and has lectured extensively on these subjects at home and abroad. He holds memberships in the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Photofinishing Engineers, and the Society of Photographic Scientists & Engineers, among other organizations.

Hendrickson lives with his wife, Sandra, and their two children in Wyoming County, New York, where he is active in community recycling efforts.

FREDERICK Z. HERR

FREDERICK Z. HERR (Large image)

FREDERICK Z. HERR

Frederick Z. Herr is a 1946 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in electrical engineering. He served in the Navy in the V12 program at the UW from 1944 to 1946. After his graduation, he took a position with Detroit Edison Company as a supervising analyst and engineer. Ten years later, Herr left Edison to begin a career with Ford Motor Company that would span more than 30 years.

At Ford, Herr entered the world of management. He began in 1956 as a financial analyst and supervisor in the Metal Stamping Division. From there Herr moved quickly through several management positions in financial control, cost analysis, quality control, manufacturing and engineering. During this time he studied for and received an MBA from the University of Detroit. In 1970, he was appointed plant manager of Ford's Sheldon Road facility.

Herr became director of reliability for North American Automotive Operations in 1971. Six years later, he traveled to Australia to serve as assistant managing director of Ford Australia.

Herr returned to the U.S. in 1981 when he assumed his duties as general manager of Ford's Electrical and Electronics Division. He was elected as a vice president in 1985, with responsibility for the Engineering & Manufacturing staff.

From 1987 until his retirement in 1989, Herr served as vice president of quality assurance for Ford's North American Automotive Operations. In this position, he made numerous significant contributions to Ford's quality control and improvement programs.

A registered professional engineer, Herr served on the Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Board, and was active in the Congress of Transportation Engineers and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Eta Kappa Nu, and formerly served on the boards of directors of American Cimflex, Synthetic Vision Systems, and Zenith Laboratories.

A Detroit native, Herr now resides in Plymouth, Michigan with his wife Jean.

DALE M. MEADE

DALE M. MEADE (Large image)

DALE M. MEADE

Dale M. Meade has become a world renowned expert in the field of plasma confinement. Now at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Meade is head of Experimental Physics and head of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor Project.

Born in Portage, Wisconsin, Meade graduated with high honors from UW-Madison, receiving a BS in electrical engineering in 1961. He continued his education, earning both a master's and a PhD in physics from UW-Madison in 1962 and 1965, respectively. After a postdoctoral appointment at Princeton University, he returned to Madison, joining the university in 1967 as an assistant professor of physics and becoming a full professor in 1972.

In 1973, Meade left Madison to join the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory where he began intensive research into plasma confinement with the use of tokamaks. (Tokamaks are large "magnetic bottles" in which plasmas are heated and confined by electric and magnetic fields.)

At Princeton, Meade designed and directed research with the innovative Poloidal Divertor Experiment (PDX), an advanced tokamak experiment which made significant contributions to the study of energy confinement and plasma impurity control. In 1980, he began his work with Princeton's Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR), the largest magnetic confinement device in the United States. Under his leadership as project manager, the TFTR experiment has achieved world-record plasma temperatures and confinement parameters, and has made significant progress toward the goal of energy breakeven in thermonuclear fusion.

Meade has published extensively in the plasma confinement field with expertise unparalleled in the profession. His articles have appeared in journals such as Physics of Fluids, Physical Review Letters, and Science. He has presented dozens of papers at conferences and symposia in such places as Moscow, Tokyo, Nice, Vienna, and London.

Meade is a fellow in the American Physical Society. Division of Plasma Physics, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the board for Fusion Power Associates and the Magnetic Fusion Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Industrial Liaison Committee for the UW-Madison Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics.

MORTON G. SPOONER

MORTON G. SPOONER (Large image)

MORTON G. SPOONER

Morton G. ("Mort") Spooner received a BS, an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing his doctorate in 1956, Spooner joined Cornel Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, New York as an engineer in the Electronics Department.

At Cornell, which later changed its name to Calspan Corporation, Spooner became manager of the Computer Research Department and Computer Center, and later director of the Electronics Division. In 1970, he was named vice president-technical in charge of the Electronics Systems Group.

During his career at Calspan, Spooner participated in artificial intelligence research and was instrumental in entry into and development of the image processing and optical character recognition areas. As vice president, he directed development and activity in new technical areas while supervising more than 300 professionals.

In 1976, after 20 years with Calspan, Spooner moved to Dallas, Texas to join E-Systems, Garland Division, a Fortune 500 defense electronics firm which develops intelligence and reconnaissance systems. E-Systems, Garland now has more than 5000 employees and annual sales of $500 million. After joining as a technical staff person, Spooner became responsible for business development in such areas as large image processing, softcopy exploitation, and infrared sensing systems.

Director of strategic planning since 1989, Spooner is now responsible for the five-year strategic plan at E-Systems, and supervises research and development activities.

Spooner is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a life member of IEEE. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he is a registered professional engineer in both Wisconsin and New York. While at Calspan, he served for nine years on the East Aurora, N.Y. school board.

Spooner and his wife Nelsine have four children and six grandchildren and live in Dallas, Texas.

KUO-KING

KUO-KING "KK" WANG (Large image)

KUO-KING "KK" WANG

Kuo-King Wang, known to his friends as "K.K." Wang, began his professional career in 1947, after graduation from the National Central University in China with a BS in mechanical engineering. Wang joined Central Shipbuilding Corporation in Shanghai as an engineer, and one year later moved to Taiwan Shipbuilding Corporation where he was promoted to manager of engineering.

In 1960, Wang moved to New York City where he supervised a liquid sulphur carrier project for United Tanker Corporation. He came to Wisconsin later that year. In 1961, he joined Walker Manufacturing Company in Racine as a project engineer in the Process Engineering Department. He also began a master's program in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison.

Wang completed a UW-Madison PhD, also in mechanical engineering, in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he was an assistant professor in the college's Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 1970, he joined the faculty at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.

At Cornel, Wang realized his dream of placing the "rule of thumb" techniques of injection molding on a firm scientific basis. The Cornell Injection Molding Program (CIMP), a group he formed and directs, is recognized as an integral organization in the passage of injection molding out of the dark ages. Techniques pioneered by this group are now widely used in industry throughout the world.

In 1977, Wang became a full professor at Cornell and in 1986 he was named Sibley Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Since 1968, Wang has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers and two book chapters. He is a co-founder and chairman of Advanced CAE Technology, Inc., a company dedicated to computer-aided engineering technologies for manufacturing industries.

Wang is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the International Institution of Production Engineering Research. He has been honored by the American Welding Society and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

GARY C. WENDT

GARY C. WENDT (Large image)

GARY C. WENDT

A native of Wisconsin, Gary C. Wendt left the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 with a BS in civil engineering. He continued his education at the Harvard Graduate School of Business where he received an MBA in 1967.

From 1967 to 1975, Wendt worked throughout the southern U.S. as vice president and general manager of La-Co, Inc. and vice president of Diversified Advisors, Inc. In 1975, Wendt joined General Electric Capital Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut.

Early in his career at GE Capital, Wendt served as manager of operations and vice president of Real Estate Financing. His appointments as vice president continued in the Leasing & Industrial Loan Financing Department and the Commercial & Industrial Financing Division. In 1986, after two years as executive vice president of Financing Operations, Wendt became CEO of GE Capital and president of GE Financial Services, Inc., General Electric's largest subsidiary.

During his tenure at GE Capital, Wendt has developed a broad array of highly specialized financial services businesses. In his present role, Wendt oversees 21 separate financial services businesses with combined assets of over $60 billion, including the world's largest fleet of leased aircraft, the nation's largest private mortgage insurance company and the U.K.'s largest credit card portfolio. In addition, Wendt serves as a director for several smaller corporations owned or controlled by General Electric such as Kidder, Peabody & Co., Montgomery Ward and Co., and the Houston Astrodomain Corporation.

Active in the Southwestern Area Commerce & Industry Association of Connecticut, Inc., Wendt was chairman of the board last year. He is also a newly elected board member of the New York Regional Plan Association.

Wendt is actively involved in community service, having volunteered his time for such organizations as St. John's Lutheran Church Council, United Way, the American Lung Association, Stamford Hospital Foundation, and Outward Bound. He has been fund-raising chairman for both the United Way and the Stamford Boys & Girls Club. He has also volunteered as an organizer for the UW Foundation's UW Campaign for Wisconsin in the New York metropolitan area.

Wendt and his wife Lorna (UW '65) live in Stamford, Conn.

RICHARD L. WILKEY

RICHARD L. WILKEY (Large image)

RICHARD L. WILKEY

Born in northeastern Wisconsin (in the middle of a blizzard), Richard L. Wilkey attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated first (by his account) in a class of two. His successes continued.

A 1959 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in metallurgical engineering, Wilkey worked as a sales engineer for Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation in North Chicago. After four years, he joined Cyclops Corporation in Milwaukee where he worked in sales of specialty steels.

In January 1970, Wilkey started his first business, Locke-Brothers Inc., in Milwaukee. Locke-Brothers is a manufacturers' sales representative which deals in forgings, castings, stampings, plastics and lawn mower blades. Representing mainly Wisconsin manufacturers, Locke-Brothers currently has sales in excess of $20 million annually.

Not content to run only one business, Wilkey founded a new company in 1973. The company, Fisher-Barton, Inc., supplies lawn mower blades to every major lawn equipment manufacturer in the U.S. It has grown to become the largest lawn mower blade manufacturer in the world, shipping to Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Wilkey decided to diversify in 1987, and purchased a third company, Accurate Specialties Inc., from the federal government. Accurate Specialties, located in Milwaukee, produces as its major product a fully machined composite gear blank (a bronze ring poured around a gray iron hub). Under Wilkey's leadership, sales have doubled to $400,000 monthly.

While performing his ongoing duties as CEO of these three companies, Wilkey has maintained a close relationship with the UW-Madison Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He has funded four graduate students through master's degree research projects, primarily in the area of wear coatings. Four graduates of the department have been employed by Fisher-Barton.

Wilkey has recently become a member of the University's Bascom Hill Society. He is a director of the Precision Metal Forming Association, and chairman of the Alliance of Metalworking Industries. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Association of Manufacturers Agents and former director of the Wauwatosa YMCA. He and his wife Susan have three grown sons and live in Hartland, Wisconsin.




Date last modified: 11-Dec-2013
Date created: 12-Sep-2007 00:30:00
Content by: alumni@engr.wisc.edu
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