Do you have a new job, address, spouse or
child? Please let us know what good things are happening with
your lives and careers and we will share the news with EP alumni
in this column.
Send your address changes, alumni
news or questions to:
EP Alumni News, 147 Engineering Research Building, 1500 Engineering
Dr., Madison, WI 53706; or E-mail them to email@example.com.
The Fusion Technology Institute maintains
a web-based list of fusion alumni and their current employers;
you can access it at fti.neep.wisc.edu/grads/.
You also can send in updates through that webpage.
2007 Distinguished Achievement Award
A. McKinnon was a lifelong resident of Nevada and a lecturer
at the state university in Reno when he broadened his search for graduate
schools to include a dozen universities in the East. McKinnon accepted
a teaching assistantship at UW-Madison because of its strong program
in solid mech-anics. In 1972, he completed his doctoral degree in engineering
mechanics with the guidance of his major professor and mentor, Bela
McKinnon then accepted a position as an assistant professor of mechanical
engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
For the next three years, he guided a number of graduate students through
their thesis work, authored eight published articles, and was recognized
for outstanding teaching
He went on to spend most
of his career working for two metallurgical companies in southern Pennsylvania
and on the East Coast. In the 1980s, while at the tooling components
company Kennametal, he helped build, staff and manage a new carbide
powder manufacturing facility in Henderson, North Carolina—an
experience he calls “a highlight of my career.”
In 1993, McKinnon joined the General Carbide Corporation, where he became
vice president of technology. General Carbide manufactures carbide components
used for tools and dies and tool-cutting industries, and also provides
components to concrete and steel industries.
Prior to McKinnon’s retirement in 2005, the Cemented Carbide Producers
Association recognized him for more than 30 years of service to the
He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters. Kristin Friedline, 31, is
a nurse anesthetist in Virginia. Jill Mando, 27, works in sales and
marketing in the beverage industry in Pennsylvania. She is the mother
of McKinnon’s 2-year-old grandson, Ty Albert—a popular subject
for one of McKinnon’s hobbies: photography.
McKinnon is a church elder at the Latrobe Presbyterian Church. He also
has spent the last two years studying German. He and Nancy, who recently
retired from teaching high school German and journalism, plan to spend
more time traveling. In September, they spent two weeks in Germany and
A Sandia National Laboratories researcher, Ben
Cipiti (MS ’03, PhD ’04) is the author of The
Energy Construct, a book that proposes an energy plan that could
make a dramatic difference in pollution emission and enable the United
States to achieve a clean, domestic and economic energy future.
Wayne Houlberg (BS ’70,
MS ’72, PhD ‘77) retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
in August and accepted the position of chief scientist for integrated
modeling in the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor)
fusion science and technology division in Cadrache, France.
Citing trailblazing discoveries that have produced
more complete and useful understanding of human development and diseases,
Time magazine has included epigenetics pioneer Randy
Jirtle (BS ’70) among nominees for the Time
2007 Person of the Year. Jirtle is director of the Laboratory of Epigenetics
and Imprinting at Duke University and a professor of radiation oncology
at Duke. In addition, a July episode of the public television program
NOVA ScienceNow, as well as related web content, included Jirtle.
Interim dean of the Columbia University School
of Engineering and Applied Science and founding member of the school’s
Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Gerald
Navratil (MS ’74, PhD ’76) is among a group of
researchers who received the 2007 John Dawson Award for Excellence in
Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society. The group,
which received the award at the APS Division of Plasma Physics meeting
in November, conducted experiments that demonstrated stabilization of
the resistive wall mode and sustained operation of a tokamak above the
conventional free boundary stability limit.