Two ME alumni given Distinguished Service Awards
Blaedel, Collins honored at Engineers' Day 2003
Precision engineering the ability to manufacture parts to exacting standards earned Kenneth Blaedel a worldwide reputation for excellence in the field.
Blaedel enjoyed a 28-year career at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), which started shortly after receiving his doctorate in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison in 1974. Blaedel earned his BS in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison in 1970.
At Lawrence Livermore, he designed and built a number of high-accuracy machine tools. The machines have been used by LLNL as well as the automotive, electronics and optics industries. The components they produced have been used in space- and ground-based telescopes, nuclear weapons, magnetic recording heads, and automotive engine fuel injectors. In many cases, the components have been among the most precise ever made. Other tools have also garnered awards such as the "OptiPro-AED Proximity Sensor," developed by Blaedel and his colleagues at Lawrence Livermore. R&D Magazine named this tool as being one of the top 100 technological achievements in 1998.
Blaedel served in several leadership posts at the national laboratory. As leader of the Precision Systems Group, he was responsible for developing a cadre of precision engineers at LLNL. Later, as leader of the Center for Precision Engineering, he was responsible for developing and investing in new precision-engineering technologies at LLNL.
Blaedel is a charter member of the American Society for Precision Engineering, serving on the board of directors, the journal publication review committee and the organizing committee for annual conferences. In addition, he has taught tutorials on precision engineering for the society.
Blaedel is also a member of the American National Standards Institute, where he has served as chairman of standards-setting committees.
In his time away from work, Blaedel races bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles, and practices Jujutsu, a defensive martial art. He regularly shoots in high-power rifle matches throughout California, and travels extensively throughout the country and the world with his wife, Jan.
Having retired from Lawrence Livermore in 2002, his first official act of retirement was to join former college Dean John Bollinger in sailing from San Francisco to San Diego.
If you have ever flown in an airplane, or been scared by a dinosaur at Disney World, or simply picked up a gallon of ice cream on the way home from work, you've probably come in contact with products made by Parker Hannifin Corp.
For the past decade, the Cleveland, Ohio, company has been led by Duane Collins. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Parker Hannifin, having been selected to the post in 1999. For eight years beginning in 1993, Collins served as president and chief operating officer of the company.
With sales exceeding $6 billion annually, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies, providing precision-engineered products for aerospace markets. Jet planes use Parker Hannifin's leak-tight fuel settings. Amusement park attractions utilize the company's motion and control systems. Grocery stores rely on its cooling and refrigeration systems.
Collins' ascension to chairman of the board of Parker Hannifin culminated a career with the company that began in 1961 following graduation from UW-Madison's College of Engineering as a mechanical engineering major.
The Jefferson, Wisconsin native joined the company as a sales engineer and quickly rose through the company's ranks. He spent several years overseeing the company's international operations before being named company president and chief executive officer in 1993.
Under his tenure, Parker Hannifin doubled its number of employees, increased sales 2.5 times, and quadrupled its earnings. The company employs more than 48,000 people in 44 countries.
Collins has been active in a number of civic organizations in the Cleveland area. He's served as a trustee for the Cleveland YMCA and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and Cleveland Tomorrow. He now serves on the boards of University Hospitals of Cleveland, Hospice of the Western Reserve, and is a member of the visiting committee of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is also a member of several corporate boards.
Collins is married to his high school sweetheart, Joyce, and has two daughters, Sharon and Pam. Outside interests include golf, bridge, hunting, traveling and sports especially University of Wisconsin football and the Green Bay Packers.
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