2007 Distinguished achievement award: Edwin McKinnon

// Engineering Physics

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Edwin A. McKinnon
Retired vice president of technology
General Carbide Corporation
PhDEM ’72
Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Edwin 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. He accepted a teaching assistantship at UW-Madison because of its strong program in solid mechanics. In 1972, he completed his doctoral degree in engineering mechanics with the guidance of his major professor and mentor, Bela Sandor.

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 carbide industry.

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 Austria.