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Engineering Graduate Reception

Kaufmann Center, 2008 May Engineering Graduates

Graduates of the College of Engineering were honored Friday, May 9, 2008 in Lincoln at an afternoon reception. Outstanding students were recognized, along with the outstanding department and teaching awards.

Engineering Dean Allen Earns National Award for International Leadership


Dick KafonekDavid H. Allen, dean of the College of Engineering, was selected a winner of the 2008 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

He has been invited to a ceremony at the Commission's Summer Meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., July 14-16. Other winners were John Head of the University of Kansas and Robert Reinstein of Temple University.

Allen, who has served as dean of the UNL College of Engineering since 2002, personally recruited the first class of engineering students to study abroad in the early 1990s while at Texas A&M University. At UNL, he has continued to engage the interest of a diverse and large segment of the student engineering population from several major colleges of engineering in the U.S. During the past 12 years, he has directed more than 725 students in 25 study abroad programs in 19 countries. These programs were all directed toward the emerging area of engineering study abroad.

"Dean Allen has put UNL's College of Engineering on the map through offering study abroad opportunities across the world to all engineering students and successfully integrating these experiences within the tightly structured engineering curriculum," said Barbara Couture, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. "Our engineering graduates are prepared to work in international companies and to help Nebraska and the nation compete in a global economy."

Allen has successfully competed for several international grants that help support his international educational efforts, including three from the Fund for Improvement of Post-secondary Education, and one from the National Science Foundation. He has established successful research collaborations with engineering and applied science faculty in Sweden, Switzerland, France, Brazil, Canada and China. Allen has lived in foreign countries including Italy, France and Australia; during these visits, he taught a variety of engineering mechanics and history of engineering technology courses. His research expertise is in structural and solid mechanics, and he uses this background to interpret and explain the cultural and engineering significance of historical structures throughout the world.

The Malone Award, established in 2000, honors those who further international education in public higher education. The awards, dedicated to the memory of Michael P. Malone (1940-1999), were established to provide national recognition for a career of outstanding contributions that furthers international education at state and land-grant institutions.

"This year's Malone Award recipients have worked tirelessly to promote international education and development," said Peter McPherson, president of NASULGC. "Their focus on international problems speaks well of America's highly regarded university system and the willingness of our scholars to promote higher education across the globe."

Kafonek earns lifetime honor in construction education


Dick KafonekRichard "Dick" Kafonek, former chair of the UNL College of Engineering's Construction Management department in Lincoln, was recently honored with the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to construction education. The ASC Board of Directors cited Kafonek's exceptional service to academia, teaching, and the construction industry, and noted this is only the fifth time the award has been presented in ASC's 44-year history.

Kafonek graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering and holds a Master of Engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a Fellow within the professional construction organization of the American Institute of Constructors. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1976 and led the UNL Construction Management program (now part of The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction) for 11 years.

While retired, Kafonek remains active in furthering construction education through the academic accrediting body of the American Council of Construction Education. He has been married 54 years and has four sons, one of whom is a graduate of Nebraska Engineering's Construction Management program.


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