Beginning with National Engineers Week 2012, we are featuring members of our Nebraska Engineering community who make a positive difference in the world. For our first year in the Big Ten, we've added profiles of the UNL College of Engineering's B1G potential, B1G ideas and B1G impact to our college's National E-Week web area. We're proud of our students, alumni and faculty who use their engineering skills for the greater good. Let's keep it growing! If you're a Nebraska Engineering community member who should be included here, we welcome your stories.
Rawe (’69 B.S. and ’71 M.S. CIVE; he also has an MBA from Rockhurst College) is Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering Services with the Port of Seattle, including SeaTac International Airport and the Seaport in Seattle, Wash. Rawe notes: “I love being an engineer. I have enjoyed every position that I have worked in. (It’s rewarding) every time we begin and complete new projects and develop the talents of new engineers for the future generations. As engineers, we have an obligation to give back to the profession in terms of time, energies and involvement. We should look at opportunities to participate (at the college and university level) as well as professional societies for the betterment of our chosen profession.”
David Fry, M.D.
Fry ('72 B.S. CHME) is a physician, now retired and living in Stuart, Fl. He writes: "Engineering gives a unique perspective in medicine. Engineers have to think logically, sort things out and find answers to problems."
Kathryn Meyer zu Drewer
Meyer zu Drewer ('95 B.S. IMSE) is a sales executive in aerospace and defense with Siemens PLM Software in Cypress, Calif. She notes: “Understanding the development process and the manufacturing environment provided during my education at UNL has allowed me to successfully apply the solutions Siemens provides to solving mission critical issues faced by my customers … I encourage women to look to the College of Engineering to provide them with a solid foundation from which they can define the course of their future.”
Bryan (’10 B.S. CSE) is a systems engineer with the U.S. Air Force in Albuquerque, N.M. He writes: “My engineering degree from UNL has enabled my career to reach heights that I never expected. I cant wait to see where I go next with it.”
Drvol ('08 B.S. MECH) is a design engineer with Dimatic Die & Tool Co. in Omaha. He notes: "My proudest area in my work is seeing a job come to completion and seeing parts being made that I have drawn up, designed, and been involved with in the creation of the tool to make the part."
Deaver ('85 B.S. ELEC) is a program manager for Commercially Hosted InfraRed Payload (CHIRP), an experimental wide-field-of-view infrared sensor hosted onboard a commercial communications satellite. This sensor was the first of its kind and the first hosted payload for the United States Air Force hosted on a commercial satellite. Deaver enjoys how engineering can predict the future, and says among its values,“Innovation is by far the most fun … taking new technology and turning it into usable capabilities.
Melliger ('07 B.S. CIVE) is a water resources engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District, who’s using his engineering skills to help people where the need is. He says, “I am proud that my education has put me in the position to work on various Afghanistan water infrastructure projects that both help assist our military and provide benefit to the Afghanistan people.” He adds that growing up with an agricultural background in rural Nebraska “made me a more well-rounded engineer and have added benefit to various projects.” He enjoys the satisfaction that a properly designed project, whether it be a large dam or a culvert under a road, will provide benefits and ensure a level of safety to citizens--most of whom will never fully understand how complex such projects can be and how much time the design engineer has invested in the profession.
Bauer (’62 B.S. MECH, at left in April 1959 during his Nebraska Engineering studies) is retired and lives in Whidbey Island, Wash. and Chandler, Ariz. He writes: "My engineering degree landed me a job with the Boeing company. I stayed there for my whole career … involved in their aerospace and commercial aviation products, as a manufacturing engineer for 20 years and an operations manager for 15 years.” From engineering and his Nebraska farming experiences, he adds that he developed strong technical and practical disciplines. On the value of engineering in the world, he observes, “Imagine the world without computers, I-phones, B-2 bombers, 787 composite airplanes, the Internet, GPS guided farm equipment, etc.—an engineer was involved in all these.” With an engineering friend, Bauer authored and published The Legacy of District 22, about a one room school in Wayne County, Nebraska: a historical narrative of a German immigrant farming family that sent three generations of their children to the same one-room school in northeastern Nebraska. The book chronicles the contributions 19th and 20th century American farmers made to elementary education.
Pandey ('08 B.S. ELEC)— an electrical engineer at FSC MEP Engineers in Overland Park, Kan.—writes, "I love reverse engineering where I get to start with result and work my way backwards. It's fun."
Kurt RonnekampRonnekamp ('89 B.S. CIVE) is a project manager with Black & Veatch Corp. in Kansas City, Mo. He notes that, as an engineer "every day is different. You are presented with different challenges ... whether it be the type or the phase of a project. It is extremely satisfying to carry a project through from an initial idea or need to the finished, well operating final product."
Higman ('95 B.S. MECH) is president of Masaba Mining Equipment in Vermillion, S.D. He writes, "This country was founded on ingenuity and it will be our ability to create and problem solve that will make us competitive in the world for years to come."
Reznicek ('10 B.S. ELEC) works with UNL’s Raikes School of Computer Science and Management in Lincoln. Last summer, Reznicek was an intern at FG Consulting, a Chinese technology management consulting firm. The experience “greatly shaped my life and I am currently pursuing opportunities in South Korea.” As Raikes’ Design Studio product manager, he finds a common theme across diverse work experiences: “to delight the client, no matter the situation”—with current clients including Microsoft and Nelnet. “Engineers are part of the innovations that drive the world forward,” he says. “That's how engineers like us help the world and why I love being an engineer.”
Barnett, P.E. (’04 B.S. CIVE) is a project engineer with Mid-State Engineering and Testing, Inc. in Columbus and Kearney. Beyond passing the P.E. exam to become a Professional Engineer, he’s proud of the trusting relationships he's earned with architects and contractors across the state. “Juggling numerous projects, each day a new/different type of project arises," he says. "Right now, I’m working on a communication tower, two power poles, numerous grain bin/handling facilities soils rafts, a school addition and a proposed bank building.” Barnett appreciates applying technology in conjunction with his engineering background. “I really enjoy when a client such as a contractor or local person calls with a problem and I am able to advise them to a suitable sensible solution.”
Weiler ('09 B.S. MECH) is a mechanical engineer with Goodyear in Topeka, Kan. He says he enjoys "bringing forward new ideas forward to the company that result in positive results and cost reductions for production.
"I feel fulfilled when I have a new idea that hasn't been brought forward and can create a result that saves the company money," he adds. "The College of Engineering has given me a good education that has provided me the ability to utilize my degree to improve my company as a whole and prepared me to obtain a PE certification."
Johnson (B.S. ELEC 1971) writes, "I'm most proud of the education I received at the University of Nebraska. It allowed me to get an excellent job with a Fortune 100 company and then go on to start my own business. I was able to use my EE education to solve customer problems and build a successful business.
… My engineering education enabled me to solve various problems but it gave me a basis for building a career. I strongly feel that an engineering degree can prepare anyone for any type of career be it law, medicine or business. My engineering education gave me a strong basis for life."