2012 Golden Terp Engineers
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At the May 2012 commencement, the Clark School celebrated Golden Terp Engineers from the classes of 1962, 1957, 1952, and so on, including an alum from the Class of 1942. Read about their accomplishments, and view event photos below.
Golden Terps who processed at commencement (L-R): Dean Darryll Pines; Oliver Clemons, B.S. ’62 Civil Engineering; Ralph Welsh, B.S. ’62, M.S ’82 Mechanical Engineering; Helmut Guenschel, B.S. ’62 Civil Engineering; Gary Guardia, B.S. ’62, M.S ’64 Civil Engineering; Gordon Ward, B.S. ’62 Civil Engineering; Louis Weckesser, B.S. ’52, M.S ’56 Mechanical Engineering; Randall Cronin, B.S. ’47 Civil Engineering; Richard Meininger, B.S. ’62, M.S ’64 Civil Engineering; Thomas Li, B.S. ’57 Electrical Engineering; Ernest Peterson, B.S. ’42 Chemical Engineering; John Stuntz, B.S. ’47, MS ’50 Electrical Engineering.
Mouse over thumbnail images to enlarge. All photos by Al Santos.
Ernest Peterson, B.S. ’42, Chemical Engineering Mr. Peterson joined Standard Oil Company of New Jersey at their Baltimore refinery in 1943, and was drafted in 1945. Engineers were given their choice of service and he joined an Air Transport Command. After his tour of duty, he returned to Standard Oil Company, where he worked until 1982. He held various supervisory and management positions and was stationed in Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Ascension Island and Antwerp, Belgium. One of his projects involved hydroponics—growing plants in nutrient solution. He is one of seven alumni who majored in chemical engineering in ’42. Mr. Peterson resides in Weehawken, N.J., and was accompanied by his daughter, Julia Peterson.
Randall Cronin, B.S. ’47, Civil Engineering Mr. Cronin left the university in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers in France and Germany, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel by the end of the war. He retired from the Army Reserve as a Colonel. He returned to Maryland in 1946 to complete his studies, and married his college sweetheart, Adeline Mosberg. His career from 1947-1960 included work with the American Bridge Company and the J.E. Greiner Company, designing and supervising construction of roads and bridges, including the Ohio Turnpike. During this period he earned his M.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He worked on the Gemini space program with the Martin Company before joining the Portland Cement Association (PCA) in 1963 as a structural engineer. He was promoted to District Engineer for Pennsylvania and New Jersey and then to senior regional structural engineer for the Northeast. During this period he served as secretary/treasurer and as president of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), and as general chairman of the ACI National Convention in Philadelphia in 1976. He is a Fellow in American Society of Civil Engineers and ACI and is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers. After retiring from PCA in 1986, he was a concrete consultant until full retirement in 1999. He resides in Lansdale, Penn., and was accompanied by his grandson, Randy Cronin.
Jack Kay, B.S. ’47, Civil Engineering Jack Kay went into the construction business, developing land and building thousands of houses and apartment projects in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Fairfax counties. His success led him to found the Kay Management Company, Inc., to manage the projects he built and acquired throughout the region. As his company’s chairman of the board, he manages approximately 12,000 units throughout the region. A former president of the Suburban Maryland Home Builders Association and board member at three national banks, Mr. Kay has been a tireless supporter of local, national and international organizations and charities, including building a hospice at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He has served on the boards of more than 20 organizations, including the Y.M.C.A., the Jewish Council for the Aging and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and has been honored by many of them for his philanthropic and leadership support. He supports the Banneker Key Scholarship, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with the Ina and Jack Kay Theatre, and the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies. He resides in Chevy Chase, Md., and was accompanied by his wife, Barbara.
Merrick “Bud” Stewart, B.S. ’47, Mechanical Engineering Mr. Stewart continued his education in night school and obtained a degree as an electronic engineer from George Washington University in 1957. He continued his education in Advanced Control Systems at Florida University and finally at UCLA. Mr. Stewart spent 25 years in the aerospace industry as an electromechanical engineer and analyst in the advanced system departments of many aerospace companies that included John Hopkins Applied Physic Laboratory, the Martin Company and Douglas Aircraft Company. He spent another 20 years in the government before his retirement in 1991. He resides in Gaithersburg, Md., and was accompanied by his son, Gregory Stewart, who earned his B.S. in 1988 in civil engineering.
John Stuntz, B.S. ’47 and M.S. ’50, Electrical Engineering Mr. Stuntz earned his degrees after returning from Navy submarine service in WWII. During his 31-year career with the Westinghouse Electronic Systems Center near BWI Airport, he served as development engineer, manager of systems development and as a senior executive. He had lead roles in the creation of the first side-looking ground mapping radar, the TV camera that broadcast the Apollo moon landings, and the AWACS track-while-scan radar that commands the skies in the world’s trouble spots. He was the first chairman Clark School’s Board of Visitors, which helped then Dean George Dieter start the school on its dramatic growth in excellence. His honors included Tau Beta Pi and ODK as an undergrad and, in 1974, he was selected for the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award. Mr. Stuntz was also an outstanding thespian at UMD, receiving the Hale Award at graduation. But most important, he met his wife-to-be, the lovely Sandy Johnson, back-stage in his first play after returning from the Navy. Together, they sailed the Chesapeake and many thousands of blue water miles during his retirement years. Sandy passed away last year, but John still lives in their 50-year home by the bay in Annapolis.
Gordon Ward, B.S. ’52, Civil Engineering Mr. Ward was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He served as an aircraft controller and later as the assistant base engineer in the construction of a new airbase in Niagara Falls. He remained in the Air Force Reserves, ultimately serving as a liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy. He worked as a senior design engineer at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission then worked with the U.S. Weather Bureau as a hydraulic engineer developing flood forecasting procedures. He went into private practice as a registered professional engineer doing work for builders, developers, WSSC, county and state governments. He resides in Silver Spring, Md., and was accompanied by his wife, Anita Wilson Ward, who earned her B.S. in ’56 in education. They have four children, two of whom graduated from UMD. The Wards also have three granddaughters.
Louis Weckesser, B.S. ’52 and M.S. ’56, Mechanical Engineering At 18, Mr. Weckesser graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served for two years. After earning his B.S., he went to work at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he worked for 40 years. He resides in Ellicott City and was accompanied by his wife, Alphia, and their daughter, Carol Messerly, who earned her B.S. in 1981 in recreation. Mr. and Mrs. Weckesser have been married for more than 60 years. They have three daughters, three granddaughters and a great-grandson.
William Bowles, B.S. ’57, Civil Engineering Mr. Bowles’s first professional position was with Thieblot Aircraft as a stress engineer. Afterwards, he began a long career in the federal government designing earth dams, spillways, flood control structures, concrete and steel buildings and building components, roads, bridges and other appurtenances. He also worked as a project manager for Planning Medical Facilities for two years, followed by 11 years in building code enforcement. Finally, he was a senior structural engineer for 17 years at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He did some post graduate study at the University of Maryland and at Catholic University and earned two P.E. licenses, which he used in the last 16 years in private practice as a self-employed civil/structural professional Engineer. He resides in Rockville, Md., with his wife, Mary. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Thomas Li, B.S. ’57, Electrical Engineering Mr. Li worked at Bendix Corporation and Vitro Electronics for several years, and made a tour into the Army fulfilling his draft requirement. In 1963, he co-founded Astro Communications Laboratories in Gaithersburg with four other engineers, designing VHF and UHF receiving equipment for the U.S. Armed Forces. He left the company in 1973 as general manager and co-founded Biotech Research Laboratories, Inc., with a virologist friend, producing eight different types of viral diagnostic kits. He retired as CEO of the company in 1992 and currently resides in Silver Spring, Md. He has three children, all of whom graduated from UMD.
Joseph Reyes, B.S. ’57, Electrical Engineering Mr. Reyes served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. He also was R&D program manager for General Precision, Inc., directing engineering activities for the space field, and senior engineer at Westinghouse Corporation. In 1989, he founded Orion Enterprises and serves as its president. Mr. Reyes has served as a board member of several organizations including the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, Wolf Trap Foundation, National Capital Revitalization Corporation, Arion Transportation Systems, Inc., and Hemisphere National Bank, and is a member of the Clark School Board of Visitors. He was twice named Hispanic Businessman of the Year and received the Hector Barreto, Sr. Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Reyes and his wife, Frances, reside in Potomac, Md., and have eight children and more than 20 grandchildren.
Oliver Clemons, B.S. ’62, Civil Engineering Mr. Clemons first achieved registration as a Professional Engineer in Maryland in 1969 and is also registered in eight other states. He received his MBA degree from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1973. He is a Fellow and life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a life member of both the Society of American Military Engineers and the Maryland Association of Engineers. Since graduating from UMD, Mr. Clemons has designed numerous transportation-related projects in 16 states, as well as in Germany and Pakistan. He resides in Timonium, Md., and was accompanied by his wife, Dee, and their son, Oliver Clemons III.
Gerard “Jerry” Dunnigan, B.S. ’62 and M.S. ’69, Electrical Engineering Mr. Dunnigan earned his degrees after serving in the U.S. Air Force. In 1962 he joined the Westinghouse Electric Defense Center in Baltimore as a design engineer. He designed and then managed, from 1962-1987, the engineering development of analog and digital signal processors for airborne and ground based radars for the U.S. Air Force and Navy and Sonar Torpedo Tracking Systems. In 1969, he achieved the highest professional technical position at Westinghouse, "Fellow Engineer." He also was an instructor of digital signal processing from 1970-1980 at the Westinghouse School for Applied Engineering Science. From 1987-1995 he was program manager for the B1-B Bomber Terrain Following and Mapping Radar and the F-16C/D Airborne Fire Control Radar System. In 1996, Northrop Grumman bought the Westinghouse Defense Center and named it Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems. He retired in 2005 as a director level executive for the development and production of the F/A-22 Agile Beam Fire Control Radar Systems with profit and loss responsibility for $250 million of annual sales. He was also a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Maryland from 1968-2009. Mr. Dunnigan resides in Elkridge, Md., and has been married to his wife, Gerry, for 50 years. They have three children and eight grandchildren.
Gary Guardia, B.S. ’62 and M.S. ’64, Civil Engineering In 1961, IBM provided a computer to the College of Engineering and Dean Looney offered a senior elective course to apply computer power to engineering problems. This course captured Gary’s interest and set the arc of his future professional activities. Computer science as a degree program did not exist at the time, so he went on to earn his M.S., minoring in math, and spent many hours in the computer lab. In 1965, he started a 23-year career with Control Data Corporation. He leveraged his ability to speak “engineering” and “computer” to advance the application of computer technology to science and engineering problems. As vice president of professional services he was responsible for the applications and technical resources supporting a wide spectrum of modern high-performance computation. In 1988, he became president and COO of a startup company that created software to optimize computer programs for the emerging multiprocessor computer market. The company prospered and assembled a world-class team of computer scientists. In 2001, Intel Corporation bought the company to complement their major advances in high-performance computational engines. Now retired, Mr. Guardia is a mentor to startup companies and enjoys gardening and traveling with his wife, Deb. They reside in Champaign, Ill.
Helmut Guenschel, B.S. ’62, Civil Engineering Mr. Guenschel refers to his life in America as his “Great American Adventure.” He arrived by boat after a 10-day trip across the Atlantic bringing with him the skills of a woodworker and cabinetmaker, but no high school diploma. It took night school “English for Foreigners” along with math and chemistry in order for him to qualify for engineering studies at UMD at age 26. He graduated just before his 30th birthday, was already married and a father of a one-year-old daughter. In a few weeks Helmut will be 80. He looks back at his golden wedding anniversary, the families of his two daughters and six grandchildren, his work for a Baltimore company as an engineer in under water excavation for water ways and harbors in America, Europe and Africa, and the founding of his own company more than 40 years ago specializing in the design and manufacturing of conservation level exhibit and storage cases backed by his U.S. patent, including the case that houses the bust of Glenn. L. Martin in Martin Hall. He resides in Baltimore, Md. with his wife, Leni, and was accompanied by their granddaughter, Julia Younkins.
Robert Lubbert, B.S. ’62. Civil Engineering Mr. Lubbert earned his MBA from Frostburg University in 1975. For 10 years, he was employed as a civil engineer with the U.S. Forest Service at various locations including Washington, D.C., California, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He retired in 2007 after 36 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a civil, environmental and structural engineer. At retirement in Washington, D.C., he was the national program manager for the Formerly Used Defense Sites, which is a major $260 million Environmental Restoration Program. He was employed through October 2011 as a P.E. advisor engineering consultant with Concurrent Technologies Corporation in Johnstown, Penn. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Maryland and West Virginia, a life member of ASCE and U.S. Sail & Power Squadrons. He resides in Crownsville, Md., and was accompanied by his wife, Charlotte Creamer Lubbert, who earned her B.A. in 1964 in education. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in February, and both of their children graduated from UMD.
Richard Meininger, B.S. ’62 and M.S. ’64, Civil Engineering Mr. Meininger is a founding member of the Chi Epsilon Chapter at UMD and a member of Tau Beta Pi. He is a research civil engineer at the Federal Highway Administration, Turner-Fairbank-Highway Research Center in McLean, Va. From late nighters as a “Lab Rat” at UMD in the 1960s, to engineering for national concrete and aggregates associations, and the Arizona DOT, and on to consulting and research at the Federal Highway Administration, he built on his education at Maryland and the enthusiasm for construction materials instilled by civil engineering professors Wedding, Barber and Lepper. He enjoys researching concrete and asphalt pavements and influencing innovation and quality in concrete structures, and has organized numerous “Short Courses” over the years for industry and government at universities around the country, including many at Stamp Union and University College. He is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the American Society of Testing and Materials. Mr. Meininger resides in Columbia, Md., and was accompanied by his wife, Cynthia Heisler Meininger, who earned her B.A. in 1962 in English. They have three children and 10 grandchildren.
Ralph Welsh, B.S. ’62 and M.S. ’82, Mechanical Engineering Mr. Welsh joined NASA in 1962 and retired from the agency after a career of 43 years. He designed, tested and launched sounding rocket payloads for earth and space science research and worked on the design and development of the International Space Station. He also worked as an instrument manager developing state-of-the-art satellite instruments used for weather and climate forecasting. He resides in Bowie, Md. with his wife, Carolyn.