Meet a few of our notable alumni, who have made significant contributions to the field of mechanical engineering and our local, national and international communities.
Paul Anderson is known for returning struggling corporations to profitability, including Duke Energy and BHP Billiton. Under his leadership, BHP Billiton achieved the largest increase in market capitalization of any public company and is today the largest resources company in the world. A thoughtful and strategic leader, he also mentored numerous executives who became CEOs in their own right.
Despite its name, black carbon — the dark component of smoke — is largely invisible in global climate change models. The lack of standardized measurement tools, in addition to black carbon’s numerous sources — including the burning of fossil fuels in diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and home heating and cooking — have made it hard for scientists to measure black carbon emissions and their impact on the environment. Through her pioneering efforts to develop a framework for more accurate analysis, Tami Bond’s work led to the conclusion that black carbon is one of the most significant contributors to manmade climate change, second only to carbon dioxide.
As the founder of multiple successful companies in the Seattle area, Ron Crockett is known for his undeniable business acumen. But some of his most remarkable contributions extend beyond the business world, as illustrated by his service to the University of Washington, advocacy for higher education and volunteer leadership.
Allen D. Israel
Allen D. Israel is a senior principal at the law firm of Foster Garvey PC, where he has practiced law for over 40 years, primarily in business, and mergers and acquisitions. He has represented clients in a wide variety of endeavors in many industries, including non-profits. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and other publications, including being named Best Lawyers M&A "Lawyer of the Year" in Seattle in 2013.
For Peter Janicki, innovation is the key to entrepreneurial success. His pioneering work in composite tooling has enabled significant transformations in the aerospace, wind energy and transportation industries. More recently, his dedication to solving the global sanitary water crisis spurred the development of the Omni Processor, a game-changing technology with potential to provide clean water and sanitation solutions to a third of the world’s population. His goal is for people to become entrepreneurs and make money processing human waste. In his words, “If they are making money, it should scale to every corner of the earth.”
Sally Jewell has served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior (2013-16) and as president and CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the nation’s largest consumer cooperative. She began her career as an engineer at Mobil Oil Corp, then returned to Washington State and worked in the banking industry for 19 years. She has received numerous awards for her civic involvement and has served on the UW Board of Regents from 2002 through her Secretary of the Interior appointment. She was also acknowledged by the UW with the Alumna Summa Laude Dignata (ASLD) award, the highest award the UW can bestow upon a graduate.
During a turbulent time in the Middle East, Frank Jungers was an influential figure in board rooms, in halls of government and, occasionally, on the media circuit. Having ascended the ranks at the petroleum giant Arabian-American Oil Company (now Saudi Aramco), Frank served as a delegate, spokesperson and decision-maker during negotiations for the transfer of Aramco ownership from the U.S. to Saudi Arabian government.
MSME ’52, ME Professor Emeritus
Albert Kobayashi is a world renowned expert in the fields of fracture mechanics, experimental stress analysis, and finite element analysis. His research has impacted the aerospace industry, the construction industry and healthcare. He is well-known internationally for his innovative "hybrid experimental and numerical method" for solving engineering problems. He has consulted with the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Propellant Laboratory and Boeing on issues of structural mechanics.
Chumpol Na Lamlieng
Chumpol Na Lamlieng built a 30-year career at Siam Cement Public Co., Ltd., the largest industrial conglomerate in Thailand. In the 13 years he spent as President, he restructured the company and renewed profitability after the Asian currency crisis of the late 1990s. He also served as Chairman and Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) from 2003 until 2011.
MSME ’54, ME Professor Emeritus
James Morrison was raised in Virginia and received a BSME from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1943. He joined the US Army Air Force immediately after graduation and during World War II served as a B-29 flight engineer, receiving a Purple Heart for his valor and bravery. After the war he visited the UW campus, intending to pursue graduate study, but instead was immediately hired as an instructor. He pursued his graduate degree while teaching undergraduate engineering courses. As part of his research activities Jim developed the "Morrison Seal," which today is widely used to seal underwater cables and connectors. During his 36-year academic career Morrison was an inspirational and beloved teacher to multiple generations of students. In 2004 one of his former students, Henry Schatz (BSME ’64), endowed the Morrison Undergraduate Scholarship Fund and the Morrison Chair in Mechanical Engineering, both of which were named in Jim's honor.
Ph.D. ’08, MSME ’02
Krishna Nadella co-founded MicroGREEN Polymer, Inc. when he was a master’s student in ME. MicroGREEN commercialized patented microcellular plastics technology owned by the University of Washington. MicroGREEN's Ad-air technology created long-lasting plastics that can be recycled many times while remaining durable and strong. Through MicroGREEN, Nadella led a revolution in improving the recovery and recycling of plastics.
Donald Petersen capped a 41-year career at Ford Motor Company by becoming President in 1980 and Chairman and CEO from 1985 to 1990. He gained international recognition by focusing on quality and teamwork to lead the company through a spectacular turnaround. His achievements and management style won international recognition, and Chief Executive magazine honored him as “CEO of the Year” in 1989. Petersen served on the boards of several major corporations including The Boeing Company, Hewlett-Packard, and Dow Jones Co., and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He also authored a best-selling book, A Better Idea: Refining the Way Americans Work.
Billy Price co-founded BILLY Footwear, a company inspired by Price’s own experience with mobility impairment to create mainstream shoes that are functional, fashionable and inclusive for everyone.
Wayne Quinton, founder of Quinton Instrument Company, was a visionary pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering. His inventions include the lightweight cardiac treadmill, the oxygenator for the first open-heart surgery in the Pacific Northwest, and the cannula system that enabled long-term kidney dialysis. He is recognized as the world's first bioengineer and is widely credited with coining the term “bioengineer.” He received the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus (ASLD) award, the highest honor that the UW can confer upon a graduate, in 2009.
Frank Robinson was nine years old when a photo of Igor Sikorsky taking off in a helicopter sparked the dreams for his life’s work. Early in his career he held design and engineering jobs at six helicopter companies, including Cessna, Bell, and Hughes. Unable to get backing for his idea to build a low-cost civilian helicopter, in 1973 he established his own firm in Southern California, Robinson Helicopter Company. After his two-seat R22 went into production it became the top-selling civilian helicopter for individuals and flight schools. Police agencies, TV stations, and diverse commercial enterprises operate the four-seat R44. Robinson Helicopter Company now employs 1200 people and for two decades has held top ranking as the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial helicopters, earning Robinson recognition as "the Henry Ford of helicopters." His honors include the Howard Hughes Memorial Award and induction as a Hall of Fame "Legend" by Aviation Week & Space Technology.
As director of technical services and later executive director for King County Metro, Richard “Dick” Sandaas oversaw more than $2 billion in public infrastructure projects. Nationwide, mobility-impaired bus riders enjoy safe, reliable transportation due to curbside wheelchair lifts developed in Seattle, and Sandaas led the development and implementation of this technology. His professional and personal achievements have benefited the nation’s disabled, the regional environment and its transportation system, and the public works construction industry.
After graduating from the ME department, Henry Schatz spent four years with the FMC Corporation at its Central Engineering Laboratory in San Jose, California. He returned to the Northwest in 1968 when he joined General Plastics Manufacturing Company in Tacoma as a project engineer. He quickly rose to Vice President in 1971 and has served General Plastics as President since 1987. Henry is deeply committed to undergraduate education, exemplified in his support of the Schatz Endowed Scholarship and the James B. Morrison Scholarship Fund.
Throughout his 30-year career at The Boeing Company and in his service leading the United States Department of Defense, Patrick Shanahan has applied his problem-solving acumen to drive results. As a University of Washington alum, Pat brings those skills back to the University and other engineering organizations (including ASME, NAE, SME and RAS), supporting current engineering students and fostering a culture of excellence in education.
James “Jim” Skaggs
With almost 50 years of experience in corporate leadership, Jim Skaggs has made an impact in industries ranging from electronics and heavy equipment to drug development and space programs. To each of his roles, he has brought a tireless work ethic, negotiation skills and an ability to motivate teams to reach their full potential. Jim has applied his problem-solving acumen, honed in his mechanical engineering education, to help failing companies reverse course and achieve major successes, and to work with start-up companies and make a difference in his community and the world.
Paul Skoglund’s ingenious valve technology has advanced commercial industries. In oil and gas, his valves operate above and below water at high pressures. He developed a pressure-independent valve of huge practical value in one industry. With vision and drive, he took that same solution and applied it to a range of business markets. Today, his products have contributed to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, promoted energy conservation and improved the safety and efficiency of the oil industry.
Savio Woo received an honorary gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics for his work in sports medicine. A bioengineering pioneer, he did landmark research on the biomechanics of the knee and healing of ligament injuries. Woo directs the University of Pittsburg Musculoskeletal Research Center. He is the rare scientist who is a member of both the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.
BSME ’85, MBA ’05
Beverly Wyse led several of Boeing’s largest and most pioneering programs over three decades, combining business acumen with technical capability.