Recognizing Career Accomplishments, Service to Others

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Collage of photos of the award winners.

The Alumni Association annually recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and students for their career accomplishments, community service and support of Rose-Hulman.

Ten alumni will join members of the faculty, staff and student body in receiving 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards from the Rose-Hulman Alumni Association for their considerable contributions to their professions, communities, alma mater and institute. The winners will be presented with their awards at a to-be-determined date.

This year’s award winners by category are:

Honor Alumni Awards

The Alumni Association’s highest alumni award recognizes exceptional achievement in any career field, vocational and service to society.

George Rodibaugh: The 1973 mechanical engineering alumnus used his skills as an engineer, designer, and problem solver to make distinguished contributions to General Motors and, later, Xerox. With GM, he assisted in the design of several well-known automobiles, including the Camaro and Firebird. At Xerox, Rodibaugh oversaw engineers and facilities throughout the world. He managed the turnaround of four Xerox international facilities from the brink of closure. He lives in Rochester, N.Y., where he is active in his church, a former baseball and basketball coach, and a member of the Rochester International Business Council.

Michael McEvoy: A computer science degree in 1975 paved the way for him to assist in the development of groundbreaking advances in technology. With Motorola, he helped develop the first generation of cellular phones. At Adobe, McEvoy led the engineering efforts for all imaging and video products, including Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects. He also has been an executive and founder of innovative startups in the Internet of Things, Blockchain, messaging and enterprise software spaces. Now, he’s creating a new generation of eCommerce marketplace solutions as co-founder and chief operating officer of Shoptype.

Career Achievement Award

This honor highlights alumni whose professional achievements have brought distinction to themselves, credit to Rose-Hulman and benefit their communities.

Rick Henthorn: A bioengineering degree in 1973 started a career as a pioneer in the specialty medical field of cardiac electrophysiology. Along the way, he has contributed to the health of the people of his community and the world through his medical practice and published medical research. Henthorn established the first laboratory dedicated to cardiac electrophysiology at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since leaving academic medicine, he has been devoted to practicing patient-centered medicine and has been named one of the region’s top physicians on several occasions. Henthorn earned a medical degree from The Ohio State University and followed with research and faculty positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Cincinnati.

Kevin Rees: As chief of the maintenance airworthiness engineering division for the systems readiness directorate within the U.S. Army’s combat capabilities development command, the 1981 mechanical engineering alumnus is responsible for coordinating all maintenance and sustainment engineering support efforts for military helicopter operations worldwide. This puts him in charge of approximately 125 engineers and an annual operating budget of more than $30 million. Rees has received the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Superior Civilian Medal and Bronze Order of Saint Michael Medal for outstanding service to Army aviation. He also has founded Rees Engineering, which conducts engineering inspections for residential and commercial clients, about half of whom were victims of Hurricane Harvey. Services to these persons have been provided free.

Gregory “Chip” Stein: The 1987 mechanical engineering alumnus is the managing principal for Tank Industry Consultants, a nationally accomplished company specializing in storage tank design, maintenance and inspection. He also oversees American Water Works Association standards for steel and composite water tanks, is a member of the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association’s board of directors and a principal member of the National Fire Protection Association. Living in Carmel, Ind., Stein is involved in the Dad’s Club and has promoted training for local youth football coaches in areas concerning concussion and heat illness prevention, and proper equipment fitting and tackling technique.

David Urbanek: Has recently become executive vice president of manufacturing and quality operations with Elanco after spending 18 years in a variety of roles with Eli Lilly and Company. This has had the 1988 mechanical engineering alumnus spending time throughout the world. He was Lilly’s senior director of emerging markets manufacturing, senior director of global diabetes manufacturing and senior director of the external drug products operations. Urbanek also was general manager of the company’s production operations in Ireland, England, and Germany.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Alumni are recognized for achieving significant success within their first 10 years after graduation in the areas of career accomplishments, community service and dedication to Rose-Hulman.

Chad Conway: The 2012 mechanical engineering alumnus specializes in leading-edge sustainability products. As co-founder and director of product development with Span in San Francisco, he’s bringing software-optimized electrical hardware to make solar, electric vehicle charging and home batteries more affordable. This came after Conway led product management with Tesla Energy, including the successful launch of the innovative company’s Powerwall residential home battery. He also leads Rose-Hulman’s alumni network in the San Francisco area.

Thomas Foulkes: Ready for his next adventure, the 2015 electrical engineering alumnus earned a doctorate earlier this year from the University of Illinois, as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Siebel Scholar for Energy. His research explored directed cooling techniques and multilevel capacitor-dominated topologies to enable transformative increases in the volumetric density of power electronics for electric vehicles. Foulkes also seeks to tackle problems related to the sustainable design of large electrical systems, such as the U.S. power grid. He has been exploring the commercialization of advanced technology through VentureWell and NSF I-Corps programs and looks forward to tackling problems related to the sustainable design of large electrical systems, such as the U.S. power grid.

Michael Schoumacher: As a product quality engineer, he supervises Cummins’ signature 15-liter engine product line. The 2010 mechanical engineering graduate is using his engineering, problem-solving and business skills to help become a community leader in Columbus, Ind., where he lives with his family, which includes his wife, Denise, a 2010 alumna. He was a city council candidate last year. At Rose-Hulman, Schoumacher earned all-conference honors as a tennis player, becoming the first RHIT men’s varsity player to win more than 100 matches during his collegiate career.

Benjamin Seibert: Computer engineering and physics degrees in 2010 have led him to make innovations in small satellite autonomy technology as chief engineer for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M. In this role, he oversees more than 100 engineers throughout the U.S. conducting $300 million in projects that are revolutionizing the National Security Space Architecture. Seibert also has led a nine-nation allied and commercial satellite partnership that hopes to strengthen public-private space collaboration and enhance combined space capabilities.

Honorary Alumni Awards

A faculty and staff member is recognized annually for demonstrating strong and selfless commitment to the institute and its students and alumni, along with professional achievement and dedication to the betterment of their departments.

Diane Evans: The professor of engineering management brings such subjects as probability, statistics, mathematics and Six Sigma to life for her students with hands-on learning. She also has pioneered online math and statistics instruction, loves making subject material tangible for her students and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. One of her favorite quotes is “Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” That’s why Evans has been named one of the nation’s Best 300 Professors by The Princeton Review and earned Rose-Hulman Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Away from Rose-Hulman, she has been an academic consultant for Minitab, a leading provider of quality improvement and statistics software and services.

Mike Fulk: As machine shop and engine lab technician for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he shares his hands-on knowledge and experience with students and faculty. He also has provided technical expertise on a variety of student projects and competition teams since joining the Rose-Hulman staff in 1982. Numerous alumni, faculty, and staff showed their gratitude to Fulk by nominating him for this year’s award.

Rachel M. Romas Student Award

An outstanding member of the Student Alumni Association is honored annually for exhibiting excellence in academics and character while demonstrating a strong commitment to Rose-Hulman initiatives and having the promise for post-college success.

Seiji Takagi: Stating that the senior mathematics major from Hastings on Hudson, N.Y., has been active in the campus community during his Rose-Hulman career would be quite an understatement. Among his many activities include being former secretary and treasurer of the Student Alumni Association, treasurer of the Student Government Association, vice president of the Society of Asian Scientists and an officer in the Computer Security Club and Rose-Hulman Hackers student organizations. Takagi also has been a supervisor of the Ask Rose homework helpline, co-chair of the Career Fair Team and participated in several campus and community service projects.