Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 46
architecture+, an architecture and planning firm in Troy, received an Honor Award for Historic Preservation from the Eastern New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
for the $7.4 million rehabilitation of the grand staircase that leads to the State Museum at
Albany's Empire State Plaza.
During the project, which was undertaken primarily to replace the original waterproofing
system, all of the granite steps were removed and reinstalled as a drainable rainscreen. New
stainless steel trench drains and stainless steel step lighting housings with LED light fixtures
were designed and custom fabricated for the project.
"This was a challenging and rewarding project for our firm," says Michael Bergen '82, principal and one of a dozen Rensselaer graduates who work at architecture+. "The opportunity to
work at such a prominent regional landmark was an honor."
a DVD on the European Union, World Trade,
GEO Politics of Oil, Latin America, and Nuclear
Security. The course stimulates your mind and
expands your interest!
David McCullough, the superb historical writer,
just published a book of his speeches titled The
American Spirit. After he wrote The Great Bridge in
1972, he spoke at Rensselaer about the Roeblings,
the Brooklyn Bridge, and his research at RPI. In
our library, he found letters and papers bound in
shoelace that were instrumental in his researching the background of Washington Roebling (CE
1857) and his family. The book is the dramatic story of building the longest suspension bridge at that
time. It is a tale of greed, corruption, obstruction,
optimism, heroism, and determination. His wife,
Emily Warren Roebling, received acclaim years
later for her enormous contribution to building the
bridge after her husband became incapacitated.
The book is a great read. Try it!
Dustin Hoffman, in the movie The Graduate, was
advised to seek his fortune in plastics. Many of us
have been associated with this field. In a documentary movie, A Plastic Ocean, the indestructibility
of many plastics was highlighted. Probably, we as
engineers over-designed the plastics field as it is
now choking our fish and waterways (unintended
46 RensselaeR/Fall 2017
consequences). An excellent movie recommended
for children and adults (see it on YouTube).
I volunteered to write our alumni column 29 years
ago in 1988. I have written over 110 columns and
included hundreds of our fellow graduates. We
have lived with an amazing number of presidents
from Roosevelt to Trump. Can you suggest any
good history books that cover our era?
Please send any comments on life, business, school,
family, culture, books, movies, or any interests, etc.
-Arthur Goldstein '53; email@example.com
Hal Schindler let us know earlier this year that
he was sad to report the passing of his roommate
Raymond E. Ruf on Jan. 16, 2017. Ray was founding partner and past president, DMR Associates, a
past president of ASHRAE, and a U.S. Air Force
Andy Pouring sent the following interesting note:
As time marches on I feel I must apologize to our
classmates for having so little time to attend Class
of '54 functions; my excuse is I am still working full
time and a half. After receiving my BME, serving for 2-1/2 years active duty in the Med (was
NROTC), marrying a wonderful Barcelona lady,
teaching at RPI as an instructor, teaching at Yale
as a lecturer, and leaving the U.S. Naval Academy as full professor and department chairman in
1980, I co-founded the company which became
Sonex Research. If you happened to see the movie
Captain Philips, you saw the ScanEagle drone
with our unique engine in it that saved his life
and countless others in Afghanistan, at sea, and
other places. That engine and its larger brother
in the Blackjack, the only ones allowed on Navy
ships due to burning "heavy navy fuels," enabled
Insitu to be acquired by Boeing (with whom we are
still working) and grow from a five-man company
with revenue of $1 million to an 800-man company with a valuation of over $2 billion. This year,
I received two U.S. patents updating that engine
design for use in natural gas engines that provide
compression for the nation's pipelines; these two
patents form the intellectual backbone of the second company I help found: Radical Combustion
Technologies, whose CEO is a former student of
mine. I am still active with RCT in their struggle
for raising funding. Wishing all fair seas going forward.
Bob Albern and his wife moved into a retirement
community in Middlebury, Vt., last August. Says
they are almost used to it now. Not as much contact with RPI as they had from Kinderhook, N.Y.
Bob particularly misses the plant tours that the
RPI Hudson-Mohawk alumni retirees arranged.
He would see Steve Ruggles regularly then. -Bob
Meyers '54; firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Beswick recently had his hip replaced. A
former RPI varsity diver, he is looking forward to
getting back to swimming and diving in his backyard pool. When we spoke he was planning a summer visit to Kauai. "We've been to all the Hawaiian
Islands, but when we got to Kauai we stopped visiting the others." Keith also visits his son in Denver
and spends time tutoring a grandson in advanced
algebra and calculus. How many of us still remember calculus?
Ron Byer lives on the New Jersey shore and in past
years was an active sailor and deep sea fisherman.
"I had a 24-foot keelboat, but now I'm out of the
boating business." He is now getting back into sailing, helping his two grandsons learn offshore racing. The grandkids are also getting him back into
downhill skiing after several years, despite his two
knee replacements. Ron and Winnie have traveled
very widely in the past, but "I stopped doing most
anything. The world doesn't look so nice. You can't
tell what's going to happen." From time to time Ron
meets for lunch with Bill Highleyman.
Sam Colvin retired as a manager at Kodak in 1992
after a 37-year career building plants and facilities.
"I wasn't ready. I had nine job offers, but I waited.
After a year I saw no reason to continue working
and promised myself I wouldn't do anything for
money." Since then he has made very good use of
his time, working on volunteer projects and serving for 25 years as president of the Bay Betterment