Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 54
a 35-year career at IBM in Poughkeepsie, Boca
Raton, and finally Austin, from where he retired in
2009. (Note to you "kids"-we of '72 were among
the last at RPI who were not offered a major in
computer science.) Rick and his wife, AeRan,
were married following our freshman year; she also
worked for IBM. Enamored of the West Coast by
her trips to Silicon Valley, they retired to Carmel by
the Sea in 2012. Recreational runners both, they
consider themselves fortunate to be able to run by
the Pacific nearly every day. And "because of the
large and growing number of local wineries, we
have become wine enthusiasts."
Last but not least, last fall my wife Bernadette
(Bunny) and I went to south Jersey for the wedding of Erica Kemper, daughter of Chris Kemper
and Robin Block Kemper '79. (The wedding was
actually on the PA side of the Delaware River.)
As is usually the case at Kemper events, we were
joined by Carol and Mark Bensley and Karen and
Jeff Malnick. Jeff was Chris' room/apartment mate
during our undergraduate years; Chris, Ben, and
I were Playhouse denizens. (Actually, Jeff graduated in '72. The rest of us had extra undergraduate
years, although Chris now holds a Ph.D. as well.)
I hope as I write this that our Reunion will be both
great and well-attended. Please send news. -Bob
Dvorak '72; firstname.lastname@example.org
45th Reunion: September 2018 We received a
nice catch-up note from Mike Tackett in February. He writes that he retired from the oil business
in 2016 after 42 years of wandering the globe for
Shell, Superior, Mobil, and finally Exxon oil companies. He now does some consulting work out of
his home in Woodlands, Texas. Mike's two daughters now have four children, making him and Barb
happy grandparents, albeit far from their Memphis
and Washington, D.C., homes.
and Mike T. are chemical engineering grads, by the
way, as I was. We clearly had a great education at
RPI, despite never leaving the Ricketts Building.)
In other news, Dick Lorenz recently retired from
Boeing Co. and is undertaking restoration of an
antique Corvette. He also has painted his house for
the last time (by himself anyway) and is patiently
watching "his neutrons atrophy"...I guess that's
what old aeronautical engineers do.
Also, Mark Schwartz recently moved to Monroe,
N.J., after many years in Manalapan. After 11 years
at Arrow Electronics, Mark moved to Philips Lighting in LED sales last January. His son Brandon is
now an explosive ordnance specialist in the Navy...
we really appreciate what you do for this country,
Brandon; that's a tough job! Mark's daughter Jamie
is a marketing director for an internet sports company, a safer profession.
As always, please check in with Steve Norton, our
Class of '73 webmaster at the rpi73.org site. We'd
love to see your updates! -Gary DiCamillo '73;
Phil Lurie recently co-authored an article on social
selling for SAP. Check it out at http://blog.sellingpower.com/gg/2017/04/three-ways-salespeople-atsap-are-winning-with-social-selling.html.
President Jackson was down our way (Florida in
February...who doesn't want to come!), where I
talked to her about 100% RPI (100% Renewable
Power Infrastructure at RPI) for 2024-our 50th
anniversary and the school's 200th. She pointed
out that RPI needs about $20M to upgrade the
central power plant for the campus before they can
invest in renewable power, so even though Burlington, Vt., is 100% renewable and Governor Cuomo
says NY will be 100% renewable by 2050, RPI will
not be in the lead. As POTUS says, "Sad, so sad."
MIKE ZIMMERMAN '79, a professor at Tufts University, has been leading a
team working on the next-generation lithium-ion battery. This research
was featured early this year in a PBS NOVA episode.
Of historic interest, Mike found his picture in a
book about baseball teams in Ashland, Ky., where
he was a star in Little League through high school.
Mike's most memorable game was a 1-0 victory
his senior year in high school, where his one RBI
allowed them to beat Don Gullet, a future major
leaguer for the Cincinnati Reds.
We also heard from Michael Eckstut, who recently stepped down from leadership of his PE-owned
services firm, which focused on modeling and simulation of improved drug development. At 65-66,
he claims "this is the new 55," and is negotiating for
his next gig. Michael still lives in NJ being an active
participant in the sandwich generation...taking
care of both his parents and kids. (Both Michael
54 RensselaeR/Fall 2017
If anyone has any great ideas to commemorate our
50th Reunion, let me know and I'll put them out
in our class notes and maybe we can get some traction. 2024 is a big opportunity for our class.
National Academy of Engineering and RPI Hall
of Fame member E. Trifon Laskaris received the
Nancy and Roland Fitzroy Medal at the ASME
International Mechanical Congress for his pioneering contributions to the design and construction of superconducting magnets for MRI systems.
His magnets were used in GE's first MRI system
and he has been involved with over 200 patents.
I once wrote about how many of our classmates
have followed a career in music or have pursued
music passionately as a recreation. I learned that
Lee Actor is composer-in-residence for the Palo
Alto Philharmonic and they recently premiered his
latest work, "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra," his 10th commissioned work for them. It is his
first piece featuring a trumpet solo. Previously, Lee
wrote software code.
Just thinking out loud but how about if enough of
our musically inclined classmates got together and
put on a 50th anniversary concert? Any interest out
there? -James C. Wernicke, P.E. '74; wernickejc
I ran into Dave Hebrank (BioMed E.) at a charity color run for The Shattered Canvas held on
the campus of the local community college early
in April. The Shattered Canvas is a recent startup
nonprofit for victims of child sexual abuse, run by
a mutual friend here in Maryland. -David Stark
Jerry McMahon was named president and CEO of
Harpoon Therapeutics, a preclinical-stage biotech
company that is developing novel T-cell recruiting
antibody therapies for treating cancer patients. In
his 25 years of biotechnology leadership and scientific innovation, he has served as president and
CEO of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals; senior VP at
MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca;
and head of two oncology development companies.
In prior roles he was a key player in the development of oncology drugs Sutent and Palladia. -
Michael Mino '76, email@example.com
Jim and I are looking forward to seeing you at
Reunion & Homecoming!
I received a nice update from Jim Brock. "After
15 moves I have decided to retire from Arconic
(Alcoa). I started my career after graduation with
a four-year stint in the Army (ROTC at RPI). I
fondly remember my fellow ROTC cadets Ilsa, Bill,
Val, and Fred and the long hours studying with Jim
Johnston in the Wyck for Doc Savage's tests. The
goal was to beat Joe Strauss on Doc Savage's quizzes-rarely achieved. My wife often watched Fred
and I play lacrosse down the hill from the Wyck.
"I served in Germany and the USMA-West Point
while a member of the Corps of Engineers. After
my military service, Arconic (Alcoa at the time)
sent me to various assignments in Indiana, New
York, and lastly Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way
I picked up my M.S. at that engineering school in
"During my 36-year Arconic career I picked up a
handful of patents, an Arthur Vining Davis award,
and an Impact award for various projects. My last
assignment has been providing support for Arconic's global Casthouse system, and my travels have
taken me to such garden spots as Russia, Saudi
Arabia, Korea, Brazil, and Australia. This has kept
me on the road 70 percent of the time.