2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards

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May 12, 2016 

Eight Spartan Engineering alumni honored for their significant accomplishments 

The Annual Michigan State University College of Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet honored a third grade teacher from Midland and a group of eight distinguished alumni whose significant accomplishments reflect positively on Michigan State University and the College of Engineering. 

The alumni were recognized at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on May 7. 

Receiving the 2016 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award was Martin C. Hawley (BS ’61, PhD ’64, chemical engineering). The award is the highest honor presented to a graduate by the college. It recognizes professional accomplishment, volunteer service, and distinguished service to the college and the engineering profession.Martin Hawley (BS '61, PhD '64) has taught at MSU for 40 years to about 90 percent of the living MSU undergraduate CHEMS students.

Hawley, of East Lansing, is a professor and recent past chairperson of the MSU Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CHEMS). He is currently senior associate to the dean of engineering and director of the MSU Composite Vehicle Research Center. During 2010-2012 he was also director of MSU’s Office of Sponsored Pro­grams. Earlier, he was co-director of the MSU Composites Center—a National Science Foundation, State of Michigan, and industry-supported center—for 10 years. 

He teaches, directs research, publishes, and consults with industry and government in the areas of chemical kinetics, transport phenomena, enzyme separations, chemical reactor design, process design, materials processing, applied mathematics, computer simu­lation, economics, and optimization. 

He has taught the senior capstone process design courses at MSU for more than 40 years to about 90 percent of the living MSU undergraduate CHEMS students.  The success of his students is unsurpassed with 46 MSU stu­dents receiving national contest awards in the annual AIChE Student Contest Problem. 

He holds six patents and has published more than 200 articles and books. Of his 22 graduating PhD students, five are noted faculty members at various universities. 

Hawley also offered the keynote address at the College of Engineering Commencement services on Sunday, May 8, at the Breslin Center. The ceremony honored more than 600 spring and summer undergraduate graduates. 

Dean Leo Kempel (left) congratulates the 2016 College of Engineering Alumni Award recipients. They are John Larkin, Rachel Hutter, Bruce Anderson, Dianna Dickie Cody, Anthony Messina, Joseph Sopko, Mary Anne Forgach, Qian Huang, and Martin Hawley.


Seven other alumni received departmental honors and the Green Apple Teaching Award was presented: 

• Anthony A. Messina of Troy, Mich., vice president of Global Engineering for Borg Warner, received the Applied Engineering Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award.

• John W. Larkin of Falcon Heights, Minn., research director for the Food Protection and Defense Institute at the University of Minnesota, received the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. 

• Bruce E. Anderson of Silverthorne, Colo., who is now retired, co-founded two companies – MAXAL, Inc., and ALCOTEC. He received the Red Cedar Circle Award in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. 

• Joseph Anthony Sopko Jr. of New York City, director of Ground Freezing for Moretrench American Corporation, received the Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. 

• Quin Huang of Ashburn, Virg., is a partner in the international law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and recognized by Legal 500 as a top intellectual property lawyer, received the Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. 

• Rachel S. Hutter of Orlando, Fla., vice president of Worldwide Safety for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, received the John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award. 

•Dianna Dickie Cody of Houston, Texas, deputy chair of the Department of Imaging Physics and clinical operations director at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. 

• Mary Anne Forgach of Midland, third grade teacher at Carpenter Street Elementary School in Midland, received the Green Apple Teaching Award. This award was established in 2006 to honor K-12 teachers who are inspiring students to study math, science, and engineering. 

Read more about the accomplishments of this year’s distinguished winners. (.pdf)