Alumni Awards

Fourteenth Annual College of Engineering Alumni Award Banquet

2017 distinguished alumni award winners

Eight alumni received the college's top awards on May 6 during a banquet at the Kellogg Center. Pictured are (left to right, back row) Dean Leo Kempel, Raymond LaFrey, Scott Morris, Yunhao Liu, Thomas Maleck, and Fred Reusch and (front) Larry Walker, Steven Noll, Renee Jennings Collins, and Joe Lin.

View award winners' bios in the 2017 Program Booklet. (.pdf)

Dean Leo Kempel presented the 2017 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award to Steven H. NollThe Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award

Receiving the 2017 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award was Steven H. Noll (BS ’74, Electrical Engineering, Honors College).

Noll received his law degree in 1977, and has practiced law in the field of intellectual property, specializing in patent law, and is currently a partner in the firm of Schill Hardin LLP in Chicago. His patent prosecution process has focused primarily on medical devices and has obtained over 4,000 patents for his clients. He is registered to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court and the Courts of the Appeal for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits, and the United Stated Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Knoll has served on the College of Engineering Alumni Board, spending two of his 16 years there as board chair; is a guest lecturer each semester for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Capstone class, as well as a Design Day judge for the class; is a member of the National Leadership Council of the College of Music; and served on the Advisory Committee for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.  

The Erickson Award is the highest honor conferred by the College of Engineering. First awarded to its namesake, Claud R. Erikson in 1982, the award is given to a graduate with at least 15 years’ professional experience who has attained the highest level of professional accomplishment; provided distinguished and meritorious service to the college and the engineering profession; and has engaged in voluntary service at the local, state, national and/or international level.

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

  • Renee Jennings Collins, vice president for Owner Sales at Johnson Controls, Inc., received the Applied Engineering Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Larry Walker, PhD, retired full-professor and Director of the Biofuels Reserach Laboratory at Cornell University, received the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Joe S. Lin, PhD, founder of Diotec Electronics Corp., received the Red Cedar Circle Award in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
  • Thomas Maleck, PhD, PE retired Associate Professor Emeritus from the Department of Chemical Engineering and traffic engineer for MSU, received the Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Yunhao Liu, PhD Cheung Kong Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Software at Tshinghua Univeristiy, China, received the Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Raymond LaFrey retired from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was responsible for the Lincoln Laboratory Air Traffic Control Mission Area, received the John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award.
  • Scott Morris, PhD professor in the Department of Aeorspace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, received the Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Green Apple Teaching AwardMSU student Rebecca Carlson, a senior in chemical engineering presented Fred Reusch the 2017 Green Apple Award.

The Green Apple Teaching Award was presented to Fred Reusch, teacher of AP Calculus A/B and B/C, and Calculus III in the Rockford Public Schools since 1989. This award was established in 2006 to honor K-12 teachers who are inspiring students to study math, science, and engineering. Rebecca Carlson, a chemical engineering senior, submitted his nomination.

For more information about these awards or the College of Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet, please contact Kaleigh Jaeger-Hale, Assistant Director for Alumni Relations,

Alumni Awards Program Booklets

The following booklets will open in a new window as a PDF (.pdf).

Departmental Alumni Awards

Each year, the College of Engineering gives awards to distinguished alumni in each department who have brought honor to the college through their exceptional achievements, both professional and philanthropic. The awards are presented at a banquet each spring during commencement weekend.

Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award

The College of Engineering gives its highest honor, the Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award, to one alumnus or alumna each year. The awardee is recognized at the spring alumni awards banquet and again at the commencement ceremony, where he or she addresses the graduating students.

MSU Alumni Association Alumni Awards

Each year the MSU Alumni Association annually seeks and accepts nominations of alumni for the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Honorary Alumni Award, and the Alumni Service Award. These are the highest awards bestowed by the MSUAA and are presented to MSU graduates and friends who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service and have achieved the highest level of professional accomplishment, including special honors or recognition, and who demonstrate personal integrity and character.

Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award

Each year, the MSU Office of International Studies and Programs sponsors the International Awards Ceremony to bring together MSU faculty, staff, students, community volunteers, and others from the wider Michigan community to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions toward international understanding. One of these important awards is the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award, which recognizes international alumni who have brought especial credit to MSU through their professional achievements.