WPI Announces 1999 Alumni Award Winners

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - The Citations Committee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Alumni Association has given awards to the following recipients during Reunion '99 June 5:

The Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement was given to:

  • The Rev. Harvey D. Egan, SJ, of Chestnut Hill, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1959 and professor at Boston College. A researcher, scholar and teacher, he has distinguished himself in the field of Christian mysticism, a branch of theology that deals with Christian prayer, and is an internationally regarded expert on Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner. Following his graduation from WPI with a degree in electrical engineering, he worked as an engineer with Kaman Helicopter Co. and Boeing Airplane Co. before entering the Jesuit novitiate. He earned master's degrees from Weston and Woodstock colleges and, after being ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1969, traveled to Germany to pursue doctoral studies in theology at the University of Muenster. He joined Boston College in 1973 as an assistant professor and serves as professor of systematic and mystical theology.

  • William J. Dowd of Edmund, Okla., a member of the WPI class of 1964 and president and chief operating officer of Fleming Companies Inc., the largest grocery distributor in the United States. Dowd leads a $15 billion company that employs more than 39,000 people. After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, he worked at Monsanto and later at Occidental Petroleum while obtaining an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. In 1971 he joined R.J. Reynolds/Heublin Inc., and eventually became vice president of the $300 billion specialty grocery company. He went on to become president and CEO of Mrs. Paul's Kitchens Inc., a $200 million division of Campbell's Soup; president of Kraft Dairy Food; and executive vice president and general manager of Kraft General Foods.

  • Carleton F. Kilmer Jr. of Braintree, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1964 and managing partner of Electronics & High Technology for Anderson Consulting LLP. Following graduation from WPI, he served in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as an infantry officer. He then joined U.S. Envelope Co. as a staff and project engineer and began pursuing a graduate degree at Babson College. He has served for more than 30 years in Anderson Consulting's global management and technology-based consulting services, including as worldwide managing partner for aerospace and defense, industrial products and automotive. As senior partner for electronics and high technology, he leads the company's largest division. A member of WPI's 25th Reunion Gift Committee, he has served on the President's International Advisory Board and has been appointed to WPI's Board of Trustees.

  • John S. Thompson Jr. of Wellesley Hills, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1969 and president and chief executive of BTR Incorporated, a $4 billion venture. He serves on the executive committee of BTR, plc, a $15 billion London stock exchange company. With more than 35,000 employees in 24 countries, it is being reorganized by Thompson from a diversified conglomerate to a more focused engineering company specializing in the design and manufacture of controls and automation products. After completing a WPI degree in mechanical engineering, he earned an M.B.A. at Harvard Business School and then worked in positions of increased responsibility at such companies as Massachusetts Blue Shield and Continental Investment Corp. He joined Stowe Woodward in 1975, where he became vice president of finance and, by 1980, president. The company was purchased by BTR, plc, in 1988, when he became vice president and later chief executive of BTR's Paper Technology Group.

  • Vijay R. Kirloskar of Bangalore, India, a member of the WPI class of 1974 and chairman and CEO of Kirloskar Electric Co., India's leading manufacturer of electrical engineering equipment. He began his career at Kirloskar Electric in 1974 as an engineer trainee. In 1977, he returned to the United States to work at Germanium Power Devices Corp. while pursuing a graduate degree at WPI. He received a master of science in management in 1978. He returned to Kirloskar Electric in 1979 as manager of electric motor and alternator shops, advancing to president in 1982 and vice chairman and managing director in 1988. He continues to build on the tradition begun by his father, Ravi Kirloskar, a member of the WPI class of 1938. The Kirloskar Group is one of India's leading industrial organizations. It is a $2.5 billion engineering conglomerate with more than 35 companies in power, construction, agriculture, oil and gas industries. Kirloskar has served as vice president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, chairman of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Technology and on WPI President's International Advisory Board.

The Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI was given to:

  • William A. Julian of Midlothian, Va., and Orleans, Vt., a member of the WPI class of 1949. Julian has been a class leader, advisor and volunteer at WPI for 50 years. He has served as chairman of the 35th Reunion Committee and the Washington, D.C., Club, and was an inaugural member of the Investment Committee. President of the Alumni Association from 1977-79, he has served as a solicitor for 25th and 40th Reunion Gift programs, as a member of the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee and as a member of the class board of directors.

  • Edward Saulnier of Worcester, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1959. He has devoted two decades of service to WPI, serving on the class board of directors, providing leadership through three reunions and working on program and fund-raising efforts. He has served as class agent, participated in phonothons and served as a member of the 40th Anniversary Gift Steering Committee. He has lent expertise to the Alumni Funds Board and chaired the Matching Gifts Committee, leading efforts to leverage corporate matching gifts. As a member of the Executive Committee, he served as leadership chair and helped to establish a volunteer training program for the Alumni Association.

  • Stephen E. Rubin of Needham, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1974. A WPI trustee and member of the Alumni Association, , he has helped others to learn from expert wisdom and experience through the WPI-based Venture Forum. He has secured valuable resources, from sponsorships to software, for WPI students and faculty and is one of the youngest-ever philanthropic Presidential Founders in WPI history. Putting his own stamp of approval on the value of a WPI education, he has staffed his own enterprise, Intellution Inc., with WPI graduates in many key executive roles.

The John Boynton Young Alumni Award for Service to WPI was given to:

  • Fabio Carrera of Windsor Locks, Conn., a member of the WPI class of 1984. An instructor with WPI's Interdisciplinary & Global Studies' Venice Project Center, Carrera has provided leadership, creativity and vision that has resulted in more than 75 projects involving more than 250 students at a variety of Venetian organizations. The projects have contributed invaluable results to assist in addressing the city's environmental, social and cultural preservation challenges. Many of these projects, which Carrera has designed, co-advised and marketed, have won President's Interactive Qualifying Project awards.

  • Deborah Harrow of Melrose, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1984. She has contributed years of volunteer leadership, including in the Alumni Admissions Program and as chair of the class's 15th Reunion Gift Committee. She began her volunteerism as an undergraduate, serving on the Social Committee, the Interfraternity Council, the Orientation Committee and as class president. She has been active since graduation on Executive and Master Plan committees, helping to shape the future of the Alumni Association.

The Ichabod Washburn Young Alumni Award for Professional Achievement was given to:

  • Daniel F. Farrar of Brussels, Belgium, formerly of Keene, N.H., a member of the WPI class of 1984. In 1998, he was named president and chief executive officer of GE Capital Fleet Services-Europe. Headquartered in Brussels, the division operates in 27 countries and has a fleet of more than 280,000 vehicles under lease and service management. He began at GE as a member of the management program in 1984, and broadened his expertise with an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He went on to become managing director for GE Capital Fleet Services Ltd. in the United Kingdom and senior vice president of North American Operations in Minnesota.

  • David Szkutak of West Chester, Ohio, a member of the WPI class of 1979. He is president and chief operating officer of U.S. Precision Lens Inc., a subsidiary of Corning Inc. and designer and manufacturer of plastic and glass lens systems for projection television systems. The company's innovative optics are also found in consumer electronics and are in demand by the semiconductor, medical and automobile industries throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He began his career in 1979 in the manufacturing management program of Procter & Gamble and joined U.S. Precision Lens in 1984 as manufacturing department manager. He went on to become vice president of sales and marketing before attaining his current position.

The Award for Outstanding Service to WPI by a Non-Alumnus/a was given to:

  • James N. Heald II of Worcester and West Falmouth, Mass. A 31-year member of the WPI Board of Trustees, he has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather (founder of Heald Machine Co.), father and three uncles, all of whom attended WPI. He provided critical oversight for the construction of WPI's Ellsworth/Fuller complex, Founders Hall and Fuller Laboratories, renovations of most of the academic buildings and the closing of West Street to create a pedestrian mall. Most recently he steered the new campus center through program development and architectural design. When he left the Board of Trustees last year, WPI's endowment was the 146th largest among the nation's 3,600 colleges and universities. A member of the board's Investment Committee, he helped to oversee the endowment and was instrumental in selecting the best possible investment managers and asset allocation formulas. Beyond WPI, he has been active in the Worcester community, including the leadership of Heald Machine and involvement in charitable, civic and arts groups.

The William R. Grogan Award for Support of the Mission of WPI was given to:

  • Roy Bourgault of Worcester, Mass., a member of the WPI class of 1942. He began his career at American Steel & Wire - now U.S. Steel - just as the country's war machinery was heating up. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps. Afterward he worked as a metallurgist and earned a master's degree from Stevens Institute of Technology. In 1955 he returned to WPI as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, rising to associate and then full professor. He served two terms as secretary of the faculty before retiring in 1985. For three decades he served as photographer for track and field events, and in the 1970s rallied more than a thousand supports to keep the WPI football program in place. He was named to the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame as an unsung hero of WPI athletics. He is a recognized expert in the field of failure analysis and has contributed as a professional and educator to the American Society for Metals and the Materials Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. He also has served in the Mohegan Boy Scout Council.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.

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