REA Honors: Outstanding Engineering Alumni
The George R. Brown School of Engineering recognizes exemplary engineering alumni in threeprincipal categories:
- The Outstanding Engineering Alumnus award, established in 1974, recognizes Rice engineering alumni for careers of outstanding professional achievement and service.
- The Outstanding Young Engineering Alumnus award, established in 1996, recognizes the achievements of Rice engineering alumni under the age of 40.
- The Distinguished Service Medal, established in 2012, recognizes Rice engineering alumni for extraordinary service to the School of Engineering and its alumni community. This award need not be given every year.
The Alumni Honors program is administered on behalf of the School by the REA Board of Directors, through its Alumni Honors Committee.
Presentation of Awards
2012 Alumni Honors Presentation
Friday, October 12
McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall.
Engineering Centennial Reception
4:30 to 6:30 pm
The Alumni Honors Presentation typically takes place the Friday afternoon of Rice Homecoming, with a reception following.In addition to receiving the award, each honoree gives a 5-10 minute talk on his or her work or career. Past honorees whoare in attendance are also recognized at this ceremony.
The 2012 Alumni Honors Presentation and Engineering Reunion are part of Rice’s Homecoming and Centennial Celebration. Please visit their site for the complete weekend schedule.
Nominations for Alumni Honors
All members of the Rice community are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for these honors. Nominations are actively solicited from previous honorees, School of Engineering faculty and the engineering community and are welcome from any other interested parties. A nomination should include a work history or curriculum vitae of the nominee along with any additional information the nominating party considers relevant. No particular nomination form is required.
The Alumni Honors Committee accepts applications continuously; reviews applications December through March of each year; and presents its recommendations to the REA Board of Directors in April. A prospective honoree must be able to attend the Alumni Honors Presentation in order to receive the award.
To submit a nomination or for more information, please contact the Alumni Honors Chair.
Outstanding Engineering Alumnus:
N. Wayne Hale Jr.
MS Purdue University
Space Shuttle Program Manager and Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA
Wayne Hale is honored for his distinguished career at NASA in manned spaceflight operations. Since joining the agency at Johnson Space Center in 1978, Hale has worked in nearly every aspect of flight operations, from propulsion officer on the earliest Space Shuttle flights to Flight Director of forty-one shuttle missions. In 2003, he moved to Kennedy Space Center to become the Shuttle Launch Integration Manager – just before the tragic re-entry accident that claimed the shuttle Columbia. In the aftermath of the accident investigation, Hale was named deputy program manager and then manager of the renewed Space Shuttle program. It was in this role that Hale achieved his proudest professional accomplishment: helping to bring about a change in culture at NASA to create a stronger focus on safety. As one member of the investigative board later wrote, “Hale had the experience, the attitude, and the reputation for doing the right thing that NASA needed for the shuttle. . . . He’s one of the good guys.” In 2010, Hale retired from NASA as Deputy Associate Administrator of Strategic Partnerships in the Space Operations Mission Directorate. He has received many of the agency’s highest professional honors, including the NASA Leadership Medal (three times), NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1992) and NASA Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award (2002). In 2007, the space community accorded Hale a distinctive double honor: he was named the Goddard Memorial Astronautics Engineer of the Year by the National Space Club and received the National Air and Space Museum’s Achievement of the Year Award.
Outstanding Young Engineering Alumnus:
MBA Harvard University
Founder and CEO of R360 Environmental Solutions
Over the past 17 years, Troy Thacker has achieved tremendous success as a discerning investor and “serial builder” of businesses in the environmental and energy sectors. After working as an analyst in the power and energy industries for Morgan Stanley & Co., Thacker moved into private equity with the energy-focused firm SCF Partners. He was a founding partner of Paine & Partners, a global private equity firm that together with its predecessors, manages approximately $3 billion in equity capital. In 2010, seeing both a market and societal need and an intriguing professional opportunity, Thacker left the finance arena to found and run R360 Environmental Solutions, the nation’s leading provider of recycling, treatment and disposal solutions for oilfield waste management.
Distinguished Service Medal:
J. Bartlett“Bart” Sinclair
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering at Rice University
Bart Sinclair has devoted his entire career to Rice Engineering, entering as a freshman in 1969, earning all of his degrees at Rice, and joining the faculty in 1978, immediately after completing his Ph.D. Since 2000, he has served as Associate Dean of Engineering, with primary responsibility for academic affairs, faculty recruitment and administration. We honor him principally for his tireless dedication to his fellow alumni. The stated mission of REA is to foster collaboration and lifelong connections between alumni and the School of Engineering. In many ways, Dr. Sinclair has made this his personal mission as well – a mission that he fulfills constantly, not only through REA but also by working with the Engineering Development team, through his own personal contacts with alumni, and as keeper of much of the School’s institutional memory. As liaison and wise counselor to REA’s Board of Directors, Dr. Sinclair has been instrumental in guiding the School’s Alumni Honors program and has been an indispensable facilitator of REA’s scholarship program and spring picnic, which has grown into the School of Engineering end-of-year celebration. It is fitting that the first Distinguished Service Medal be presented to Dr. Bart Sinclair.
Complete List of Honorees
Outstanding Engineering Alumni
2012 N. Wayne Hale ’76
2011 R. Norris Keeler ’51
2010 Lynn Laverty Elsenhans ’78
2009 Wanda Sigur ’79
2008 Charles J. Newell ’78, ’80, ’89
2007 Richard Massey ’53, ’54
2006 Hector Ruiz ’73
2005 Pat H. Moore ’52
2004 Stephen J. Sheafor ’72
John R. Treichler ’69
2003 William N. Sick ’57
2002 Richard Bost ’76, ’78
2001 Sidney Burrus ’57, ’58, ’60
Philip Glynn ’59
2000 Fred Russell ’57
1999 Robert R. Maxfield ’63
1998 Patsy Chappelear ’53
1997 Joseph Reilly ’48
1996 Terry Koonce ’60, ’64
1995 Orville D. Gaither ’49
1994 Kenneth E. Jones ’33
1993 Burton J. McMurtry ’57
M. Kenneth Oshman ’62
1992 W. Bernard "Ber" Pieper ’54
1991 Walter P. Moore Jr. ’60
1990 Griff Lee ’51
1989 George Miner ’50
1988 Patrick Conley ’42
1987 I.A. Naman ’38
1986 Charles S. Matthews ’41, ’43, ’44
1985 Riki Kobayashi ’44
Warren E. White ’57
1984 Louis D. Spaw Jr. ’40
1983 Alan J. Chapman ’45
James R. Sims ’41
1982 Lewis A. Waters ’60
1981 David E. Farnsworth ’42
John G. Holland ’30
1980 Jennings A. Massingill ’42
1979 David L. Rooke ’44
1978 Ernest Dell Butcher ’34
1977 Stanley C. Moore ’37
1976 Walter P. Moore Sr. ’27
1975 Herbert Allen ’29
1974 George R. Brown ’20
Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni
2012 Troy Thacker ’95
2011 Aaron Hertzmann ’96
2010 Justin Romberg ’97, ’99, ’04
2009 Christof Spieler ’97, ’99
2008 Parthasarathy Ranganathan ’97, ’01
2007 Chaitali Sengupta ’95, ’99
2006 J. Patrick Frantz ’97
2005 Timothy R. Dehne ’87
2004 Theodora Overfelt Pounds ’96
2003 John D. Miner ’88
2002 Eric Sachs ’93
2001 Donald Greive ’84
2000 Lawrence Ciscon ’88, ’90, ’93
1999 J.D. Sitton III ’85
1998 Al Hirshberg ’82, 83
1997 Matthew Barry ’84, ’85, ’92, ’02
1996 William H. White ’85
Distinguished Service Medal
2012 J. Bartlett Sinclair ’73, ’74, ’78