CEE Update Reunion and Alumni News

CEE Update Reunion 2020

Though the campus may have been all but empty on the days of Reunion 2020, the Cornell community and alumni gathered in greater numbers than usual. The pandemic may have prevented an in-person experience, but it made it possible for people who could not have traveled the miles to connect virtually with the Cornell community and fellow alumni at many Reunion events. Normally CEE would have served pancakes, bacon and eggs to approximately 60 alumni. For the School’s 2020 reunion, over 100 gathered online to reconnect with classmates, faculty and staff.

Reunion 2020 people smiling ZOOM format

L to R, starting with Top Row: (S=Staff, P=Professor) Jeannette Little (S); Abdul-Rahim Sabouni Ph.D. 86; Marc Gerber 62; Charissa King-O’Brien (S); Linda Nozick (P); John Abel 62 (P); Ken Hover Ph.D. 84 (P).

2nd Row from Top: Jonathan Hrehor 15; John Curtis M.S. 65; Pete Loucks Ph.D. 65; Alan Garfinkel BCE 61; Cliff Argue 63; Walid Najjar Ph.D. 87; John Ngunjiri M.Eng. 04.

3rd Row: David Orr Ph.D. 05; Arnim Meyburg (P); Robert D’Onofrio M.Eng. 05; James Allen 69, Cameron Willkens (S); Tim Brock (S); Jery Stedinger (P).

4th Row: Tom Tseng M.Eng. 94; Jerry Young M.Eng. 94; Quentin Tourancheau M.Eng. 11; Nikki Adame M.Eng. 00; Molly Morse 03; Teoman Pekoz (P); David Marks M.S. ‘64.

5th Row: Alexis Weaver M.Eng. 20; Annie Ding 14; Deanna Fernando 19; Monroe Weber-Shirk Ph.D. 92 (S); James Strait (S); Yuqi Yu M.Eng. 16; Melissa Fickel 14.

6th Row: Len Libenson 63; Beth Korson (S); Bob Wohlsen 70; Pierre Boisrond M.Eng. 96; Minda Cutcher 78; Nicole Dufalla 10; Mike Rolband MBA 82.

Bottom Row: Bruno Fong 15; Julie Mark Cohen Ph.D. 87; Sonya Burns 11; Sam Liao M.S. 76; Ernest Thiessen Ph.D. 93; Maia Coladonato 92; Myles Clewner 90.

Alumni News

Three CEE alumni have made it to ENR New York's Top 20 Young Professionals list for 2021: Jeremy Billig ’04, M.Eng. ’05, president of McLaren Engineering Group; Robert D’Onofrio ’04, M.Eng. ’05, vice president of Capital Project Management, Inc. and John Grillo M.Eng. ’05, project executive of Keller.

Ken Arnold 63 lives in Houston with his wife, Ruth, of 43 years. He has 6 children and 13 grandchildren, one of whom is a third generation Cornellian in Operations Research and Information Engineering. In 2003, Arnold was named Houston’s Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and the National Academy of Construction in 2014, in which he was recently named chair of its Safety Committee. Arnold retired in 2007 and has since been working part-time as a technical advisor and a general consultant for the petroleum industry. Arnold is also involved in undergraduate engineering education, promoting the concept of safety culture in oil and gas and construction activities.

Rich Brustman 63, is retired. Due to the pandemic, life is more mundane and reading and crossword puzzles have increased during this time more than ever before. Thus, no travels to report, not even to visit kids and grandkids who are not nearby (Virginia and China). Social life has been largely relegated to ZOOM. Rich manages to bicycle a dozen miles on days when weather permits, and does volunteer work remotely. He and his wife, Loretta, (Cornell '64) still live in the Albany, N.Y. area.

Che-wei Chang M.S.15, Ph.D.17 is an assistant professor at Kyoto University in the Disaster Prevention Research Institute.

Zhijie (Sasha) Dong Ph.D. 15 is an assistant professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas State University. Dr. Dong was awarded a 2020 NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) award.

Richard (Dick) Lipinski 61 migrated to Alaska in 1975 to work on the construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil pipeline and Prudhoe Bay oil and gas facilities. He has since made Anchorage his home. Lipinski and his wife, Janet, are enjoying retirement there. They spend winters in Delray Beach, Florida and enjoy the outdoors in both places. When possible, they play an occasional bridge game. The Lipinski’s look forward to resuming family gatherings with their four children and seven grandchildren.

Hong-Yueh (Peter) Lo 11, M.S. 13, Ph.D.18 is an assistant professor at the National Taiwan University in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Engineering Science.

Peter Lovisa 48 is doing well and living in New York. He reads a lot. Peter became a public works contractor with his brother, Tully, an RPI graduate, under the name of Lovisa Construction Company, Inc. For twenty-four years they worked on projects in the Metropolitan New York area and New York State. Peter enjoyed his work.

Ignacio Sepulveda Oyarzun, M.S. 16, Ph.D. 17 is a Miles Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Michael Ratner 63 retired a few years ago and lives in Manhattan. He spent his career running a construction and woodworking company that specialized in building stores in the U.S. as well as some internationally. He has traveled to all 50 states and seven continents. Has two sons, one in New York and one in Denver and two grandchildren that live in New York.

John Sobke 61 retired from the Army as a major general in 1995 and fro m Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2002. He and his wife, Marilyn, have lived at The Landings, a community near Savannah, GA for eighteen years. Both are active in their church, the local university, and community government. They enjoy golf and John plays flute in the community band. Over the years, they have enjoyed several cruises with many of their friends.

Ernest Thiessen 91 is President and Founder of iCan Systems Inc. He created Smartsettle, a collaborative negotiation system for multiple decision makers with conflicting objectives. Smartsettle is based on Thiessen’s dissertation research that he published while at Cornell in 1991 plus another three decades of research and development. His Ph.D. advisor was Professor Pete Loucks.

Save the Date and Time!

CEE’s Virtual Alumni Gathering

Saturday, June 12, 2021

9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

We look forward to seeing you!