Class Notes: CEE

Degree Year
  • 1966

photo of Nick Zettlemoyer

Nick Zettlemoyer


  • BS

With a solid educational background, Nick Zettlemoyer’s degrees have helped him succeed throughout his career.  In 1966, Nick graduated from Cornell with a Civil Engineering degree. After Cornell, he went to Penn State and obtained a MS in Architectural Engineering. 

In August 1968 Nick married his high school sweetheart, Janet.  Soon after that he went into the Civil Engineer Corps of the Navy, where he worked on new construction at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk and on the new base at Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean).  Four years later Nick left the service and earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Lehigh University in 1976.  After a year of teaching at Lehigh, Nick joined ExxonMobil in Houston in 1977. He was an employee of ExxonMobil for more than 30 years, working mostly on design, repair, and strengthening of offshore platforms.  As a general support engineer, involvement with project teams was on the front end where new technology was developed and questions were often raised as to the most cost effective solutions.  After that, ExxonMobil would have a project execution group proceed with implementation.

While at ExxonMobil, Nick encountered another CEE alum, Jim Loh, MS ’82, PhD ’85 in structural engineering, who had come to work for ExxonMobil in Nick’s group.  Nick had the good fortune to work with him on several projects.  One on which they collaborated was strengthening of the first generation platforms in Australia in the late ‘80s.  Both Jim and Nick took courses from Professor Bill McGuire. 

At the end of 2008, Nick retired but stayed on with ExxonMobil as a contractor/advisor until the end of 2015.

His wife, Janet, obtained a physical education degree from Ithaca College in 1967 and ended up teaching pre-schoolers for 23+ years near their home north of Houston.  Jan and Nick celebrated 48 years of marriage earlier this year (2016)!

Now that both of them are retired, Nick enjoys his hobbies of collecting stamps, coins and pocket watches, and traveling.   Though he often traveled internationally for ExxonMobil and even took Jan along several times, they want to do more domestic travel.  In conjunction with domestic travel, they want to reconnect with many of their relatives in the northeast.  Both Nick and Jan grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They have been across the country several times by car, but there are many things they have not seen (e.g. Mount Rushmore). They frequently see their two grown sons, John and Luke, and two grandkids, that they "“spoil like most grandparents.”"

When they are not home or visiting their offspring, they are either up at what they call their “"cabin”," about 80 miles north of their primary residence, or at one of two resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (tip of the Baja).  At the cabin they enjoy deer hunting in the Fall, but treat it as a welcome getaway throughout the year.  “"It’s very serene but comfortable too; even has satellite TV.”"

In closing, Nick says, “"we are also anxious to get our attic and photo holdings under control.  Being in the same house for almost 40 years often yields an unwanted accumulation of ‘stuff’.  It may be viewed as a mundane objective, but we’re not anxious to leave such a mess to our heirs to sort out.”"

Degree Year
  • 2014

photo of Alin Radu

Alin Radu


  • PhD

Earlier this year Alin was awarded a Marie-Curie research grant by the European Commission to continue his independent research on the probabilistic assessment of reduction and transfer of earthquake risk. He will start his new job as a Marie-Curie research fellow in January 2017, at University of Bristol in the UK.

Currently, Alin is a senior research engineer at a catastrophe-modeling company, AIR Worldwide, where he has been working for more than two years on projects with the World Bank to assess the earthquake risk for developing countries in the South Pacific, Southwest Indian Ocean, and the Philippines. 

His visit at Cornell in October, was to catch up with his adviser, Professor Mircea Grigoriu, and with colleagues and staff who have become good friends over the years.

Degree Year
  • 1954

James M. Symons


  • BS

I entered Cornell in 1949 and graduated with a B.C.E with distinction in 1954.  I obtained an SM and ScD in sanitary engineering at M.I.T. in '55 and '57 respectively.  I taught at M.I.T. until 1962.  I worked in a drinking water research lab. of the U.S. EPA in Cincinnati, Ohio until 1982.  Then I taught at the University of Houston until I retired in 1997.  More details of my career can be found at <>.  After retiriing my wife and I took 62 trips <>. This what I look like now.  My slides from my time at Cornell are at <> my slides from my time at Cornell at at <>.

Degree Year
  • 1963

photo of Arnold Pollard

Arnold Pollard


  • BS

Arnold Pollard, class of 1963, came back to campus for a brief visit! He, his wife, Ronnie, and grandson, Harris, stopped by Hollister Hall to see the Environmental Teaching Laboratory and plaque that includes his name amongst other donors.