2016 Alumni Excellence Academy Award Recipients

WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences inducted the following 11 graduates into the Alumni Excellence Academy during the fall 2016 homecoming festivities.

 

Trevor E. Bilicke, '89, Industrial Engineering

Trevor E Bilicke, born and raised in Albion, MI, is a 1989 WMU graduate of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a BS in Industrial Engineering.  He was also a 4 year letter winner on the 1984-1987 Bronco football team at inside linebacker.  In 1987 he was recognized as the prestigious inaugural Ellis Scholar Athlete for athletics, academics, leadership and character.

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Robert R. Corrion, '64, BS Industrial Engineering, '71, MS Industrial Supervision

Robert grew up in Macomb County, MI north of Detroit. After graduating from high school, he attended Lawrence Technical Institute. He then transferred to Western Michigan University to get a two-year associate’s degree in air conditioning and refrigeration. He stayed on to receive a B.S. Degree in Industrial Distribution and later, a Master’s Degree in Industrial Supervision.

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Jim Evans, '80, Mechanical Engineering

Following a distinguished 30-year career at Stryker, Jim Evans announced his retirement in March 2016. For 3 decades, Jim has been the inventor behind many significant industry leading technologies for both the MedSurg and Neurotechnology and Orthopaedics Groups. Jim’s career is defined by the positive impact he has had on Stryker, the industry, and customers and patients around the world. 

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Brianna Franks, '07, Chemical Engineering

As an undergrad, Brianna was an active member of the Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Lamda Delta, treasurer of AIChE, and a graduate of Lee Honors College. Brianna interned with Alticor (now Amway) during her sophomore year as well as with The Kellogg Company in her sophomore, junior and senior years. One month prior to graduation, Brianna was in a severe car accident. Bedridden, she finished her senior design project and final exams from home with the help of dedicated Western faculty.

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Kevin Khaw, '02, BS Computer Engineering, '05, MS Engineering Management

Kevin Khaw is currently an Engineering Manager at Google. Over the last ten years, he has seen Google grow from a mid-size company to one of the most vibrant and innovative companies in the world. He continues to feel empowered to make a difference, solve difficult problems, and learn from the best and brightest in every field. Cloud Computing continues to change the IT landscape and he currently works on growing and expanding Google’s new Cloud Platform business into new industries and markets.

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Michael Kounelis, '94, Construction Engineering

Michael Kounelis is a regional vice president with the Skillman Corporation. While at WMU he majored in construction science and management. An internship with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) led to further career success in his field of study. For more than 22 years, Michael has been managing construction projects throughout Indiana and Michigan.

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Brad McCaskey, '83, BS Computer Systems Engineering

Brad has worked in the Electrical and Electronics Design Automation Industry since 1982.Throughout his 34 years in the EDA industry, Brad has been part of two start up companies along with early leaders in this industry.

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Jim Medsker, '91, BS Mechanical Engineering, '99, MS Mechanical Engineering

In 1998, Jim founded a company that is now known as Keystone Solutions Group. Within Keystone Solutions Group, there are two business units; Keystone Product Development and Keystone Manufacturing. Keystone Product Development is a turnkey product development firm offering design, analysis, testing, and other services tailored toward turning ideas into real products. Keystone Manufacturing provides contract manufacturing services, primarily in the medical device market. 

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Carrie Reid, '80, Computer Science

Carrie Reid began her career in software engineering at Hughes Aircraft Company in California. She continued for a decade in the military/aerospace industry at not only Hughes Aircraft, but also Science Applications International Corporation and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. She then joined Ascent Logic Corporation, and was a principal engineer on their Systems Engineering automation tool, one of the world’s largest Smalltalk applications. From there she accepted a position in Apple’s Developer Publications Department, authoring reference documentation for their Objective-C framework, Cocoa, and then transitioned to the engineering team responsible for the tools suite used for authoring and publishing Apple’s developer documentation. Prior to retiring last year, Ms. Reid worked four years as a contract data analyst at Telenav and Apple, ensuring map Point of Interest data quality world-wide.

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Mike Smitley, '86, Engineering Graphics

Mike Smitley is a Section Leader of Production Engineering Planning at DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. (DMMI) in Battle Creek. He spent the first 25 years of his engineering career at DMMI, Ralston Foods and Kellogg Corporation, joining DENSO as an advanced engineer in 1997. At DENSO, Mike led engineering teams dedicated to a variety of automotive heating and cooling products, including starting up an automated heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) assembly process and launching new production processes in Canada, Arkansas and Mexico.

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Eric Thompson, '95, Paper Engineering

Eric Thompson is the lead IT Solution Architect for Manufacturing Systems at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He is responsible for the overall design leadership of system implementations and integrating business, information, and technology architecture for Manufacturing Execution, Quality Management, and Product Lifecycle Management solutions corporate-wide at over 70 global manufacturing locations. He also provides functional and technical leadership to outsourced application service providers and internal IT team members to deliver system capability per changing business needs.

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