2017 Alumni Excellence Academy Award Recipients

Mr. James Castellano, B.S. Automotive Engineering '87

Jim Castellano graduated with a B.S. in Automotive Engineering in 1987. He joined Ford Motor Company in 1983, working his way through school, and has spent his entire professional career there, holding a variety of engineering and management positions.

Early in his career Jim took an International Engineering Assignment in England to work on World Car, developing a common platform for vehicles across countries as an engineering liaison. In 1999, Jim was selected as one of the first people to develop a hybrid electrical vehicle. After his time working on hybrids, Jim assumed the role of Global Brake and Applications Systems manager, leading the global development of the next generation of vacuum-less and bi-wire braking systems. Jim currently works as a manager for North America Steering Applications and Systems. He has received two patents for his work on high voltage battery systems.

Jim has been married to Christina for 25 years. They have three children, Jimmy, Sarah and Mark. Jim enjoys spending time with his family, cooking Italian cuisine, being a Boy Scout leader, and serving on Western’s Engineering Board of Visitors.


Mr. Michael Dozeman, B.S. Electrical Engineering '01

Michael D. Dozeman received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from WMU in 2001 and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2007. A Medallion Scholarship recipient, Michael was a member of Lee Honors College and held a year-round internship at Stryker Corporation while pursuing his studies. He was named a Presidential Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2001. 

After graduating from WMU, Mike joined Stryker full time as a Research and Development engineer, working on the design of new medical devices used by surgeons in the operating room. During his 19 years at Stryker, Mike has participated in a number of successful product launches, and is a two-time winner of Stryker’s Global R&D Best Invention Award. Michael currently is Chief Engineer and leads a complex multi-disciplinary project consisting of engineers working at multiple Stryker facilities across the world.

Michael lives in Portage with his wife Debra and his four young children, Henry, Gabriel, and twins Anna and Andrew. Michael enjoys playing golf and participating in all sorts of activities with his children. Looking back at his time at WMU, Michael’s fondest memories are of the friendships he made and the interaction and mentorship with his professors in Electrical Engineering.


Mr. M. Andrew Eick, B.S. Computer Science '91, B.A. Philosophy '91

M. Andrew Eick is a technologist, dedicated to crafting scientific innovation into practical solutions for the Intelligence Community (IC). He graduated from WMU in 1991 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Philosophy. In 1995, Andrew graduated from Oakland University with an M.S. in Computer Science. 

While working at Ford Motor Company, Andrew created a system to manage the development and printing of service manuals, which earned him multiple technology awards and one U.S. software patent. In 2003 he became Chief Technology Officer at SSS Research, a Department of Defense contracting startup. His innovations for optimizing the processing and transmission of geospatial data received multiple U.S. software patent awards. In 2008, Andrew started his own company, Mission Focus, focusing on the “Big Data” problems inherent in the IC domain. As CEO, he orchestrates technology and operations, employing cloud technologies to address the storage and processing of information. 

Andrew lives in Northern Virginia. When he isn’t working on “Big Data” solutions, he enjoys photography. His wife, also a 1991 WMU graduate, and two daughters, ages 13 and 14, are his favorite models. On any weekend during soccer season he can be found on the sidelines of a soccer field.


Dr. Ali Fadhel, B.S. Chemical Engineering '04, M.S. Paper Science and Engineering '07

Ali Fadhel made Kalamazoo home for six years after moving from the Middle East in 2001. The warm people of WMU and the cold winters of Michigan will forever be happy memories in his heart.

Ali obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a focus on Energy Management in 2004 and an M.S. in Paper Science and Engineering under the direction of Dr. John Cameron, Dr. Said Abubakr, Dr. Andrew Kline, and Dr. Peter Parker. With a passion for learning, Ali moved to Atlanta and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.

He worked as a research engineer at GE Water & Process Technologies and at Georgia Pacific Gypsum before joining the Patent & Trademark Office as a patent examiner for petrochemical technologies.

Ali currently lives in Seattle and enjoys spending time with his family, reading history books, hiking with his rambunctious 10-lb Yorkie, and being by the water.


Mr. Charles (Chas) Hammond, B.S. Construction Engineering '05, M.S. Engineering Management '07

Chas Hammond received his B.S. in Construction Engineering in 2005. He also holds an M.S. in Engineering Management from WMU and attained his Professional Engineering (PE) License.

Chas is Director of Project Planning for The Austin Company, an international design-build construction company with an office located in Kalamazoo. He began working for The Austin Company after graduation and has since progressed from managing field work to coaching staff and leading business development regionally for the company.

Chas maintains active involvement in professional organizations, including the ISPE, ASCE student society, Chief Engineers and Southwest Michigan First – Council of 100. Forever a Bronco, Chas has been privileged to serve on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering and recently became a part-time faculty member at WMU.

Married to Dana, a fellow Bronco engineer, Chas has four beautiful daughters. In addition to chasing kids, Chas enjoys playing all sports from volleyball to shooting sporting clays. A Kalamazoo local, he continues to support the university at campus events, including Miller Auditorium, football and hockey games. Go Broncos!


Mr. Jeff McInerney, B.S. Manufacturing Engineering '92

Jeff McInerney received a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Western in 1992. The recipient of 11 competitive academic scholarships, he also received the Presidential Scholar Award for the IME department and graduated cum laude. He also holds an M.S. from Kettering University (formerly GMI).

Jeff is Vice President, Supply Management, Americas, for Rolls-Royce North America Inc. He is responsible for leading the company’s supply management strategy and operational organization in North America. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Jeff was the North America Purchasing Director at Nexteer (formerly Delphi Steering Systems, GM) in Saginaw, MI. 

Jeff serves on the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Advisory Board at WMU and the Executive Advisory Board for Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Supply Chain program. During his time at WMU, he held various leadership roles in the student chapters of both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Society of Plastics Engineers.

One of Jeff's favorite memories of WMU is the soap box derby car race that used to be held on Homecoming weekend. Student organizations would build a car and race down hill to the Valley dorms. Jeff lives in Indianapolis, is married and has four children. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching various sports teams for his kids. He also has a love for the water and enjoys boating. 


Mr. Jason Tedrow, B.S.E. Industrial Engineering '97

Jason Tedrow received his B.S.E. in Industrial Engineering in 1997 and is a member of the WMU IEE Curriculum Advisory Board. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Jason currently is the Vice President of Supply Chain at James Hardie Building Products where he is responsible for all transportation, planning, customer service, procurement, new product introduction and inventory management activities. He previously was the Vice President of Supply Chain for US Silica and has held a variety of supply chain, engineering and operations management positions with Lafarge Cement, ConAgra Foods and Amway.

While at WMU, Jason completed an internship at the Kellogg Company where he met his wife (and fellow Industrial Engineering graduate) Jennifer (Pierce) Tedrow. They currently live in Chicago with their three children, Andrew, Addison and Connor. The family was thrilled to travel to Dallas earlier this year to support the Broncos at the Cotton Bowl. Jason reflects fondly on his time at WMU, and feels strongly that his experiences at Western provided an excellent foundation for each phase in his career.


Dr. Roger Veldman, M.S.E. Mechanical Engineering '95, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering '01

Roger Veldman received his M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering at WMU in 1995 while working full-time for the automotive component supplier Donnelly Corporation (now Magna) in Holland, MI. In 1998 he joined the faculty at Hope College as an assistant professor of engineering. Roger continued his studies at Western and completed a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2001.

Roger currently is a professor of engineering at Hope College, serving as the chair of the Engineering Department. He teaches a variety of mechanical engineering courses, including a senior capstone design course.

Roger is also active in research involving both numerical predictions and experimental trials to determine the effects of explosive detonations on structures. He has received continuous research funding from various agencies since 2001. Roger is a named inventor on 48 United States patents.

In his free time he enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and three children.