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Bill Weins Memorial Fund

A new scholarship fund has been set up in memory of William “Bill” Weins, a beloved instructor and researcher in the College of Engineering & Technology.

Weins, an associate professor within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, joined the UNL faculty in 1979. Weins, 48, died Nov. 3, 2001, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

During his time at UNL, Weins gained national exposure in his involvement with the study of corrosion on the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and worked on many other consulting projects.

Weins was dedicated to his students, and his numerous departmental, university and national awards for teaching excellence demonstrate that commitment. In addition to teaching classes in mechanical engineering, the University Foundations Program and the Honors Program, he also served as an undergraduate adviser to hundreds of mechanical engineering students. In an article in the Lincoln Journal Star, David Lou, chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said, "Bill Weins was a student’s professor. There was such a rapport he had with his students. He knew how to draw the best out of them.”

Students always played a part in Weins' research and consulting projects. He was an adviser of several undergraduate clubs, including teams for the national Ethanol Vehicle Challenge, the student chapter of the American Society of Metals, and the engineering honorary, Pi Tau Sigma. He also belonged to several professional societies.

The Weins Scholarship Fund will provide undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to full-time students in the UNL Department of Mechanical Engineering, who will subsequently be known as the “Weins Scholars.” The fund was established by faculty members Kevin Cole, Shane Farritor and B.W. Robertson representing others, and is administered by the University of Nebraska Foundation. To contribute to the Weins Scholarship Fund, contact:

Karen S. Moellering
Uinversity of Nebraska–Lincoln Foundation
1111 Lincoln Mall, Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 472-2151 or (800) 432-3216

General information concerning the University of Nebraska Foundation is available on their web site (http://www.nufoundation.org).

More information on Dr. Weins may be found at www.engr.unl.edu/me/.

—Erin Blobaum

ACEC Names Award Winners

The College of Engineering & Technology extends congratulations to the following engineering and consulting firms for being named award winners in the American Council of Engineering Companies Engineering Excellence Awards Competition:

  • HDR Engineering Inc.: Grand Award, Asarco Project; Honor Award, Beatrice Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvement
  • Olsson Associates: Honor Award, Wilderness Park Bridge; Honorable Mention, Valentine Mill Pond, Hickman Road Interceptor Sewer
  • JEO Consulting Group Inc.: Honor Award, NDOR Abie to N-15; Honorable Mention, Wakefield Flood Protection Levee, 2000 Main Street Downtown Improvements (Hooper), Jackson Southwest Bridge
  • Jacobson Helgoth Consultants Inc: Honor Award, Air Emissions Tracking System; Honorable Mention, David City Lakes Restoration
  • Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers: Honor Award, Sorensen Parkway, 72nd to 90th streets; Honorable Mention, City of Chadron Airport Runway Reconstruction
  • URS Corporation: Honor Award, Explosives Groundwater Plume Remediation, Cornhusker Ammunition Plant, Grand Island
  • Lamp, Rynearson & Associates Inc.: Honor Award, Omaha Convention Center/Arena Phase I Storm and Sanitary Sewers
  • Alvine & Associates: Honor Award: George Beadle Middle School
  • The Schemmer Associates Inc.: Honorable Mention, Airlite Plastics New Headquarters
For additional information, visit www.acecnebraska.org

Alumni Association Offers Online Job Search Service

The Alumni Association has partnered with the world’s largest corporate career services and outplacement firm to develop an alumni career network.

The free online service features a comprehensive collection of job-hunting and career management resources. The program is online at www.huskeralum.com, listed under “career services.”

The Association also is developing a professional online mentoring program. Alumni interested in serving as mentors may register online at huskeralum.com or search for fellow Huskers according to job designation.

Your Gifts at Work

Gifts from alumni provide vital support to the College of Engineering & Technology. Alumni giving impacts the College in many ways, especially in the area of student scholarships. Your gifts help the College reward our students for their hard work and scholastic accomplishments. They help us retain the high quality students in whom we take a great deal of pride.

Gifts come to the College in various amounts. Endowed gifts from individual donors recognize a family member or a favorite professor. In addition, hundreds of generous alumni contribute annually to a student support fund within the College of Engineering & Technology.

These comments from students, excerpted from their letters to donors, show how your gifts really do make a difference:

  • With the rise in tuition, especially for out-of-state students like myself, the great education that I have received would not have been possible without your continued generosity…” —Bryan Altman, Computer Engineering, Kingfisher, Okla.
  • “This donation relieves some of my stress and concerns about being able to afford to come to this University, allowing me to concentrate on the more important issue, my education.” —Tara Dinkelman, Chemical Engineering, Lincoln
  • “It’s nice to know there are people like yourself who know the realities and hardships involved with being a college student and are willing to help out.” —Adam Gubbels, Electrical Engineering, Randolph
  • “Receiving awards like this one has encouraged me to someday help students like you have helped me.” —Benjamin Harry, Electrical Engineering, Lincoln

Sorkin Dies at 96

Josef Sorkin, a 1929 graduate of the Department of Civil Engineering and long-time supporter of the department and the College of Engineering & Technology, died Oct. 19 in Gardner, Kan.

Born in Russia in 1906, Sorkin came to the United States in 1923. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he worked for 10 years with highway departments in Nebraska and Montana. In 1939, he joined the Kansas City-based consulting engineering firm of Howard, Tammen, Needles and Bergendoff and became a partner in 1950.

Some of his projects included principal engineer for the creation of the Kansas Turnpike; senior partner in charge of the Rio-Niteroi Bridge over Guanabara Bay at Rio De Janeiro, which won numerous awards and is considered a world-renowned structure; the Missouri River bridge at Leavenworth, Kan.; and the Mississippi River Bridge at Quincy, Ill. He retired as senior partner in 1970 and became chairman of the advisory board.

Sorkin was devoted to his profession and to his alma mater. Over the years he established scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in civil engineering, a faculty development fund and a fellowship for faculty to study the humanities. He also was a member of the board of trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Greetings From the Alumni Board

The Board hosts several events throughout the year for alumni, faculty and students. Events hosted by the board include:

  • A pre-game football party every other fall with football ticket purchase opportunities
  • A Distinguished Alumni Awards program
  • An annual golf scramble
  • Recruitment receptions for prospective students and parents
  • The “Make a Difference” scholarship program and other association and college-sponsored events such as career fairs and E-Week activities.

The Board has four meetings a year. If you would like to get involved with the activities of the Board or the College, please contact me. Let me know if you’d like to serve on the Board or be placed on the e-mail list of “Friends of the Engineering & Technology College.” This e-mail list will be used to recruit help at our events.

—John Matras, ’75, President, cmatras@aol.com

Class Notes

  • Richard (Dick) Hitchcock, ME ’41, e-mailed to thank us for the O.J. Ferguson story. As to his own career, he writes: “My working life was in Hydraulics and Fluid Controls. I started in Aeronautics with Bendix Aviation and was the project engineer for the Boeing B-29 Bomber engine carburetion with the first-ever direct fuel injection system. I was in rocket development for three years followed by industrial hydraulics for about 30 years until my retirement in 1985. I was in the Civilian Pilot Training program at NU in 1939 headed by Professor Jiles Haney. I obtained my license and had a lot of fun flying. I have always been a so-called ‘hands-on’ engineer and had a wonderful and fun-filled working life with a great variety of activities, including nuclear power plant fluid systems. Best wishes to all at NU engineering!”
  • William E. Keeney, MSEE ’58, worked in the aerospace industry for 23 years and served on the teams that developed the inertial guidance systems for the Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile, Titan III space booster, and Boeing’s 747 aircraft. He also worked on the teams that developed several reconnaissance and communications satellites. Keeney left the aerospace industry to enter commercial industry and retired from his career as vice president of engineering for the Industrial Drives Division of the Kollmorgen Corporation.
  • Greg Bell, EE ’66, married Pearl in 1999 and moved to San Jose, Calif., in 2002.
  • Edward Stephens, CivE ’71, is senior project manager at HWS Consulting Group in Omaha.
  • Thomas Hix, ME ’73, is division manager of production engineering and technical support at OPPD.
  • Donald Cherion, CM ’74, is a project manager at Stanley Consultants, Inc. of Muscatine, Iowa, working in their Kuwait office.
  • Gerald Riskowski, AgE ’74 and ’76, was named head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
  • Kenneth Roth, ME ’76, is division manager of projects and construction at OPPD.
  • James Slominski, CivE ’82, is an attorney with the Hecker Law Group, an intellectual property firm based in Los Angeles. He received an M.S. in aerospace engineering from San Diego State University in 1990 and a J.D. degree from Arizona State University in 1992.
  • Kris Winter, CivE ’85, M.S. IMSE ’02, is the new District Engineer in Norfolk for the Nebraska Department of Roads. She was formerly District 8 Engineer in Ainsworth.
  • Kevin Rathke, ME ’87, has been named manager of the maintenance, engineering and purchasing departments at Lincoln Plating in Lincoln.
  • Pamela Dingman, CivE ’91, is a new stockholder of Lamp, Rynearson and Associates, Inc. in Omaha. She is a senior project manager.
  • Tom O’Hara, EE ’92, and Michael Sotak, CivE ’92 and MBA ’01, have been selected for the Leadership Omaha program. O’Hara is with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Sotak is with Olsson Associates.
  • Virgil H. Oligmueller, CivE ’92 and ’00, is a new stockholder of Lamp Rynearson and Associates, Inc. in Omaha. He is a project manager.
  • Alan Calta, ME ’94, was promoted to manager of product safety and reliability at National Crane of Waverly.
  • Robert Ostdiek, ME ’94, married Kris Eitzmann June 15, 2002. They reside in Lawrence, Neb.
  • Nancy Pridal, CivE ’94, is a new stockholder of Lamp, Rynearson and Associates, Inc. in Omaha. Pridal is a senior project manager.
  • Mark A. Nielson, AgE ’95, was promoted to test engineer at National Crane of Waverly.
  • Stacy Brandt, BSE ’96, is planning a July wedding in Beaconsfield, England, to Roger Chalfont. The couple live in Kensington, London. Stacy recently left Accenture (Kansas City office) after six years and is now with The Research House in London.
  • Erleen Hatfield, MSCE ’96, is a project manager for Thornton-Tomasetti in Chicago. She is part of a team charged with ensuring the safety of rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and evaluating structural integrity of the surrounding buildings.
  • Trevor Larsen, CivE ’96, was promoted to associate at DLR Group in Omaha.
  • Craig Wallace, EE ’96, is a Systems Engineer for Cisco in Omaha, providing engineering sales support for independent telephone companies in seven states. E-mail: crwallac@cisco.com.
  • William C. Woodward, IE ’00, was elected Director of the Greater Omahans for Nebraska chapter of the Nebraska Alumni Association.
  • Wesley C. Woodward, CM ’01, is an Assistant Project Manager with Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City. He is building a combined-cycle power plant in Terre Haute, Indiana.
  • Bingguang Li, Ph.D. ’02 (IMSE) is an assistant professor in the Department of Business Administration at Albany State University in Georgia. Li thanks his adviser at UNL, Michael Riley, for all his help with his educational program and career. E-mail: bli@asurams.edu.


  • Jack Stoffregen, ME ’50, July 27, 2002, Lincoln.
  • Albert “Al” E. Mathews, CivE ’54, August 11, 2002, Lincoln. He was a retired civil engineer with the Natural Resources Commission and a Marine Corps veteran in World War II.
  • Robert M. Cochran, ChemE ’33 and ’36, August 3, 2002, Omaha. A graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical College in 1940, Cochran was a longtime surgeon and World War II veteran who was at the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau.

2002-2003 Engineering Alumni Board Members

President: John Matras, ’75

Vice President: Matt Stryson, ’81, ’85

National Board Representative: Jeffrey Lewis, ’90

President-Elect: Jeff Zvolanek, ’86

Secretary: Gretchen Livingston, ’96

Treasurer: Ron Ferry, ’70

Alumni Association Liaison: Kristi Routh, ’97

Members: Dan Jemeson, ’84; Joel Macklin, ’98, Sarah Macklin, ’98, Kevin Schneider, ’85, Henry Wulf, ’53

Ex-Officio: Jeffrey Lewis, ’90, Dan Harnly, ’94, Larry VanderGriend, ’87, Jeff Wilson, ’80

Upcoming College Events

Mar 4 Discover Engineering Day (junior-high students), Lincoln, Trish Fenster,
Mar 28-29 Women Interested in Engineering and IT Day, Omaha, Alma Ramirez-Rodgers, aramirez@mail.unomaha.edu
April 5 Student Job & Internship Fair, Lincoln, Chris Timm, ctimm1@unl.edu
April 7-11 SAME Student Mentoring Competition, Omaha, Roy Singleton, rsingleton@mail.unomaha.edu
April 24 Technology Fair and Senior Sendoff, Lincoln, Ann Koopmann, akoopmann1@unl.edu
April 25 College E-Week Open House, Lincoln, akoopmann1@unl.edu
April 26 College and Alumni Recognition Dinner, Lincoln, Ann Koopmann, akoopmann1@unl.edu
Oct 6 Seventh Annual Golf Tournament, John Matras, (402) 331-9131

Mark Your Calendars

The Seventh Annual Engineering & Technology Golf Tournament is set for Monday, Oct. 6, 2003, at Firethorn Golf Club, one of the premier courses in the United States. Registration will be at noon followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

As always, we would greatly appreciate any items you would like to furnish as prizes. Examples include golf balls, shirts, caps, business supplies, art pieces, etc.

Please let us know of any potential sponsors or participants who would be interested in supporting this great event. All proceeds go toward the student scholarship fund.

The Alumni Board also is hosting a baseball tailgate party this spring. Check the College web site (www.nuengr.unl.edu) for more information. We hope to see you at these events!

Let us know what’s happening in your life by filling out the form below
or send us a note by e-mail: cwalter3@unl.edu

Name ____________________________________________________________________________
Department and Graduation Year ______________________________________________________
What’s new? _______________________________________________________________________
Return form to:
Constance Walter, Contacts Editor
University of Nebraska Box 880642
Lincoln, NE 68588-0642
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