Engineering alumni achievement awards dinner set for April 1

The School of Engineering Alumni Achievement Awards dinner will be held Tuesday, April 1, at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. A reception will start at 6:30 p.m. with the dinner following at 7 p.m.

Five alumni will receive Alumni Achievement Awards, one will be given the Young Alumni Award and one will be honored with the Dean’s Award. The honorees:

Alumni Achievement Awards

Paul L. Chandeysson, M.D., (BSEE ’58, BSME ’58) is the medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration Bureau of Medical Devices in Arlington, Va. He was the first person with degrees in engineering and medicine to be employed by the medical devices bureau. Chandeysson helped expedite the approval of several life-saving devices, including the implantable defibrillator and the automatic external defibrillator, which is now in use on airplanes and in many public buildings.

Sunil G. Hirani (BSCS ’88) is chief executive officer and co-founder of Creditex, New York, a global market leader and innovator in the execution and processing of credit derivatives. Used by more than 1,000 traders at the world’s top financial institutions, Creditex is the first and leading e-trading platform in credit derivatives. Crain’s New York Business named Sunil to the “40 Under 40” list in 2006.

Donald A. Jubel (BSME ’73) is CEO and president of Spartan Light Metal Products Inc. of St. Louis. His company provides highly engineered aluminum and magnesium die-cast solutions for the power train markets. Spartan has the distinct recognition of exporting a critical engine part to a Lexus engine plant in Japan. In 1978, Jubel became the initial project engineer for Spartan’s magnesium operation. After working in several positions in operations, engineering and sales, Jubel became president Jan. 1, 1991, and added the title of chief executive officer in 1999.

Charles E. Simmons (BSEE ’70) is the retired vice president of marketing and corporate development at Network Appliance Inc. in Los Altos Hills, Calif. At Network Appliance, he was responsible for strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and corporate partnerships during a period that saw the company grow from $50 million to $600 million in annual revenue. Today, he provides leadership to the School of Engineering National Council and is a Life Member of the Eliot Society.

Ellen W. Zegura (BSCS ’87, BSEE ’87, MSCS ’90, DScCs ’93) is associate dean and chair of the computing science and systems division of the computer science school at Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been a member of the Georgia Tech faculty since 1993. She served as interim dean for six months in 2002. Her responsibilities range from research and graduate programs to space and facilities planning. Zegura’s research interests center on computer networks and the Internet, and she is highly regarded within the networking research community.

Young Alumni Award

Michael Lefenfeld (BSChE, ’02) is president and chief executive officer of SiGNa Chemistry Inc. in New York, which he co-founded in late 2003. He and James Dye, Ph.D., discovered a way to stabilize alkali metals and their derivatives by combining them with nanostructured metal oxides to yield a stable powder retaining all of the chemical reactivity. Also, when mixed with water, this powder produces cheap, clean hydrogen gas. His discovery has led to the first advancement in alkali metal chemistry in 100 years by creating a material useful for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining and fuel cells.

Dean’s Award

Michael K. Gibbons (MSME ’91, MBA ’07) is the director/EA-18G program manager of The Boeing Co., in St. Louis. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award, given annually to the individual who has done the most for the school in the preceding year and who has achieved distinction in his or her own career.

Gibbons is recognized for strengthening the relationship between the University and Boeing, particularly in developing the WUSTL Engineering and Boeing Joint Seminar Series, as well as applied systems engineering program that will be offered by WUSTL engineering for Boeing employees. He recently led his team through a five-year, $1.2 billion development program of the EA-18G Growler, in the initial phases of production, that will replace all existing aircraft carrier-based electronic attack aircraft by 2012. Gibbons also has recently picked up the duties for leading the flight plan for the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler programs.