Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board

Virginia Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Department formed its Advisory Board in February of 1997.

The purpose of this group of alumni and friends is to:
Support the Department on existing and proposed educational and academic programs and other activities.

Provide guidance strategies and assistance to the Department in maintaining effective liaisons with the university and the external community.
Assist the Department in developing and communicating a national reputation in scholarship and research.

Mary Virginia Berry

Executive Director of Engineering (Retired)
Aerojet Cooporation

Mary Jones Berry P.E. is a 1962 Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering graduate with a MS in ME from George Washington University. She retired in 2008 as the Executive Director of Engineering at Aerojet Corporation. Her expertise is in solid propellant rocket motor design. She devoted part of her career as the chief engineer of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

She was the first woman registered as a Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was the first woman to be inducted in the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Tech and in 2002 the District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies awarded her the Engineer of the Year award. Mary is a former President of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and now served as an honorary member of the Alumni Board.

Blanton_bioJohn Blanton

Senior Engineer
GE Power & Water

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John Blanton is a Senior Engineer for GE Power & Water in Greenville SC. His 34-year engineering career with GE has focused primarily on aero-thermal design technologies for industrial and aircraft gas turbines. Dr. Blanton received BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and was on the teaching faculty there for one and a half years. He also has been an adjunct faculty at Union College in Schenectady NY and at the University of Cincinnati. He is a Fellow of both ASME and AIAA, and is an active volunteer leader in both organizations at local, regional, and institute levels.

16-CousinsWilliam T. Cousins, Ph.D.

Principal Research Engineer
United Technologies Research Center

Dr. Cousins holds BSME, MSME, and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech, and is currently with United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut, holding the position of Principal Research Engineer in the aerodynamics area. His career includes positions at Virginia Tech, Pratt & Whitney, and Honeywell Engines. He has published extensively in the areas of axial and centrifugal compressor design, testing and measurements, inlet/engine integration, inlet distortion, stall and surge phenomena, and unsteady flow analysis, areas in which he has worked for over 30 years. Listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in Science and Engineering and Who’s Who in the West, and also Strathmore’s Who’s Who, Dr. Cousins has received numerous awards for his technical work. A Fellow in ASME, Dr. Cousins has held numerous positions in the society, including sitting as a member of the Board of Governors. Currently, he is the Director of the Aircraft Engine Committee of the International Gas Turbine Institute.

DesChamps_bioNicholas H. Des Champs, Ph.D.

President and Founder
Des Champs Technologies Corporation

BSME, Virginia Tech 1962
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics, 1967, Virginia Tech
1962 to 1963, Atlantic Research, Springfield, VA
1966 to 1971 at Sanders Associates, Nashua, New Hampshire involved with developing countermeasures systems for U.S. Navy fighter aircraft, study of reentry heat transfer, and many other thermodynamics and heat transfer projects.
1971 to 1974, VP for an engineering development company in New York City.
1974 to 2007, founder and president of Des Champs Technologies, a manufacturer of very special air conditioning and energy recovery equipment.

Awards:
1997 Master Entrepreneur of the Year, 2010 inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Engineering Excellence.
Served on the VaTech Engineering Advisory Board and the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board and the VMI Engineering Advisory Board.

dittmer_bioHoward Dittmer

VP of Engineering & Technology
ARPAC Group

Howard Dittmer is Vice President of Engineering and Technology at ARPAC LLC, a leading manufacturer of end of line packaging machinery. Howard received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also holds a MS in Software Engineering from DePaul University where he is currently a PhD student in Software Engineering. Prior to joining ARPAC Howard was Executive Vice President at Herbst LaZar Bell, a leading product development firm. In addition he has served in executive engineering roles at Fluid Management, Rockwell International and General Signal. He was a founding advisory board member for Northwestern University’s Masters of Product Development program. He is currently a member of the ASME Industry Advisory Board.

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Steve Drumheller

President
Mountain Precision Tool

Steve Drumheller is President of Mountain Precision Tool, a company he established in 2001. The Blacksburg company is a custom manufacturer of high-precision machined parts whose primary customers are suppliers to the electronics, aerospace, fiber optics, defense, and pharmaceuticals industries. Prior to 2001 Steve worked for Ingersoll-Rand Company for twenty-five years in research, product development, product management, and finally as Corporate Director of Engineering. Steve is a past chair of the ME Advisory Board, and he has served on the Board since 1997. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and his MBA from Rider College in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Gleming_bioDavid A. Glemming

President
Glemming Research Associates

Dave has a BS in Mechanical Engineering with an option in Naval Architecture from Virginia Tech [64]. He was a coop at the Navy Shipyard in Norfolk Virginia and at a private Naval Architect company. He coordinated recruiting at VA Tech for Goodyear for 28 years. Dave retired in 2007 as the Director of Global Tire Performance Prediction at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He then formed Glemming Research Associates and led a program to reverse engineer the original lunar rover wheels, and build and test new ones for NASA. Dave now lives in Orlando, Florida. Interests include family, sailing, motor sports, wood working and micro machining.

Heilmann_bioJohn D. Heilmann

Global Business Director, Offshore Products
Lord Corporation

John Heilmann joined the ME Advisory Board in 2010. He is a Virginia Tech alumnus, with both BS (1995) and MS degrees (1996) in Mechanical Engineering. After leaving Virginia Tech, John joined Lord Corporation, a privately-held company headquartered in Cary, NC. At Lord, John has held positions in design engineering and engineering management, focusing on flight-critical helicopter components. John has also served as product manager for Lord’s electromechanical product and elastomeric helicopter product lines. John is currently the global business director for Lord’s offshore elastomeric products, serving the oil and gas industry. While at Lord, John obtained a Pennsylvania professional engineer license and completed an MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill. John serves on Lord’s STEM Outreach and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation committees. John resides in Apex, NC.

van-houten_bioKeith Van Houten

Manager of Vehicle Integration Strategy,
Global Vehicle Performance, Proving Ground, and
Test Lab

General Motors Proving Ground

Keith Van Houten is the Manager of Vehicle Integration Strategy for the Global Vehicle Performance, Proving Ground, and Test Lab organization at General Motors. He’s held positions as the Lead Development Engineer for the Buick Regal program, and multiple assignments within GM’s noise and vibration and vehicle integration organizations. A former Solar Car team leader as a student at Virginia Tech, this is his eleventh year mentoring the Hokies’ HEVT team in the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) program. He joined General Motors in 1991 and works at the GM Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. Keith holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and an Master of Science in Strategic Management from Indiana University.

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Jones_bioJohn R. Jones, III

President (Retired)
AEP ProServ

John Jones is currently a consultant to the electric power industry focusing on project and construction management.

Prior to consulting, he retired at the end of 2002 after 36 years as an executive with American Electric Power. At that time he held the corporate office of Senior Vice President and President of a subsidiary he created, AEP ProServ. His responsibilities included providing engineering, environmental, construction and maintenance services to AEP’s 38,000 MW generation fleet plus providing those services on a competitive basis to external customers domestically and internationally. During his career, he was responsible for the project management, construction and start-up of approximately 15,000 MW’s of coal, gas, wind and nuclear generation.

Jones holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and Management Development Certificates from the University of Michigan and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is a member of the VT College of Engineering’s “Academy of Engineering Excellence”.

 Reilley_bioMichael J. Reilley, PE

Director, Nuclear Propulsion-Construction Engineering
Newport News Shipbuilding

Michael J. Reilley is Director of the CVN21 Propulsion Engineering at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, VA. He is responsible for design of the Propulsion Plant on the new Ford Class aircraft carriers.

He joined Newport News in 1984 as an associate engineer and has held a number of positions during his career including lead mechanical engineer, Manager, Virginia Class Submarine-Nuclear Construction Engineering and Manager, Propulsion Plant Construction Engineering for the Ford Class Aircraft Carrier and Director of the Nuclear Propulsion-Construction and Process Engineering.

Reilley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia in 1984 and a Master’s in Engineering Management from George Washington University in 1992. He is a Licensed Engineer in the State of Virginia.

About Newport News Shipbuilding:

Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, is the nation’s sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. NNS also provides fleet services for naval ships and recently expanded its nuclear and manufacturing expertise into Department of Energy and alternative energy business ventures. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, the shipyard’s vast facilities span more than 500 acres along two miles of waterfront on the historic James River. It is the largest industrial employer in Virginia, employing more than 20,000 people, many of whom are third and fourth generation shipbuilders. For more information, please visit www.huntingtoningalls.com.

Ranson_bioWilliam Ranson

Technology Manager
DuPont Building Innovations

William W. Ranson is the technology manager for DuPont Building Innovations, a leading company in developing new products and technologies for the building industry, including the Tyvek® brand. He has over 12 years of experience managing and developing scientific professionals, both domestically and internationally. Throughout his career, William has led quality, research and development, manufacturing, and application development teams within various DuPont businesses in North America and Europe. Prior to joining DuPont, he completed his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.

William is also a recruiter for DuPont’s engineering hiring at Virginia Tech. Being a former co-op student himself; William has a passion to help develop current college students’ skills for future success. In addition to his recruiting activities, he is a board member of both the Virginia Tech Mechanical
Engineering Advisory Board and also the Corp of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development.

Outside of professional interests, an important aspect of William’s life is family. He, his wife, and two young children live within 15 miles of both sets of grandparents in Richmond, Virginia.

Sparks_bioJohn F. Sparks

Program Director, Engineering and Technology Programs
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Dr. John F. Sparks is a Program Director at Aerojet Rocketdyne and has program management responsibility for early development and advanced technology programs. Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense, strategic, tactical missile and armaments areas in support of domestic and international markets. Dr. Sparks has Bachelor (1974), Masters (1976), and Ph.D (1981) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. In addition to his membership on the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board, Dr. Sparks heads the College of Engineering Advisory Board Legislative Committee. Dr. Sparks is the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus for 2014.

Rives_bioJ. David Rives

Sr. Vice President , Distribution
Dominion Virginia Power

J. David Rives is senior vice president–Distribution, Dominion Virginia Power.

Rives joined Dominion in 1981 as an engineer in Power Station Engineering & Construction. He has held various positions in engineering and operations, including operations superintendent at Chesterfield Power Station, director-Technical Training Center, and station director at Mt. Storm, Bath County and North Branch power stations.

He was named managing director–Fossil & Hydro Merchant Operations in January 2003 and vice president–Fossil & Hydro Technical Services in January 2004. He became vice president–Fossil & Hydro System Operations in April 2005 and was named senior vice president–Power Generation in October 2007. He assumed his current post in January 2014.

Rives serves on the boards of the Virginia Commonwealth University Business Alumni Society, the American Red Cross–Eastern Virginia Region, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and the Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering Department Advisory Board. He is a certified professional engineer in Virginia.

A graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering, he received his master’s degree in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Zanoni_bioEd Zanoni

Senior Manager Core Technologies,
Philadelphia Design Center

The Boeing Company

Edward John (Ed) Zanoni is Senior Manager of Core Technologies in the Engineering Enterprise Support Group at The Boeing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Core Technologies Department is comprised of over 30 analysts supporting the advanced core competencies of the group including but not limited to Nonlinear Implicit/Explicit FEA, Durability and Damage Tolerance, Composites Design & Analysis, Optimization, Certification and Dynamic Systems Technology.

Ed is responsible for maintaining the Group’s Technical Excellence in Engineering Enterprise Support. This includes the advancement of structural analysis capabilities through tools and training, as well as solving some of the Boeing Company’s most challenging tasks in Mechanical Structural Engineering. He is also responsible for the advancement of composites technology through design and analysis.

Ed is also a steering committee member of the Boeing Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics Community of Excellence, committed to maintaining an emphasis in maintaining technical excellence in airframe and dynamic component fatigue and fracture mechanics throughout the Boeing Company. He has co-authored papers in the areas of probabilistic modeling of retirement lives for dynamic components, airframe damage tolerance and spectrum development for airframe damage tolerance.

Ed has recently accepted the role as Boeing’s Deputy Engineering Executive focal for Virginia Tech, working with Sarah Mayer. Ed has supported numerous Virginia Tech Engineering hiring events, and has most recently led the Virginia Tech Engineering Exposition as well as the Boeing Engineering Accelerated Hiring Events at Virginia Tech for the past 3 years.

Ed is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Additional degrees include MS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University, MBA in Operations & Service Management from St. Joseph’s University, and Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management from Lehigh University.

He has also served as an examiner and monitor for the Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence (KAPE) from 2005 to 2012. Ed and his wife reside in Narberth, Pennsylvania, where they raise their five children, all under the age of 11.

Rule_bioJay A. Rule, Jr.

Senior Principal Engineer
MeadWestvaco Corporation

Jay Rule serves as Senior Principal Engineer at MWV – MeadWestvaco’s Covington, Virginia paperboard mill. He joined MWV’s Westvaco Covington Research Lab in 1989, conducting applied production research, followed by supervisory responsibilities in the Covington mill starting in 2002. Jay currently supervises the mill’s young process engineers as well as leading project work in production performance analysis, and thermal/fluids/heat transfer process improvement. He received BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from VPI&SU and served as an instructor there for eight years. Jay is a registered professional engineer in Virginia.

Lenny Wedge, P.E.

Manager of Engineering
Graham-White Manufacturing Company

Douglas C. Rabe, Ph.D.

Director, Turbine Engine Research Center
USAF Research Laboratory

Stacey Swisher Harnetty

Director of Stream Strategies
Eastman Chemical Company