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Virginia Tech inducts nine into its College of Engineering Academy of Engineering Excellence


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 30, 2004 – Virginia Tech's College of Engineering has inducted nine new members into its Academy of Engineering Excellence. The college selected these alumni because of their outstanding contributions to the engineering profession.

The academy membership now stands at 45. The nine new members are: Kyle T. Alfriend, Kelso Baker, Mary Berry, Douglas Dwoyer, Eustace Frederick, James K. George, Jr., John Kroehling, Haller Prillaman, and Dr. Sidney Smith, Jr.

Alfriend of Pebble Beach, Cal., is a 1962 engineering mechanics graduate who also received his Ph.D. in EM in 1967. He has more than 40 years of diverse experience in the aerospace field. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society.

Alfriend, a native of Danville, Va., holds a Texas A&M Distinguished Research Chair. He continues to work in the area of space surveillance and the dynamics and control of swarms of small satellites flying in a precise formation.

Baker is another native Virginian, and a 1951 civil engineering (CE) graduate. Currently residing in Sewickley, Pa., Baker started his own company in 1963, the Baker Process Equipment Company, representing a number of companies that manufacture heat-transfer equipment, vacuum jet equipment, and analytical gas analyzers. He maintains offices in Charleston, W. Va., and Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1999, Baker funded the Kelso S. Baker Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory, directed by CEE Professor Panos Diplas. This premier facility of the mid-Atlantic region for hydraulics research enables researchers to study phenomena related to the movement of water, sediment, and pollutants through wetlands and waterways.

Berry of Gainesville, Va., has a record of attaining "firsts" for women engineers and her pioneering career represents the epitome of a lifetime of achievements. She is a 1962 mechanical engineering graduate.

Berry's career spans more than four decades with Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC) where she started as a structural engineer. Recently the company merged with Aerojet General Corporation and she was named the Executive Director of Virginia Engineering. For ARC, she had served as Director of Design Engineering, Configuration Management and Knowledge Resources.

Dwoyer came to Virginia Tech to study aerospace engineering in 1960 as a member of the Corps of Cadets. He earned all three degrees from Virginia Tech: a bachelor's degree in 1964, a master's degree in 1968, and his doctorate in 1975.

Dwoyer of Glouster, Va., has spent 26 years at the NASA Langley location where the exciting challenges have never stopped. Since 1998, some 1700 researchers, technicians and support personnel have reported to Doug as NASA Langley's Associate Director for Research and Technology Competencies.

Frederick is the son of two Russian peasants who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Frederick entered Virginia Tech's mining engineering program as a member of the Corps of Cadets, and he received a four-year scholarship to play football. He graduated in 1952.

Frederick spent the next 40 years with the same company, Consolidation Coal Company (now CONSOL). When he retired in 1992, he was the Senior Vice President of Mining for the Southern Appalachia Region. He remained a consultant to the mining industry until he became a member of the West Virginia legislature in 1993. His constituency continues to reelect him to office. In 1994 he received the Professional Award for Mining Health, Safety and Research.

George of Austin, Texas, was inducted into three honor societies while an electrical engineering (EE) student at Virginia Tech. He also presided over Virginia Tech's Amateur Radio Association, and received his bachelor's degree in 1964.

He spent 38 years with the semiconductor industry. The bulk of that time, George worked for Motorola's Semiconductor Products business in positions of increasing responsibilities. He served as the corporate vice president of Motorola for the last 15 years of his career until he retired in 2002.

Kroehling started at Virginia Tech in 1942, served in World War II from 1943 until 1946, when he returned to campus with a Purple Heart and a Soldiers Medal. He played on the 1946 and 1947 football teams, and he attended classes year round to graduate in ceramic engineering with the June 1948 class. He attained academic honors and membership in Sigma Gamma Epsilon, a mineral industries professional fraternity, and KERAMOS, a national fraternity of ceramic engineers.

Today, he owns JH Kroehling Associates, operating the business from his new home in Williamsburg, Va. He provides catalyst maintenance services to General Motors, Chrysler, and Toyota assembly plants.

Prillaman of Martinsville, Va., is a well-respected businessman and civic leader who was named Virginia's Volunteer Economic Developer of the Year in 1999.

Prillaman graduated from Virginia Tech in industrial engineering in 1955, and three years later, he returned to Martinsville to join his family's business. His father, one of Martinsville's former mayors, started the Prillaman Company, a specialty coatings manufacturer, in the 1930s. His older brother, Nick, a Virginia Tech 1949 chemical engineering graduate, was running the business, and Hal served as the Vice President until 1960 when he became President of Prillaman Chemicals, a chemical distribution company.

In 1984 he sold the company, but retained the presidency for four more years. In 1988 he and his brother Nick started the Prillaman Brothers, an investment firm. They continue to operate this Martinsville business on a part time basis.

Sidney Smith Jr., is world-renowned in the health field. Smith graduated in 1963 with a chemical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, which he used as a stepping-stone to attend Yale Medical School.

Today, he makes each of his alma maters proud. Smith was the 1995 President of the American Heart Association and the first person to hold the title of AHA's Chief Science Officer from 2001 until 2003. He's met in the Oval Office with two sitting Presidents of the United States on health matters, and with national leaders on such topics as the standards of cardiac care that should be provided nationally and the funding of prescription drugs for the Medicare population. In June of 2000, he was awarded the AHA's prestigious Gold Heart Award.