Tulsa turf team

Love it or hate it, artificial turf has many benefits — including year-round field use and an even playing surface. In October, students voted to fund 75 percent of the $2.4 million required to install turf on S&T’s football and intramural fields, but more is needed. [Read more…]

Endowment brings young talent to materials science and engineering

When Wayne Huebner learned that his department had received an endowment of more than $1 million from the estate of G. Robert, ChE’41, and Roberta Couch with just a single requirement — to attract and retain top faculty members in materials science and engineering — he decided to do things a bit differently. [Read more…]

Modern-day miners

cover-moderndayminersYes, we’re the Miners. For nearly 150 years, S&T alumni have been developing new ways to get to the metals, fossil fuels and other mineral resources society wants and needs.

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Express engineer

PatrickDippel“I thrive under pressure,” says Patrick Dippel, EMgt’04. “I was looking for a company that was aggressive in improving itself, and I found it. I have never seen such strong passion and alignment across all segments of a business and through the efforts of every individual employee.”

Dippel is talking about Express Scripts Inc. in St. Louis, where he is senior manager of operations. His group manages the order intake channels for the company’s home delivery operations.

“We’re involved in the entire home delivery process, so we interact with all areas — from the home delivery technicians, the pharmacists who communicate with both the patient and the doctor’s offices, and the people who fill the orders and send them out,” he says.

Dippel is also a member of the strategy and continuous improvement group, which helps shape the vision for home delivery operations and looks for ways to drive out waste.

The company recently acquired another large prescription benefit management company, Medco Health Solutions. Dippel has had a large role in helping the companies integrate.

“Merging two different business models is pretty challenging,” he says. “But both sides are committed to being flexible and transparent. We’re working together to get the merger done successfully so all of our patients and clients benefit.”

Room to grow

BreenaeWashingtonBreenae Washington, EMgt’12, didn’t know what to expect when she started her first job after graduation.

“I thought I’d be treated like an intern, but I’m not,” she says of her project management position with MasterCard in O’Fallon, Mo. “Although there’s a steep learning curve, I’m learning as I go.”

Washington says she’s discovered there’s a big misperception about the company. “We’re not a payments company — we’re actually a technology company that works on solutions to make the payment industry more safe and secure,” she says. “We don’t issue cards or control interest rates.”

As a member of the global project management office, Washington helps manage the financial aspects, plans and team schedules for projects.

“I get a lot of exposure to different things here,” she says. “I worked on the environment testing phase of Priceless Cities, a unique program that gives holders one-of-a-kind experiences around the world, including fine dining, world-class sporting events and indulgent shopping experiences. It started in New York and has expanded to 20 cities around the globe.”

She’s also part of a team that is working to help MasterCard better market itself to top talent.

“It’s easy to find the positives about working here,” she says. “MasterCard cares about its employees’ development and job satisfaction, and it promotes from within. I can set my own path here.”

On the right track

TravisDuncanYes, it’s an old company. It’s been a fixture in the transportation industry since Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 to create a transcontinental railroad. But that doesn’t mean Union Pacific is out-of-date.

“Most people look at us and think, ‘You’re a railroad, you must use a lot of old technology,’” says Travis Duncan, BAdm’08, IST’08. “And while it’s true that Union Pacific has been around for 150 years, we are a leader in developing and applying cutting-edge technology in transportation.”

The nation’s largest railroad covers 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States and employs about 45,000 people.

Based in Omaha, Neb., Duncan is manager of “MyUP,” Union Pacific’s internal company portal. “It’s a place where our various departments (operations, marketing, sales, etc.) have access to the information and applications they need to do their jobs. Our goal is to be a one-stop shop that brings together what they need on a daily basis,” he says.

“Because MyUP touches all departments, I get to interact with a lot of people throughout the company and learn about all the different pieces of the business,” he says.

Duncan says he was initially drawn to UP because of its technology aspect, not from a fascination with trains as many other employees have. But he’s a fan now. “I’ve developed a real appreciation for trains since I’ve been with Union Pacific,” he says. “We get things from one place to another in ways trucks just can’t. A single train can carry as much as 300 trucks can. And we’re really efficient too, with less impact to the environment.”

Union Pacific moves freight, not people, but Duncan plans to get out in the field soon and take a ride on one of the trains himself.

He encourages new graduates and others to consider Union Pacific for a career. “A lot of baby boomers will be retiring in the next few years, creating tremendous career opportunities for younger employees,” he says.

“It’s the diversity in both the technology and people that makes Union Pacific a fun, challenging and rewarding place to work,” he says.

Steven Frey: Locked in on S&T

A true champion of S&T, Steven Frey, MS Phys’86, is director of applied research for Lockheed Martin Corp. in Orlando, Fla. He has been with the company since he finished graduate school.

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Military monster truck

Skaggs

The Dodge “Weapons Carrier” Barbara Skaggs, ME’85, drives can – and does – go anywhere. (Photo by Bryan Ilyankoff)

“We call her Ol’ Smokey — for obvious reasons when you start her up on cold days.”

Barbara Skaggs, ME’85, is referring to her family’s 1942 Dodge WC52, better known as a “weapons carrier” in the military. Years ago the veteran vehicle found a new life with the family.

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Keeping it in the family

Gauss

Montie, CSci’73, MS EMgt’74 (in sunglasses), and Caryn (seated) Gauss pose with their three children and their families. (Photo submitted)

Many cars have a series of owners before they are scrapped or otherwise retired. It’s rare for a vehicle to find a permanent loving home that spans generations. Montie Gauss’s 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster is one of the lucky ones.

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Engineering a dream dragster

bob toy

Bob Toy, ME’72, and his racing team set a national record in their dragster in 1997. (Photo courtesy of Auto Imagery Inc.)

“I didn’t pick my major for a good job or a membership to the country club,” says Bob Toy, ME’72. “I did it so I could race.”

[Read more…]