December 2016 Class Notes

Want to share your latest adventures? Submit your class notes to Holly Altman at haltman@email.arizona.edu – and be sure to include a photo!

Malcolm Goekler
Mac Goekler with his latest inventionClass of 1968
BS in Chemical Engineering
macgoekler@gmail.com

I started my career working offshore of Louisiana – including a short time as a drilling engineer (even then hydraulic fracturing was old 1948 technology). Within a few years I settled into plastics manufacturing. I moved from engineering into plant management then general management. As the manufacturing moved away from the U.S., I went to Mexico, like many (for most of the 1990s). As work started moving to Asia, my colleagues sent me to China to explore possibilities there – I reported we could only compete in niche industries and decided it was time to retire (in 1999). This gave me more time for social justice causes (my Susan and I have been working for over 20 years to improve the health of folks in the central region of Ghana – fresh water, schools, hospitals, etc.), helping war refugees, environmental justice, etc.

In the chemical engineering department, I was thought of as the class mechanic (Dr. White’s description) – I was not the best student by wide measure, but I knew how to run a lathe. My dad was a machinist who taught himself engineering and then moved into senior management. I was educated as an engineer, taught myself machining, welding, etc., and too moved into senior management. We both led by example. My engineer friends correctly define me as trying to re-invent the steam engine. You would be accurate to call my craziness “functional steam punk art” – my current engine project is a five-cylinder, triple-expansion engine. I also design and build boilers. The photo is one of my “simple” engines. My other weird hobby – I’ve been growing orchids for 40 years.

This tendency to the mechanical side of chemical engineering would explain why all my five patents are for product designs, not process development or new materials.

Susan and I live on the Delaware coast – a long ways from Arizona, but this is home to Susan and her family. We love it here, except during the summer season when the tourists come. Susan and I met on an eco-tour in Costa Rica.

 

Terri Camesano 
Terri CamesanoClass of 1997
MS in Environmental Engineering
terric@wpi.edu

I am currently a professor of chemical engineering and dean of graduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. I live in Newton, Massachusetts, with my husband and three daughters, and I visit Tucson as often as possible.

 

Andy Harris
Class of 1987 Andy Harris
BS in Chemical Engineering
andyharris4@gmail.com

After starting as a project Engineer for Exxon in 1987, I transitioned into a career built on technical sales and business management in the specialty chemical industry, also supported with an MBA from USC.

I am currently president and CEO of Accella Performance Materials – the largest independent polyurethane systems manufacturer in North America. Polyurethane offers a very broad range of physical properties, making it one of the most versatile and safe products for manufacturing. Accella specializes in manufacturing custom polyurethane coatings, adhesives, elastomers, and flexible and rigid foams for a wide range of products including bowling balls, caster wheels, sports and athletic surfaces, flooring, decorative trim, furniture, spray foam insulation, and spray roof coating, to name a few.

I enjoy being involved in a manufacturing business that makes a positive difference in people's lives on a daily basis, enhancing comfort, safety, sustainability and performance. I am grateful for my time spent at the University of Arizona.

Go Cats! Bear down!

 

Kaitlyn Mensing 
Kaitlyn MensingClass of 2015
BS in Chemical Engineering
kait.m7@gmail.com

I graduated from CHEE in spring 2015 and have been working as a process engineer at W.L. Gore & Associates in Phoenix since then. Right now I am in the process of applying to law schools and plan on specializing in intellectual property law starting in the fall of 2017. The more time that passes, the more I appreciate my education and degree, and I look forward to using it in law school and beyond.

 

Christian Montoya
Department chair Anthony Muscat with Christian MontoyaClass of 2015
BS in Chemical Engineering
christianmontoya@email.arizona.edu

Being at Microsoft for the past year and a half has been a humbling experience. As a program manager, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the smartest individuals I’ve ever met (no offense, class of 2015!!). Unfortunately for all of the current CHEEs, I don’t work on Excel, though I’m sure I could pass some ideas on if you’d like!

There are many fantastic perks to my job, but none more so than having opportunities to travel to either evangelize the product I’m working on or to relay my journey to Microsoft for University Recruiting. These trips truly have sincerely reminded me of who I am and where I’ve come from, and it allows me to give back to the communities that helped me grow into the individual and professional I am today.

I’m also excited that I’ve been able to give back to the community through the means of a scholarship through the College of Engineering. I’m excited to continue my work, give back to the community, and continue returning to the University of Arizona’s Homecoming weekends to see some familiar faces, like Dr. Muscat.

University of Arizona College of Engineering