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Alumni Notes


Lex Axelrod, BS EE ’56, retired for the second time in 2006, from the Illinois Institute of Technology where he had been teaching since 1995. Over the course of his long career, he has worked with computer simulation of flight control system components, development of temperature control systems, and also held a variety of management positions, including heading up a nuclear radiation control systems department and departments developing magnetic ballasts. Axelrod now spends his spare time tutoring high school math and traveling with wife, Leah. The Axelrods have lived in the Chicago area since 1956, and Lex would welcome contact from Mizzou classmates. (E-mail umcendgdev@missouri.edu to be put in touch with him.)

Randy Wright, BS EE ’59, reports that he is operating his own consulting business, “The WRIGHT Solution,” specializing in the application of technology for business and marketing situations. In his home base of Plano, Texas, Wright has been active in business, real estate, and his community for more than 35 years.


William M. Hendrich, BS CiE ’60, has retired as president and CEO after 45 years with the consulting civil and engineering firm Morrison-Maierle Arizona, Inc. Hendrich’s engineering career additionally included positions as founding president and CEO of Triad Association in Kirkland, Wash., and president and CEO of Hendrich, Eberhart & Associates of Pheonix, Ariz. Hendrich and his wife, Nancy, have relocated to Clinton, Mo.

David H. Smith, BS ME, ’66, writes that after launching three lunar orbiters while working for General Dynamics as a propulsion engineer, he transferred to the company’s Ft. Worth facility to work on the F-III Aardvark. He then moved to Ling-Tempco-Vought as a design engineer on the A-7D Corsair II aircraft, and then the S-3A Viking as a fuel system design engineer. Prior to his retirement in 2007, he had purchased and operated a silkscreen business. Smith and his wife, Patricia H (Reukauf) Smith, BJ ’66, are living in Springfield, Mo.


Ronald J. Calkins, BS CiE ’71, MS CiE ’72, in May was recognized as one of the American Public Works Association’s Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year. Calkins has been the public works director of Ventura, Calif., since 1993, previously serving as Ventura’s city engineer. He has also served as the assistant public works director for the City of Santa Barbara, and principle engineer with the Ventura Regional Sanitation District. Calkins is a member of Mizzou Engineering’s Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Jeff Hower, BS MAE ’75, retired January 4 as vice president of engineering with Hillard Industries in St. Joseph, Mo., after 32 years with the company. Hower plans to continue his career working part time as a consultant and machine design engineer. His wife, Debbie, also retired recently—from Heartland Hospital in St. Joseph, after 29 years as a respiratory therapist.

Bob Bloss, BS IE ’77, has been promoted to senior vice president of human resources and appointed a corporate officer for Hallmark Cards, Inc., in Kansas City. He began his career with the company in 1986 and has served in a number of leadership roles with Hallmark. Since 2005, he has worked as the human resources director for the Hallmark retail business. Bloss is a member of the MU Dean’s Engineering Advisory Council.


Marty Rapp, BS ChE ’82, writes that he took a position with Monsanto immediately after graduating, where he worked in a variety of positions and also completed three graduate degrees. In his last position with Monsanto, he was responsible for technology management and international marketing and sales for a small developmental business within Monsanto that was sold in 1996. He stayed with the business—Laird Technologies—as general manager. In the past 12 years, the company, located in Chesterfield, Mo., has rocketed to success and Rapp became its president, and now its CEO. The company invents and develops technologies and products that enable increasingly lighter and smaller electronic devices to work more efficiently.


Stephen Fusselman, Ph.D. ChE ’92, was honored as Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s (PWR) 2007 Co-Engineer of the Year for his leadership in the advancement of chemical process technology for coal gasification. According to PWR, he was responsible for inventing/conceptualizing critical components for the coal gasifier and along with other team members has filed four separate invention disclosures in the area of gasifier injectors and liners. Fusselman lives in Simi Valley, Calif., with wife Jenny, MS ChE ’90, and son, Eric.

Emily (Enkvetchakul) Wilber BS ChE ’98, and her husband, Jim Wilber, BS ChE ’98, celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary on May 24. After graduation, the couple took out-of-state jobs at the same company but missed Columbia so much that they returned—Jim to a job at the University Power Plant, and Emily to a position with the Department of Natural Resources. The couple has two children.


Nicole Butler Roberts, BS EE ’03, of Rockwall, Texas, reports that she has completed a master’s in system engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and was promoted to serve as principal investigator of L-3 Communications’ advanced research and development group. Nicole is married to Tim Roberts, BS MAE ’03.


Harold E. Hodge, BS CiE ’40, of Alexandria, Va., died Sept. 1, 2007. A structural design engineer specializing in floating structures and waterfront facilities, he worked for the Department of the Navy, Bureau of Yards and Docks—now known as the Naval Facilities Engineering Command—in Washington, DC, for 39 years. He served a special five-year assignment on the response of structures to nuclear explosions. Hodge served in the Missouri National Guard, HQ and Service Company, 110th Engineers (combat) from 1935-1936. Hodge’s wife of 66 years, Grace Peterson Hodge, survives.

Carl M. Sneed, BS MAE ’42, retired professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at MU, died March 14, 2008, in an explosion and fire. A Columbia native, he graduated from Hickman High School in the late 1930s before attending the College of Engineering. During WWII, he worked designing aircraft engines before accepting a teaching position at Mizzou Engineering in 1952. He specialized in heat transfer and thermodynamics. Sneed also served as an associate chair for undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering. He and his wife, Merna (Fisher) Sneed, a retired MU home economics faculty member, enjoyed traveling together and were active in the community. Merna passed away on April 3, 2008, from injuries suffered in the same accident.

Robert G. Crabtree, BS CiE, ’53, MS CiE ’54, of Overland Park, Kan., died April 1, 2008. He served briefly as an associate professor at MU before taking a job with HNTB, an architectural and engineering firm in Kansas City. In 1976, he joined Harrington, Corelyou, Inc., Consulting Engineers where he was principal and CEO before his retirement. Crabtree has served as president of the Missouri Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies and as president of the MU Engineering Alumni Organization. In 1991, he was honored by Mizzou Engineering with a Citation of Merit Award, and in 1999 was inducted into the MU Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

William C. Albrecht, BS MAE ’60, died on Jan. 1, 2008.

Edward Dubouillet, BS CiE ’60, died on July 24, 2007.

Edgar F. Woolery, BA A&S ’61, BS ChE ’61, of Danville, Calif., died Oct. 22, 2007. A graduate of the United States Navy Test Pilot School, he served in the U.S. Navy as an aviator from 1953 to 1976, and retired as a commander. Woolery worked as a design physicist at Lawrence Livermore Lab from 1971 to 1993. He is survived by his wife, Jeannine.

Robert Lee Davis, BS IE ’62, died on June 6, 2007.

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