Alumni News & Newsletter
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Gifts & Accolades
Tom Shih honored with the 2023 U-M Mechanical Engineering Alumni Merit Award
The Department Merit Awards were established to honor alumni who personify the College’s tradition of excellence and who have achieved significant accomplishments in their professional lives. The awards are given each year to graduates from each academic department.
Tom I-P. Shih was chosen as the 2023 U-M Mechanical Engineering Alumni Merit Award recipient for his outstanding contributions to the his field and the mechanical engineering community. Ellen Arruda, Tim Manganello/BorgWarner Department Chair and Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, sat down with Shih to talk about the award and what it means to be part of the community in the video above.
Shih was the J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head and Professor of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Before coming to Purdue, he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. He has also served as a faculty member at Michigan State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Florida and was a mechanical engineer at NASA Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center. Shih started his undergraduate education at West Virginia University, but completed his BS degree at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. His MS and PhD degrees are from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His research interests are in computational fluid mechanics, gas turbine aerodynamics and heat transfer, aircraft icing, and control of shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions. He is a fellow of AIAA and ASME and a recipient of AIAA’s Energy Systems Award. Currently, he serves on the NASA Advisory Council – Aeronautics Committee and a number of other advisory boards and chairs AIAA Committee on Higher Education.
Jones Honored with 2019 U-M ME Alumni Merit Award
Marshall Jones is a recipient of the University of Michigan’s (U-M) 2019 Mechanical Engineering (ME) Alumni Merit Award. Jones, who was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017, has enjoyed an impressive career filled with countless achievements and honors. He currently holds over 50 U.S. patents and 57 foreign patents, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and had an accomplished 44-year career at GE Global Research in laser technology. In 1982 he initiated research that resulted in a laser beam powerful enough to cut steel, titanium, and nickel-based alloys, and able to weld and drill them at multiple angles. Jones earned his BSE from U-M ME in 1965 and went on to earn his master’s and PhD from the University of Massachusetts. Jones spoke fondly of his time at U-M ME when asked to reflect on it in recognition of the Department’s 150th anniversary in 2018.
“Within ME, I truly loved design, as well as the mechanics and materials of all lab work. U-M ME’s design training led to my first job in high energy physics at Brookhaven National Labs and that same training provided a great foundation for my grad studies at UMass, opening the door to my 44-year career at GE Global Research in laser technology.”
Vozar Honored with 2018 Michigan Engineering Outstanding Recent Alumni Award
Mechanical Engineering alumna Katherine Avery Vozar has been selected to receive the 2018 University of Michigan Engineering Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Vozar (MSE 11’, PhD, 16’) is currently a Technology Integration Lead at Ford Motor Company, where her work is dedicated to integration emerging technology into forward model year vehicles, and accelerating systems-based, cross-functional development and implementation of relevant technologies sourced from multiple industries. Vozar also brought her unique vision and experience to assist as a Corporate-Partner-in-Residence at Techstars Mobility, a Detroit-based startup accelerator focused on funding companies with a novel approach to transportation, including (but not limited to) autonomous, connected, shared and electric vehicles.
Vozar has written more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and holds multiple patents, has co- advised doctoral students with faculty from around the world and has provided technical and project leadership on multiple government-funded multi-institution research collaborations. Giving back to her community is another passion of Vozar’s. As an alum, she became a member of the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board and a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Michigan Engineering Zone in Detroit, an innovation space where Detroit students acquire the knowledge and tools they need to propel themselves to higher education and careers in STEM. She also co-founded The Trending Up Foundation, which endeavors to raise awareness and accessibility of STEM careers for K-12 students from historically excluded groups through hands-on workshops, classes and scholarship opportunities.
Peter K. Schoenfeld Scholarship Fund endowed
Franziska I. Schoenfeld (AB ’53, DDS ’55) has made a gift to endow the Peter K. Schoenfeld Scholarship Fund. Established in honor of her son, Michigan Engineering alumnus Peter K. Schoenfeld (BSE ME ’98), the fund will provide need-based scholarship support to undergraduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who are residents of the state of Michigan. Preference will be given to transfer students, either from other academic units within the University or from outside the University, and students who are United States citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
After graduating with her DDS in 1955, Dr. Schoenfeld owned and operated a general dentistry practice for 30 years, retiring in 1985. After her retirement, she served as a dental editor for the Michigan Dental Association Journal, authoring and editing dental articles and dentist profiles.
Ken Snodgrass (BSME ‘69, MSE ‘71) – 2014 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
ME Alum Ken Snodgrass (BSME ‘69 and MSE ‘71) Receives 2014 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Ken Snodgrass is a mechanical engineer, automotive professional, and co-founder of the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) in Detroit. After graduating from the University of Michigan College of Engineering (BSME ‘69 and MSE ‘71), Ken accepted a position in Light Truck Engineering at Ford Motor Company where he would work for 30 years in a wide variety of management positions in product development including international assignments and joint programs with various Asian and European auto manufacturers.
Tanase Scholarship Fund
Theodore T. Tanase (BSE ME ‘63) and Priscilla B. Tanase of Seattle, Washington, with a $100,000 gift, have endowed the Theodore and Priscilla Tanase Scholarship Fund to provide need-based support to full-time undergraduates at the College of Engineering. They desire that first preference be given to students from the State of Hawaii, followed by the State of Washington. Ted is the founder of Ensocare, which provides web-based care coordination solutions to help manage patient care transitions, reduce length of stay and reduce readmissions. Priscilla enjoyed an early career in the fitness industry, and more recently as a family therapist.
Sheri Sheppard (PhD ‘85) – 2014 U.S. Professor of the Year
Sheppard is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.
The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
In her role at Stanford, Sheppard teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate mechanics courses, courses on teaching and workshops on professional development. She also advises new lecturers and tenure-line faculty on their course design, serving as a faculty sponsor on several of those courses.
Support your department
Alumni generosity is vital to the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s success and excellence. Donations to ME help support undergraduate and graduate financial aid, building and renovation projects, and the ME Endowment Fund. Giving is easy with our online giving form.