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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI College of Engineering announces Alumni Awards

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 23, 2000 -- The University of Rhode Island College of Engineering will induct eight individuals into its Hall of Fame and present special awards to three others during the third annual Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown on Oct. 27.

The College of Engineering Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to pay tribute to those URI alumni who have achieved extraordinary success in their careers in business and technology. The 2000 inductees are:

William R. Bisson ('49 B.S. electrical engineering, '89 honorary doctor of laws) of Lincoln, retired president of Blackstone Valley Electric and vice president of Eastern Utilities Associates. Among many distinguished awards, Bisson was recently recognized by Ocean State Business Magazine and Gov. Lincoln Almond for his efforts in forming and chairing the Northern Rhode Island Private Industry Council.

Stephen Campanella ('43, B.S. mechanical engineering, '95 honorary doctor of science) of Verona, Pa., retired executive vice president of Emerson Electric. A long and generous supporter of URI, Campanella established an engineering scholarship in memory of his brother, Joseph, and supported construction of the University's Betty and Stephen Campanella Rowing Center.

John H. Fernandes ('49 B.S., mechanical engineering) of Tiverton, founder and principal engineer of Fernandes & Associates and formerly vice president of Combustion Engineering and vice president of the McGuire Group. In his early career, he taught mechanical engineering at Lafayette College and served as chairman of the mechanical engineering department at Manhattan College.

Ralph B. Lightfoot ('35 B.S., mechanical engineering) of Chatham, Mass., a retired engineer in the Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Technologies. Lightfoot served on URI's Engineering Advisory Council and helped establish the Engineering Co-op Program. He was recently included in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his testing and analysis of the curve ball.

Joseph A Piacitelli ('23 B.S., mechanical engineering) of Cranston, whose long professional engineering career included counsel to commercial, industrial and governmental organizations around the world. He was vice president ofThompson & Lichtner Consulting Engineers in Boston and general manager of Multi Fabrics Corp. of Warwick. Piacitelli is being inducted posthumously.

Richard J. Pieranunzi ('63 B.S., electrical engineering) of Scottsdale, Ariz., president and CEO of the Region America operations of ST Microelectronics, which won a Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1999 for quality, performance achievements and successful performance strategies.

Francis C. Pierce ('48 B.S., civil engineering) of Punta Gorda, Fla., retired executive vice president and corporate director of operations of the Maguire Group. He was an original member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and currently serves as president of the Southwest Florida chapter of the URI Alumni Association.

William F. Silvia ('55 B.S., civil engineering) of Narragansett, retired president of the Engineering Products Division and the Catalysts and Services Division of Union Carbide Corp. He is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and the board of directors of the URI International Engineering Program.

The winners of the 2000 URI Engineering Entrepreneur Awards are:

Gary J. Bowen ('68 B.S., electrical engineering) of Boston, whose many roles have included co-founder and senior vice president of MASSCOMP, executive vice president of Wellfleet, founder of Bay Networks, chairman of New Oak Communications and principal of Technology Investments.

Daniel L. Harple, Jr. ('86 B.S., mechanical engineering) of South Dartmouth, Mass., president and CEO of ContextMedia, founder of InSoft, and former senior vice president of Netscape. He helped to develop the Real Time Streaming Protocol and the first generation of interoperable real time audio and video.

The winner of the 2000 URI Distinguished Engineering Service Award is:

Paul J. Nordquist ('54 B.S., '56 M.S., electrical engineering) of Framingham, Mass., retired director of research and development of GTE Government Systems, where he designed military radar, antenna systems, and international satellite and cellular telecommunications systems. He is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council.

Also during the Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet, URI Distinguished Professor Arun Shukla will be invested as the Simon Ostrach Professor in Mechanical Engineering. A resident of Wakefield, Shukla is the director of the URI Dynamic Photomechanics Lab, which uses high-speed cameras to study fracture mechanics. The Simon Ostrach Endowed Professorship recognizes Shukla's outstanding record of achievement in research and teaching during his 19 years at URI. The professorship is named for a member of URI's Engineering Hall of Fame who retired as director of the National Center for Microgravity Research on Fluids and Combustion.

For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892


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