1998 URI College of Engineering announces Alumni Awards

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 26, 1998–The University of Rhode Island College of Engineering inducted 10 individuals into its Hall Fame during recent ceremonies at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. In addition, the college presented special awards for distinguished engineering service and engineering entrepreneurial efforts. Russell Ide, a 1970 graduate of the College with a major in mechanical engineering and president of RIDE Inc., was presented the 1998 Engineering Entrepreneur Award. In 1983, Ide founded KMC Inc., which was named after this three daughters: Kathy, Mary and Chrissy. Serving as president and chief executive officer, Ide doubled sales annually at KMC Inc. In 1995, the Coventry resident sold the company to Cookson America. Ide started a second company, RIDE Inc., named in honor of his son, Russell C. Ide. RIDE, Inc., which provides a line of patented shock absorbers, coupling and isolators used on nuclear submarines, drilling platforms and other industrial components. Ide has more than 600 patents. Ralph Browning, a 1950 graduate of the college with a major in civil engineering and former vice president of the Gilbane Building Co., was presented the Distinguished Engineering Service Award. In 1955, he began his distinguished career with Gilbane. In 1993, he was named assistant project director with Cornish Realty Associates, LP, then returned to R.T. Gilbane Corp. in 1996 until the present as vice president of engineering. The Wakefield resident has also has also served on the College’s Executive Committee of the Engineering Advisory Council as the chair of the Infrastructure Development Committee on and CVE. The Hall of fame inductees are: Robert K. Andren ’66 (B.S.-Chem. Engineering ), ’72 (Ph.D.-Chem. Engineering) Andren, of Coventry, helped build a worldwide leader in biotechnology. After working as a professor oversees, he returned to the United States in 1984, and obtained a master’s degree at the Wharton School of Business. After a short stint at Wyeth Laboratories, he joined AMGEN, Inc., a biotech company with 140 employees in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Today, AMGEN Corp. is a worldwide leader in cellular and molecular therapeutics for the critically ill. In little more than a decade, Andren helped AMGEN become a company of 3,500 employees with more $2 billion in sales. In 1992, Andren advanced to senior vice president of operations, and then retired in 1997. Victor J. Baxt ’38 (B.S. – Chemistry) Baxt, of Providence, received his bachelor of science in chemistry from URI in 1938, and a master’s from Duke University in 1940. In 1946, Baxt joined Thompson Chemical Co., later named Teknor Apex. From 1968 to 1993, Baxt served as president of the company. Currently he is vice chairman of the board of a company consisting of six major divisions, with 2,000 employees in 10 locations across the United States, serving worldwide markets in the plastics, rubber and chemicals industries. He served the on the board of the URI Foundation and was also a member of the Patent and Intellectual Properties Committee. Alfred S. Budnick ’59 (B.S.-Industrial Engineering), ’97 (Honorary. Ph.D.) As president of Cherry Semiconductor Corp., Budnick has helped the company achieve explosive growth in sales of its integrated circuits over the past two decades. Started with only 20 employees, this $100 million company employs about 1,000. Thanks to Budnick, Cherry provides the URI Cherry Academic Scholarship and the Cherry Semiconductor Educational Scholarship at East Greenwich High School. In addition to tuition reimbursement, the East Greenwich resident offers employees on-site training and in-house degree courses. He also serves on URI’s Executive Committee of the College of Engineering Advisory and in other volunteer capacities for the College. Albert E. Carlotti ’32 (B.S.-mechanical engineering), ’97 (Honorary Ph.D.) After graduation, Carlotti served a year in the National Guard and then became a drill press operator. He then established his own liquor wholesale business. In 1942, he acquired and ran a screw machine plant, Peerless Engineering Co. And in 1959, he retired to dabble in the stock exchange, having the first Option Brokerage in New England. The Warwick resident founded and served as president of The Century Club, now the Ram Club. He helped establish the URI Foundation in 1957, for which he also served as president. He has served as chair of the Investment Committee since its inception. In 1973, he was named to the Board of Regents and subsequently, chaired the Board of Governors for Higher Education until he retired in 1990. In tribute, the board named URI’s Administration Building in his honor. Jeremiah F. Creedon ’61 (Bachelor of science, electrical engineering) , ’63 (master of science in electrical engineering, URI), ’70 (Ph.D.-electrical engineering, URI) Raised in Cranston, R.I. and now a resident of Yorktown, Va., Creedon was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1990, and in both 1989 and 1995, he received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service for his contributions to the management of NASA programs. Creedon began work for the Flight Instrumentation Division of NASA Langley Research Center 33 years ago as a research engineer. In 1996, he was named as the seventh director of the Center. Rodger B. Dowdell, Jr. ’75 (M.S.-electrical engineering) Rodger Dowdell, Jr. is chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of American Power Conversion Corp. (APC) which designs, manufactures and markets globally surge suppressors, power conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and related software for such applications such as Local Area Networks (LANs), and minicomputers. Dowdell joined the company in 1985 as a consultant, and then the East Greenwich resident was named president and CEO. In 1986, net sales were $2.4 million. Net sales for 1997 were $873.4 million. William R. Ferrante ’49 (B.S.-electrical engineering) Ferrante started as a professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at URI in 1956, and served as dean of the Graduate School from 1967 through 1971, vice president for academic affairs from 1972-88, and twice was acting president of URI. He developed the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services Center, which supports small Rhode Island manufacturers. Ferrante was also named a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, was awarded the Rhode Island Regents Award of Noteworthy Service to Education, and the Chester Kirk Distinguished Engineer Award. The Saunderstown resident assumed faculty emeritus status when he retired in July, 1997. Edmund V. Marshall ’98 (Hon. Alumnus) Marshall, of East Greenwich, is a member of the board of the URI Foundation, and has also been a member of URI’s External Advisory Council since 1984. He earned a bachelor of science degree, cum laude, from Notre Dame University, and a master of science from Purdue University, both aeronautical and aerospace engineering. He professional career culminated with an executive position with Textron, Inc. Highlights of his career include work with the NASA space program, and the first U.S. lunar landing. He was instrumental in initiating URI’s Distinguished Engineering Professorship program in 1995. He continues to serve as a member of URI’s College of Engineering Advisory Council’s Executive Committee, and is involved in other civic and community affairs. Henry J. Nardone ’43 (B.S.-mechanical engineering ), ’93 (Honorary. Ph.D.) After graduating from URI, Nardone spent 12 years in the Navy, He became project officer for the USS Nautilus,, and was technical leader for the first missile-firing submarine. In 1955, Henry began a long and successful career with Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics. He advanced to facility manager at Quonset Point, then served as division program director for Trident submarines. Currently, he is chief executive officer of American Shipyard Corp. Nardone, of Westerly, was named to the Rhode Island Board of Regents in 1971, then stayed on the Board of Governors for Higher Education from its inception through 1997. He is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and is an Executive Committee Trustee of the URI Foundation. He is also chairman of the URI Campaign for Green Hall. John L. Slocum ’50 (B.S.-chemical engineering) Slocum’s career began as a student aide working summers on U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers harbor and dam projects in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Upon graduation, he worked for Bethlehem Steel as a reinforcing bar detailer. In 1952, he joined the firm of Charles A. Maguire & Associates as a structural design. The Warwick resident progressed through the ranks at Maguire from structural engineer to vice president of construction services. In 1978, he was instrumental in purchasing the firm from its parent company as he became majority owner, president and chairman of the board of employee-owned Maguire Group Inc. Slocum is a fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is a volunteer consultant with the Executive Service Corps of New England. -xxx- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116