A pair of School of Engineering alumni was honored at this year’s National Alumni Society (NAS) Alumni Leadership Recognition and Awards Luncheon. Donald Burke III, Ph.D., was named Outstanding Young Alumnus for the year, while Doug Rigney, Ph.D. received the NAS’s highest award, the Honorary Life Membership Award.
Rigney received his bachelor of science degree in general engineering in 1980 and a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering in 1985 from UAB. He went on to earn his master’s degree (1985) and Ph.D. (1989) from UAB in biomedical engineering. He joined the SOE faculty in 1989 and retired earlier this year as UAB’s interim vice president for information technology.
Burke received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2005 and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering in 2013. He is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the SOE and is associate director in the UAB Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Program.
UAB School of Engineering Dean Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., select faculty, and student leaders, welcomed more than 250 engineering students back to campus on Wednesday at a lunch event sponsored by Alabama Power.
The event, which included a large number of freshmen and transfers, gave newcomers and returning students an opportunity to learn about the many opportunities and resources that are available to all engineering students.
Several engineering undergraduates had the opportunity recently to visit with representatives from Altec, a Birmingham-based corporation with a long history of partnering with UAB. The company has given generously to several different parts of the university over the past several decades, including a gift toward the funding of the Business-Engineering Complex in the early 1980s.
During their recent visit to campus, Altec representatives and SOE Dean Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., discussed mutual benefits that such a relationship can have for both parties. "From our standpoint, these interactions are immensely beneficial," said Altec Engineering Manager Andy Otterson. "There is an immediate benefit for us to supplement our workforce with co-op students and interns—many of which may transition into full-time employees. But there is also a significant long-term benefit."
The School of Engineering is currently looking for volunteers to perform a variety of roles, including judging the participants’ project notebooks, marketing presentations, team exhibits and interviews, and sportsmanship.
Volunteer referees are also needed to help officiate the games on October 4 at Bartow Arena.