Built upon their common educational foundation at NC State University, The MAE Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to inspire our current students, and to celebrate the accomplishments of our extraordinary graduates who have used their education to excel in a profession, career, or service. This nomination is based on professional and service achievement, entrepreneurship, and contributions to professional societies making this a truly noteworthy distinction.
With over 12,000 MAE alumni, only 150+, including this year’s class, have been inducted into the MAE Hall of Fame. The MAE Department is honored to celebrate this prestigious ceremony with the 2022 class.
Ms. Ahne earned a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in Aerospace Engineering in 1994 and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1996, both from North Carolina State University. She began her career with the Navy in 1995 as an in-service fleet support engineer at the Naval Aviation Depot at Cherry Point, NC where she provided support to the AV-8B and T-45 platforms. Ms. Ahne moved to the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD in 2000 and continued supporting propulsion and power systems in the Naval Air Warfare Center.
In 2003, she left NAVAIR to support the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a special assistant. In 2004 Ms. Ahne was named DDR&E’s Deputy Director for Technical Intelligence. Her primary duties were to review, evaluate and monitor emerging and potentially disruptive global science and technology development efforts on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In 2007 Ms. Ahne returned to the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD as the Product Line Manager for Common Systems within the newly-established Chief Technology Officer organization. In this position, her responsibilities included strategic planning, investment planning, and oversight of the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) S&T project portfolio. Ms. Ahne was named the NAE’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2009. She assisted the NAE CTO with oversight of the Naval Aviation Enterprise Science & Technology programs and policies, comprised of approximately 900 active programs for a total investment of $1B.
Ms. Ahne was appointed the Director for Research and Engineering at, Naval Aviation Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) in November 2013. She was responsible development and execution of the 4.0 NAWCAD overhead budget ($72M), personnel (4000+), facilities, and workload acceptance. In 2017 Ms. Ahne was appointed the NAVAIR Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO), the NAVAIR Scientific and Technical Intelligence Liaison (STILO), and the Warfare Mission Analysis Intelligence division head. In these positions, she serves as the senior advisor and subject-matter expert for the Commander NAVAIR/NAWCAD/NAWCWD on all matters pertaining to US Intelligence Community-produced positions. The national organization she manages is responsible for providing timely and accurate threat products to Naval Aviation platform and system managers and ensures proper use of all foreign intelligence information by the Command.
Yunus Çengel is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, and the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Adnan Menderes University in Aydin, Turkey. He received his Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University in the USA. Before joining ADU in 2012, he held the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Yildiz Technical University YTU and as Advisor to the President of the Scientific and Technological Research Council TUBITAK on international cooperation. Professor Cengel served as the assistant director and director of the Industrial Assessment Center at UNR for eight years. He also served as the advisor to several government organizations and private companies on energy efficiency, energy policies, and education reform.
Professor Çengel is the author or co-author of the widely adopted textbooks Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach, Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences, Heat and Mass Transfer: Fundamentals and Applications, Fluid Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications, Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers, Fundamentals and Applications of Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency and Management for Engineers, all published by McGraw-Hill. Some of his textbooks have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Greek, and French.
Dr. Çengel has delivered several keynotes and invited lectures at technical conferences and academic institutions. He is the recipient of several outstanding teacher awards, and he has received the ASEE Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award for excellence in authorship twice.
Derrick J. Cheston is a senior executive in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He began his NASA career immediately after graduating from North Carolina State University in 1984 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. He has primarily supported the space agency in the engineering development arena and has held several technical management and leadership positions at the John H. Glenn Research Center (formerly Lewis Research Center).
Derrick served several years as a branch supervisor in the thermal and fluids design and analysis area, supporting technology development of test hardware used to develop and prove science and research in areas of aeronautics research and microgravity science. As a founding member of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, he held the NESC Chief Engineer role for GRC, responsible for providing technical independence and technical excellence in support of critical Agency flight safety decisions. There he provided critical engineering assessments for the Ares I-X Upper Stage Simulator. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2009 as the Chief of the Mechanical Systems Division, and for the past 8 years has led the Systems Engineering and Architecture Division, which plays a critical role in the development of all of the space and aeronautics flight and technology demonstration projects such as Artemis-I, Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration and the Power and Propulsion Element for Deep Space Gateway.
Mr. Cheston earned both an MBA and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University.
Mr. Cheston was born and grew up in Warren County, North Carolina. He currently resides in Woodmere, Ohio with his wife, Sharon, and has 3 adult children.
Dr. Dean Eklund received an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Davidson College in 1979, a masters in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1986, and a doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Hassan A. Hassan in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1989. After spending six years at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, he moved with his family to Stockholm, Sweden where he served as a lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology and was responsible for the propulsion curriculum. In 1995, Dr. Eklund and his family returned to the US and he pursued research in the technology of high-speed air-breathing engines at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Eklund currently is the Technology Advisor for the High-Speed Systems Division’s Propulsion Technology Branch within the Aerospace Systems Directorate. Dr. Eklund has authored or co-authored over 95 journal articles and conference papers in the areas of computational fluid dynamics, conceptual vehicle design, high-speed engine data analysis, verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification. He was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the JANNAF Modeling and Simulation Committee for his sustained service and contributions to the JANNAF community.
Dr. Owens earned his Bachelor of Science (’87), Master of Science (’90), and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (’95) in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. After receiving his Ph.D., he conducted a Post-Doctorate Fellowship through the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Owens is a Senior Aerospace Engineer in the Flight Dynamics Branch at NASA Langley Research Center, where he has conducted research and guided development activities on a wide range of aircraft and spacecraft. The range of aircraft extends from general aviation to commercial transport to fighter aircraft including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F/A-22, and F-35 variants. Notable spacecraft include the Orion Crew Model and Launch Abort Vehicle, SpaceX Dragon, Boeing CST-100, and Blue Origin Crew Capsule configurations. The flight dynamics work has employed techniques that involved CFD, wind-tunnel testing, manned and unmanned flight simulations, and manned and unmanned flight vehicles. He has authored or co-authored over 30 conference papers and journal articles. He has won numerous NASA awards including the Exceptional Service Medal and Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, and the 2018 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Hampton Roads Section Engineer of the Year Award. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. He holds a private pilot’s license. A prominent feature throughout his career has been the mentoring of students from high school through Ph.D. graduate students.
Dr. Hakan Ozisik earned his BS (1982), MS (1986), and Ph.D. (1989) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Upon completing work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University’s Center for Sound and Vibration, he began a 28-year career with the Aerospace Corporation, where he worked on various aspects of space and launch in support of National Security Space. Dr. Ozisik has extensive experience in the test, analysis, design, and development of space-qualified hardware from both a technical and programmatic perspective. He has contributed to a broad range of complex engineering challenges to ensure a successful launch and reliable mission performance. Those contributions supported flight worthiness assessments, and include test and analysis of space hardware, post-flight data evaluations, anomaly and failure investigations, design reviews of new systems, and leading independent reviews to support launch readiness. In 2006 he was selected as the System Director accountable for the successful final test and fly-out of the remaining GPS (Global Positioning System) IIR/IIR-M satellites. In 2008 he became the System Director for the GPS III Satellite Bus and was later appointed the GPS III Chief Engineer. In that role, Dr. Ozisik worked closely with his engineering teams, and prime and subcontractor teams, and served as a trusted technical advisor to the Government and Air Force during all development phases through final delivery for launch. He and his wife now live in central Kansas.
Mr. Dennis J. West is a 1984 North Carolina State University Graduate in Aerospace Engineering. From 1984 to 1988, Mr. West served as a Production Support Engineering at the Fleet Readiness Center Cherry Point, working on Navy and Marine Corps Aircraft and Helicopters including the AV-8B, A-4, F-4, C-130, and H-46 programs. From 1988 to 1994, Mr. West assumed the duties of the Lead Engineer for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program for Recertification and Refurbishment Programs. From 1995 to 1998 as the Fixed Wing Aircraft Engineering Branch Head and the Support Equipment Engineering Department Head. In 1998 Mr. West was selected as the Research and Engineering Group Head, Fleet Readiness Center East. In this role, Mr. West led 500 Engineers and Technicians in providing technical services, engineering investigations, on-site engineering support, and technical products to the fleet, program offices, and the industrial site in the fielding and sustainment of the AV-8B, CH-46, H-1/AH-1, H-53, H-60, V-22, and C-130 aircraft. While serving in this capacity Mr. West served on the NC State Mechanical and Aerospace Department External Advisory Committee and, in collaboration with Mr. Holder, a previous Alumni Hall of Famer, worked to bring NC State Engineering Education to eastern NC, Established the Institute of Maintenance Science and Technology, and worked to bring academia into the resolution of real-time Navy and Marine Corps operational sustainment issues. In 2005 Mr. West served as the Director of Logistics, at Fleet Readiness Center East. Mr. West led 332 Logistics Competency personnel providing logistics products and services worldwide to sustain and maintain the AV-8B, CH-46, H-1/AH-1, H-53, H-60, V-22, and C-130 aircraft. From 2010 through 2012 Mr. West served as the Industrial Group Head at Fleet Readiness Center East, Mr. West led the production operations comprised of 2,500 artisans and other professionals in the scheduled maintenance, modification, in-service repair, and field team services for the Marine Corps and Navy helicopter and vertical lift programs. In 2012 Mr. West was selected into the Senior Executive Service Ranks as the Deputy Commander for Fleet Readiness Centers in the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Maryland. Mr. West was responsible for 18,000 civilian, military, and contractor professionals across eight Fleet Readiness Centers providing aircraft, engines, components, support equipment, manufacturing, and field team services to the operational Fleet globally, with an annual budget of $4.4 billion. In 2016 Mr. West retired from the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as the Director of Strategic Operations for Andromeda System Incorporated, a Logistics and Engineering company providing Fleet supportability solutions to Government Programs and Commercial Companies. Mr. West is a proud father of three daughters; Amy West, an NC State/North Carolina Master’s Graduate in Bio-Medical Engineering & Park Scholar; Amanda West, an East Carolina Master’s Graduate in Nutrition and is a registered Dietician, and Abigail West a brilliant 8-year-old! Mr. West, his spouse Erin, a graduate from Ohio University in Mechanical Engineering, and daughter Abigail reside in Beaufort NC.
Bill Wood received his BSME in 1978, and began a 41-year career at Duke Energy Corporation, retiring in 2019. Bill was involved in many facets of power generation projects – including siting, design, construction, commissioning, and testing of nuclear, fossil, cogeneration, and solar plants. Projects were not only constructed in the Duke service territories but also across the United States and abroad – using nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas, wood, wind, and solar technologies. He participated in delivering over 25,000 megawatts of power plant capacity during his career. Bill became involved with The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, while serving as an NC State ASME Student Section officer and continued his service with the Senior Section, serving as Chair and other leadership positions in the Piedmont-Carolinas Section. Bill served ASME’s Technical Division for over 30 years and is currently a member of ASME’s Board on Power Plant Performance Testing, and various performance test code subcommittees including Overall Plant Testing, Combined Cycle Steam Turbine Testing, Flue Gas Desulfurization, Integrated Gas Combined Cycles, and Turbine Water Damage prevention.
He is the recipient of the 1978 NC State ASME Faculty Advisors Award, the 1984 NC Governor’s Award of Excellence for Waste Management, and the 2020 ASME Performance Test Codes Medal. Bill is a Registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina. He and his wife Becky are proud parents of two NC State graduates – Katherine (Textiles) & Jimmy (Mechanical Engineering).
After working as a cooperative education student at Carolina Power & Light Company during his course of study at NC State, Jeff Richardson graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1977 and began his engineering career with Duke Power Company in Charlotte, NC. He worked in Duke’s Design Engineering Department for twelve years in the nuclear plant construction program, and in 1989 transitioned to the Duke/Fluor Daniel partnership as a senior engineer and original team member. The D/FD work included coal and natural gas power plants for independent power producers and industrial customers across the United States from Maine to California along with several unique projects in Indonesia. After fifteen years in the D/FD partnership, Jeff returned to Duke Energy in 2004 as a lead mechanical engineer, working with the Flue Gas Desulfurization and Cliffside Modernization teams. He retired from Duke Energy after 35 years of service in 2012, founded RichTech Engineering PLLC, and continued his service to the power industry as a consulting engineer. This consulting role with multiple clients provided engineering and construction oversight to a fleet of new combined cycle power plants across the southeast and the development of several Combined Heat and Power plants. This consulting period was the most rewarding time in his career as he mentored and worked alongside younger mechanical engineers, some of them NC State MAE graduates as well.
Jeff fully retired in early 2020 and had been registered as a Professional Engineer in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He and his wife of almost 50 years live in Mooresville and Spruce Pine, NC with their doodle Mollie. Their two children each have degrees from both NC State and UNC Charlotte. Their daughter is a professor of chemistry at a community college and their son is an officer in a large metropolitan fire department.