Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards 2012

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The College of Engineering and Applied Science congratulations these five outstanding alumni who were selected to receive the 2012 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. Dean Robert Davis will present the awards on April 27, 2012.

Chris Finnoff (AeroEngr ’67)—Industry & Commerce

During his more than 40 years in the aviation industry, entrepreneur Chris Finnoff has achieved noteworthy success in bringing new and innovative aircraft to market. He started his career as a top salesman with Beech Aircraft and Learjet, and now runs Finnoff International, a company specializing in previously owned Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.

Before launching his current venture, Finnoff led a number of startups in the emerging very light jet market, including Turbo West Aviation, which was the Piper Cheyenne and Beech Aircraft distributor for the Rocky Mountain Region and grew into a full-ser vice organization for the sale and ser vice of helicopters and turboprop aircraft.

From 1995 to 2000, he was president and CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft, where he was responsible for marketing the Swiss company’s Pilatus PC-12 program in North and South America. After that, he led the commercial group at Adam Aircraft, where he directed the launch of the A-700 jet and the marketing of the A-500 twin-engine piston.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering at CUBoulder in 1967, and has served as a member of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences External Advisory Board.

Nan Joesten (ChemEngr ’82)—Private Practice

Nan Joesten is a highly respected leader in the legal and business communities, having been a successful trial lawyer with the firm, Farella Braun & Martel in San Francisco since 1997. She has represented a wide array of companies in resolving commercial and intellectual property disputes, including issues of patent infringement, copyright, and trademark, and was made a partner in the firm in 2005.

As an attorney, she has been a trusted advisor to clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, with a track record of superb writing, oral advocacy, negotiation, judgment, and leadership in effectively resolving commercial disputes.

She also has been an advocate for the advancement of women in the legal profession as well as in her firm. She served as national co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Woman Advocate Committee, the women trial lawyers’ group within the 65,000-member Litigation Section. She was also chosen to co-chair the Litigation Section’s 2012 annual meeting.

She recently founded a business consulting firm, Rapid Evolution, which helps clients achieve better results through stronger professional development and leadership training. She remains “of counsel” to Farella Braun & Martel, while shifting her focus to business consulting.

>Read a longer profile of Nan Joesten.

Michael Masterson (MS ChemEngr ’77)—Industry & Commerce

Michael Masterson’s career has been focused on creating sustainable companies in the alternative energy, advanced materials, and biopharmaceutical industries. He is currently the managing director of Oxford Innovations, as well as the chairman and chief executive officer of ALD NanoSolutions, a spinoff company from CU-Boulder.

As a co-founder, CEO, and investor in multiple technology companies over the past 30 years, Masterson has strived to build compelling companies in collaboration with thought leaders from world-class industrial and academic institutions. He has raised over $100 million in investment capital from the leading venture firms in the United States and has created over $500 million in commercial value from these investments.

He also has a joint appointment as an “entrepreneur in residence” at the Isenberg School of Business and the School of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is vice chairman of the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts in 1975, and his master’s in chemical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1977. He also is a graduate of the Owner/President Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Dimos Poulikakos (MS MechEngr ’80, PhD ’83)—Research & Invention

Dimos Poulikakos is the founder and director of the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies and head of the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Professor Poulikakos conducts research in the area of interfacial and transport phenomena, in particular heat transfer, thermodynamics, and related fluid dynamics in emerging technologies focusing on the physics at micro- and nano-scales, energy conversion, and transport phenomena in medical applications.

His research has had profound impacts and often bridges the gap between nano-scale and continuum phenomena, enabling a rejuvenation of engineering thinking and giving impetus to the development of novel technologies.

He has been recognized with many awards for his career contributions, including the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award for Science, the Nusselt-Reynolds Prize sponsored by the Assembly of World Conferences on Experimental Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, and Thermodynamics; and the ASME-AIChE Max Jacob Memorial Award.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1978, and his master’s and PhD in mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1980 and 1983, respectively.

Ashok Srivastava (ElecEngr ’91, MS ’93, PhD ’96)—Research & Invention

Ashok Srivastava is NASA’s principal scientist for data mining and systems health management, providing technical and programmatic leadership for two large research programs, and making substantial contributions in the field of aviation safety.

Since 2002, he has led the Intelligent Data Understanding group at NASA Ames Research Center and set the strategic direction of data mining within the agency. The group performs research and development of advanced machine learning and data mining algorithms in support of NASA missions.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as principal investigator of the Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Project, an advanced technology project concerned with detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and mitigation of adverse events during aircraft flight.

He was recognized with the NASA Associate Administrator’s Award for the IVHM Data Mining Team, as well as the IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award for pioneering contributions to intelligent information systems.

He earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1991, his master’s in 1993, and his PhD in 1996.

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