Published: Nov. 14, 2019 By

Kelsey Gating, Julie Surfus, David Clough and Kelly Germann

Kelsey Garing, Julie Surfus, David Clough and Kelly Germann.
Photo by Kelly Germann.
Above photo of the alumni gathered in Houston.

College of Engineering and Applied Science alumni from across seven decades gathered in Houston last month to connect and learn more about the current state of the college. The majority of the attendees were graduates of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

ChBE Professor Emeritus David Clough, who served as department faculty for 43 years, was the featured speaker at the event held at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations. He spoke about current events and successes at the college and shared some anecdotes about his time as a member of the faculty.

“It has always been a driving concept for me that we at CU take in young, talented individuals and attempt to open doors of opportunity so they might enjoy rewarding careers despite all the bumps and bruises that accompany one’s life,” Clough said during his speech.

“Some alumni have apologized to me for not following a narrow career path as a chemical engineer, but I always appreciate the great diversity of the endeavors of our alumni. Talented people find their own paths according to their talents, passions and opportunities.”

Kelly Germann (ChemEngr ’13) currently works for ConocoPhillips in Anchorage, Alaska as an innovation and integration coordinator, but happened to be in Houston at the time of the event. She said the event felt like a small class reunion.

“My time at CU was so foundational to who I am today,” Germann said. “It helped me make lifelong friends and connections that I would not have had otherwise. It allowed me to pursue an amazing career with confidence. I know that any time I see someone wearing CU gear or sharing that they're alumni, we immediately share a connection that I don't have with other people.”

Clough with presentation poster

David Clough at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, earlier in his career. Photo courtesy the Clough family.

Nik Henry, ( ChemEngr ’11) a process safety engineer with Monument Chemical, attended the event to reconnect and forge new connections with fellow alumni.

“CU is a phenomenal school, with a talented group of graduates,” Henry said. “After being in the industry for over eight years, it's really an eye-opener when you meet co-workers who graduated from another school – seeing the difference in foundational knowledge and development.”

Clough said he connected with both younger and older alumni, and was delighted to engage in conversations about faculty who mentored him when he was starting out as a young assistant professor.

“It felt good to reminisce about faculty such as Curt Johnson, Max Peters, Klaus Timmerhaus, Elmer Lauer, Bill Krantz, Paul Barrick, Ron West, Lee Brown, Jim Carley and Fred Ramirez,” he said. “Many of them are unknown to most of the current department faculty, but they made great contributions to the department and the college.”

Houston is one of five key regions developing into a network of CU Engineering alumni. Graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Science can learn more and get involved here.