OSU honors outstanding engineering alumni


CORVALLIS - The College of Engineering at Oregon State University honored 31 of its most distinguished alumni during the seventh annual Oregon Stater Awards, which celebrated a wide range of engineers and their career contributions to society.

This year's awardees hailed from as faraway as Thailand and Singapore and are affiliated with both large and small companies and agencies, including Boeing, Intel, CH2M HILL, Hewlett-Packard, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and others. Honorees also included entrepreneurs who started their own companies and built them into success stories.

Among this year's awardees were Kay Altman, whose Portland, Ore., company, HD Plus, is developing a portable kidney dialysis machine based on microtechnology developed at OSU; Ralph Peterson, chairman, president and CEO of CH2M HILL; Betty Carrell, the first woman mechanical engineer hired at Sandia/California National Laboratories; and Walter Plywaski, who survived the Holocaust as a young boy before coming to the United States to serve in the U.S. Air Force and pursue an engineering education.

The annual ceremony inducts OSU engineering alumni into three different groups based on the length of their careers and accomplishments: the Engineering Hall of Fame, the Academy of Distinguished Engineers, and the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers.

"The Oregon Stater Awards ceremony celebrates and expresses the college's gratitude to our most exemplary alumni," said Chris Bell, associate dean of the College of Engineering. "These men and woman have done great things to help make the world a better place, and this is our way of honoring who they are and the work they have done."

The annual awards banquet, held recently at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on campus, was attended by more than 300 people. The event takes place every year on the Friday of National Engineers Week, a week of engineering events and celebrations at OSU.

Recipients of this year's Oregon Stater Awards are:


  • Raymond K Asbury, Portland, Ore.
  • Frank E Block, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Elizabeth J Carrell, Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • Raymond L Chalker, Tacoma, Wash.
  • Phillip L Cole, Hope, Idaho
  • Donald E Guinn, Bend, Ore.
  • Peter E Johnson, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Louis L Mace, Rancho Mirage, Calif.
  • Henry Oman, Seattle, Wash.
  • Ralph R Peterson, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
  • Walter Plywaski, Boulder, Colo.
  • Niels J Reimers, Carmel By The Sea, Calif.


  • Kay E Altman, Portland, Ore.
  • Jeffrey A Benjamin, Saint Charles, Ill.
  • J Scott Carr, Tualatin, Ore.
  • Richard R Duncombe, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Denise J Ecklund, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
  • Edward A Froese, Tacoma, Wash.
  • Walter R Gamble, West Linn, Ore.
  • Thomas R McKinney, Ashburn, Va.
  • Jay L McQuillen Jr, Indian Wells, Calif.
  • Roger M Nielsen, Camas, Wash.
  • James W Pond Jr, Portland, Ore.
  • Norkun Sitthiphong, Chiang Mai, THAILAND
  • Randall L Smith, Beaverton, Ore.
  • Barry J Winstead, Midland, Texas


  • John S Anttonen, Bristow, Va.
  • Craig M Marianno, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Patricia A McDonald, Portland, Ore.
  • Harish Pillay, Singapore
  • Steven D Townsen, Vancouver, Wash.