Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients

Biographies of Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients

H. Richard Lawson

H. Richard Lawson, master's degree in computer science, 1968. Lawson is president and chief operating officer of Lawson Software, which he co-founded with his brother and another partner in 1975. Now headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and London, Lawson Software has grown from a small technology consulting company into an international software giant. The company provides Web-addressable, role-based Self-Evident Applications®, transaction engines and e-business extensions to power financial, human resources, procurement, distribution and enterprise relationship management solutions. Lawson’s customer list includes such diverse organizations as University of North Carolina Medical Center, Polo Ralph Lauren Inc., American Floral Services Inc., Warner Brothers, Bridgestone/Firestone, American Hospital Association and Lloyds Bank.

John H. Campbell

John H. Campbell, doctorate in physics, 1969. Campbell is director of flight programs and projects at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He is responsible for the development and operation of all Goddard Space Flight Center’s spacecraft, including the Hubble and Next Generation Space Telescopes, NOAA polar and geosynchronous weather satellites, space science and earth science spacecraft and NASA's tracking data and relay satellites. At Purdue, he did his doctoral work under the direction of Professor Frank Loeffler in the field of high energy particle physics. He was a postdoctoral appointee at Argonne National Laboratory, and had positions at Singer-Kearfott Co. and IBM's Federal Systems Division before joining NASA in 1987. In 1998 he received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, as well as the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award.

Cecilia Sze

Cecilia Sze, bachelor's degree in chemistry, 1970. Sze is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc. AER is an environmental research and consulting company with expertise in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, numerical weather prediction, climatology, circulation diagnostics, atmospheric chemistry, air quality and risk assessment, mathematical modeling, planetary services, atmospheric sounding and systems engineering. In addition to its headquarters in Lexington, Mass., AER has offices in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Omaha, Neb.; and Bedford, Mass.. AER began in 1977 with two employees, concentrating in atmospheric chemistry, and has since grown to its present size of nearly 100 employees comprising 10 research groups. The company has received the American Meteorological Society Award for Outstanding Service to Meteorology by a corporation. Sze also earned a master's in business administration from Northeastern University.

Sandra L. Postel

Sandra L. Postel, bachelor's degree in biological sciences, 1975. Postel, a native of Martinsville, Ind., is vice president of quality for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. She is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the Boeing Quality Management System and the Production Certificate throughout the commercial airplanes group. She also plays a key role in working with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. She began her career with Boeing in 1979 as a chemical process engineer and has held positions in several units of the company. She serves as Boeing Executive Focal to Purdue and is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Society of Women Engineers at Purdue. In 1998, she served as co-chair of the Technical University Relations Coordinating Committee for Boeing, and currently serves on the Boeing diversity strategy leadership team. After completing her bachelor's degree from Purdue, Postel earned her master's degree from the University of Wyoming and completed the executive management course at Duke University. She also recently completed the Advanced Management Program-International Senior Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

Chester F. Watts

Chester F. Watts, doctorate in earth and atmospheric sciences, 1983. Watts is the Dalton Distinguished Professor of Geology at Radford University, where he has taught since 1984, and serves as director of the Institute for Engineering Geosciences. Watts is spending the current academic year as the Geological Society of America/U.S. Geological Survey Congressional science fellow, serving as a science adviser and assistant to congressional staff members and assigned to the office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman. He is the author of ROCKPACK software, used internationally for analyzing the safety and stability of mountain slopes, mines, quarries, highways, buildings and bridge foundations. He serves as a rock slope stability consultant to numerous highway departments, federal agencies and engineering firms throughout North America. Watts has received several regional and national teaching awards, including the 1998 Virginia Outstanding Professor Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. He recently appeared in a television documentary called "SLIDE!" on The Learning Channel, as well as on National Public Radio while rock climbing during a rockslide investigation in Yosemite National Park.

Christian T. Goralski

Christian T. Goralski, doctorate in chemistry, 1968. Goralski is a scientist with The Dow Chemical Co. Dow is a science and technology company with annual sales of $30 billion and customers in more than 170 countries. He began his career with Dow in 1968 in the special assignments program, where he worked with organic chemical synthesis of new antimicrobial agents, new pharmaceuticals and new agricultural chemicals. He is currently in the Pharmaceuticals Process Research Department, working on the design and scale-up of organic chemical processes for the manufacture of bulk pharmaceutical agents. Goralski is the author of more than 50 articles published in professional scientific journals, and has made scientific presentations at national and international conferences. He holds more than 50 patents. He serves on the editorial advisory board of Organic Process Research and Development, published jointly by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Donald G. Saari

Donald G. Saari, master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics, 1964 and 1967, respectively. Saari is a distinguished professor in the Departments of Mathematics and Economics at the University of California, Irvine. Before coming to UC-Irvine, he was on the faculty at Northwestern University, where he began his career in 1968. His research interests concern dynamical systems and the applications to the physical and social sciences. He has written numerous books and journal articles on the general topics of voting and social choice, mathematical economics and game theory, and celestial mechanics. Among a long list of honors he has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, honorary doctorates from Purdue, the Université de Caen and Michigan Technological University, the Allendoerfer Award from the Mathematical Association of America, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and election to the National Academy of Sciences. Saari is a past member of the Purdue Department of Mathematics advisory council, and is currently a member of the Council of the Social Choice and Welfare Society, the Joint Policy Board of Mathematics, the AMS Committee on Science Policy, the NRC Board on International Scientific Organizations and the NRC Mathematical Sciences Education Board.

Janet L. Denlinger

Janet L. Denlinger, master's degree in biological sciences, 1967. Denlinger is vice president of the Matrix Biology (Charitable) Institute based in Ridgefield, N.J. She was co-founder of Biomatrix Inc., a biotechnology research, development and manufacturing company in New Jersey, where she was executive vice president from 1982 to 2000. After receiving her master's degree in biology from Purdue, she studied physiology and biochemistry at the Retina Foundation in Boston, Mass. From 1969 to 1972 she was a research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Ottawa, and from 1973 to 1975 she was a research associate in the Department of Connective Tissue Research at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute. It was here that she began her research on the metabolism of hyaluronan in the eye and joints, and she also worked on the interactions of hyaluronan and other glycosaminoglycans with, and their effects on, inflammatory process. With her husband, Dr. Endre Balazs, Denlinger founded Biomatrix Inc. in 1982 to develop cross-linked hyaluronan derivatives for medical applications and for skin care. Their research has led to the discovery of the broad therapeutic uses of elastoviscous solutions of hyaluronan and its derivatives. She is a member of the boards of Saint Leo College, the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and the Executive Women of New Jersey, and she is a member of the Purdue School of Science Dean's Advisory Council.

Deng-Yuan Huang

Deng-Yuan Huang, doctorate in statistics, 1974. Huang is professor and director, Institute of Applied Statistics and dean of the College of Management at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan. He is a renowned scholar in multiple decision theory and has published numerous books and journal articles. Huang has held numerous positions of honor in the research community of his country, and has served as a member of Taiwan's Committee on Statistics and the Committee on Census of the Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics. Before beginning his doctoral studies under Professor Shanti Gupta, he received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from National Taiwan Normal University and a master's degree in mathematics from National Taiwan University. Huang is a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Chinese Mathematical Association, and the Chinese Statistical Association.

Tony J. Hiatt

Tony J. Hiatt, bachelor's and master's degrees in biological sciences and biology education, 1979 and 1984, respectively. Hiatt teaches biology and environmental science at South Newton Middle-Senior High School in Kentland, Ind. He is science department head at South Newton, and communication team leader for Science and Social Studies. He is an active member of many professional organizations, including the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Indiana Association of Biology Teachers (currently president), the National Association of Science Teachers and the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers. He was one of two teachers selected to represent Indiana at the 1998 National Teachers Forum in Washington, D.C., and he received the 1998 Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science. Hiatt has been a leader and advocate for the teaching of evolution in Indiana public schools, and in 2000 he took the lead in organizing science teachers in an e-mail and letter writing campaign to stop a creation-science bill introduced in the Indiana Legislature. He is one of 25 teachers in the United States selected to be a lead teacher for the Evolution Project, an eight-hour, seven-part miniseries developed for PBS. This summer, he will conduct workshops for other teachers on how to use the multimedia and online resources that accompany the miniseries.