Five mechanical engineering alums honored
E. Fenton Carey
John W. Gillespie Jr.
E. Douglas Huggard
James Laser
Eric Svendsen
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1:23 p.m., May 21, 2009----The University of Delaware Department of Mechanical Engineering has chosen five individuals as Distinguished Career Alumni for 2009: E. Fenton Carey ('67, '70M), John W. Gillespie Jr. ('76, '78M, '85Ph.D.), E. Douglas Huggard ('55, '61M), James Laser ('69), and Eric Svendsen ('71).

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Alumni are selected for recognition based on several criteria, including achievement, impact, uniqueness, and interest.

“As with those honored during the past four years, we continue to be impressed with the breadth of the careers and the credentials of our award recipients,” said selection committee member Bill Wagamon ('62). “This year's group includes graduates of the University of Delaware ME program during a 30-year span beginning in the mid-1950s. Many have advanced mechanical engineering degrees, and two are licensed professional engineers.”

Carey who currently runs his own consulting business, has been a national policy-maker in the areas of defense, energy, transportation, and the environment. A former Navy captain and naval aviator who saw combat duty, Carey holds a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He has won awards for superior achievement and service from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Transportation, and the Navy.

Gillespie is Donald C. Phillips Professor and director of the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware. He has served as a member of the National Research Council Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, chair of the National Materials Advisory Board Committee on High-Performance Structural Fibers for Advanced Polymer-Matrix Composites, and editor of the Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials.

Gillespie was awarded the Paul A. Siple Memorial Award in 1998 by the U.S. Army and the Jud Hall Composites Manufacturing Award in 2000 by the Composites Manufacturing Association of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He has co-authored more than 200 journal publications and several patents.

Huggard spent his entire career with Atlantic Electric, a utility servicing southern New Jersey, and then with Atlantic Energy, a holding company formed in 1987 consisting of four non-regulated energy-related subsidiaries. He joined Atlantic Electric as a junior engineer in 1955 and held various engineering, operational and management positions until becoming a corporate officer in 1974.

Huggard then served as director of four Atlantic Energy, Inc. subsidiaries from 1987 to 1993. He retired from active employment in 1993, continuing as chairman of the board, and then retired from the board of directors in 1996.

Laser is currently self-employed as a consultant, primarily to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He previously spent 28 years with Merck, where he held increasingly responsible positions in operations, materials management, engineering, and technical services in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and biological products. Laser is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 2004, he endowed a scholarship for an athlete majoring in engineering.

Svendsen is chief executive officer of Foster Wheeler Energia in Madrid, Spain, and CEO for Foster Wheeler Global Industrial Boilers, providing leadership of the Spanish office of Foster Wheeler as well as worldwide industrial boiler products for Foster Wheeler Global. The company recently sold its first solar boiler.

Svendsen has extensive international business experience having lived in Spain, Ireland, and China.

Article by Diane Kukich