Larry Page Delivers U-M 2009 Commencement Address
More than 4,000 University of Michigan graduating students received their diplomas at the spring 2009 commencement in Michigan Stadium, May 2. In his highly anticipated speech, Google co-founder Larry Page (BSE CompE '95) prompted students to work hard to achieve their dreams. He related the story of how he woke up one night from a dream with the idea that would become Google. "Sometimes it’s important to wake up and stop dreaming. I spent the middle of that night scribbling out the details and convincing myself it would work," he said. Family was another important topic for Page, an East Lansing native. "Just like me, your families brought you here, and you brought them here." He encouraged students to enjoy the feeling of exhilaration and the sense of invincibility that a day like graduation could bring. However, he also advised students to "always remember that the moments we have with friends and family, the chances we have to do things that might make a big difference in the world, or even to make a small difference to someone you love -- all those wonderful chances that life gives us, life also takes away. It can happen fast, and a whole lot sooner than you think."
Page received an honorary doctorate of engineering in recognition of his significant accomplishments.
Astronaut Edward White (MSE AA '59, ScD Hon. '65) has been inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. White was part of America's first spacewalk in 1965. He lost his life two years later in a flash fire during a pre-launch test on the Apollo I spacecraft. The Hall of Fame presented its Spirit of Flight Award to the Apollo astronaut crews for their contributions to the moon missions. Neil Armstrong represented White at the induction ceremony.
Linda Hutchins, Artful Engineer
Linda Hutchins (BSE CompE '78), daughter of alumnus Chuck Hutchins (BSE ME '57) and Ann Hutchins (BS DES SOA '57), has received the Tacoma Art Museum’s 9th Northwest Biennial Juror’s Choice Award. She was one of 24 artists to have her work featured in the exhibition. Using only a silver spoon – a family heirloom – Hutchins scraped lines onto a free-standing wall, creating Lineal Silver, a 9 x 12 foot installation, on site. A love of textiles, her engineering background and memories of sailing have influenced her work.
After graduating from Michigan Engineering, Hutchins wrote software for Intel, a job she left to pursue her BFA in Drawing at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her work has earned her fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and residencies at Caldera, an organization that promotes innovative art and environmental programs. Her exhibitions have received national press, including the cover of American Craft and a review in Art in America. Hutchins has work in private and public collections. She works in Portland, Oregon, where she’s represented by the Pulliam Gallery.
Milton Meckler (MSE, ChE '55) has co-authored a book about sustainable CHP (combined heat and power) systems. It’s scheduled for release by McGraw Hill in November 2009. This will be Meckler’s eighth engineering book.
Wayne Echelberger (MSE CE '59, PhD 64) has been named Engineer of the Year by the Tampa chapter of the Florida Engineering Society. Echelberger is a professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of South Florida.
Arden Bement (PhD '63), director of the National Science Foundation, has received Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. It is the second-highest award given to non-Japanese. Bement is a former recipient of Michigan Engineering's Alumni Society Medal.
Zachary Lemnios (BSE EE '76) has been nominated to be director of defense research & engineering in the Department of Defense.
Robert E. Sandstrom (BSE NAME '77, MSE '78, MSE AppliedMech '79, PhD NAME '80), a member of NAME’s National Advisory Board since 1996, has been appointed chief offshore engineer by ExxonMobil. Sandstrom has been working at the firm since 1980.
Thomas Griffin (BSE AOS '78, MSE '80) is working as the Hubble Space Telescope observatory manager at NASA. Griffin was in charge of the Hubble spacecraft flight hardware installed during the recent space shuttle servicing mission (STS-125, May 2009).
Chris B. McKesson (BSE NAME '79) recently retired from his position with Alion Science & Technology and is now serving as an adjunct instructor at the University of New Orleans School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He also maintains a small consulting operation.
Jeffrey Geiger (BSE NAME '83, MSE '84) has taken over as president of Bath Iron Works (BIW), a leader in surface combatant design and construction based in Maine. Geiger served in many positions at BIW since he joined the company in 1984 as a production planner.
Bryant Bernhard (MSE '90) has become president of United States Marine, a Gulf Coast builder of fast patrol boats and other special operations craft for the U.S. military services.
Yuri Yarbrough (BSE ME '93) is designing a horseless carriage for rural areas, targeted to get 80 miles per gallon and go 35 miles per hour. Yarbrough is designing the carriage for his father, a doctor in rural Kansas.
Jonathan Kramer (BSE CEE '94) was elected to serve on the board of directors of Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. (OHM), an engineering and architectural advisory firm based in Livonia, Michigan. At 35, he’s the youngest director in OHM’s history.
Amir H. Behzadan (PhD '08) has received the FIATECH CETI Outstanding Student Researcher Award for his work on "ARVISCOPE: Geo-referenced Visualization of Dynamic Construction Processes in 3D Outdoor Augmented Reality."