Some of Clemson University’s top alumni gathered Oct. 21 for a rooftop reception to welcome three new members into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists and to celebrate two Outstanding Young Alumni.
Membership in the academy is the highest honor bestowed by Clemson’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. The new entrants are Larry Dooley, Sean L. Jones and Jane A. McLamarrah.
Fewer than 0.2 percent of alumni are inducted to the academy. Each honoree was recognized for outstanding career achievements, significant contributions to society through professional or service activities, or notable contributions to engineering or science practice.
With the latest three additions, the academy now has 74 members, including Thomas Green Clemson, the University’s founder and namesake.
The reception also honored two of the college’s Outstanding Young Alumni, Josiah Hester and Nathan Kwan.
The Outstanding Young Alumni award is reserved for graduates of the college who are 40 years old or younger and have made significant achievements to their profession or the welfare of society.
A crowd of Clemson professors, administrators and alumni joined the honorees for the reception, which was held on the rooftop terrace atop the Watt Family Innovation Center.
Anand Gramopadhye, the college’s dean, said that all of the night’s honorees are working to change the world for the better.
“Each is having an impact in their own unique way,” he said. “Their leadership, spirit of innovation and passion for making a positive difference sets an inspirational example. Congratulations to all on this well-deserved recognition.”
Read below and click on each honoree’s name to watch a video describing why they were nominated:
Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists
Larry Dooley, now a professor emeritus of bioengineering at Clemson University, is an internationally renowned innovator who played crucial roles in positioning Clemson as a leader in bioengineering and in laying the foundation for the success now enjoyed by the college. He joined Clemson’s faculty in 1985 and has served the University as a bioengineering professor, director of the South Carolina Bioengineering Alliance, chair of the Department of Bioengineering, the college’s associate dean for research, the college’s interim dean and the University’s interim vice president for research. Dooley helped bring in large grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and established partnerships with health care systems across South Carolina. He received a Master of Science and Ph.D., both in bioengineering from Clemson.
Sean L. Jones plays a key role in shaping mathematical and physical sciences research nationwide and has been an influential leader in advancing the mission of inclusivity and broadening participation in STEM disciplines. Jones currently serves as assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, a $1.5-billion enterprise with more than 185 employees and contractors. He joined the NSF as a program director in 2009, the first African American to assume that role, and he has steadily risen through the ranks. In addition to his work with the NSF, Jones served a 14-month detail starting in 2013 as the assistant director for physical sciences and engineering for the White House Office of Science and Technology. Early in his career, Jones led a team at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies that created next generation telecommunication optical fibers, including a high bandwidth multimode fiber for residential 10G applications called LaserWave. He was also previously chair of the optical and electronic engineering department at Norfolk State University. Jones received his Bachelor of Science from Clemson University’s ceramic engineering department and then went to the University of Florida for master’s and Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering.
Jane A. McLamarrah left her mark on history in 1985 when she became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Clemson University. It was a time of minimal support for women and others underrepresented in engineering. She felt she needed to be twice as good and obtain twice as many credentials to succeed in the male-dominated profession. McLamarrah now serves as vice president of global engineering design firm Stantec. She credits communication skills, interpersonal relationships and the ability to develop new skills for her success. Prior to her position with Stantec, McLamarrah worked for consulting and engineering firms in South Carolina and Wisconsin. She has specialized in master planning and wastewater collection systems, including the innovative Atlanta Integrated Water Resources Plan that used a computer optimization model to prioritize Capital Improvement Plan projects developed by the city’s three individual master plans for water, wastewater and stormwater. She and her husband, Michael F. Kohl, have established the Jane A. McLamarrah Fund for Women in Science and Engineering at Clemson. Her previous honors include the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Distinguished Alumna award and the Golden Manhole Service Award for her volunteer work with the Water Environment Federation Collection Systems Committee.
Outstanding Young Alumni
Josiah Hester is an assistant professor in Northwestern University’s departments of electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and preventive medicine. His colleagues regard him as a rising star in the computing field. He was named to this year’s Brilliant Ten by Popular Science, which recognizes young innovators moving the goalposts in their fields, and was named Most Promising Engineer by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. His research has attracted more than $3 million in funding. He received a Best Paper Award at ACM SenSys and ACM UbiComp, his field’s top publication venues. His work has been covered by several news outlets ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Verge. His work focuses on making low-power mobile devices less dependent on batteries, which enables smaller and lower-cost sensors, wearables and other mobile-computing devices. Hester received his Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. from the Computer Science Division in Clemson University’s School of Computing.
Nathan H. Kwan currently serves as the senior brigade flight surgeon of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade in South Korea. In that position, he commands a team of 12 medical providers responsible for over 3,000 active-duty service members. He has built an outstanding record of accomplishment in advanced studies, scholarly research and professional leadership in the 13 years since he received Bachelors of Science in electrical engineering and physics at Clemson University. Kwan subsequently received a Master of Science in electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Medicine at Tulane University. He is double board certified in aerospace medicine and occupational medicine.
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