Dr. Harry McDonald, Speaker


Lensey Hill received the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Undergraduae Research Scholarship for excellence in chemistry. The Gross Award, named for the beloved former head of the chemistry department and Guerry Professor Emeritus Ben Gross, was awarded to outstanding senior Elizabeth Boaz.


Grote Scholarship winners: Kentankumar (Ken) Patel, Vanessa Janeksela, Jody Haddock, Alicia Allen, Laura Palmiero, Missy Mathis, Sarah Sewell Not pictured: Sara Magee, Amanda Mansfield, Carrie Stewart and Stephanie Vermillion.


Elizabeth Boaz, outstanding senior and winner of the Gross award, named for Dr. Ben Gross, Guerry Professor Emeritus and former head of the chemistry department. Elizabeth is pictured with her parents and fiancé.


The Marvin Anthony Scholarship for outstanding chemistry students with interest in business was awarded to Bassam Abazid, Jon Drumm, Darshan Naik and Chanda Price.

Dr. Tom Waddell presents the Dr. Charles Robert Thomas Pre-Medical Scholarship to outstanding chemistry pre-med student Matt Zak.


Dr. Ben Gross, much loved retired head of the department of chemistry. He served in that position for 27 years, and is shown with his wife Helen.


 

UTC Computational Engineer Speaks to Outstanding Chemistry Students

Dr. Harry McDonald, Distinguished Professor of Computational Engineering at UTC and the former Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California recently spoke at the fifteenth annual UTC Chemistry Honors Banquet, and urged students to look way beyond the obvious when problem-solving in their careers.

McDonald’s comments spring from his recent testimony in the ongoing investigation of the Challenger space shuttle accident, and his participation in other forensic engineering accident investigations.

"Pilot error is a great catch-all excuse," McDonald told an audience gathered to honor outstanding UTC chemistry students. When McDonald was involved in the investigation of the crash of a V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor Aircraft that killed four crewmen and fifteen marines, he noted the pilots were "first rate. " During the forensic investigation, McDonald and the team of engineers discovered that the craft was safe, provided limitations were observed. "The pilot was under extreme stress, wearing night goggles, and he had to read a very small scale instrument panel," McDonald said.

McDonald discussed the importance of investigating all anomaly, documentation of the root cause, and showing a trend of errors prior to the accident. "People are often the weak link in engineering; if you do not explain why they should not do something, they tend to do it," McDonald said. He referenced the lack of communication between the team conducting the legendary test of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and personnel responsible for the operation of the nuclear reactor.

McDonald extended his heartfelt congratulations to the senior chemistry students, and encouraged them to have "a great deal of fun in your careers."

This year the Grote Scholarships for outstanding Chemistry majors were awarded to Alicia Allen, Jody Haddock, Vanessa Janeksela, Sara Magee, Amanda Mansfield, Missy Mathis, Laura Palmiero, Ketankumar Patel, Sarah Sewell, Carrie Stewart and Stephanie Vermillion.

The Marvin Anthony Scholarship for outstanding chemistry students with interest in business was awarded to Bassam Abazid, Jon Drumm, Darshan Naik and Chanda Price.

Dr. Charles Robert Thomas Pre-Medical Scholarship went to outstanding chemistry pre-med student Matt Zak, and Mr. And Mrs. Eugene M. Thomasson Scholarship was awarded to outstanding chemistry pre-med student Alan Hensley.
Lensey Hill received the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Undergraduae Research Scholarship for excellence in chemistry. The Gross Award, named for the beloved former head of the chemistry department and Guerry Professor Emeritus Ben Gross, was awarded to outstanding senior Elizabeth Boaz.

Congratulations to these students, and all the graduating seniors in the chemistry department. Please visit the UTC Chemistry Department webpage for more information.