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Engineering Advisory Board

The Edward F. Cross School of Engineering is fortunate to have an external advisory board consisting of several distinguished individuals.  

Alvin L. Kwiram 

Alvin Kwiram served as Vice Provost for the Office of Research at the University of Washington (UW) from 1990 until 2002, having first been appointed as a Vice Provost in 1987. He had previously been Chair of the Department of Chemistry at UW from 1977 to 1987. Upon returning to the Department of Chemistry, he served the next five years as the Executive Director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research. Although he made the transition to emeritus faculty member in 2007, he continues to be active in university related-affairs. Earlier, from 1964 to 1970, he was on the faculty at Harvard University, before coming to the UW. 

Dr. Kwiram is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Recently he was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He has served in many leadership roles in these and other scientific organizations.   

Dr. Kwiram has published over 75 papers in the field of physical chemistry emphasizing the development of novel magnetic resonance and optical techniques designed to probe the electronic structure of molecular systems in the solid state. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.  

He received his BA in Physics and BS in Chemistry from Walla Walla College in 1958, and he completed the work for his PhD in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1962.  

Michael  Nichols 

Michael Nichols is Vice-President of Aftermarket and Legacy Engineering for Key Technology, Inc., a $110M developer and manufacturer of vibratory conveyers and high-resolution, high-speed optical sorting equipment for the food and pharmaceutical industries. He is responsible for directing the global service and aftermarket programs and projects for Key, as well as Sustaining Engineering projects on Key’s legacy optical sorters, which include development of new variants for legacy equipment such as VEO, VitiSort and Verisym SE. He has a twenty-year track record of setting and achieving challenging business/manufacturing goals in complex and competitive business environments. He previously served Planar Systems, Inc., in various positions, including Director of Engineering for the Industrial business unit in Beaverton, Oregon, and the Medical business in Waltham, Massachusetts, and Site Director for Operations at Planar SAS in Albi, France. He holds a BS degree from Oregon State University and a PhD degree from the University of California, Berkeley, both in Chemical Engineering. 

Robert G. Olsen 

Dr. Olsen is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Washington State University and was, until early 2014, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture for Undergraduate Programs and Student Services.   

He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and an Honorary Life member of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society.  He is past Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Radio Science. As Associate Dean he was responsible for the accreditation process, recruitment and retention of students, community college visitation, management of the scholarship program and services to university and state committees. 

 In addition to these activities, he has created the Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute in cooperation with the College of Business that exposes engineering students to the realities of the business aspects of engineering and better prepares them to work in the changing global marketplace. This work resulted in the 2008 Kauffman Foundation award for contributions to entrepreneurship education. Given the global nature of the economy, he has also worked to make it possible for engineering students to get general education credit for the study of foreign language. Finally, he has (with NSF support and in conjunction with the University of Washington and several community colleges) begun a major effort to recruit students into engineering who have not traditionally considered or entered the study of engineering. 

He received a BS degree from Rutgers University and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Colorado, all in electrical engineering.   

Richard E. Raymond, Chair 

Mr. Raymond served as Chief Engineer of the CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Project until his retirement in 2014. He has 34 years of experience in Engineering (as manager of Plant Engineering, Director of Reactor Engineering and Chief Engineer for Hanford Tank Farms), Operations (including Plant Manager for the Hanford N-Reactor and as the Vice President for Hanford Single Shell Tank Farms), and Project Management (including Vice President of Projects for CHM HILL Hanford Group) and has been responsible for annual budgets up to $310 Million and projects with cumulative budgets of $1 Billion.  In his current position as the Chief Engineer he is responsible for development and deployment of new innovative technologies to treat and dispose of transuranic, mixed low level and high level waste. 

Mr. Raymond was the project manager for a team that solved what was once the top safety issue nationwide in the Department of Energy.  Under Mr. Raymond’s leadership, all safety issues associated with Hanford’s infamous Tank SY-101, once known as the “burping” tank because of the buildup and periodic release of flammable gas inside the tank, were resolved.  The project was one of three finalists in an international project of the year competition held by the Project Management Institute in 2001. 

Currently Mr. Raymond is providing engineering consulting services in Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States in the areas of radioactive waste management.  In addition to his duties on the Edward F. Cross School of Engineering advisory board he is the chairman of the advisory board for the Applied Research Center of Florida International University. 

Mr. Raymond received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (Summa Cum Laude, Tau Beta Pi) and a graduate certificate from the Bettis Reactor Engineering School (operated by the DOE Division of Naval Reactors) while working on the headquarters staff of Admiral H.G. Rickover.  

His professional registrations include Certified Reactor Plant Manager, PMI Certified Project Manager, and Professional Engineer. 

Chad Rhynard 

Chad Rhynard is currently Chief of the Electrical Design Section in the Walla Walla office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he has been employed since 2003, except for four months in 2007 when he was Chief of Operations for one of the Corps’ dams and another four months in 2012 at the Corps’ headquarters in Washington, DC.  

As well as being responsible for the supervision and management of the Section to ensure product quality and adequate resources on such projects as large, multipurpose hydroelectric, navigation, flood control, fish hatchery, and fish and wildlife facility designs, Mr. Rhynard is Program Coordinator of the Career Program 18 within the District. This intern program typically has 15 - 20 career interns for which he provides training, development and oversight in their developmental programs. 

Mr. Rhynard has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Electrical Engineering from Walla Walla College. 

Gilbert Springer 

Gilbert Springer has founded and led a number of successful technology companies over the past 35+ years. Since 2009 he has been serving as founding CEO of AppBank, an innovative, well-funded and profitable social media startup bringing quality social games and applications to the masses. 

He was previously chairman, CEO, and/or founder of 4D-S, a next generation memory company focused on developing the high capacity, high performance successor to FLASH, D-RAM and S-RAM, for use in portable electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, music players, smart phones and embedded systems); Upstream Engineering Oy, a Finnish optoelectronics company supplying designs and modules for the world smallest LED-based integrated and accessory projection devices; and Marqlin Corporation, which engineered and manufactured CompactFash type I microdrives for use in the computing and consumer electronics industries; and other companies. 

He received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree with a concentration in Electrical Engineering at Walla Walla College. 

Jill S. Tietjen 

Ms. Tietjen is the President and CEO of Technically Speaking, Inc.  She has spent 37 years in the electric utility industry with such companies as Stone & Webster Management Consultants and Duke Power Company, and provides planning consulting services to electric utilities and organizations serving the electric utility industry.  Ms. Tietjen serves as an expert witness before public utility commissions and other government agencies.   

Ms. Tietjen regularly speaks on women in engineering, historical women in engineering and science, and leadership topics.  Books she has authored include the award-winning and bestselling Her Story:  A Timeline of Women Who Changed America;, an introduction to engineering textbook, Keys to Engineering Success; and three books in the Setting the Record Straight series.  She has written articles for and been profiled in numerous magazine on careers and women in engineering.  

Her technical papers have been published in Public Utilities Fortnightly, Transmission and Distribution, and publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She has served as an electrical engineering program accreditor on behalf of IEEE.   

Ms. Tietjen has received numerous awards and honors. She serves on a number of non-profit boards and was Chair of the Board for Girl Scouts – Mile Hi Council. She served as the 1991-1992 National President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Transmission Corporation of Tucker, Georgia and serves as an outside director (and Vice Chair) for Merrick & Company.  Ms. Tietjen was a Commissioner on the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., and served as the Western Zone Vice President for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.  She is a Fellow Life Member of SWE and a Senior Member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society.  She has been inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.   

She graduated from the University of Virginia (Tau Beta Pi, Virginia Alpha) with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics (minor in Electrical Engineering) and received her MBA from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.  Ms. Tietjen is a registered professional engineer in Colorado. 

Keith Willard 

Keith Willard is both a physician and an electrical engineer, currently serving as Chief Enterprise Architect and Technical Fellow for Surescripts, which operates the nation's largest clinical health information network. He focuses on development of infrastructure for addressing the problems of semantic interoperability of clinical information that is just starting to flow electronically between medical record systems.   

Dr. Willard previously served as VP of Clinical Architecture for McKesson Clinical Solutions, and was a co-founder of Abaton.com, the first web based EMR solution. He was also Instructor (1981-88) and Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine (1989-1995) at the University of Minnesota.  

He received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Walla Walla College (1975), a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (1979), and an MD degree from Loma Linda University (1981). 

Last update on June 20, 2017