Distinguished engineers

Biomedical Engineering

Rainer HoffmanRainer Hoffmann, M.S. '84, is the managing partner of carhs GmbH, a leading provider of educational programs and events for engineers in the global automotive industry. Since 2020 Hoffmann is also the chief strategy officer at Shanghai Digauto Automobile Technology, a startup developing a paradigm-shifting in-door ADAS/ADS validation technology. After graduating in Germany with a degree in automotive engineering, Hoffmann was granted a Fulbright scholarship to work with Professor Albert King at the Wayne State Bioengineering Center, earning his master's before returning to Germany to join Porsche AG as a research engineer. Hoffmann advanced automotive safety in his years at ESI Group and PARS (now Continental Safety Engineering) by introducing new computer-aided techniques such as airbag simulation, airbag folding and finite-element dummy modeling, and pioneering the development of side airbags and safety systems in ultra-small cars. In 1994, Hoffmann founded EASi Engineering GmbH, which in 2006 was renamed carhs GmbH and today is well regarded in the automotive safety community for its advanced engineering services, software tools and unique training center.

Debora MarthDebora R. Marth, M.S. '96, Ph.D. '02, is the founder and principal engineer at Safety Forensics, PLLC, a consulting firm providing expertise in biomechanics, seat belt and airbag analysis, and accident reconstruction. She has been involved in automotive vehicle safety for nearly three decades, beginning her career in seat belt system development at Chrysler Corporation. Marth moved on to work in crash development and design analysis at Ford Motor Company for 10 years before opening her own consulting business in 2005. Her work has included the design and release of safety-related components on production vehicles; performing and analyzing dynamic crash tests; and crash investigations and research. Marth is an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and has served multiple appointments on the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. She holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Wayne State.

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Colleen HughesColleen Hughes, B.S. '90, M.S. '93/94, Ph.D '96, is a senior vice president for CDM Smith, an employee-owned engineering and construction firm that provides solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. She serves as chair of the board of directors for the company and is responsible for the operational performance and successful delivery of projects across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. A licensed professional engineer in Michigan and Pennsylvania and an industry leader in Clean Water Act compliance, Hughes has authored more than 30 papers and presentations and advises public utilities on water quality protection requirements. She recently helped the Great Lakes Water Authority develop a 40-year wastewater master plan, and is advising the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority in the Pittsburgh area on a $3.6 billion Clean Water Plan, and the Philadelphia Water Department on a 25-year Green Cities Clean Waters program.

Tony MackovskiTony Mackovski, B.S. '98, is a global segment leader in the Transportation Strategic Business unit at Nalco Water, an Ecolab company and global leader in water treatment technologies. In his current role, Mackovski oversees more than 100 associates globally who serve the EV/battery industry. He has been with Nalco for 21 years affecting such industries as automotive, transportation, locomotive, chemical, tire and rubber, food and beverage, and hospitality. He has extensive global experience across six continents and more than 45 countries. Mackovski, who holds a patent on recycling phosphate water in the automotive industry, began his career as a chemical engineer in the petrochemical industry both on and off shore. Mackovski has been the chair of the WSU Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board since 2000, playing a key role in the advancement of the department's co-op program, growth of the AIChE student chapter and mentorship of Wayne State chemical engineering students.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Amir AzarmiAmir M. Azarmi, M.S. '82, began his career with the Circle K Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was responsible for opening 42 stores in the northeast Phoenix area. In 1990, he co-founded Fairway Constructors Inc., a development company in Fort Mohave, Arizona, responsible for designing and developing five large semi-custom communities. As the executive vice president and project manager, he led the construction of over 1,000 single family residential homes and several commercial projects in Arizona, Nevada and California. Azarmi was honored in 2016 as the Citizen of the Year by the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce and, in 2017, as the Individual of the Year by the Bullhead City Area Chamber of Commerce, for which he served as chairman of the executive board, for his philanthropic work in the community. Azarmi is a past chairman of the Mohave County Planning and Zoning commission, a current executive board member of Mohave Sunrise Rotary Club, and current chairman of the Code Advisory Board and the Mohave Community College Bighorn booster club.


Dima El-GamalDima El-Gamal, M.S. '98, Ph.D. '05, is the capital improvement director at the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). She collaborates with various engineering, operations, procurement and financial groups to carry out upgrades to GLWA's aging water and wastewater system infrastructure. Prior to joining GLWA in 2021, El-Gamal spent more than 23 years at Stantec Consulting in Ann Arbor, securing and delivering $150 million in funded projects for municipal clients throughout the state of Michigan. She led water and wastewater infrastructure services, and played key roles in business development, asset management, master planning and quality control. A dedicated philanthropist, El-Gamal serves on several boards, commissions and committees, including the West Bloomfield Township Planning Commission, the Muslim Unity Center of Bloomfield Hills, the WSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board, and the Michigan Board of Professional Engineers, to which she was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2021. She holds a B.S. from Aleppo University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Wayne State University.


Computer Science

Nestor RychtyckyjNestor Rychtyckyj, B.S. '80, M.S. '87, Ph.D. '01, is a senior analytics scientist in artificial intelligence within the Global Data Insight and Analytics organization at Ford Motor Company. He is responsible for the development and application of machine learning, natural language processing, semantic computing and machine translation for manufacturing, quality and customer interaction. In his more than 25 years at Ford, Rychtyckyj has applied AI to solve business problems in such domains as vehicle assembly process planning, plant floor ergonomics, supply chain management, language translation and cybersecurity. Rychtyckyj has published more than 50 papers and presented at conferences such as Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence and the International Conference on Semantic Computing. He is a senior member of both the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, and a member of the Association for Computer Machinery and the Shevchenko Scientific Society. Rychtyckyj has three degrees from Wayne State in computer science.

Jerzy RozenblitJerzy W. Rozenblit, M.S. '83, Ph.D. '85, is University Distinguished Professor, Raymond J. Oglethorpe Endowed Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Surgery, at the University of Arizona. He established the Model-Based Design Laboratory with major projects in design and analysis of complex, computer-based systems, hardware/software codesign and simulation modeling. The research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, Siemens, Infineon Technologies, Rockwell, McDonnell Douglas, NASA, Raytheon and Semiconductor Research Corporation. Rozenblit is currently developing computer-guided training methods and systems for minimally invasive surgery. He serves as director of the Life-Critical Computing Systems Initiative, a research enterprise intended to improve the reliability and safety of technology in health care and life-critical applications. Rozenblit holds M.S. degrees in computer science from Wroclaw University of Technology and Wayne State University. He received his Ph.D. from WSU in 1985.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mohamad Abdul-HakMohamad Abdul-Hak, B.S. '99, has been working in the automotive industry for more than 20 years. Since 2007, he has been with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America Inc., where he is the senior manager of the eMobility, high-voltage systems and quality teams. Abdul-Hak is a steering committee member of CharIN North America, an organization that helps to establish global standards for charging battery-powered electric vehicles. He is a co-chair of the Society of Automotive Engineers vehicle wireless charging testing committee and chair of the Wayne State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Industrial Advisory Board. He is an active member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, previously serving as vice president for the Michigan chapter and currently acting as an ABET program evaluator. Abdul-Hak holds degrees in electrical engineering from Wayne State University (B.S.), the University of Michigan (M.S.) and the University of Detroit Mercy (Ph.D.).

Engineering Technology

Howard Finck, B.S. '95, was a business development and alliance management leader in the IT industry with expertise in identifying and enabling strategic, cloud, technology and OEM partner alliances that aligned with his clients' corporate roadmaps. Finck spent nearly a decade in various managerial positions at Hewlett Packard Enterprise beginning in 2010, playing key roles in sales enablement and new product introductions while achieving award-winning levels of revenue growth for the company. He was previously at Cisco for 14 years as a senior manager and technical liaison, working on defense and public safety solutions for numerous international clients and as a sales business development manager in Nevada's gaming and hospitality market. Finck earned his bachelor's from Wayne State in electrical/electronic engineering technology. He and his family established two endowed scholarships — the Howard Finck Memorial Engineering Endowed Scholarship and the Dr. Jerome and Mrs. JoAnne Finck Memorial Engineering Technology Scholarship Fund.

Bill HansenBill Hansen, B.S. '95, is a principal engineer for quality and risk management at Terumo Heart, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He creates the device cybersecurity processes at Terumo, coordinating with design and regulatory bodies and driving the creation of a global corporate-wide ISAO. Hansen has been involved with medical device development since 2004 as a design quality engineer, senior supervisor and risk management process owner for cardiac surgical devices marketed worldwide. Hansen has also worked in the aerospace and defense realm as a design engineer with Applied Dynamics International, creating simulation systems for rockets, aircraft and various land craft. In this role, he was involved with all aspects of product lifecycles, from conception to decommission. Hansen is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and is trained in quality management systems. He holds a bachelor's in electrical/electronic engineering technology from Wayne State University and is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board.

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Donna BellDonna Bell, M.S. '97, M.S. '11, Ph.D. '19, is the director of technology and features, strategy and planning at Ford Motor Company. Bell is responsible for aligning new and emerging technologies for Ford and Lincoln vehicles globally, working closely with product development and research and advanced engineering organizations as well as vehicle program teams to understand customer needs. Bell's past roles over nearly two decades at Ford include CTO, chief of staff and director of research operations at Ford's Palo Alto innovation labs; global manager of product development quality; and manager of electric vehicle infrastructure and smart grid technologies. Her career at Ford is grounded in the electrical and electronic systems engineering organization within product development, where she has delivered numerous first-to-Ford or industry technologies. Bell holds two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from Wayne State University.

Mechanical Engineering

John ShinskaJohn Shinska, B.S. '98, M.S. '01, is the global chief engineer for body exterior lighting, ornamentation, and front and rear end systems within Ford Motor Company's product development organization. He manages more than 300 people globally in this department. Shinska has been with Ford for 20 years and has held numerous product development positions, including IP/console engineer, body quality supervisor, global body systems manager, global body interior architecture manager and CAD/body integration chief. He has received four patent awards during his time with the company. Prior to joining Ford, Shinska worked Visteon from 1998 to 2000 as a manufacturing engineer. He holds two degrees in mechanical engineering from Wayne State, has been an active recruiter at the university since 2007 and took a position as the WSU Ford executive sponsor in 2019.