College of Engineering alumni among honorees at ESD Annual Dinner

esd_kurmasWayne State University College of Engineering alumni received various awards at the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) Annual Dinner last week at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, including Steven Kurmas, B.S. ’79, M.S. ‘83, vice chairman of DTE Energy, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kurmas (pictured right), a member of the WSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame, is a former president and current treasurer of the ESD Board of Directors. He is also a past recipient of the ESD Horace H. Rackham Humanitarian Award.

John Boulahanis, M.S. ‘96, Utpal Dutta, M.S. ’81, and Frenae Smith B.S. ’05, M.S. ’10 were inducted into the ESD College of Fellows for outstanding technical and professional achievement as well as service to ESD. Boulahanis is managing member and owner of AJA Quality Services, LLC., Dutta is a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, and Smith is a codes and standards supervisor for DTE Energy Gas Operations.

Among those that received Outstanding Leadership Awards were David Finley, Ph.D. ’96, and Latonya Waller, M.S. ’16. Finley was named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lake Superior State University in January 2016 after serving four years as dean of LSSU’s College of Business and Engineering. Waller, a landfill project engineer at US Ecology, received the National Society of Black Engineers—Detroit Professionals Achievement Award at the ESD Gold Award Banquet in March, and is a past president of Wayne State’s ESD student chapter.

Linda Gerhardt, B.S. ’84, Ph.D. ’96, a senior manufacturing engineer at General Motors, received a Distinguished Service Award.

Recent electrical engineering graduate Ashraf Jaber, B.S. ’17, was named an Outstanding College Student of the Year. Jaber, a technical sales associate at Texas Instruments, served as president of the Engineering Student Faculty Board at Wayne State and was involved in the ESD student chapter. He is a founding member of Detroit Aerial Innovations, Wayne State’s first student organization focused on drone technology.

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