College to induct alumni into Hall of Fame

DETROIT (Sept. 17, 2013) – Wayne State University’s College of Engineering will celebrate its 80th anniversary during its annual signature event, Night of the Stars, on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. The college will also induct five exemplary alumni into its Hall of Fame.

This year’s alumni honorees include Robert Brown, EMMP ’95; Joseph Louvar, PhDChE ’83; Randy Rogers, BSCE ’80, MSCE ’84; Donald Smolenski, MSCheE ’79, PhDChE ’90; and Shyam Veeramachineni, MSCE ’95. They were selected among more than 25,000 engineering and computer science alumni who live and work in every state and in 48 countries.

“This is a special year for us in many ways,” said College of Engineering Dean Farshad Fotouhi. “We are thrilled to honor these remarkable alumni and celebrate the impact our college community has had on quality of life here in Detroit and beyond since 1933. Our future is very bright thanks to the past efforts of so many individuals, partners and friends.”

This year’s Night of the Stars event, sponsored by Urban Science in Detroit, will highlight the college’s history in education, research innovation and entrepreneurship as well as pay tribute to the 128 current members of the Hall of Fame, which began 30 years ago. Tickets are $150 per person and include a plated dinner and valet parking. RSVP at

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the College of Engineering Development Office at 313-577-4707.

Robert Brown, EMMP ’95, is vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering at Ford Motor Company. He is the top safety officer and is responsible for the company's global sustainability strategy, policy and performance. Brown joined Ford in 1979 as a compliance engineer and has held a variety of leadership positions including environmental regulatory manager in Washington, D.C.; assistant director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office; director of vehicle environmental engineering; and vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering at Ford of Europe.

He currently serves on the Ford Motor Company Fund Board of Trustees, the Board of Advisors UC-Riverside Center for Environmental Research and Technology, and the Ann Arbor Community Center Board. Brown’s community commitments include support for the Wayne State University College of Engineering, U-M Dearborn College of Engineering, the Ann Arbor Community Center, the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, Gleaners Food Bank, United Way and the Salvation Army.

Joseph Louvar, PhDChE ’83, is an internationally recognized expert on chemical process safety. He is the author of many safety related publications, including the co-author of Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals with Applications and Health and Environmental Risk Analysis: Fundamentals with Applications. Other publications include “Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection” (Safety and Chemical Engineering Education product), “Dust Explosion Prevention and Control” (SACHE product) and “Education Materials for Universities and Industry” (American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Process Safety Progress). He spent the majority of his career at the BASF Corporation, where he held several director-level positions including director of chemical engineering and director of research services. 

Upon retirement from BASF in 2000, he joined the College of Engineering as a visiting research professor. While at the university, Louvar contributed greatly to its undergraduate teaching mission by developing and teaching courses in chemical process safety, risk assessment, statistical design of experiments and chemical process engineering. 

Louvar has received many awards, such as the Chemical Engineer of the Year Award in 1986 (Detroit Section of American Institute of Chemical Engineers), and received many honors, such as being named an American Institute of Chemical Engineering fellow in 1996. He is a member of numerous chemical engineering education and advisory boards. He retired from WSU in 2012 to enjoy time with his wife, Diane, in the Milwaukee area. 

Randy Rogers, BSCE ’80, MSCE ’84, is a well-known expert in the field of water and wastewater treatment and has authored more than 30 papers and presentations related to such topics. He is senior vice president and chief operating officer for CDM Smith, currently based out of its Chicago Office. He is responsible for the operational performance of the company’s Public Service West Division, which serves the western three-quarters of the United States.

Throughout his 33 years with CDM Smith, he has led the engineering work associated with a variety of public works projects including the Springwells Water Treatment Plant Filtration and High and Low Lift Pumping Station Improvement Projects in Detroit; the design and application of ozone-based disinfection processes for all three water treatment plants in Dallas, TX; the planning and design of a program of improvements to automate the largest wastewater treatment facility serving the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul; and a $160 million program to expand the capacity and improve the reliability of a 45-mile network of potable water transmission mains serving the southwest suburbs of Chicago. 

Rogers is a licensed professional engineer in six states, a member of both the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, and a board-certified environmental engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He is also proud to be on the Advisory Board of WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Donald Smolenski, MSChE ’79, PhDChE ’90, worked for 33 years at General Motors R&D and Worldwide Facilities Group, primarily with engine oils and plant lubricants. Most notably, he co-invented the GM automatic engine oil life monitor, which has been installed on more than 25 million vehicles and is now standard on most in North America. It is estimated to have saved 100 million gallons of oil and more than $500 million in warranty costs. He also led and drove the GM North America Used Industrial Oil Program to return more than four million gallons of recycled oil to the plants annually for savings of over twice the program cost.

He joined Evonik Oil Additives USA, Inc. as an OEM liaison manager for North America in 2012 upon retirement from General Motors. He is responsible for informing the organization of current and future OEM lubricant requirements, strategically marketing key Evonik technologies to OEMs and cultivating opportunities for joint projects, analyzing the changing business and suggesting strategic changes to Evonik’s business strategy, and representing EOA’s interests in industry meetings and organizations.

Smolenski has received numerous awards, including the Engineering Society of Detroit’s Distinguished Service Award (2001), Environmental Management Association Award (2004), the SAE Oral Presentation Award (1986, 1987, 1988), the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers’ Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year (1987) and the General Motors Research - McCuen Award (1988). He was named an Engineering Society of Detroit fellow in 1995 and a Society of Automotive Engineers fellow in 2008.

Shyam Veeramachineni, MSCE ’95, is an expert on geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing services. He serves as executive vice president at Professional Service Industries (PSI), Inc., a leading independent engineering and testing firm. There, he is responsible for the overall management, profitability, growth and operation of PSI’s I-35 Corridor in Texas and Oklahoma, supervising a staff of approximately 200 employees. In his region, he heads PSI’s geotechnical and environmental services, construction materials testing/construction services testing, facilities consulting, non-destructive testing, and drilling operations with multiple drilling rigs. He is also responsible for planning and implementing the Design Build Transportation Project, budgeting and project estimating.

Veeramachineni has more than 21 years experience specializing in geotechnical services, including subsurface exploration to provide geotechnical recommendations for structures, pavements and sub-drainage systems; materials engineering, including construction observation, materials testing and evaluation to provide construction quality control; and construction materials testing services, including construction activities such as fill, bearing capacity, soil sub-grade, concrete, aggregate, masonry, asphalt placement, reinforcing steel, post-tension, and bolt and welding inspection.

Most recently, Veeramachineni served as a director on the board of Texas Council Of Engineering Laboratories. In the past, he was actively involved with the Engineering Society of Detroit.


Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students. For more information about engineering and computer science at Wayne State University, visit


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