The award was established to recognize the college’s most outstanding alumni.
The Texas Tech University Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering will name Denny Bullard, Fiske Hanley II, Stephen Heitzman, Dudley McFarquhar, Henning Oeltjenbruns and Rene Hatten Wade as recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Engineer Award at a banquet Friday (April 24) at United Supermarkets Arena.
The Distinguished Engineer Award was established during the 1966-67 academic year to recognize the most outstanding alumni of the college. Since that time, 225 former students have received this honor.
Recipients of the award must be distinguished in their profession, an inspiration to their peers and have demonstrated a continuing interest in areas outside the field of engineering.
“The Distinguished Engineer Award is an opportunity for the Whitacre College of Engineering to recognize our exceptional alumni,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the college. “These outstanding professionals are leaders in engineering and business and represent the best of our past students. They are a testament to the outstanding education our faculty provides. We are also pleased this year to have the unique privilege of honoring one of this country's national World War II heroes among our select group of distinguished engineers.”
Bullard earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1970 and is senior vice president of operations services for Pioneer Natural Resources. In this role, he is responsible for the operations of Pioneer Pumping Services, the company's well stimulation fleet, and for Premier Silica, Pioneer's industrial sand mining operations. He also is responsible for the health, safety, environmental services and operations training departments.
In 2012, Bullard was recognized by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association as a top producer engineer. Most recently he was recognized as Lubbock Christian University's 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
Hanley earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1943, leaving for basic training hours after graduation. Nine months later, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and attached to the 504th Bombardment Group (VH) as a B-29 flight engineer. In January 1945, the 504th began bombing missions over Japan based out of the Tinian Islands. On the seventh mission, his plane was shot down and he was captured by Japanese forces, where he became a prisoner of war before being released six months later.
Hanley retired in 1989 after 44 years with General Dynamics, working on the Saturn V Moon Rocket and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Hanley, 95, resides in Fort Worth and is the author of “Accused American War Criminal,” a biography detailing his time as a prisoner of war.
Heitzman earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1972. He is the founder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Talos Energy LLC. Before starting Talos Energy, he was the president, chief executive officer and a founder of Phoenix Exploration Company LP. Prior to his time at Phoenix, he was a founder and vice president of operations at Gryphon Exploration. Heitzman was responsible for the formation, staffing and supervision of Gryphon's Operations Team from 2000 through 2006.
At Gryphon, he managed aggregate capital expenditures of more than $250 million and led a team that was responsible for industry leading metrics. Heitzman's career has allowed him to work internationally, including some previous engineering positions in Indonesia. He has been married for 42 years to Andra Heitzman, a 1973 Texas Tech graduate.
McFarquhar earned his bachelor's degree in 1984, his master's degree in 1986 and his doctoral degree in 1989. He has more than 26 years of experience in civil engineering and is the chief executive officer and president of his own engineering consulting firm, McFarquhar Group Inc.
McFarquhar is engineer-of-record for cladding on several commercial projects within the U.S. and has performed engineering on several projects in the Far East and Central America. He is a published author and has conducted several seminars in the U. S., Europe, the Caribbean and Singapore. He resides in Mesquite.
Oeltjenbruns grew up in northwest Germany and eventually participated in an undergraduate student exchange program with Texas Tech. He later returned to Lubbock where he earned a master's degree in industrial engineering in 1993. He has spent a total of almost 25 years working for Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz) in various leadership functions and locations, serving as part of the initial engineering team that set up the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the first outside of Germany.
As global product line manager for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Henning implemented a new truck model lineup in Europe, Turkey and Brazil. He has served the last three years as head of product planning and strategy at Daimler Trucks' headquarters in Stuttgart, focusing on new truck markets and supporting Daimler's China joint venture with Auman Trucks. He has recently been named the new general manager for Daimler Trucks North America's Freightliner Plant in Cleveland, North Carolina.
Wade earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1983. She has worked in quality engineering and development with companies such as 3M and Mary Kay Cosmetics. Beginning in 2008, Wade took over oversight of the product quality for all Mary Kay products sold worldwide as the vice president for product quality. In this role, she oversees global quality for the company, managing product quality for multiple manufacturing sites and the distribution of effective skin care and color cosmetic products in 35 countries and growing.
For more detailed information on each of the Distinguished Engineers, visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/coe/alumni/de/index.php.