Texas Tech Names Distinguished Engineers

Seven alumni honored at the 2013 Distinguished Engineer Award luncheon.

The Texas Tech University Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering named Kelly J. Beierschmitt, Ben A. Calloni, Joe D. Gamble, Tom Jacobs, Jack L. McCavit, Scott P. Moore and James Thompson as recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Engineer Award on April 19 at a luncheon at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock.

Dr. Ben A. Calloni, a 2013 Distinguished Engineer, is interviewed by Dr. Marshall Watson, chair of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, at the 2013 Distinguished Engineer Awards Luncheon.

Ben A. Calloni, a 2013 Distinguished Engineer, is interviewed by Marshall Watson, chair of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, at the 2013 Distinguished Engineer Awards Luncheon.

The Distinguished Engineer Award was established during the 1966-67 academic year to recognize the most outstanding alumni of the college. Since that time, 212 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 the highest honor we at the Whitacre College of Engineering can bestow on our alumni,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the college, “Our community of scholars: students, staff, faculty and administrators, are very proud of all the accomplishments of our fellow Red Raiders, but are especially delighted to recognize the best of those among us as Distinguished Engineers. These individuals have excelled in their chosen fields of business, science, engineering, education and public service. They represent the best of what a Texas Tech education can become. We are honored to be able to recognize their achievements in this way.”

Kelly J. Beierschmitt
Kelly J. Beierschmitt

Beierschmitt graduated in 1992 with a doctorate in industrial engineering. He began his career at Pantex, where he held several key roles ranging from providing leadership in efforts to enhance the safeguards and security program to the responsibility for high explosives production, storage and disposal efforts. In 1996, he left Pantex for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he provided support to the Department of Energy’s International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group’s Chernobyl evaluation. He joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2000 and is currently the associate laboratory director of neutron sciences for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is responsible for the management of the neutron sciences research and development portfolio, including the operation of the Spallation Neutron Source, the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source. He also is responsible for the operation of the HFIR, an 85 megawatt research reactor dedicated to neutron scattering, materials irradiation and isotope production.

Ben A. Calloni

Calloni graduated in 1992 with a master of science and in 1997 with a doctorate, both in computer science. He is highly regarded as a subject-matter expert in software and security engineering by senior system architects of the world’s aerospace and defense corporations, as well as in the U.S. government. He has performed research in the security and safety critical domains with the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. He is a Lockheed Martin Corporate Fellow, an honor given to only one percent of the corporation’s 60,000 technical employees worldwide.

Joe D. Gamble

Gamble graduated in 1962 with a bachelor of science and in 1963 with a master of science, both in civil engineering. After graduation, he accepted a position at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston with the group responsible for the aerodynamics and flight mechanics analysis for human spacecraft. He supported the Gemini and Apollo programs, and was a member of the team responsible for development and verification of the Space Shuttle Orbiter entry flight control system. He later worked as NASA’s chief engineer for the Assured Crew Return Vehicle. After his retirement, Gamble was a member of the Guidance and Control Team for the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He is a consultant with MEI Technologies in Houston, where he continues to support the Johnson Space Center. He is currently helping NASA’s Orion Program to develop a vehicle to transport astronauts to the space station and for deep space exploration.

Tom Jacobs

Jacobs graduated in 1987 with a bachelor of science in engineering technology. He has more than 24 years of experience in all facets of residential construction and development, in addition to experience in commercial construction project management. Since his career in home building began in 1988, Jacobs has served in virtually every capacity within the industry and has participated in the startup of two divisions from the ground up. He has been recognized as an innovator in the industry and is active in the development and implementation of electronic scheduling systems, electronic work order systems, and many programs related to quality and process improvement. Jacobs is president of the Houston Division for Ryland Homes, where he is in charge of all land acquisition and development, product development, sales, field operations and customer service.

Jack L. McCavit

McCavit graduated in 1970 with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering. He worked for Celanese Chemical Company for 35 years before retiring in 2005. Most of his career at Celanese was spent in operations and technical management at three different plant sites, including serving as operations manager at the facility in Pampa. From 2000 until his retirement from Celanese in 2005, McCavit provided strategic process safety management direction for Celanese as the company manager of process safety. He is president of JL McCavit Consulting, LLC, a consulting company specializing in improving process safety management systems and reducing process safety incidents.

Scott P. Moore

Moore graduated in 1982 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He has worked for American Electric Power for more than 30 years, beginning as a substation engineer in Abilene, and working his way up to vice president in 2007. His leadership and drive led to the development of innovative engineering solutions, most notably standardized and prefabricated substations and modular control buildings. Moore is vice president of transmission engineering and project services for AEP Transmission, a part of American Electric Power. He directs the capital service function for AEP Transmission, the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, comprising more than 39,000 miles of transmission line and 3,500 substations in 11 states.

James Thompson

Thompson attended Texas Tech and received a bachelor of science in 1968, a master of science in 1970, and a doctorate in 1974, all in electrical engineering. He has worked in academia as a faculty member and most recently as an engineering administrator. His areas of technical specialization include high voltage, electro-optics, electrical breakdown phenomena, pulsed power systems and devices, lasers, fast electrical and optical diagnostics, high power switches and dielectric materials. As an administrator, he has initiated and grown college programs to increase engineering enrollment, student graduation rates, improving classroom success and learning. Thompson is the dean of the University Of Missouri College Of Engineering, and has served in that capacity since 1994. He was previously the dean of engineering at the University of New Mexico.

Whitacre College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,646 undergraduate and 1,040 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through seven academic departments: civil, environmental and construction; chemical; computer science; electrical and computer; industrial, manufacturing and systems; mechanical; and petroleum.


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