Program Notes

Jan 12 2022

Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Thomas Altshuler MS’56 writes: “I worked for General Electric in atmospheric physics for four years. Then, I went to Oxford University to obtain my Doctor of Philosophy in physical metallurgy. After that, I did a one-year post-doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and served as an associate professor at Dartmouth College. Later, I worked at GCA Corporation and then at NASA Cambridge until they closed down. Left to my own devices, I started my own company called Advanced Materials Laboratory, Inc. There, I invented a blood clotting time instrument with my brother, a hematologist. The instrument won an IR-100 award in 1973. I also was a consulting engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, a visiting professor at Northeastern University, and a leader at the Creative Problem Solving Institute.”

Hamid Mohtadi MS’75 writes: “I went back to school and received my PhD in economics from the University of Michigan. Since then, I have been a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin with a few visiting stints at MIT and elsewhere. Although I have published widely in many areas of economics, I have spent much of my time the past several years on two areas: statistics of extremes and climate change. In a recent article that used about 1 billion observations around the earth over the past 40 years, we showed the dramatic adverse effects of extreme heat waves on agricultural productivity by the end of the century. In other research, still ongoing, we’ve examined how heat waves and dry spells interact. Over the year, I have also worked as a Columbia Alumni Representative Committee member conducting admissions interviews for prospective students. I truly enjoyed my years at Columbia, and both my daughters went to school there as well.”

MP Prakash PhD’85 writes: “I was already familiar with the concept of magnetic reconnection in plasmas, but only recently was I inspired to apply that concept to the magnetic field topology around a blackhole. I hope to present my findings at the American Physical Society meeting next April. This past year, I participated in an online workshop called ‘A Rainbow of Dark Sectors’ hosted by the Aspen Center for Physics in Aspen, CO; I participated in the online US Particle Accelerator Summer School organized by Fermi National Laboratory; and I earned an online teaching certificate from Stony Brook University.”

Changmin Shi MS’19 writes: “I am a PhD student at the University of Maryland, where we are revolutionizing Li-S batteries to achieve high energy density and stable performances. I am grateful to the professors at Columbia who educated me on the fundamental knowledge that I needed to make fruitful progress. I’ll never forget the time spent discussing lecture notes with my classmates until two in the morning in the Engineering Library. And am I glad that work paid off!”

Robert Siegfried MS’78 writes: “Like so many other people, I spent half of the Spring 2020 term teaching online and continued that through the 2020-2021 academic year. My wife, Kathy, was also working online; I was upstairs in my attic office and she was downstairs in the den. The pandemic also stalled the job search for our son, Jason. I’m going back to teaching live and in person, and I am looking forward to it, even if it means a face mask (or preferably a face shield).”

Shelly Weinig MS’53 writes: “I tried academia and served as an assistant professor for two years before founding Materials Research Corporation. Thirty years later, the corporation was acquired by SONY, and I remained with them for five years as vice chairman of US manufacturing and engineering. I then spent 25 years teaching pro bono at Columbia Engineering. I also wrote a book entitled Rule Breaker about my entrepreneurial experiences. I was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering for my development of electronic materials. I now mentor students, read, and day trade.”

Allen Wu MS’19 is now working as a manufacturing engineer on F-35 fighter jets at Northrop Grumman.


Biomedical Engineering

Shruthi Aravindan MS’20 writes: “I completed my graduate degree from Columbia in Spring 2020, and what a whirlwind it has been since then! I had been working full-time at Roche Molecular Solutions over the two years of working toward my master’s. Although it was difficult to balance both at times, it was the most wonderful experience to be able to apply what I was learning from our esteemed faculty in real-time within the industry. Last October, I shifted to a new position at Cepheid to work in the new product development space. I love working within the PCR industry and being able to take a technology that we know and find creative ways to innovate and develop it to have true, lasting clinical impact. I know that my degree from Columbia has a huge impact on the way I approach my work, and I look forward to all the exciting developments coming in the future!”

Charles Rodenkirch MS’16, PhD’20 recently co-founded a neurotechnology startup, Sharper Sense, with Professor Qi Wang of Columbia Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Sharper Sense is commercializing wearable neurotechnology that improves sensory acuity by activating neural circuitry that enhances the brain’s ability to clearly process detailed sensory information.

Jie Shi MS’21 writes: “I returned to China to start my career. I am a medical device product manager at present, and I am about to change my career to continue scientific research. Columbia taught me not only knowledge and skills, but also the ability to think constantly; after working for half a year, I kept thinking about what is really suitable for my career and how to find a career that can take advantage of my advantages. I am honored to be here as an alum and hope to grow up with all you Lions!”


Shruthi Aravindan

Shruthi Aravindan MS’20

Jie Shi

Jie Shi MS’21

Chemical Engineering

John Cole MS’05 writes: “I continue to look for connections back to the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia! I spoke to some graduating seniors a few months back about careers in venture capital and entrepreneurship. I’ve also been participating in the nascent Columbia Venture Capital group, which has been a fun way to connect with Columbia entrepreneurs. I love my role helping entrepreneurs find their footing and grow their companies.”

Steven Grisafi PhD’86 writes: “This past April, I moved from Pennsylvania to Thermopolis, WY. If there are any other Lions out here in Wyoming (Columbia Lions, not the mountain lions that hunt the deer running through my yard), let’s connect on Skype to discuss forming a Columbia Alumni Club of Wyoming.”

Ghanim Hableel MS’20 writes: “I joined the PhD program in the Department of Chemical Engineering to learn more from Professor Bishop. Over the past year, I have learned a lot about designing and actuating bioinspired microbots, and I am currently preparing for my proposal defense! The real milestone is that I also got engaged to the love of my life. We had flown to her childhood hometown of L’Aquila, Italy, and I could not think of a better time to ask the question. She said yes!”

Martin Kline MS’69 writes: “As an illustrator and art director, I’ve been privileged to work on many varied and stimulating projects, including movies like Harry and the Hendersons, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future II and Back to the Future III, Spider-Man, and Contact, learning from some of the most talented and creative people in the business. I’ve worked in theme park design, creating projects in Tokyo and Kobe, and for Walt Disney Imagineering on Space Mountain and other projects. I’m a member of the Art Directors Guild and was vice president of the Illustrators and Matte Artists Union before our merge. I’m a charter member of the Visual Effects Society and have served on its board of governors. Most recently, I received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Illustration from the illustrators branch of the Art Directors Guild in 2018. Previously, I was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for the Study of Fine Art Lithography at Tamarind Studios in Albuquerque, NM in 1971.”

Elizabeth Podlaha-Murphy PhD’92 writes: “Four years ago, I accepted a position as Department Chair at Clarkson University in upstate New York. My contract was just renewed for another three years to lead the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.”

Zifeng Qu MS’21 writes: “My master’s work with Professor Moment on projects related to drug release modeling and vaccine upscaling drove me to a career in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Xuanting Wang MS’18 writes: “Xueqi Pang MS’19 and I met at Columbia in 2019. We are both PhD candidates in the Department of Chemical Engineering. We got married in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

John Zullo BS’43, MS’44 turned 100 this year.


John Cole and family

John Cole MS’05

Ghanim Hableel and fiancée

Ghanim Hableel MS’20

Martin Kline

Martin Kline MS’69

Zifeng Qu

Zifeng Qu MS’21

Xuanting Wang and Xueqi Pang (MS’19)

Xuanting Wang MS’18

Civil Engineering/Engineering Mechanics

Stephanie Berrios BS’18, MS’20 writes: “While also pursuing my master’s at Columbia, I started working with Entuitive, a Canada-based engineering firm building up its New York office. One of my first projects was the restoration and vertical extension of St. John’s Terminal to become Google’s new office. I carried out structural design tasks while also embarking on a field role to assist in the construction phase. I could not have taken on such an incredible feat without my Entuitive team, whom I wholeheartedly thank for guiding me through challenges that seemed impossible. I also dedicate a special thank you to all the tradespeople who spend every day turning intricate design feats into reality, and who openly shared their wisdom as we worked together. In my spare time, I’ve been teaching younger students about structural engineering. I feel it’s crucial to make engineering a more tangible field for all; we need bright minds and greater representation in the STEM fields.”

Paula Betancourt MS’21 writes: “Job hunting was a job on its own, but I’m happy to say I ended up exactly where I wanted to be! I started as an engineer at Thornton Tomasetti in the forensics department this past May and have worked on very interesting projects around New York City and abroad. Recently, I traveled for almost a month to help with the work being done at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico after the telescope collapsed in December 2020. It was a great experience to be part of such a big project and to get the opportunity to work in the office and in the field!”

Laurence Boorstein MS’74 writes: “During 40 years with AECOM Technical Services, a 90,000-employee architecture, engineering, construction, and operations management company, I carried out major transportation infrastructure projects in 18 states and 29 countries. As Capture Manager, I established a record of winning proposals with $12.4 million in major project wins. As Project Manager, I led projects with consulting revenues of $6 million and construction costs of $6.4 billion. I also served as Deputy Project Manager on projects with revenues of $1.5 million and construction costs of $7.0 billion. After AECOM, I worked as a project manager and engineer with Green Powered Technology LLC; as an agent with Bankers Life; as a financial services professional with New York Life; and as an NRFU enumerator with the US Census, the federal government’s largest statistical agency, on the 2020 Census in Fairfax, VA and Philadelphia, PA.”

Leonardo Garzon MS’04 writes: “I’ve been working for the international insurance market for the last 20 years and was recently hired as Managing Director for Latin America with McLarens, a global claims adjusting firm.”

Agosh Gaur MS’13 writes: “My time at Columbia remains the foundational stone of my personal and professional life thereafter. My degree from there helped me land my first job in the US, and my current professional role at my firm can be traced to that degree and first job. Attending Columbia was an eye-opening, fulfilling, and fruitful experience which deeply influenced my thinking and worldview. This was mainly due to the diversity of people I crossed paths with during my time there at Engineering. Folks I was surrounded with hailed from different countries and had varying backgrounds and experiences that taught me to work with different kinds of people on various kinds of tasks. My time at Columbia will forever remain one of the most important and dearest periods of my life.”

William Hart MS’05 writes: “Returning to school for my master’s from Columbia was one of the key decisions that have enabled me, career-wise, to evolve from many years of corporate work to operating Hart Engineering, a successful and highly satisfying forensic engineering practice. However, my best decision was, without doubt, marrying Eileen a dozen or so years before. When I graduated, our four daughters were ages four to 14, with the eldest entering high school and the youngest still in preschool. Now, they are 19 to 29. Molly is enrolled in the Randall Research Scholars program at the University of Alabama; Maddy is a graduate of Lafayette College as a Marquis Scholar; Caroline is an honors graduate from St. Michael’s College and was recently accepted into a master’s program at Boston College; and Julia is our engineer, graduating with honors from Virginia Tech, and is married to Josh (another engineer) with two young children, Natalie and Evelyn.”

Ahmed Jaddi MS’61 writes: “Sixty years of engineering after graduating have been rewarding. I still do pro bono design and project development for industrial, residential, and religious buildings. I reside in Phoenix, AZ, Prescott, AZ, and Camano Island, WA. My four children and 11 grandchildren are a source of great pleasure.”

Juan Montenegro MS’15 writes: “Graduating from Columbia opened a lot of doors for me. Just after I went back to my country, I found a job as soon as I landed. Months later, I was accepted to an Erasmus Mundus master’s program on full scholarship. When I came back again to my country, I was asked to be a member of the committee to create a construction standard for the city. I applied to another master’s program in Europe and was given one out of two scholarships for the program. I am now packing to get on a new journey. All this is not luck: it´s Columbia’s prestige throughout the whole world.”

Enrica Oliva MS’07 writes: “2021 has managed to be even more amazing and surprising for me than 2020. My partner Richard and I will soon be welcoming our baby girl to this world in the midst of a pandemic, we relocated from Manhattan to Sunnyside, made trips in the back of a motorcycle to get away from the city, and have had so many other changes in our lives! Our baby Oriana Ambrosia will be welcomed by her two step-brothers Lev (8) and Jonah (5). We cannot wait! Professionally, I will be taking a break for the next four months in order to take care of baby Oriana. Then, I will resume my position as managing partner and COO of the New York office of Werner Sobek, offering engineering services and consultations regarding structures, specialty structures, enclosures, and sustainability. I am grateful to my wonderful team for taking over for me and look forward to the next few months of sweet family time.”

Carl Redel MS’58 writes: “I’ve been living with my wife, Carmela, in Raanana, Israel, since 1975. We have five children and one dozen grandchildren. I am retired and enjoying it.”

Jerry Rosenbaum BS’65, MS’66 writes: “I am enjoying the first phase of my retirement. I am teaching computer science part-time at a local college, and I am involved in volunteer activities for seniors. My wife and I very much enjoy living in Baltimore. Looking back, the most valuable thing I learned at Columbia was to learn how to learn.”

Matthew Scanlon MS’13 writes: “I passed the professional engineer exam and put my skills to the test designing first class facilities for US soldiers like dining halls, training buildings, and military family housings all over the world as an architect/engineer for the US Army Corps of Engineers. I’ll soon be involved in efforts to locate and remediate buildings to serve as temporary housing for the Afghan refugees coming into Virginia military bases prior to resettling amid the developing humanitarian crisis.”

Marilisa Stigliano MS’14 writes: “I started my journey at AECOM right after graduating, and what an exciting journey it has been! In the past eight years, I held local, regional, and national roles, built infrastructures that brought communities together around the globe, helped clients respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and started a professional development program that has since brought to AECOM over 70 entry-level engineers and architects. I now serve as Director of Operations for Metro New York, leading day-to-day operations for transportation, water, buildings, and program management sectors. What I am most excited about these days is our very own AECOM-sponsored Columbia practicum for the fellows of the Center for Infrastructure, Buildings, and Public Space!”


Stephanie Berrios

Stephanie Berrios BS’18, MS’20

Paula Betancourt

Paula Betancourt MS’21

Laurence Boorstein

Laurence Boorstein MS’74

Leonardo Garzon

Leonardo Garzon MS’04

Agosh Gaur

Agosh Gaur MS’13

William Hart and family

William Hart MS’05

Juan Montenegro and family

Juan Montenegro MS’15

Enrica Oliva

Enrica Oliva MS’07

Marilisa Stigliano

Marilisa Stigliano MS’14

Computer Science

Amey Ambade MS’19 writes: “I have been lucky to travel for work around the world. When the pandemic hit, it gave me a lot of time to assess my priorities in life and realize how much I have to be grateful for with my career and personal life. The inevitable isolation that followed was difficult, but helped me grow into a better version of myself. I learned how to separate work and play, and that attaching your self-worth to any single aspect of your life is unfair to who you are. I learned about the people who are important to me. Through volunteering, playing games with friends I hadn’t met in years, supporting coworkers through only a screen, obsessively buying used books, and picking up many hobbies, I can certainly say it has been an interesting time. I learned about my position of privilege and how to contribute to the world in my own way. I am very optimistic about my personal and professional growth. I’m currently working as a data scientist for Schlumberger. Feel free to reach out!”

Issy Ben-Shaul MS’91, PhD’95 writes: “I am grateful that I had the opportunity to receive my MS and PhD under the supervision of Professor Gail Kaiser. Those years at the then-called Programming Systems Laboratory gave me a great foundation in distributed systems for years to come. In a nutshell, I spent one year post-graduation at IBM Research, six years in academia as Assistant Professor with tenure at Technion, and 20+ years in the industry. I was fortunate to build three successful start-up companies: Actona, acquired by Cisco in 2004; Wanova, acquired by VMware in 2012; and Velostrata, acquired by Google—where I still work as Director leading its cloud migration efforts—in 2018.”

Dinkar Bhat BS’88, PhD’98 writes: “As both my sons are now in college (Srikant at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Sachin at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign), I reminisce about the college experience at Columbia University. I hope that they get imbibed with a sense of constant curiosity while going through the rigors of engineering, just as I was at Columbia during my graduate studies. It makes the whole learning process that much more enjoyable and worthwhile. I believe that I got a chance to work on exciting projects in the area of digital television in my career, partly because of my curious disposition. Now that my wife Usha and I have become empty-nesters, I am a little unprepared mentally. But the venues to satisfy curiosity are all around us!”

Alice Burno MS’90 writes: “One of the many important skills I learned at Columbia Engineering was collaboration. I recall meeting with my classmates and trying to figure out how to maximize each individual’s strengths in order to complete our group assignments.  I’ve continued to leverage and hone that skill throughout my career. Today, I manage a large portfolio of enterprise-wide programs and initiatives at Citi, where I just celebrated my tenth anniversary. As a director, I interact with different levels of management, businesses, and functions regularly, and everyone has diverse points of view. It’s only through collaboration and trusted partnerships that we achieve success.”

Jaehoon Cheong MS’18 writes: “I came back to my home town of Seoul, South Korea. My start-up company is currently working on developing SaaS solutions for Big Data in the healthcare industry.”

Jamshed Cooper MS’95 writes: “I have been working on cross-functional roles that blur the boundaries between finance and technology. I ran electronic trading technologies for a bank in Singapore for several years and am now back in New York running Treasury Technology. My most recent learning quest has been in the area of decentralized finance, which in my view will disrupt finance as we know it today. It is super interesting and very much requires both finance and technology, both of which I was introduced to at Columbia.”

Allan Cytryn BS’72, MS’79 writes: “Since retiring in 2012 from a career in senior IT for the financial services, I have been busy as a risk management consultant for Risk Master International. I am also a government policy advisor on AI and cyber security for the Boston Global Forum. This year, I developed and am teaching a continuing education course for auditors on risk management and control aspects of AI systems. My alumni activities continue: I have been active on the Columbia Engineering Board of Visitors and the Society of Columbia Graduates for more than 15 years. This year, I became the vice president of the Society and also continue as its treasurer. My most important activity I share with my wife Carol: spending as much time as possible with our three grandchildren, Asher (5), Esther (2), and Leo (2). Carol and I have also resumed traveling to our home in London. We hope to resume European skiing in 2022. Last season, I logged 40 days of skiing in New York.”

Chinmay Gaikwad MS’11 writes: “I have gone through a journey of working at an organization with 100,000+ employees to an organization with less than 50 employees. I started my career as a software developer at Intel and then went on to try out different roles as a technical marketer and product marketer, then finally settled down as a developer advocate at my current company. Along with a degree from Columbia, I also added an MBA from UC Berkeley to my arsenal. I hope to continue my journey of understanding the latest technology trends and participating in them in the near future!”

Gokhan Gelisen MS’06 writes: “With my background in construction, I had for some time been considering compiling a book of short stories penned by several construction professionals. We all have been continuously rebuilding our lives one way or another, especially during the pandemic, with or without noticing it. Our Lives Under Construction appeared to be the natural title of the book, which got published on November 11, 2020. The book, which is the first of a trilogy, offers an insight into the everyday lives of millions of ordinary construction professionals. Proceeds of the book go to children’s charities.”

Colin Goyette MS’19 writes: “Life has been a whirlwind since I graduated from the Data Science Institute. Over the past year, I’ve leveraged the skills I learned at Columbia to make the transition from a data science platform company to a small start-up focused on AI explainability where I work as a client-facing data scientist. At TruEra, we’re focused on providing our clients the tools they need to make better performing and more fair machine learning products by providing a full suite of diagnostic and monitoring analytics built on our co-founders’ unique approach to estimating Shapley values. It hasn’t been all work though! I was lucky enough to visit Spain with my girlfriend this summer. There, we rented a Mercedes camper van and explored the Galician coastline. Wherever you may find yourself this year, here’s to all the hard work you’ll be going through while enrolled in a Columbia Engineering program. It’s well worth the effort.”

James Lap MS’87 writes: “I became vice president of management information systems at a brokerage firm. When the firm declared bankruptcy, I joined academia. Taking directorship of the computer center at City Tech/CUNY, I designed student information management systems and taught computer science classes in the computer information science department. In 1998, the Board of Education nominated me to New York City Hall to receive a computer professional and instructor award. In 1999, I visited Ghana in West Africa, where I was invited onto national radio and television to give a live interview about the Y2K crisis. I have attended international conferences around the world annually. In 2019, I was invited to attend Engineering Class Day and met Dean (now Provost) Boyce. What I learned from Columbia Engineering was to work with computers and with people. Both are very important in our lives.”

Edward Moy BS’87, MS’89 writes: “I began my career as an industry specialist in the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where I addressed issues, identified asset class risks, and coordinated responses to market disruptions. During my time at the Commission, I oversaw the examination and enforcement sweeps of CDOs, served as the national co-coordinator of the new and structured products working group for nine years, received the SEC Law and Policy Award as a subject matter expert on volatile/risky asset classes, and took testimony and drafted subpoenas, court motions, and SEC action memos as a member of the SEC enforcement attorney team.”

Maria Papadopouli PhD’02 writes: “I am interested in analyzing large-scale complex networks using powerful techniques that combine statistical analysis, graph theory, machine-learning, and information theory. In the nineties, while pursuing my PhD at Columbia, I worked in mobile peer-to-peer computing. As an assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I focused on wireless networking. In the time since, my research has evolved to also encompass the Internet of Things, bioinformatics, and computational neuroscience. In the last few years, at the University of Crete, I have aimed to identify the fundamental modules of computation in the visual cortex, analyzing neural-circuit functions. I enjoy the freedom to shape my own research, to cross boundaries metaphorically and literally, and to build bridges of collaboration through interdisciplinary research. More than ever, science requires fresh perspectives, collaborations, diversity, boldness, courage, and creativity!”

Nathan Reitinger MS’19 writes: “Hi Lions! Columbia was where it all started for me, the place that gave me the tools I needed to build a foundation in computer science. Before Columbia, I was trying to use my JD to build Mario triangles with C (Harvard’s CS50x) or solve the 8 puzzle with Java (Princeton’s algorithms course, another MOOC), but breaking into the CS field really took off when I started at Columbia: you don’t know what you don’t know, but structured classes and graduation requirements are a good way to find out! Since then, I’ve been working on a PhD with my advisor, Michelle Mazurek, at the University of Maryland. My work centers on the intersection of law and technology, allowing me to focus on interesting problems like how to improve anti-tracking technologies and secure messaging applications or how we might consider mathematical tools like differential privacy from a legal vantage. You can learn more at”

Rafael Saar MS’96 writes: “An old joke says you know you’re in hi-tech if you’ve worked at five different companies, but remained behind the same desk. After graduating, I moved to Israel and worked at Applicom, which later became New Applicom. I was also working as a contractor at Motorola and later became an official employee. Years later, my department was bought by Nokia Siemens Networks. We developed network management software for cellular providers such as Verizon in the US and KDDI in Japan. I held multiple positions in R&D, including development, software quality and metrics, configuration management, and DevOps. In recent years, I’ve been able to put more focus on my hobbies of music and film production. I also produced several courses which I am selling online. I am married, and we have five amazing children.”

Yogesh Saxena MS’11 writes: “I can’t wait to send both my kids to this great institution. I’ve made long-lasting friendships and am grateful to the professors for guiding me along the way.”

Sammy Tbeile BS’18, MS’18 writes: “2021 was a whirlwind for my wife Ayelet Tbeile BC’18, LS’21 and I. In February, we bought our first apartment in New York City. In March, we welcomed our first son, Yitzchak Akiva Tbeile. In July, we embarked on a road trip to show Yitzchak 24 states and 20 national parks.”

Mengqi Wang MS’17 writes: “I started my career as a software engineer at Snapchat. I built fun and engaging elements into monetization products, bringing users a healthy ecosystem of usable and useful ads. I also traveled to and lived in many cities and countries: Los Angeles, Seattle, Peru, Bolivia, etc. I moved back to New York two years ago and joined Google, first on the Google Cloud team and now at YouTube Search, working on the most difficult and unique problems facing the world’s largest video platform. I enjoy these challenges and look forward to new ones in the future.”

Horus Wu MS’21 writes: “I received my MS degree from Columbia in June 2021 and started at Coinbase as a senior machine learning platform engineer. I enjoy working on large-scale distributed software to empower machine learning modelers and data scientists to experiment and deploy effectively and efficiently. Outside of work, I devote myself to marathon training and practices of mindfulness. I also love to go on day hikes every now and then in the tri-state area, seeing how the seasons change, and feeling the peace to soak in nature. I went on a trip to Alaska right after finishing my Columbia program, hiking to the Matanuska glacier and enjoying some ice climbing. I made some great friends through Columbia even under COVID, which I’m extremely grateful for. If we share any hobbies and you are also in New York City, please feel free to reach out at any time!”

Gabriel Zenarosa MS’02 relocated back to the New York metropolitan area in the summer of 2021. He serves as an assistant professor of professional practice in the Department of Management Science and Information Systems at the Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick, NJ. He had moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 2004 to obtain his Master of Software Engineering degree, served as an MSE fellow, and worked in software systems for healthcare services. Gabe obtained his PhD in industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and served three years as an assistant professor of systems engineering and engineering management, then two years as a research associate via the National Research Council Research Associateships Program. Gabe is happy to be back!”

Howard Zhu MS’02 writes: “After spending 12 years in Hong Kong, I returned to New York and got an internal transfer opportunity with my current employer, MSCI, from the head of Asian-Pacific analytics products to the head of Americas analytics products. I am looking forward to reconnecting with other alumni in the Greater New York area.”

Xiao Zhu MS’15 writes: “I moved to San Jose, CA and continue working at Twitter as a staff machine learning engineer. I got a goldendoodle puppy; his name is AlphaGou.”


Issy Ben-Shaul

Issy Ben-Shaul MS’91, PhD’95

Dinkar Bhat

Dinkar Bhat BS’88, PhD’98

Alice Burno

Alice Burno MS’90

Chinmay Gaikwad

Chinmay Gaikwad MS’11

Colin Goyette

Colin Goyette MS’19

James Lap MS’87

James Lap MS’87

Nathan Reitinger

Nathan Reitinger MS’19

Sammy Tbeile and family

Sammy Tbeile BS’18, MS’18

Mengqi Wang

Mengqi Wang MS’17

Gabriel Zenarosa

Gabriel Zenarosa MS’02

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Arthur Michael Ambrosino MS’03 writes: “I started my PhD coursework at 54 years of age to pursue my passion: solving the worldwide freshwater impoundment crisis, completely paid for using sand-harvested mineral wealth! I was encouraged by my master’s thesis on the sediments of the man-made Great Sacandaga Lake. After years of trying to convince people of the merits of creating freshwater impoundments, I settled on acquiring New York State-issued mineral rights to the Sacandaga basin. I now own $5.3 trillion worth of mineral rights and am about to create the next 100 years of industry for Upstate New York.”

Xi Chen PhD’20 writes: “I finished my PhD last summer and am now working as a postdoc fellow in chemical engineering at Stanford University. I met many amazing scientists here to work with, and I’m really glad that I got my trainings and expertise from Columbia! I really miss Mudd—my place!”

Erica Ferrara MS’20 writes: “Last week, I celebrated one year at Trane Technologies as their environmental engineer. I am looking forward to continuing my career in engineering for humanity!”

Ian Kraemer BS’94, MS’96 writes: “I have had a progressive career in the United States and Australia in senior executive mining roles for four companies in the gold and coal mining space. I last held the position of managing director of an ASX-listed mining company. In 2016, I went private and founded three sustainable mining companies. For two, I have written and filed patents on new machines: an eddy current separator for fine dry gold mining, which eliminates water and chemicals and wet tailing dams; and a new magnetic pump turbine generator for pumped water to capture and store solar and wind power. Both companies own old gold and coal mines currently being retrofitted to enable a massive global transition to the new clean green era.”

Claudio Margueron PhD’69 writes: “After receiving my Columbia doctorate, I worked at the United Nations, Arthur D. Little Consulting, and Margueron Consulting. I also served as Chairman of the Geology/Mining School at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro,  where I developed farming activities in the Northeast region of Brazil. I had a very diverse professional life: I was a Krumb and Campbell Scholar at Columbia from 1965 to 1969; was the first Brazilian to have master’s and doctor’s academic degrees in mineral economics; created disciplines, courses, and programs in mineral economics in three Brazilian universities; and trained hundreds of Brazilian mining and geology professionals in mineral economics and business. I retired in 2009 and spent 10 years in Switzerland taking care of family and business affairs. I then returned to Brazil in 2019 to live near my two youngest sons and to do part-time management consulting. I was married twice and have three sons, one daughter, and nine grandchildren.”

Jonathan Moallem MS’20 writes: “I’ve started an urban farm called Ecobay Farms that grows and sells microgreen vegetables in the New York metro area. Ecobay Farms’ goal is to provide fresh and healthy foods to New York residents with a focus on sustainability.”

Vanshaj Verma MS’19 is working as an energy and sustainability consultant with E&C Consultants in New York City. This year, he got selected as an emerging leader by the GreenBiz group, which aims to elevate, cultivate, and support the next generation of up-and-coming leaders in sustainable finance. Additionally, just last month, he got inducted as a Global Shaper in the Newark Hub.”

Paul Vining BS’77, MS’79 writes: “Coal guy goes green! After 40+ years in the fossil fuel industry, I recently installed 158 solar panels rated at 63 watts in two arrays at my family farm in Virginia. It’s still connected to the local grid through a net metering arrangement, wherein we send power (and are credited accordingly) to the grid during the day and pull off the grid at night. No battery storage yet, but waiting for the technology to mature. I also installed a charging station for a future electric vehicle. Never would have imagined doing this when I studied mineral and mining engineering at Columbia, but we still need metals, minerals, and raw materials to produce renewable energy sources.”

Chen Zhang MS’17 writes: “I’ve been working for an energy engineering firm based in New York CIty as a project manager, managing energy efficiency projects for buildings to help them reduce carbon emissions. 2021 is definitely a year of change for me. I recently moved to New Jersey after living in New York City for five years and will be joining a new company soon to start the next chapter of my career. I’m hoping to get more involved with Columbia and the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, as well as connect with more Columbia fellows! Hope everyone stays safe and healthy during the pandemic!”


Xi Chen

Xi Chen PhD’20

Paul Vining's self installed solar array

Paul Vining's (BS’77, MS’79) Solar Array

Electrical Engineering

Constantine Andricos BS’56, MS’58 writes: “I graduated in the middle of a cold war. The technology and space competition created a large demand for engineers, and I went to work at Sperry in their radar analysis group. Over the years, I worked in major defense electronics firms, including TRW, Loral, and ITT, on communications, satelites, radar, and defense missles. In 1995, I left the defense industry to work for Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, designing electronics for the scientific exploration of space. I worked on several missions, the most interesting of which was the Mars Exploration Rover program. I retired from JPL in 2010. My work there was the most satisfying of my career.”

Tony Bauer MS’65 writes: “I was an Army officer at my time of graduation and completed two tours in Vietnam in 1965 and 1969. I then retired from the US Army at the rank of colonel in 1982 and entered the communications industry, serving as VP of Operations for ITT Worldcom in 1987 and VP of Operations for OTI in 1990. I retired from working in 1993. Dolores and I celebrated our 63rd wedding anniversary in June 2021 and have four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. It has been a wonderful, wonderful life.”

Allen Brower BS’48, MS’50 writes: “I joined the General Electric Company at Schenectady, NY where I worked as an engineer and engineering manager for 36 years. I began in a program that rotated me through 12 departments of operations in the first three years together with a course of study on advanced engineering subjects. I subsequently taught and then managed that program. Then, I spent 10 years working on the specification and implementation of computer controls in steel rolling mills in the US and Europe.”

Christophe Brown MS’21 writes: “I’ve been investing time into projects that improve the lives of others. For my career, I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity with Apple in software engineering. There, I work in dynamic teams to craft products that inspire creativity and livelihood. Additionally, I aspire to motivate others through spoken word on a podcast I launched, Thoughts of Christophe, to encourage others to become the best versions of themselves. With that said, I urge everyone to consider this over time: Even the smallest of actions or words of encouragement can make the biggest differences within our communities and families. Let’s work together to support one another and bring the future we’d like to see to fruition.”

Frank Chiang MS’01 has been an engineer at Broadcom since 2005. Prior to Broadcom, he worked for Lucent Technology Microelectronics Group, which then spun-off and became Agere Systems, in Allentown, PA. Frank enjoys performing arts and classical music. He is a car enthusiast with a passion for speed, a professional sports fan, and a season ticket holder for the Los Angeles Rams.

Dinh Do MS’92 writes: “I have worked on electronic chip designs for data storage companies like IBM, Quantum, Maxtor, and most recently, Seagate Technology in Fremont, CA.”

Wendy Fernandez MS’21 writes: “I am currently an analog design engineer at Intel Corporation with the design development group. For the past three months, I have collaborated with designers, engineers, interns, and senior managers all from different locations to complete a chip design life cycle and bring new products to the market.”

Thomas Fowler MS’73 writes: “I have worked for the MITRE Corporation and, later, its spinoff Noblis, Inc., doing public interest consulting in the areas of telecommunications, air traffic control, and computer-aided education. I also taught courses in engineering at George Washington University and in mathematics and physics at Christendom College, where I served as head of the mathematics and physics department. I have been an adjunct professor of engineering and information technology at George Mason University since 2001. I have published three books, The Evolution Controversy (2008), The View Through Your Telescope (2019), and Science, Faith, and Scientists (2020). I expect to publish another book this year, Computers, Computation, and the Limits of Computability. I have also published over 130 articles and reviews and founded a not-for-profit organization. I continue to work as an independent consultant to the Department of Homeland Security.”

Robert Haas MS’67 writes: “As much as my engineering studies at Columbia prepared me well to enter the working world, I didn’t remain an engineer. My passion coming out of school was space and space exploration, and I got to work on using technology with mega-computers to get to the moon and back. But after the mission was over, and after I worked on some highly innovative satellites, that industry died out, largely due to politics. This propelled my career into the direction of politics, policy making, and urban planning. I spent 50 years reviving the Dudley neighborhood in Boston, became a community leader, organizer, fundraiser, and strategist, and was propelled by my engineering discipline to solve problems well. I have written a book, Monadnock, A Street in a Neighborhood that Almost Died, which I hope to get published. Much of my inspiration came from living at Columbia at an interesting time for the Morningside Heights and Harlem neighborhoods between 1966 and 1967.”

Xanadu Halkias MS’05, PhD’09 writes: “As a graduate student, I was a member of the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio (LabROSA), and my dissertation involved the detection and tracking of dolphin vocalizations. After graduating, I followed a non-linear path working as a technical advisor at a boutique patent law firm in New York City, where I filed my own patent applications on devices for arresting Parkinsonian tremors. I subsequently moved to France, where I was a post-doctorate researcher on deep artificial intelligence and later became an adjunct professor at the Université du Sud in Toulon. I returned to the US, where I shifted into Intellectual property law and became a patent agent. I am currently an evening student pursuing my JD while working full time at Ropes & Gray, LLP. With all the challenges, I am thankful for the sense of community offered by Columbia’s alumni network during the pandemic.”

Chen Liu MS’20 recently joined GE Healthcare as a senior data scientist in deep learning research. While pursuing his master’s, Chen conducted and published research on the utilization of deep learning techniques to solve challenges in medical imaging. His education and research experience at Columbia played a critical role in shaping his career.

Neil Marmor BS’64, MS’69, EE’69 writes: “After recently listening to 50 lectures about 50 great books (I’ve read about 48 of them, but that includes Ulysses), I was told that the ‘good life’ requires, in my own words: 1. Being engaged in something(s) (i.e., if you don’t show up, will you be missed?), 2. Learning from those engagements, 3. Accepting that bad things may happen to good people, and 4. Giving back, to which I will admit I am still a work in progress. Columbia Engineering helped assure I am numerate, an important core competency. I have had a varied and sometimes gratifying career in engineering and business. I now devote some of my energy to working with kids and teaching budgeting to some situationally homeless people. I read books, go to concerts, jog ever more slowly, and am blessed with some good friends. Most of my teeth are my own. I weigh less than 10 pounds more than I did as an undergraduate. My parents gifted me with good genes, so my health is good for my age. It’s been a great ride, and it ain’t over yet!”

Peter Mauzey BS’52, MS’54, EE’58 writes: “Recently, I’ve been busy twice a week arranging furniture and configuring a computer so that a friend can participate in online yoga classes. More challenging was eliminating a frequent blue screen of death from a different friend’s laptop computer. And after many web searches and telephone calls, I took two long walks to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Philip Schaenman BS’61 writes: “After working as an engineer on a manned spaceflight, my career changed trajectories. I founded and have been running a company, TriData LLC, which does research and consulting on public safety issues and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. As my work has wound down,  I have competed in ballroom dancing nationally for the past 12 years—a great assist to my physical and mental health! At the Virginia state championships in July, I did 45 dances across 15 routines in two days. Highly recommend to all ages.”

Gordon Silverman BS’56, MS’57 writes: “My most fulfilling experiences include the 22 years of research I did at Rockefeller University that allowed me to complete my education (I received my PhD in system science from New York University). My traditional experience in education includes 20 years at Fairleigh Dickinson University and, most recently, 20 years at Manhattan College, where I served as Department Chair of Electrical Engineering, Dean of Engineering (briefly), and Founding Director of Adult Degree Education. Also at Manhattan College, I introduced the computer engineering degree program. Retirement, meanwhile, has permitted me to advise higher education and high school STEM programs, continue my writing activities, and serve on the board of a company that uses medical technology based on research I developed some years ago. I particularly enjoy serving on Columbia’s Alumni Representative Committee, which allows me to meet an incredible group of future Lions.”

Andres Smith MS’15 writes: “I’ve lived in Chile for about three years. I spent two years working as a cyber security analyst at Deloitte and recently moved to their security consultants team. This summer, I went to the Chilean Patagonia and visited the Torres del Paine National Park, where you can go on a trek to visit the turquoise-colored lagoon and take a look at the three towers and its surrounding glaciers. It’s a must-do at least once in your lifetime. After this pandemic, I eagerly await to travel back to New York City to enjoy Broadway musicals, visit Columbia, and do other city sightseeings!”

WILLIAM STERN MS’63, PhD’71 with Bernard Miller BS’62, PhD’69, founded Unigon Industries (now Multigon Industries, Inc.) based on Bernard’s PhD thesis work on a very compact FFT RISC computer. The business, which started out making small FFT-signal processors, now makes ultrasound transcranial dopplers used in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke and sickle cell disease. Ironically, Bernard Miller died of a stroke several years ago. William still works full-time at Multigon and enjoys it very much.

Jiajing Sun MS’21 writes: “I started work on a smart container project using AI algorithms, video stream processing, edge computing, and hardware design.”

Stephen Wilkowski EE’85 was inducted into IEEE-HKN (Eta Kappa Nu) Electrical Engineering Honor Society on Friday, June 18, 2021.


Constantine Andricos with rover

Constantine Andricos BS’56, MS’58

Christophe Brown

Christophe Brown MS’21

Frank Chiang and family

Frank Chiang MS’01

Wendy Fernandez

Wendy Fernandez MS’21

Thomas Fowler

Thomas Fowler MS’73

Robert Haas

Robert Haas MS’67

Xanadu Halkias

Xanadu Halkias MS’05, PhD’09

Chen Liu

Chen Liu MS’20

Neil Marmor

Neil Marmor BS’64, MS’69, EE’69

Philip Schaenman

Philip Schaenman BS’61

Andres Smith

Andres Smith MS’15

Jiajing Sun

Jiajing Sun MS’21

Stephen Wilkowski

Stephen Wilkowski EE’85

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Patricia Dewi MS’18 got married in 2019 and gave birth to a baby girl just before the pandemic. Patricia has worked for Roche in the San Francisco Bay Area and Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as remotely. Patricia has also been co-founder and CMO of mySkin since 2020.”

Xiaoqian (Agnes) Gui MS’13 writes: “At Columbia, I gained fantastic friends, mentors, and later coworkers, and opened my heart and mind to those I already had, and I feel so grateful for each of them.”

William Hooper BS’71, MS’73 writes: “I am honored and humbled that Theta Tau, a national professional engineering fraternity, has featured me in the Spring 2021 issue of their magazine The GEAR.”

David Jacobs MS’72 writes: “After retiring from Metro-North Railroad after 40 years, I decided to go back to school full-time for another degree and earned a PhD from the University of Connecticut in structural engineering.”

Jing Kong MS’18 writes: “I pursued my career as a data scientist after leaving Columbia. Now, my friends and I founded a company in China called Deep Techne to help people who are passionate about data grow their tech skills and equip companies with more advanced data and tech capabilities.”

Lawrence Kuznetz BS’64, MS’65’s first project at NASA was to create a filtration system for the Apollo command module to prevent the return of hypothetical pathogens from the moon. Following Apollo, he was assigned to the build team at the Kennedy Space Center. Following a decade of consulting and teaching, during which he earned eight US patents in the field of extreme environment protection, he returned to the Johnson Space Center as experiments manager. In 2012, Lawrence left NASA to create the Hypernet Paradigm, a project-based STEAM learning tool, and used it to form the MarsSuit Project, a space suit and life support system for the exploration of Mars. Lawrence has written a climate change novel, a spacesuit users manual for kids aged nine to 90, and Save the Shuttle, a space shuttle ‘autobiography.’ He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, including the first to show that liquid water can be stable in the Martian environment and that earth based extremophiles can survive in it. On a lighter note, he was the only non-celebrity guest to appear on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show on consecutive nights and enjoys playing keyboard at dark and dingy piano bars in his spare time.”

Gary Lilien BS’67, MS’68 married Dorothy Edelman in 1967. He then taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1973 to 1981 and served as Distinguished Research Professor of Management Science at Penn State from 1981 to the present. When Dorothy passed in 2016, he remarried in 2017 to Ronnie Oster. He currently lives in Stamford, CT and is still active in phased retirement.”

Edith Mandel MS’96 has over 20 years of experience in quantitative finance. Edith was a managing director at Goldman Sachs and Citadel and was the head of fixed income mid-frequency trading at KCG (formerly GETCO). Currently, as a principal at Greenwich Street Advisors, LLC, Edith provides her clients with fixed income quant trading know-how and signal research tools; advises them on applications of machine learning and data science in finance; and develops innovative analytics infrastructure solutions. Edith is also CEO and co-founder of INFIO and an advisor to Proximilar LLC.”

Brishni Mukhopadhyay MS’09 writes: “I started my career in JP Morgan’s Investment Bank in London before moving to JP Morgan Asset Management, where I was a part of the sustainable investment leadership team. I then moved to Lazard as the firm’s Global ESG Product Specialist before leaving for Western Asset Management (part of Franklin Templeton Investments) as Global Product Specialist and Co-Chair of the ESG Steering Committee. I have also served as Vice Chair of CFA UK’s ESG committee and participate in Columbia University’s London Alumni Club events. I currently reside in London and enjoy reading (history, politics, and international affairs), astronomy, playing cricket, tennis, and hockey, watching rugby, and playing the guitar (having once harbored hopes of forming a rock band at Columbia!)”

Ameen Nadoom MS’17 writes: “Over the last few years, I’ve embarked on a rewarding journey that has granted me the knowledge and experience to understand the issues concerning education in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, I have co-founded two start-ups, Baby Spa Kuwait and Ruba, to help revolutionize education for the coming generation in the region of Kuwait so that its children can in turn contribute toward an efficient, well-balanced, and thriving economy. My ultimate goal is to improve education in the MENA region one country at a time.”

Parth Pareek MS’17 writes: “I started working as a product manager at Samsung Electronics to bring together data scientists, engineers, and business teams to create data products for the marketing organization. It was the perfect mix of leveraging my experience in marketing and my learnings in the field of data science at Columbia to drive critical impact for the organization. I had the opportunity to build the website personalization program for, which made a significant impact on the e-commerce division’s top line. I recently kickstarted my entrepreneurial journey to build Loopin, a calendar-based productivity platform with the goal of helping busy knowledge-workers take charge of their time. I’m super excited to share that we have successfully raised our pre-seed round. Over the next few months, we’ll be launching our product more widely.”

Nouri Sakr PhD’19 writes: “I took a new job as an assistant professor, helped launch the first data science program in my region, founded a Hub for researchers and professionals to collaborate, started consulting, worked on community service, trained young talents, and got my students to publish their research—all under a global pandemic! I simply feel fulfilled! But what really stands out for me is how much Columbia cares for its students. I’m realizing more and more how attached I was to IEOR and DSI and how much I miss every single person in that department: my advisor, professors, colleagues, and the amazing staff that always made sure we had all the support we needed. I’ll always be grateful and I do hope to visit again soon. To all the current PhD students: Carpe diem—these are some of the best days of your life!”

Alejandra Salaverria MS’11 writes: “I founded ACityZen and completed two Ethereum blockchain hackathons over the summer. I’m currently based in Miami, FL. Please reach out if visiting or relocated for now, like me. I intend to build a remote-work digital global organization registered in Wyoming.”

Frank C T Shih MS’86 writes: “I have successfully developed my oracular research on the science of I-Ching based on two ancient oracles. I’ve presented lectures on this topic in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Mountain View, Honolulu, London, and so on.”

Chen Wang MS’21 writes: “I joined Quicken Loans (now named Rocket Mortgage) in March and have been working as an associate data scientist. My work is fully remote, but I still feel a sense of belonging and achievement. It’s never easy to get through a tough time, but in the spirit of embracing uncertainty, we will make it.”

Jeremy Yao MS’21 writes: “I feel so grateful for the support of the engineering and entrepreneurship community at Columbia for giving me the tools and strength to launch Changing Room. Graduating from Columbia doesn’t mean that the Columbia adventure is over; indeed, I am currently writing this note from my desk at the Columbia Startup Lab, where we are all still very connected to our Alma Mater.”

Zihui Zhou MS’21 writes: “One of the most beautiful decisions I have ever made was to receive my graduate education at Columbia University. With countless opportunities, Columbia helps me to hone my skills and validate my dream to become a data scientist. Appreciating every person I have met there, I constantly visit the campus to catch those bitter but sweet memories, and feel a sense of deja vu. Roar, Lions, and keep in touch!”


William Hooper

William Hooper BS’71, MS’73

David Jacobs

David Jacobs MS’72

Jing Kong

Jing Kong MS’18

Gary Lilien

Gary Lilien BS’67, MS’68

Brishni Mukhopadhyay

Brishni Mukhopadhyay MS’09

Ameen Nadoom

Ameen Nadoom MS’17

Parth Pareek

Parth Pareek MS’17

Alejandra Salaverria

Alejandra Salaverria MS’11

Chen Wang

Chen Wang MS’21

Zihui Zhou

Zihui Zhou MS’21

Mechanical Engineering

Charles Blaut MS’59 writes: “I have held a number of positions in the field and done some consulting work. I finally retired in 2009. As the years have passed, I have watched as things that I had worked with and that were considered ‘state of the art’ have now become obsolete. I have watched as colleagues have passed from the scene. And I have just buried my wife of 65 years, Shirley, the love of my life.”

Rok Buckley MS’13 writes: “I participated in developing a new A2100 satellite for Lockheed Martin and invented spacecraft cooling systems that achieved two US patents. Then, I took a tech lead position, successfully completing the environment qualification tests for the space fence. I was then promoted to IPT Hardware Lead for the US Coast Guard. Still feeling lackluster, I decided to challenge myself by applying for a technical advisor position that works toward developing the first jet fighter for the Korean government using my F-35 experience. Thus, I became a Lockheed Martin Aeronautics diplomat, closely assisting the KF-X chief engineer and vice president of Korea Aerospace Industries, and making a successful KF-21 roll-out in April 2021. After completing an assignment this January, I took a lead position at Skunk Works in Fort Worth, TX. Meanwhile, I connected with the Columbia Alumni Representative Committee in Korea to interview undergraduate candidates. Finally, I received my MBA degree this summer from UIUC.”

Takao Chikazawa MS’80, PhD’83 writes: “Recently, I have fully retired and joined a local private tutoring school to teach local children with learning difficulties. With longer free hours, I now engage more with my family, spend time at the gym, and play golf.”

Kangil Choe PhD’94 is a research professor at Hanyang University, Erica Campus, in Korea, where he has lived since 2015. As a research professor, he has led 13 government-supported R&D projects in the areas of green waste, energy, and resources. Recently, he established a startup company aimed at the commercialization of his research area. On Sundays, he serves a minority community in Korea as an anointed pastor and founder of Multiculture & Mission. Choe has been happily married for over thirty years and has four daughters in New York and Vancouver.”

Alvaro Donadelli BS’70, MS’71 currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, and has 40 years of experience in the oil industry.

Mitchell Friedman MS’65 writes: “While working at IBM in the 1960s, I met a fellow who had just developed a technique for scanning and reading individual signatures. He then tried to scan blood cells on a microscope slide, but was unsuccesful. He asked me how I would do it, and based upon what I learned from Professors Dudley Fuller in fluid mechanics and vibration theory and Edwin Bechtold in optical design, I fabricated a fluidic system and flow cell that was succesful. IBM was not interested in making laboratory equipment, so we left to start a small company to manufacture what we called flow cytometers. We were later bought out by Johnson & Johnson, who then licensed the technology to all of the present day flow cytometer manufacturers. My partner and I left J&J soon after. I started a small company, Union Scientific, LLC, to make specialty lab equipment. I’m trying to find a buyer and donate the proceeds to my high school and Columbia University.”

Harsha Kasinath MS’11 writes: “I got into a renewable energy firm called Broadrock Renewables, where I worked as a business development researcher in their corporate office and later as a quality control engineer at their landfill gas-to-energy plant located in Rhode Island. I then moved to California to work at Applied Materials in supply chain. It was quite a move going from the East to the West, from trudging around in trash on a landfill collecting data to tiptoeing in pristine Class 100 cleanrooms fully gowned up in a semiconductor fab! I have travelled to more than a dozen countries for my job and recently did a cross-country US route 90 tour in my Mini Cooper. I currently work for KLA leading the new product supply chain for their flagship actinic pattern mask inspection tool, which will fill a critical infrastructure gap to enable mass production of the next generation of sub-3nm semiconductor chips.”

Shock Liu MS’20 writes: “I’ve had the chance to know and cooperate with a very brilliant professor who has specialized in control engineering for more than 50 years. He is my friend rather than my advisor: we share our joys and sadnesses, regrets and achievements, and we still meet once a week virtually. Currently, l am pursuing a PhD in AI and control research in Boston, and there is no doubt that Columbia and that professor will help me a lot on my way to realizing my academic dream!”

Raghu Murtugudde PhD’94 writes: “I had the fortune of working with an advisor at LDEO while pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering. After a great career in climate science, I got caught in India during the first and second waves of COVID after arriving for a leave of absence. Now I am trying to balance many issues, including elderly care. But all the COVID-19 lockdowns allowed me to focus on something I thought the developing world really needs: A series of courses on climate science, climate solutions, and climate and health (”

Ichiro Naito MS’74 writes: “I joined an engineering consulting firm in New York City and spent seven and a half years designing air conditioning systems for commercial buildings. I then retuned to Japan and worked as a manager at the Japanese subsidiary of Applied Materials, Lucent Technologies, and Cisco for a total of 33 years. I got married two years after returning to Japan. My older daughter lives in Canada and has two sons, and my younger daughter is a gynecologist who got married two years ago. After retiring in 2017, I returned to work at Rakuten, an e-commerce company, as an information security specialist. I’m a member of the Columbia Engineering Alumni club in Tokyo. I have also been a member of the Tokyo Midtown Toastmasters Club since 2016 and am currently leading a team that helps various companies establish their own Toastmasters clubs.”

Wilbur Shapiro MS’59 writes: “I retired from engineering in 2005 at the age of 75 after doing private consulting for 10 years. In retirement, I have become a writer and have eight self-published books on Amazon. Not bad for a 91-year elder.”

Sandro Tombesi MS’84 writes: “Right as 2021 was starting at the stroke of midnight, so too was my new career as a property and machinery breakdown risk engineer for HDI Global, a renowned international insurance company. New job, same old home office, but I can’t complain because I am really enjoying my job helping power plants spot any ‘gray rhinos’ that may lurk in the shadows ready to bring down their plant and cause grief to all involved. I was always watching out for hazards and risks in all my endeavors; I am now paid to do it full time!”

Haohan Zhang PhD’19 writes: “I spent the past seven years at Columbia, where I completed my PhD studies in 2019 and stayed for postdoc training for another two years. Recently, I joined the University of Utah as a tenure-track assistant professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I am also a core faculty member with the University of Utah Robotics Center. I also direct the Utah Wearable Robotics Laboratory. The education I received from Columbia will influence me as an educator and researcher throughout my career, and I am excited to pass this legacy on to the next generation of talents at the University of Utah.”


Charles Blaut MS’59

Charles Blaut MS’59

Rok Buckley

Rok Buckley MS’13

Takao Chikazawa

Takao Chikazawa MS’80, PhD’83

Kangil Choe

Kangil Choe PhD’94

Harsha Kasinath

Harsha Kasinath MS’11

Shock Liu

Shock Liu MS’20

Ichiro Naito

Ichiro Naito MS’74

Haohan Zhang

Haohan Zhang PhD’19

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