2018 Alumni Service Award group photo

CSE celebrates five alumni awards

Alumni volunteers and leaders receive top University awards for accomplishments

This fall, the CSE Alumni Society Board was named Outstanding Alumni Society by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) “for exceptional programming efforts that strengthens the University community.” Also honored this year with top University of Minnesota awards are four CSE alumni: Kaushik Bhattacharya (Mechanics Ph.D. 1991) and John Guider (EE ‘69) with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and Dennis Martenson (ME ’67, CivE M.S.’68), and Daniel McDonald (EE ‘82, JD ‘85) with the Alumni Service Award.

Outstanding Alumni Society

The College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society was founded in 1952. It is one of the first alumni organizations formed at the University of Minnesota. Since restructuring in 2011-12, this alumni society board has put an emphasis on engaging a broader audience of alumni through unique special events, networking opportunities, volunteerism, and collaborations.

Over the past year, the 23-member volunteer board has focused on creating engagement that advances the college’s mission. New efforts included the “Curiosity Drives Progress” lecture series and an “open house” for alumni at the annual student-produced Winter Light Show. The board also organized educational tours of the Bell Museum, St. Anthony Falls Lab, and the research wind turbine at UMore Park.

“The CSE Alumni Board has been extremely valuable over the past year in developing new engagement opportunities that showcase CSE faculty, students, and facilities," said Kim Dockter, CSE director of external relations. "Many of our alumni are unfamiliar with what the college is like today. It is important to provide opportunities for alumni to learn about the college’s amazing faculty, gifted and energetic students, and cutting-edge new lab and student innovation spaces. "

Outstanding Achievement Award

This year, two CSE alumni—Kaushik Bhattacharya (Mechanics Ph.D. 1991) and John Guider (EE ‘69)—were recognized by the University of Minnesota with the Outstanding Achievement Awards. The award is presented to graduates or former students who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

Bhattacharya pioneered an approach to the study of phase transformations in crystalline materials that has shaped an entire community and has led to spectacular new examples of these materials. Currently, he is a professor of mechanics, as well as materials science, and vice provost for research at Caltech, where he's been since 1993. Prior to this, he was an associate research scientist at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Bhattacharya was editor and senior editorial advisor for the Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids and a member of the editorial board of the Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis, Applied Mathematics Research Express, and Communications on Mathematical Sciences for Applications. 

Guider is the owner of 17 U.S. patents and co-founder of three companies that created game-changing, data-storage technologies—plus several thousand engineering jobs in Minnesota. Under his leadership, Tricord Systems introduced the initial PC superserver architecture to the market and XIOtech Corporation developed the first centralized, virtualized Storage Area Network (SAN), which would later pave the way for cloud storage. At Compellent Technologies, Guider paved the way for thin provisioning, automated-tiered storage, data replay, and other technologies that would refine the virtual computer storage system. In addition to his entrepreneurial spirit, Guider is altruist. He is working with Mayo Clinic to fund research for the Breast Cancer Genome Guided Therapy (BEAUTY) study, an initiative to better understand chemotherapy and develop alternative treatments.

Alumni Service Award

CSE alumni Dennis Martenson (ME ’67, CivE M.S.’68) and Daniel McDonald (EE ‘82, JD ‘85) received the 2018 Alumni Service Award from the University of Minnesota. The award recognizes a volunteer who has had a major impact on the University, its schools, colleges, departments, or faculty, or to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association or any of its constituent groups.  

Martenson, 2006 president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, is currently the president of the United Engineering Foundation. He is a registered professional civil engineer in five states and a member of the Minnesota Registration Board that licenses engineers in the state. For 20 years, Martenson has been instrumental in organizing the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering’s (CEGE) capstone design course, which pairs students with professionals to complete “real-world” projects. Having secured over 370 engineers to participate in the program, Martenson has been key in the development of future industry leaders. In 2014, Martenson—who has also served on the 50-Year Reunion Committee and CSE Mentor Program—endowed a scholarship with his wife, Catherine, that supports the education of environmental and civil engineers.

McDonald, a partner at the intellectual property law firm Merchant & Gould, has held major leadership positions over the past 20 year within UMAA, the CSE Alumni Society, and the University of Minnesota Law School, where he currently serves as advisory board chair. He has served on the UMAA’s Finance and Audit Committee, Nominating and Board Development Committee, Financial Model Task Force, and Executive Committee. In October of 2017, he was appointed to serve as the UMAA’s representative on the Gateway Corporation Board of Directors. In private practice for 30 years, McDonald focuses on patent litigation, trademark/trade dress litigation, copyright litigation, and trade secret litigation with an emphasis on electronics, software and Internet issues. Minnesota Lawyer named him "Attorney of the Year 2015.”