Skip navigation

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Industry Advisory Board Members


Mr. Larry Brown, General Manager, National Technical Systems

Mr. Brown has been involved with applied research and development for over 50 years.  He worked 5 years for Martin Marietta in missile measurements/ instrumentation in the early 1960s. Mr. Brown then spent 32 years with the University of Denver's Denver Research Institute. Responsibilities during this period included Senior Research Engineer, Program Manager and Director of the Denver Research Institute (a research department of the University of Denver).  After working for the Denver Research Institute, Mr. Brown was employed by Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) with responsibilities as Director of the Laboratory for Applied Metrology and Instrumentation and as Division Manager of the Rocky Mountain Division of ARA. As Program Manager, his accomplishments included research on the TWA Flight 800 accident, Oklahoma City bombing investigation, reactive warhead developments, render safe test and evaluation of energetic material systems. Currently, Mr. Brown is General Manager of the Colorado Division of National Technical Systems, Inc. (NTS) and is responsible for building an Engineering Services Division with major responsibilities in energetic material research, human injury studies and instrumentation/custom instrumentation. Mr. Brown has authored over 50 technical publications.

Dr. Bahram Fatemi, Chief Technology Officer, USCS, BAE Systems

Dr. Fatemi is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the US Combat Systems (USCS) line of business of the BAE Systems.  At this position, he is responsible for coordinating all present and future technologies required to develop USCS products.  Prior to this position, Dr. Fatemi was the Director of the Modeling, Simulation and Analysis Department at BAE Systems.  He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California at Santa Barbara in 1980 with emphasis in system simulation.  He has been with BAE Systems since 1984.  He initiated and pioneered the modeling and simulation activities at the legacy GS division of the BAE Systems in 1985 under a research and development project called "Vehicle System Modeling".  Under this project, Dr. Fatemi developed engineering simulation models to predict performance of total vehicle systems.  He managed a group of over 130 engineers with most of them holding graduate degrees and over 30 of them having their Ph.D.s in different engineering disciplines.  His group was responsible for all the Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis activities associated with the design and production of legacy GS combat vehicles.  Prior to joining BAE Systems, Dr. Fatemi was with NUTECH Corporation in San Jose, California for four years.  At NUTECH, he was responsible for developing simulation capabilities and qualifying Nuclear power plants to earthquakes and other dynamic loads.

BAE Systems Overview: BAE Systems is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of $ 36.2 billion.

Dr. Jim Fekete, Group Leader, Structural Materials, Materials Reliability Div., NIST

Dr. Fekete is the leader of the Structural Materials Group in the Materials Reliability Division at the National Institute for Standards and Technology laboratories in Boulder, CO.  The group comprises 14 scientists and technicians who provide standard reference materials, measurement services, and data for predicting structural materials reliability with emphasis on fracture, fatigue, defect detection, and life prediction.  Prior to this appointment, he spent 15 years at the General Motors Company, ultimately achieving the position of Technical Fellow in the Vehicle Engineering Center.  His responsibilities included development of new sheet steel materials and related technologies for motor vehicle structural applications.  He joined GM after working 10 years in a series of technical and managerial positions in the steel industry. He holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, all in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science.  He is a member of SAE International, past chairman of its Ferrous Committee and was cited for outstanding contributions to its Sheet and Strip Technical Committee by the SAE Technical Standards Board.  He has also received Special Recognition from the U. S. Council for Automotive Research.  Dr. Fekete is a member of ASM International, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.

NIST Overview: The National Institute for Standards and Technology is an agency of the U. S. Department of Commerce.  Its mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. The Materials Reliability Division provides measurement methods, standard reference materials and data necessary to predict the reliability of materials in applications ranging from bridges to biology.

Dr. Hossein Javaherian, Technical Fellow, Propulsion Control Group, GM Research & Development Center

Dr. Javaherian joined the GM R&D staff in 1985.  He is a Technical Fellow in the Propulsion Systems Research Lab and a member of the Science Labs Technical Council. He has expertise in engine control systems and vehicle emissions control.  His research focus is on advanced control algorithm development for next generation propulsion systems to fulfill GM?s vision of mobility.  He also has collaborative research projects globally with academic institutes and industrial organizations to expedite the development process. He has broad interest and experience in adaptive and learning systems for powertrain control, nonlinear systems analysis and control, acoustics and vibrations, elasto-plastic thin shell analysis, embedded systems, neural networks for control and diagnostics/prognostics, robotics and industrial automation.   Dr. Javaherian received his bachelor?s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University of Technology, Iran, in 1970 and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Control Systems from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England in 1974 and 1978, respectively. He was a Research Fellow at Imperial College in 1978-79, a faculty member at Tehran University of Technology for 4 years and the Head of Power Plant Division at the Electric Power Research Center, Tehran, for 3 years before joining GM. He holds twenty patents and has authored 40 technical publications. He is also the recipient of the prestigious GM ?Boss? Kettering Award in 2000 and two McCuen Awards in 1996 and 1999.

Mr. Rick Jory, President and CEO, Sandhill Scientific

Mr. Jory received his Bachelors in Industrial Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, his M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia State University and is presently working on his M.A. in Biblical Studies at the Denver Seminary.

Mr. Jory is currently the Chair of Colorado Bioscience Association, Chair-elect for Colorado BioScience Association and serves on the University of Denver?s School of Engineering & Computer Science Industry Advisory Board.  He was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 and 2010.  Rick formerly served as Chair for Colorado Medical Device Association and Chair of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

About Sandhill:  Sandhill Scientific is a medical device manufacturer with offices in Highlands Ranch; Prague, Czech Republic; and Oxford, England (and expanding production to My Tho, Vietnam).  The company produces diagnostic instrumentation used by gastroenterologists.

Dr. William Nau, Technical Fellow, Research & Development, Covidien Energy-based Devices

Dr. Nau is a Technical Fellow at Covidien Energy-based Devices in Boulder where he uses his expertise on energy-tissue interactions including laser, ultrasound, radiofrequency and microwave energy sources to develop devices for maintaining hemostasis during open and laparoscopic surgical procedures.  He received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from Wake Forest University, a Master?s Degree in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.  

Prior to joining Covidien in 2007, Dr. Nau was a faculty member in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The University of California, San Francisco.  His research interests were in the design and development of interstitial and intracavitary devices for delivering either hyperthermia in conjunction with HDR radiation for cancer treatment, or high temperature thermal therapy for diseases in the prostate, uterus, liver, and lumbar spine.

Dr. Nau serves as the President of the Society for Thermal Medicine, and is an active member of Tau Beta Pi, IEEE, AAPM, and SPIE.  In addition, he has received numerous awards for his research including the American Society for Lasers in Surgery and Medicine Outstanding Research Award in Urology, Covidien?s prestigious Innovation Award, the North American Spine Society Nordby-Smith Award for Minimally Invasive Surgery, and the Society of Uroradiology Best Paper Award.

He has authored 27 peer reviewed journal articles, as well 75 technical publications (abstracts, conference proceedings and book chapters), and 4 issued patents.

Mr. Jim Paradise, Manager, Engineering & Science Staffing, Engineering Resources & Development, Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Education * B.S., University of Colorado, Electrical Engineering, 1998 * M.S., University of Denver, Systems Engineering Mechatronics, Dec 2010 Completion * Ph.D., University of Denver, Interdisciplinary Engineering, in progress * University of Nebraska, Chemistry * Morningside College, Chemistry   Mr. Paradise has been a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador for more than 10 years, visiting dozens of schools each year to get students excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Application of advanced statistical methodologies in non-engineering applications, such as staffing projections. Application of Composites and Electronics in Aerospace, Hydrogen Fuel Cell application, Solar Energy application, increasing automotive Fuel Efficiency, Home Automation, and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detection Lockheed Martin Space Systems:  Capabilities address the complete range of space systems requirements including launch services; the design, manufacture and integration of on-orbit systems; and spacecraft ground operations.   NASA selected Lockheed Martin as its industry partner to build the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.  Orion will replace the Space Shuttle in transporting a new generation of human explorers to the International Space Station, near-Earth Asteroids, and eventually to Mars. 

Examples of critical missions our space systems and technologies support include: * Support to the human space flight program * Orbiting observatories and telescopes that extend the field of vision to the very origins of life * Critical national security payloads that gather intelligence and provide protected connectivity * Sophisticated spacecraft that capture high-resolution images and relay information back to Earth * We are currently flying the Spitzer IR Space Telescope, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Stardust spacecraft from our Waterton Colorado facility. The Mars orbiters are relaying data to and from the Mars Exploration Rover - Opportunity, currently on the surface of Mars.

Dr. Suraj Rawal, Senior Manager, Advanced Materials & Structure, R&T Group, Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Dr. Rawal is the Senior Manager of the Advanced Material and Structures, R&T group of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.  He has over 25 years of experience in the advanced materials technologies and has been extensively involved in the development of innovative processing techniques, and structure property relationships for advanced composites.  He has been program manager and principal investigator of several contract research and development (CR&D) programs sponsored by AFRL, BMDO, DARPA, NASA, and ONR.  A few of these programs included Composite Materials Database for Space Applications, Multifunctional Structures Technology Demonstration, C-C ion engine Grid Development, Lightweight Dimensionally Stable C-C Structures, Thermal-Structural Materials Solutions for Spacecraft, Carbon-Carbon Radiator for Space Applications, C-C Heat Pipe Development, Heat Pipe Cooled Leading Edges, Structural Health Monitoring, Multifunctional Nano-composites , High Temperature Thermoelectric, and CEV TPS development.  Dr. Rawal has extensive experience in the development, testing, and mechanical/thermophysical property characterization of advanced composites.

Dr. Rawal is also the Principal Investigator of the Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Project D-90D, "Lightweight Spacecraft Technologies", which is directed to develop advanced composites components, nanotechnology, smart structures and mechanisms, inflatable concepts, and multifunctional structures technologies for next generation spacecraft.  Working closely with the system/subsystem technical leads of Civil Space System programs, Dr. Rawal has been able to successfully transfer composite radiator, optical bench, carbon-carbon (C-C) engine shield, C-C thermal doublers, C-C heat shield (Genesis), and multifunctional structures technologies into DoD/NASA spacecraft.

Before joining Lockheed Martin, Dr. Rawal served as manager of research and development and technical services from 1980 to 1984, and as manager of alloy operations from 1973 to 1980 at A.J. Oster Company, a division of Cookson USA, RI.  His activities covered a broad base of production and R&D efforts related to fabrication, heat treatment, brass rolling mill, plating, joining, and metallurgical characterization of advanced materials.

Dr. Rawal is the board member of Colorado Nanotechnology Advisory Board and is a member of The Metallurgical Society (TMS) of the AIME, ASM International, the Sigma Xi (Professional Scientific Society), AIAA, and the Society of Advanced Materials and Process (SAMPE).

Dr. Rawal has received numerous Lockheed Martin awards, including inventor, author, and technical achievement, and has authored over 55 articles on advanced composites, thermal management, and structure/property relationships. Dr. Rawal has four patents in the areas of thermal management and multifunctional structures technology. Dr. Rawal has also authored two chapters entitled, "Composites for Space Applications", and "Multifunctional Materials and Structures" in the "Comprehensive Composite Materials" handbook edited by A. Kelly and Carl Zweben.

Mr. George Reynold, Director of Industry and Univeristy Initiatives, Electronic Systems, Northrop Grumman

Mr. Reynolds is a 30-year veteran of Westinghouse Electric/Northrop Grumman. His responsibilities include establishing key strategic relationships with universities for long-term research, business and recruitment partnerships. He is also responsible for introducing new initiatives such as factory modeling, simulation and Lean Thinking into the Engineering and Manufacturing organization.

Mr. Reynolds has served as industry liaison for the Lean Aerospace Initiative at MIT since its inception in 1992. He is the Lean point of contact for Northrop Grumman Corporation.  He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Howard University, an M.S. in Engineering Administration from George Washington University and is a graduate from the Program for Management Development at Harvard University. Mr Reynolds is a Johns Hopkins Fellow in the Management of Change.

Mr. Reynolds is the chairman and/or a member of numerous Engineering Advisory boards for major universities and is the past Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association?s Engineering Management Committee.

In 1991, Mr. Reynolds was selected as the National Black Engineer of the Year for Professional Achievement in Industry. In 2008, he received a second National Black Engineer of the Year award for Corporate Support of Engineering Education. He is one of three people in the nation to receive two of these national awards.

Mr. Reynolds has a "black belt" in six sigma and is considered to be a subject matter expert in "Team Thinking".

Mr. Reynolds also holds a commercial pilot's license with multi-engine and jet ratings.

Ms. Jackie Schirmer P.E., Operations Manager, URS

Jacquelyn D. Schirmer has been with URS (formerly Washington Group International) since 1997.  She is currently the Operations Manager for the Houston Industrial/Process Business Group Headquarters and is responsible for office costs/budget, workload and financial forecasts, operations support, and engineering coordination across multiple offices. Schirmer graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver and has completed her Masters of Science in Management with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.

Technical excellence, communication skills, and an enthusiastic work ethic have all contributed to Schirmer's achievements at URS. On her first assignment, Schirmer prepared and presented first-of-a-kind designs for The Boeing Company for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle and held responsibility for $8M in movable platform systems. She established value-engineering initiatives achieving schedule improvements of 2 months and approximately $1.5M in project savings.  As a lead engineer, she has successfully managed technical teams of up to 25 people.  Schirmer has also participated in nuclear facility designs and chemical nerve agent-destruction projects for the U.S. Army and was Project Manager on a Naval Explosives Development Facility.

For over 4 years, she worked in Business Development for Industrial/Process Oil, Gas & Chemicals as Director-Business Development. Her key responsibility was account management of new work for key clients such as Shell, DuPont, and Suncor, with responsibility for contractual strategies, financial positioning, and client relationships. Her background includes improving systems and processes, key strategic initiatives, and supporting international proposals, client presentations, and joint venture agreements.

Schirmer has also held the position of Principal Mechanical Engineer in Denver with responsibility for over 100 mechanical engineers and designers. The role encompassed discipline staffing and technical performance and quality on complex government and commercial projects including studies, detailed design, and construction of power, defense, energy, oil/gas/chemical, and mining facilities.

Schirmer participates in numerous mentoring activities including organizing URS volunteers and soliciting financial support for the annual Girls Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Event. She was also a charter member of the Employee Development Council and personally mentors several individuals within the company. She is a private pilot, married to her husband of 17 years, and the proud mother of two girls.

With Schirmer's passion for learning and leadership, combined with her technical aptitude and communication skills, she hopes to help lead URS in its mission to be a top-performing engineering, construction, and management services company.

Ms. Schirmer is a registered Professional Engineer.  She was also nominated as Society of Women Engineers New Faces in Engineering Representative.

Dr. James Sutter, Senior Scientist, Polymer Branch, Structures & Materials Div., NASA Glenn Research Center

Dr. Sutter earned his PhD in Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in 1983. He has a BS in Chemistry from State University of New York: College of Environmental Sciences Forestry on the campus of Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Sutter is a member of the Polymers Branch/ in the Structures & Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH.  Dr. Sutter is presently working in the NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC).  He co-leads a team of engineers for the NESC on composite pressure vessels focusing on applications Shuttle, Space Station and Constellation Programs. In addition to Dr. Sutter's role at the NESC, he is a senior research polymer scientist and project manager for polymer composites.  Dr. Sutter's research focuses on applications requiring high-temperature polymers for advanced aircraft and hypersonic engines.  His research includes the synthesis of new polymers, carbon fiber surface treatments, the use of organic/polymeric materials in nuclear power systems and coatings for particulate erosion and oxidation protection on polymer composites that are used on commercial and advanced aircraft propulsion applications.