Class Notes Fall 2020
The Passive Solar House, by James Kachadorian, has been published in an updated and revised edition, complete with worksheets, sample plans, and Jim’s proprietary CSol software. First published in 1997, the book has been used by countless home builders and architects to incorporate timeless solar principles into their designs. It’s also been used by professors as the text for their solar design courses. His new e-book version brings his 38 years of hands-on experience and proven knowledge to the screen. The cover shot (by his son, George) is an aerial view of his solar home in Vermont, showing the 5.2 kw PV solar array on the 45-degree, south-faced roof of the garage. The new edition includes a droll introduction by George, which tells us, “Jim’s impetus to start designing passive solar houses in the 1970s was not based in ideology or doctrine. As a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and MIT, and having served overseas for the U.S. Army, Jim had learned a highly effective method for solving problems of all kinds: logic. Noting Jim’s work as head engineer for the Killington ski area on everything from buildings to ski lifts to pipeline logistics, George writes that “he earned the nickname ‘God’ from his colleagues for his definitive answers to seemingly unsolvable questions.” Jim reports that he now heats his home with ¾ of a cord of dry hardwood burned in the cook stove, and 617.7 gallons of propane consumed by a new high-efficiency propane warm air system. “We keep our home at 72-plus degrees in the daytime and evening, and we set it back to 55 degrees at night. Also, as predicted in The Passive Solar House, the unoccupied home has never reached freezing temperatures.”
Judy Maher, wife of Frank Maher, writes to share the sad news of his passing in February. “Frank was
very proud of his accomplishment as an electrical engineer, especially his time at Perkin-Elmer, where he earned four patents. He loved sailing to Martha’s Vineyard, listening to jazz, and especially being with his family.” He leaves two sons and six grandchildren.
Stan Sotek recently completed 35 years as an engineer at Raytheon. He continues to work full-time for the newly created Raytheon Technologies Corporation.
Mike Ahern contributed an article to Energy Central, titled “Cybersecurity at Utilities: 2020.” He writes, “Working from home can introduce additional cybersecurity risk (e.g., loss of data). To meet this increased cybersecurity risk, now is a good time to refresh people on basic cyber hygiene.” He is director of WPI’s Academic and Corporate Engagement Group.
Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic on many fronts. The company works with healthcare companies, payers, and providers across key sectors: lab and specimen logistics, implantable medical devices, clinical trials and precision medicine, home health and wellness, specialty pharmaceuticals, and healthcare logistics. With billions of people around the world working remotely to help slow the spread of the virus, he says logistics have reached a new level of importance. “Patients don’t want to leave their homes to get their medicine right now,” he says. “It’s important that we continue delivering drugs to people in their homes.” Wheeler and UPS Healthcare are also part of the President’s Coronavirus Taskforce and the council for reopening the country, including Project Airbridge, with several flights per day bringing personal protective equipment from Asia into the United States. The company is involved in clinical trials for leading drugs for treating COVID-19 and is working with three companies developing vaccines.
After 10+ years of working on technology solutions for marketing and advertising professionals, Ernie Cormier is now CEO and president of Zylotech, where he seeks to evolve the company’s presence in the Customer Data Platform (CDP) space, building on its expertise in data quality, personalization, and deriving actionable insights from mountains of disparate data.
Mike Iassogna was interviewed by The Newtown (Conn.) Bee, on the start-up of Tier One Machining and Assembly, the company he co-founded to manufacture machined parts and assemblies for the medical instruments market, as well as some aerospace parts. He proudly noted that the company was started in a time of outsourcing to other countries, and it partners with vocational programs at high schools and community colleges, as well as organizations that provide opportunities to trainees with special needs. Mike and his wife, Linda, married in 1983 and have two children. In the Q & A piece, he named Eric Clapton as his favorite artist, listed his hobbies as carpentry (restoring old houses and furniture), and working out—he also admitted to being a huge baseball fan. (“Go, Yankees!”)
Joel Kearns was promoted to director of Facilities, Testing, and Manufacturing at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. He directs all of Glenn’s activities in facility infrastructure, aerospace system testing, fabrication, environment management and sustainability, and aircraft operations. He recently contributed to the successful space environmental testing of the first NASA Orion spacecraft, which will fly an unmanned test flight beyond the Moon on the Artemis 1 mission next year.
Jean Salek Camp has a challenge for the Class: “Please give some or additional money to WPI now—as neither the school, nor the students can wait.” She adds, “If you are like me, you probably have more than what you need, and even a small donation can help during these extraordinary times. I have recently funded an endowment and will
be adding to it over time. You don’t have to wait until you die to make a positive difference in someone’s life.” Jean shut down her Hawaii-based project and construction management firm in 2013, and relocated with her husband, David, to California, so that they could assist and care for her aging parents. Skills learned at WPI, including project management, and cell- and microbiology, came in very handy when dealing with the medical system in support of her parents’ senior and then critical medical needs. Additional training in interior design, along with her contractor’s license, enabled Jean to design and renovate her parents’ home so that they could continue to live safely at home and in comfort until they both passed away. “I attribute my personal and professional skills and success to the sound education and the project-based team experiences that WPI provided.”
Jim “Pouli” Pouliopoulos is director of the professional sales program and a senior lecturer in marketing at Bentley University. In TEDx talks, he explores the question of what drives inner motivation and professional success. He is also a certified trainer for The Art of Brilliance, a UK-based firm that specializes in training and development to make people be more positive, motivated, and brilliant. He has worked as an executive coach, trainer, facilitator, and consultant for a number of organizations in a variety of industries. His book, How to be a Well Being: Unofficial Rules to Live Every Day, was released in August 2020. Learn more at Pouli.com.
The passing of Ernie Capozzi in June was shared by Chloe Emery ’13, a family friend, along with a vintage photo of the WPI Golf Team. Apart from his successful career in sales, the newspaper obituary notes, “Ernie was an avid sailor and golfer and was happiest spending time with his family by the ocean. His easygoing disposition and kind heart made him a friend to all.”
Paul Torcellini was named a fellow of ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers). He is a professor of environmental earth science at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Lori Clark is senior director, IT Portfolio & Project Management, at Karyopharm Therapeutics, an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company.
Kyle Brenner, previously principal of Worcester Technical High School (that other “Worcester Tech”), is now superintendent of Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, Mass.
Paul Dombrowski was recognized at the New England Water Environment Association’s Annual Conference in Boston in January. He received the Clair N. Sawyer Award for outstanding service to the water industry related to research, the application of innovation to improve the water environment, and the development of technical publications that advance the knowledge of clean water practitioners. Paul is a senior principal and chief technologist with Woodard & Curran in Northampton, Mass.
Michael Plourde was appointed vice president, global engineering and programs, at Comtech Telecommunications Corp.
Facing the Dragon: Love of God Rescues Us, Restores Us and Revives Us, is the title of a novel by Carol Asplund (MS CPM), writing under the pen name Carol Ann Kjellberg. Her heroine, Kristine, is a married mother of three sons, who loves her husband dearly. While she is challenged by her husband’s unfaithfulness and the trials of a straying son, her faith is never challenged. In her Facebook description of the novel, Carol writes, “She feels these are a struggle with Satan, the Dragon. She hopes for a return of the prodigal son, knowing the result is not within her control. Follow along to see if her Heavenly Father can in fact rescue, restore, and revive Kristine.” Carol has worked as a construction project manager, as a regional transportation planner, as a city planner for Worcester, and as a teacher of children and young adults with learning disabilities.
Diana Hart has joined Westinghouse Electric in Cranberry Township, Pa., as vice president, environmental health & safety.
Kristin Kotopoulis Garland writes, “I have been working as a consultant for Safety Partners for the past 17 years and recently became a certified industrial hygienist (CIH). I love how WPI prepared me for the many twists and turns my career has taken. I am also very excited that my oldest daughter, Paige, will be a freshman at WPI this fall (we hope!), majoring in environmental engineering and playing on the volleyball team. Watching her play in Harrington will be a dream come true for both of us!”
Jennifer Healy-Anderson was promoted to managing director at PwC. She is now serving as the global human capital leader for PwC’s Acceleration Centers, driving off-shore service delivery for the company.
Teri Brehio (’97 MS BME) writes, “I have been working as a family medicine physician at the New Hampshire Dartmouth Residency program in Concord, N.H., since I graduated residency there in 2001. After spending the past eight years as education director, in March I was promoted to medical director of the Family Health Centers.”
David Bowler (MSEE) is senior director, advanced research engineering, at CommScope, based in Lowell, Mass. For his achievements, which included adding 28 patents to CommScope’s portfolio, he was honored with the company’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award—Innovator. A company press release noted, “Bowler’s creativity, insights, and passion have led him to design innovative products and solutions for cable network service providers in the areas of optics, radio frequency (RF), digital signal processing, high-speed digital, video, software design, and more.” Highlights of his career include developing 622 megabits per second passive optical network (PON) transceivers in PON’s early days and creating a diagnostic tool for debugging the RF network portion of DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification).
Rick Savoia is director, software engineering, at EditShare, where he helps design tools for clients in the media and entertainment industry to power the workflow for media management and network shared storage systems.
Keith Berard pitched in to solve a vexing problem for firefighters in Middleborough, Mass. The fire department had masks and filters, but no way to connect the two. Using his 3D printer and his CAD skills, he created a connector to join the components. Keith is a software architect for MCG Health in Seattle, where he helps develop evidence-based care guidelines for better patient outcomes. He notes that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t caused too much disruption for his daily life, aside from managing three kids at home and keeping them focused and engaged in learning—a challenge shared by many families, he notes.
Jason Gleghorn is an assistant professor of biomechanical engineering at the University of Delaware. He received an NSF Early Career Development Award to develop a new class of microfluidic devices to culture an entire lymph node outside the body and study the cells’ behavior in real time. The work will increase scientific understanding of chronic infection and inflammation, and metastatic cancer to the lymph node. It also could inform drug delivery strategies for chemotherapy and antiretroviral therapies for HIV.
Daniel Stroe (MS CS) remains in Worcester, as a real estate developer with Wallachia LLC. A recent profile in Worcester Business Journal described his work toward converting a former razor factory into a complex of 47 apartments called Stamp Factory Lofts. The 130-year-old building once housed one of the city’s prosperous businesses. “They were producing straight razors,” Stroe told the reporter. “They thought they would never go out of fashion. That was a mistake.” Speaking in mid-March, when awareness that the COVID-19 pandemic might change construction prospects was just beginning, he said, “The site had been vacant for more than 10 years before we started to develop it, and the entire economics in Worcester have shifted a little recently to allow this project to be feasible.”
Frances-Feliz Kearns writes, “I wanted to share that I was recently elected to the District School Committee for the Old Rochester School District for the towns of Mattapoiset, Marion, and Rochester, Mass. As a woman of color I am excited to provide representation on our local school board that has previously been lacking representation in this area.”
Jeremy Hitchcock was appointed executive chairman of the board of Zoom Telephonic in April. He had served as the company’s board chair since February, and as a board director since May 2019.
Ann Mariano (MS IT) was written up in the MetroWest Daily News in April for her role in getting computers into the hands of some 2,000 students as fast as possible. In January she became the new technology chief for the Framingham, Mass., school district. In March, schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many students without the technology needed to continue learning. Mariano and her staff swiftly distributed thousands of Chromebooks to students who otherwise would have been shut out of online learning. The paper reported on “the whirlwind of action,” as “masked and gloved teachers, principals, translators and others fanned out to schools within 12 hours to hand off technology to families, who waited in cars.” Mariano said, “Everyone wanted to engage more. There were a lot of air hugs. I think that was the challenge of that day.” Her previous posts include director of education technology at Foster-Glocester Regional Schools in Rhode Island, and deputy technology director for the schools and town of Stoughton, as well as director of technology for the Winsor School, Ursuline Academy, and the Central Falls School District.
Alejandro Castano is vice president of marketing for the Greater Naples (Fla.) Chamber of Commerce.
Alison Hart, MD, joined Rhode Island Medical Imaging as a radiologist. She completed a radiology residency at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University in Providence, as well as an internship at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. She earned her MD at the George Washington University School of Medicine, in Washington, D.C. She was previously a biomaterials technician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine, in the Tissue Engineering Laboratory. She lives in East Greenwich, R.I.
Kelly Finzel (’09 MS FPE) is a senior fire engineer at Arup. She serves as an alternate on the NFPA 101 technical committee for Building Service and Fire Protection Equipment. She recently published an article, “Building Code Trade-Offs for Automatic Sprinkler Systems: Understanding the impact of sprinkler systems on building design” in PHCPPros.
Ashley Mossa Lindeman is a senior technical leader, Nuclear Sector – Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment, at the Electric Power Research Institute. She developed, led, and delivered on an aggressive two-year research plan to improve realism in nuclear plant assessments. For her work, she was recently recognized in Public Utilities Fortnightly’s “Fortnightly Under Forty 2020” list as a rising star in the power/utility industry.
Jessica Rosewitz completed her doctorate in civil engineering in May—her third diploma from WPI.
“I knew that I wanted to teach at a college, and that meant a PhD,” she said. While earning her master’s degree (awarded in 2016), she had the unique opportunity to work on the restoration of Tulio Lombardo’s 500-year-old sculpture, Adam, a life-sized Renaissance-era marble statue at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work on determining the structural properties of materials to pin the pieces of stone back together got national press. The success of the Met project paved the way for continued work on developing a process to create self-healing concrete using enzymes. “Jessica was quite brave to work on a PhD project that lies right at the intersection of biophysics and mechanics/materials science,” says her advisor, Professor Nima Rahbar. “I believe her PhD is among the most outstanding doctoral theses in WPI Engineering.” After teaching undergraduate courses and completing the final phases of dissertation work remotely (“I hardly used any paper—save the trees for the toilet paper, I say—and really came to appreciate a digital stylus pad and pen,” she jokes), she looks forward to landing her first position in academia—in front of a class, whether in person or online.
Cheryl (Boquist) Ingram writes, “We celebrated Lidia Jean Ingram joining our family June 5, 2020! We can’t wait to bring her to Alumni Weekend next year!”
Lillian Carrasquillo (MS, IM) is a product insights manager at Spotify. Her work involves developing metrics for the company’s personalization platform. Her team’s mission is to make sure that the recommendations delivered in a user’s daily mix, discover weekly, and year-end wrap stories are spot on.
Basketball standout Samantha Meyerhoff was inducted into the Section IV Hall of Fame in Ithaca, N.Y. A graduate of Charlotte Valley Central School, she earned 14 varsity letters—five each in basketball and soccer and four in softball. She is a civil engineer in Washington, D.C., now working as a project manager on the renovation of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Tanishq Bhalla is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. He has written about the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout from the perspective of the HBS Class of 2021. Essay titles include “COVID-19 Becomes Our Real-Time Case Study” and “Lessons I’ve Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic while at Harvard Business School.” Before he entered the business program, he worked for Cisco Systems, specializing in cybersecurity and cloud computing technologies.
Kevin Ackerman writes, “I graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College on April 15, 2020, with an MD degree with Honors in Service. I joined New York–Presbyterian Hospital with other early graduate physicians to assist in the hospital’s pandemic response. I will start my residency training in combined Internal Medicine–Pediatrics at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.”
Football captain Sam Casey was tapped as the defensive coordinator at Fitchburg State University. His original plans included helping out his high school football team, “… but then this opportunity came along,” he says, “and I couldn’t envision myself doing anything else. Football is what I do.” Noting that he’ll be using much of what he learned at WPI, he added “I’ve always said football is my favorite class.” He was recruited by Fitchburg’s head coach Scott Sperone, who served as defensive coordinator at WPI for three seasons. Sperone says “I trust Sam and I know he’s going to work hard. He was an outstanding leader on the WPI team and led by example. He did everything he was supposed to do to be a better football player.”
“To make it feel like graduation,” writes Cassie Graca’s mother, Diane, “our family ventured to campus to take pictures on what would have been Commencement Day. It helped us celebrate Cassie’s BS in Civil Engineering. The campus was the perfect backdrop. Cassie is studying to achieve her MS in Civil in the fall and, even though she lost the 2020 softball season to COVID-19, she will play in the spring of 2021.”
John Busada ’39 CHE, Charlottesville, Va.
Roger Corey ’42, LAMBDA CHI ALPHA, Ashland, Mass.
Nelson Calkins ’43 ME, Rutland, Mass.
Irving Goldstein ’45 EE, Framingham, Mass.
Edward Zieve ’45 ME, ALPHA EPSILON PI, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Edward Swierz ’47 CE, ALPHA TAU OMEGA, Manchester, N.H.
David Stowe ’49 ME, SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON, Shrewsbury, Mass.
Paul Curran ’49 ME, PHI KAPPA THETA, Leominster, Mass.
Leo Lynch ’50 EE, PHI KAPPA THETA, Belvidere, Ill.
Robert Proctor ’50 CE, SIGMA PHI EPSILON, West Bath, Me.
John Reid ’51 CHE, PHI SIGMA KAPPA, Juno Beach, Fla.
David Kujala ’52 CHE, Clayton, Del.
Edward Olson ’52 PH, Rio Rancho, N.M.
Henry Sundberg ’53 ME, SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON, Franklin, Mass.
Charles McDonough ’55 CHE, ’57 MS CHE, Ewing, N.J.
John Calhoun ’55 ME, ’81 SIM, PHI KAPPA THETA, White Horse Beach, Mass.
Donald Olsen ’56 EE, PHI SIGMA KAPPA, Paterson, N.J.
Winford Nowell ’57 ME, Groveland, Mass.
Robert Sundheim ’58 EE, SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON, Solon, Ohio
Robert Dahill ’61 MS CH, Manalapan, N.J.
John Orciuch ’68 CHE, PHI SIGMA KAPPA, Wareham, Mass.
Stephen Rogers ’69 ME, SIGMA PHI EPSILON, Deland, Fla.
Eric Nickerson ’69 ME, PHI GAMMA DELTA, Milford, N.H.
Irving Engelson ’71 PhD, New York, N.Y.
Raymond Fish ’72 PhD, Sun City Center, Fla.
Stanley Czernel ’74 CH-Interdisciplinary, Orange, Conn.
Lee Peterson ’75 SIM, Stow, Mass.
Aimo “Kal” Hyyrynen ’76 MS EE, Shrewsbury, Mass.
Dana Homer ’77 CHE, Haverhill, Mass.
Brian Gow ’77 CS, Auburn, Mass.
Richard Garstka ’77 CS, Rutland, Mass.
Frank DeBonis ’80 CE, PHI KAPPA THETA, La Porte, Texas
Tom Fawcett ’80 CS, San Jose, Calif.
David Barrows ’80 MGMT, TAU KAPPA EPSILON, Charlton, Mass.
Carl Gates ’80 ME, SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON, Lewes, Del.
Brian Stoffers ’81 EE, North Billerica, Mass.
George Geisser ’82 MS CE, Riverside, R.I.
William Fay ’82 MS ME, Ware, Mass.
William Parretti ’82 SIM, Worcester, Mass.
Robert Bunzick ’83 Plant Eng. Certificate
Joseph Capua ’83 CHE, PHI KAPPA THETA, Tewksbury, Mass.
Ying Sun ’85 PhD, West Warwick, R.I.
Ernest Capozzi ’85 MGE, PHI GAMMA DELTA, Walpole, Mass.
Kenneth Packard ’93 ME, South Hamilton, Mass.
Stephen Davis ’98 CE, Smithfield, R.I.
The WPI community also notes the passing of these friends of the university: Debra Amend, Virginia Baer, Mavis Bailey, Jan Bialonozka, Nedra Biliouris, Carolyn Chapell, Ellen Capua, Cheryl Conron, Richard Duquette, Madeline Horan, David Mainville, Joseph Policelli, John Quinlivan, and Samuel Rankin.
Complete obituaries can usually be found online by searching legacy.com or newspaper websites. WPI Journal will assist classmates in locating additional information. Contact