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Monday, Jul 28, 2014

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David Pidwell

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Russ College alumnus, faculty and staff honored for accomplishments

David Pidwell honored as a distinguished graduate


An alumnus, faculty and staff from Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology were honored Friday night for their achievements.

Alumnus David Pidwell, who received his bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering from OHIO in 1969 and his master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering in 1970, was honored as a distinguished graduate, the highest honor the college can bestow on its graduates.

Pidwell is the newest member of the Russ College Academy of Distinguished Graduates, which honors and celebrates the achievements and contributions of alumni to the field of engineering and technology.

A partner with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Alloy Ventures since 1996, Pidwell’s investment activities are concentrated in the computer software industry, primarily with companies that address enterprise information management, the Internet, or software-as-a-service (SaaS, cloud computing) related fields.

Upon receiving the award, Pidwell described how when he left Ohio University for the San Francisco Bay Area 40 years ago, everything he owned was in the back seat of his Volkswagen.

"When I arrived, Silicon Valley was nothing more than a cattle grazing area and fruit orchards. I watched and participated in its corporate development," he said.

"Today it is clear to me that the basic know how and principles that I employed in my career were first established here at Ohio University. And, for this I am most thankful," he said.

Prior to joining Alloy Ventures, Pidwell was CEO of Rasna Corp., a mechanical design automation software company he founded in 1986. The firm was acquired by Parametric Technology Corp. in 1995.

He was also president and general manager of the Mil-Spec computer division of Rolm Corp., having been with the company for fourteen years from the time of its start-up. IBM acquired the company in 1985 with more than 2,500 employees and $1.2 billion in annual revenue. He also completed studies at Stanford University toward a doctorate in engineering economic systems.

A faculty member and lecturer with the Stanford University Graduate School of Business since 1999, Pidwell currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Informatica Corp. as well as three privately held corporations. He is also a trustee of the Ohio University Foundation and a member of the university's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology board of visitors.

The Russ College also honored faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions in teaching, research and service.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Awards were established by alumnus Fritz J. Russ and his wife, Dolores in 1981 and carry a cash award of $1,500 along with a personalized plaque.

The Russ Outstanding Research Paper Award recognizes research and scholarship excellence across the College by faculty who published papers in refereed journals. The 2010 recipient was Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Cindy Marling for her paper, "Toward Case-Based Reasoning for Diabetes Management:  A Preliminary Clinical Study and Decision Support System Prototype."

Marling noted that she was proud to have her work, collaboration with faculty from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, be acknowledged. "With all of the fascinating research going on at the Russ College, I felt honored and delighted that my work with Drs. Schwartz and Shubrook was singled out for special recognition. Combined with the Academic & Research Center grand opening the following day, this was a very special weekend," Marling said.

Selected by Russ College students, the Russ Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award recognizes one professor with outstanding teaching and advising across the college. The recipient for 2010 was Greg Kremer, chair and associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Kremer said his goals in teaching are to engage and empower students, many of whom demonstrated their senior capstone projects as part of the grand opening event. "Although the award is a great honor, the most satisfying experience of the weekend was seeing the impressive work the mechanical engineering seniors did this year in their "Designing to Make a Difference," he said. “Seeing their professionalism and sense of accomplishment in completing projects that help make someone's life better was the best reward a teacher can ever receive."
 
Kremer noted that the award is recognition of the community in his department. “We work together to help students transform themselves and the world in which we live.”

The Marvin E. and Ann D. White Awards, carrying cash awards of $500 each and personalized plaques, were established by alumnus Marv White and his wife, Ann to acknowledge success in both research and teaching.

Recognizing continued and sustained achievements in research, scholarship, and the creation of new knowledge, the White Research Awards honor a faculty member in each department of the Russ College. Recipients for 2010 were: Bryan Branham, associate professor in the Department of Aviation; Gerardine Botte, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Tiao Chang, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering; Frank Van Graas, Russ professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dale Masel, associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Pete Klein, chair and professor in the Department of Industrial Technology; and Dave Bayless, Loehr Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The White Teaching Awards, also honoring a faculty member in each department of the Russ College, recognize those with dedicated teaching and student advising. Recipients for 2010 were: Deak Arch, assistant professor in the Department of Aviation; Darin Ridgway, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Eric Steinberg, associate professor in the Department of  Civil Engineering; Doug Lawrence, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dusan Sormaz, associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Todd Myers, associate professor in the Department of Industrial Technology; and Frank Kraft, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The Outstanding Administrative, Technical, and Classified Employee Awards honor employees with superior results-based performance and award the recipients with a $750 cash prize and personalized plaque. 2010 recipients were: Stephanie Walker, undergraduate secretary for the Department of Mechanical Engineering (classified award); Tom Chambers, laboratory technician for Mechanical Systems (technical award); and Dan Stroh, assistant dean for development (administrative award).

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and collaborative skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. 

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