ME External Advisory Board Past Members



Hadi Abu-Akeel

Dr. Hadi Akeel is president of his consulting company, American Technology and Engineering Corp., AMTENG, providing technical consulting and expert witness services in the field of robotics. He retired from FANUC Robotics America, the world leading Industrial Robot developer and manufacturer, in 2000 as Senior Vice president, Chief Engineer and Director. He's credited with several pioneering robotic developments that shaped the field of the Industrial Robot and its adoption in manufacturing operations worldwide. Concurrently, from 1994 to 2001, he served as General Manager of the FANUC Berkeley Laboratory where he established and directed a MEMS R&D operation; he also served as Vice Chairman and Director of FANUC USA. From 1974 to 1982, he was a member of the manufacturing Development Staff of General Motors. He then conceived the development of the first major industrial Robot Painting system that revolutionized automotive painting operations and lead to the formation and phenomenal success of GM_FANUC Robotics and later FANUC Robotics America.


Dr. Akeel received his BS-ME degree from Cairo University in Egypt in 1959, his MS Degree from UCLA in 1963 and his Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley in 1966. He published over 35 articles and is credited with over 65 patents in the fields of Robotics, Automotive manufacturing and Aerospace. In 1988, he was awarded the Joseph F. Engelberger Award for Technology Development by the Robotics Industries Association and the Science Trailblazer Award by the State of Michigan.


Dr. Akeel is currently active with the National Research Council where he serves as advisor on several technical review committees. He's also a member of the Advisory panels for the University of Michigan, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, and had advised the Management of Technology program at UC Berkeley during its formative years 1993-1995.

George Boyadjieff

George Boyadjieff is the retired CEO of the former Varco International, a NYSE, diversified Oil Service Company with over $1.3 billion in annual revenues and now a part of National Oilwell Varco. He joined Varco in 1969 as Chief Engineer and was appointed CEO in 1991. He has held numerous positions during his 33-year career at Varco International including, Vice President of Operations, Division President, Corporate President and COO. During his tenure, Varco grew from a small privately owned company doing less than $3 million per annum to a billion dollar public company.


George holds over 50 US patents, many of them contributing substantially to the revenue growth of Varco and is considered the industry’s leading expert in Oil and Gas well drilling equipment. As President and COO, he was instrumental in leading the Company through a severe downturn from 1981 to 1990, and as CEO from 1991 to 2002; he was able to grow the company from $130 million to over $1 billion in annual revenue through a series of acquisitions, mergers and new product development activities.


Currently George is Chairman of the board of Alliance Streetworks, a private public works construction company.


George holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of the UCI executive program.

Nick Dokoozlian

Nick Dokoozlian is Vice President of Viticulture, Chemistry and Enology at E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California. He is responsible for research, innovation and technology in the areas of grape production and grape and wine chemistry.


Prior to joining E&J Gallo in 2004, he was a faculty member in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. His work focuses on the effects of vineyard cultural practices on vine physiology and grape and wine quality, as well the development of advanced analytical methods for the rapid determination of fruit and wine constituents. An author or co-author of over 70 scientific journal articles, he serves as an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture.


Dr. Dokoozlian received his B.S. (1980) in Agricultural Science from California State University, Fresno, and his Ph.D. (1990) in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis.

John D. Evans

Dr. John D. Evans is Vice President Business Innovation for Lockheed Martin Corporation. He is responsible for driving innovative concepts linking technology, business, and strategy across all Business Areas while identifying and developing new lines of business and new business models that build upon and extend Lockheed Martin's competencies to enable continued, long-term company growth.


Before joining Lockheed Martin, Dr. Evans served as Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Working predominantly with the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) and the Virtual Space Office (VSO), Dr. Evans envisioned, sold, and successfully led revolutionary programs for the radio frequency systems (RF), space propulsion, nuclear power, and Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) areas. Prior to DARPA he served as Chief Technical Officer for west-coast micro-technology start-up Microfabrica; lead MEMS scientist for New Jersey based Fortune 500 medical device firm Becton Dickinson; and as a renewable energy consultant for the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).


Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. Evans earned a B.A. degree in Physics from Carleton College; an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley; and an M.B.A. from Duke University. Dr. Evans is a Member of Sigma Xi and the American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME), and is a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He serves as a member of the University of California Berkeley External Advisory Board for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His recognitions include the Office of Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service (2008), the DARPA Innovation Award (2007); the Charles Lofgren Carleton College Alumni Business Fellowship (2000); and the Becton Dickinson Impact (2000) and Special Achievement Recognition (1999) Awards. He is an inventor on nine issued United States patents.

Susumu Kaminaga

Susumu Kaminaga, born in 1946, graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1969 after he studied Mechanical Engineering. He joined Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd. (SPP), Japan immediately after he finished the study and was president since June 2004 until recent retirement in June 2012 for eight years. He is now Senior Adviser of the company as well as Executive Senior Adviser and Chairman of the Steering Committee at SPP Technologies Co., Ltd. He lived in Germany for six years in 1980s and in the U.K for four and a half years in 1990s. 


SPP has the diversified technology-oriented business to manufacture various products supplied to industries such as aerospace, heat controls for energy application, hydraulic controls, environmental protection and MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems). The aerospace business has almost 100 year history starting with manufacture of propellers followed by landing gears and heat exchangers. He has played a major role to establish long term relationship with Rolls-Royce plc. with SPP developed heat management system supplied for almost all Rolls-Royce jet engines. He also established business relationship with Airbus and others. He made a decision to establish its own manufacturing facility for landing gears in Canada in April, 2012 in addition to the home base in Japan to develop more business in North American region. Apart from aerospace business, he also played a major role to run Surface Technology Systems (STS) in Newport, Wales in UK, a subsidiary of SPP since the acquisition in 1995. Under his management until 1999, STS developed and commercialized state-of-the-art technology, Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) technology based on Robert Bosch patented switching process. The DRIE technology has enabled MEMS world to expand rapidly in the last decades. He was further involved as the main driver in forming SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS) in Newport  in 2009 to integrate STS and the newly acquired Aviza business, which is now SPTS Technologies with local management after MBO in 2011. Nowadays, this business contributes a lot to the exciting smart phone industries with the unique technologies. He is a member of JSME (The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers), JSAP (The Japan Society of Applied Physics), IEE (The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan) and IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). He is Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Thomas M. Loarie

Tom is a career life science executive with 42 years of growing multi-national medical technology companies and successfully commercializing over twenty innovative medical devices across eleven specialties. He serves as Chairman & CEO for Mercator MedSystems, Inc.(drug/device combination), LOF Technologies, Inc. (ehealth), Silicon BioDevices, Inc. (diagnostics), and as a board member for Clarity Medical Systems, Inc. (ophthalmology).


Tom gained hands-on and global operating experience in all business functions as a turnaround specialist for American Hospital Supply’s (AHSC) Medical Specialty and International Groups. Since 1984, he has led venture backed medical start-ups from concept to commercialization and has raised over $200 million in both the private and public markets. 


In addition to serving on External Advisory Board for the University of California’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, he also serves on the Life Science Advisory Board for Enterprise Ireland. He has served as assistant professor of surgery, Creighton University Medical School; as a Board Member of the California Healthcare Institute (CHI), and for the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed); as a Trustee of the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley); and as guest lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. He has lectured and written extensively on medical technology innovation and its implications for health care public policy, including articles in the Wall Street Journal, Royal Academy of Engineering World Technology Update, the Journal of Applied Manufacturing Systems, and the Journal of Refractive Surgery.


Tom received his B.S.M.E. from the University of Notre Dame, and participated in graduate business studies at the Universities of Minnesota and Chicago.

Kurt Petersen

Dr. Kurt Petersen received his BS degree cum laude in EE from UC Berkeley in 1970. In 1975, he received a PhD in EE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Petersen established a micromachining research group at IBM from 1975 to 1982, during which he wrote the review paper "Silicon as a Mechanical Material," published in the IEEE Proceedings (May 1982). This paper is still the most frequently referenced work in the field of micromachining and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).


Since 1982, Dr. Petersen has co-founded six successful companies in MEMS technology, Transensory Devices Inc. in 1982, NovaSensor in 1985 (now owned by GE), Cepheid in 1996 (now a public company on NASDAQ: CPHD), SiTime in 2004 (still private), Profusa in 2008 (still private), and Verreon in 2009 (acquired by Qualcomm). All of these companies have become technical and commercial leaders in the field of MEMS devices and applications.


In 2011, Dr. Petersen joined the Band of Angels in Silicon Valley. The Band is an angel investment group which mentors and invests in early stage, high-tech, start-up companies. Today, he spends most of his time helping and mentoring such companies.


Dr. Petersen has published over 100 papers, and has been granted over 35 patents in the field of MEMS. In 2001 he was awarded the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for his contributions to MEMS. Dr. Petersen is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of the IEEE in recognition of his contributions to "the commercialization of MEMS technology".


Dr. Petersen is now a Chief Engineer at Profusa.

Clare Rimnac

Clare Rimnac is the Wilbert J. Austin Professor of Engineering and the Associate Dean of Research of the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In her capacity as Associate Dean, she oversees an annual research portfolio of approximately $40M.  She is charged with promoting a culture of interdisciplinary activity and team research within the School through efforts that include strategic faculty recruitment, proposal development, as well as the development of policies and protocols to support such trans disciplinary efforts. Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, she served as chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Her primary faculty appointment is in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with secondary appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics where she teaches and advises engineering undergraduates and graduates as well as medical students and orthopaedic residents.  


Dr. Rimnac received her B.S. in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Carnegie-Mellon University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering from Lehigh University. Prior to her faculty appointment at CWRU, she was a Scientist in the Department of Biomechanics at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.  


Dr. Rimnac’s research is funded by the NIH, private foundations, and industry and is directed towards orthopaedic biomechanics, with a focus on implant performance and retrieval analysis, mechanical behavior and modeling of materials used in orthopaedic implants, and mechanical performance of bone tissue. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.  


Dr. Rimnac has held a number of leadership roles in her field, including President of the Orthopaedic Research Society and Deputy Editor for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.  She is currently a Senior Associate Editor for Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Along with her collaborators, Dr. Rimnac has been the recipient of the Ann Doner Vaughan Kappa Delta award, two Hip Society Awards, a Knee Society Award, and was recently honored in 2013 with the Women's Leadership Award of the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Sheri D. Sheppard

Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Consulting Senior Scholar principally responsible for the Preparations for the Professions Program (PPP) engineering study, the results of which are forthcoming in the report Educating Engineers: Theory, Practice and Imagination.


In addition, she is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, and served as Chair of Stanford’s Faculty Senate in 2006-2007. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design-related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on weld and solder-connect fatigue and impact failures, fracture mechanics, and applied finite element analysis.


Dr. Sheppard was recently named co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to form the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), along with faculty at the University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines, and Howard University.


She was co-principal investigator with Professor Larry Leifer on a multi-university NSF grant that was critically looking at engineering undergraduate curriculum (Synthesis), and from 1997-1999 served as co-director of Stanford's Learning Lab.


Before coming to Stanford University, she held several positions in the automotive industry, including senior research engineer at Ford Motor Company's Scientific Research Lab. Dr. Sheppard's graduate work was done at the University of Michigan.