April 17, 2008

On April 17, 2008, Dean Zaki Bassiouni welcomed guests to the College of Engineering (CoE) Hall of Distinction awards program at the LSU Faculty Club. Richard “Dick” Juneau and Otto Loewer were inducted as the newest members to the Engineering Hall of Distinction. Juneau is the retired president, owner, and founder of International Manufacturers Representatives, Inc. (IMR). Loewer is the former dean of engineering and current director of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas. Recipients of student, faculty and staff awards were also honored at the event.

Juneau received his BS in mechanical engineering from LSU in 1960. Upon graduation, he began his career with Crown-Zellerbach Corporation in St. Francisville, Louisiana as a project engineer and quickly worked his way toward success. By 1970, he was Area Maintenance Superintendent and responsible for the maintenance at the St. Francisville Paper Company. By 1978, Juneau had co-founded and became CEO of IMR, an industrial sales, service, and warehousing business in Baton Rouge. He has been active in the community, including serving as the Louisiana delegate in Washington D.C. for the Congressional Small Business Summits in 1998, 2000 and 2002, and he was awarded Small Business Champion for Louisiana in 2004. Juneau is an active supporter of LSU as a member of the LSU CoE Dean’s Advisory Council and the Chairman of the ME Department’s Campaign Steering Committee, as well as being a member of the LSU Foundation, 1860 Society, LSU Alumni Association, LSU Gridiron Club, and Tiger Athletic Foundation.

Loewer earned his BS and MS in agricultural engineering from LSU in 1968 and 1970, respectively, and earned his PhD from Purdue University in 1973, as well as an MS in agricultural economics from Michigan State University in 1980. His major field of study was computer simulation and analysis of agricultural, biological and economic systems – an emerging field that would revolutionize agricultural engineering. He was among the first to develop computer software for direct use by farmers. Loewer became the head of the Agricultural Engineering Department of the University of Arkansas in 1985. It was there that he helped lead a national campaign where agricultural engineering would embrace biological engineering. In 1992, he became chair of the Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Florida until he left that position to return to Arkansas as Dean of Engineering. He led the College to record levels of private giving and research funding. Loewer has been honored professionally several times before, as Arkansas Engineer of the Year in 1997 and Communicator of the Year in Northwest Arkansas in 2004.

Other awards presented at the ceremony included the Donald Clayton Excellence Awards: undergraduate recipients were Gabriel Broussard, Paige Brown, Jeffrey Kornuta, and Melissa Wason; the graduate recipients were Andrew Campos, Charisma Edwards, Wakeel Idewu, Kiley Pulliam, and David Widenski. Fund for Innovation in Engineering Research recipients were recognized, including: Marwa Hassan, Marcio DeQueiroz, Dorel Moldovan, Mostafe Elsefi, Michael Benton, Martin Hjortso, Michael Barbato, Ayman Okeil, Hsiao-Chun Wu, James Henry, Karsten Thompson, Todd Monroe, and Jin-Woo Choi. Brenda Tate received this year’s Edward J. Steimel Staff Excellence Award.

During the banquet, Harry J. Longwell announced two initiatives in honor of Dean Zaki Bassiouni. Fellow PETE alumnus Bill Stone has made a gift commitment to establish the Zaki Bassiouni Excellence in Instruction Award in the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering. Also, members of the Dean’s Advisory Council, under the leadership of Greg Guidry, and additional “Friends of Zaki” have made a commitment to establish the Zaki Bassiouni Distinguished Professorship in Critical Thinking. Additional gifts are still being sought for the Bassiouni Professorship. For more information, contact Cathy Dodge at cdodge@lsu.edu.

The College of Engineering created the Hall of Distinction in 1979 to recognize people who have contributed to the engineering profession. Seven charter members were inducted the first year, and generally two more are elected each year. Inductees exhibit distinguished professorial achievement, dedicated service to engineering, and outstanding humanitarian activities, as well as a strong connection to LSU.

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