The 2013 Medal of Excellence Honorees

Charles E. Croom ENG’73

Vice President of Cyber Security Solutions
Lockheed Martin
Charles "Charlie" Croom joined Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services in 2008 as vice president of cyber security solutions where he is responsible for shaping cyber security following a more than 30-year career of distinguished service and technology experience with the U.S. Air Force. A graduate of Rutgers University’s ROTC program, Croom entered the Air Force in 1973. His career spanned four commands that included: major command, numbered air force, Air Staff, defense agency, Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and unified command levels. Croom retired in 2008 as a U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the commander of the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations.

Remo Colarusso, Jr. ENG’83 RBSG’88

Head, Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing Sciences
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

A distinguished member of the pharmaceutical industry, Remo Colarusso is currently head of pharmaceutical sciences and manufacturing services at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson.  He is responsible for driving the development and clinical supply of new pharmaceutical and supporting lifecycle of approved commercial products in the marketplace. He joined the Johnson & Johnson team in 1988 and has held various leadership positions including: engineering director for Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., executive director of engineering and process excellence for J&J Centocor, Inc., and vice president of worldwide manufacturing for J&J Global Biologics Supply Chain, among others. Colarusso earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biochemical engineering and an MBA from Rutgers.

Gregory Russotti, PhD GSNB’97

Vice President of Technical Operations
Celgene Cellular Theraputics
Gregory Russotti is an internationally recognized leader in cell therapy bioprocess development, including vaccine process development and cell therapy processing and manufacturing.  His influence extends to regulatory agencies such as the FDA, helping to shape the regulatory landscape of cell therapy processing. Following a 15-year career at Merck, where he was involved in cell culture development, downstream purification, pilot plant operations, and manufacturing facility startup, Russotti joined Celgene in 2006 holding various leadership positions, including cell process development director and his current role as vice president of technical operations. Russotti has served as a visiting assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Rutgers University and has been a member of the Rutgers Biomedical Engineering Industry Advisory Board since 2003.  

Megan Smith ENG’06

Structural Payloads Engineer
The Boeing Company

Zachary Daroff ENG’11

Structural and Payloads Engineer
The Boeing Company

Boeing engineers Megan Smith and Zachary Daroff are recognized for their efforts in establishing Rutgers University as a Boeing Portfolio School.  Their year-long voluntary efforts were crucial in securing this important and prestigious partnership which includes recruitment opportunities for all Rutgers students and visibility at research events.  Daroff earned his degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Smith earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Rutgers.

Fred Bernath, PhD ENG'66, GSNB'67, GSNB'73

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Rutgers University School of Engineering
Fred Bernath has had a long and respected association with Rutgers and the School of Engineering, beginning as an undergraduate in 1963. He received both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in chemical engineering from the School of Engineering, followed by a doctoral degree in chemical and biochemical engineering. In 1972, he was named assistant professor in the Chemical and Biochemical Department.  He is currently associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Engineer, a position he has held since 1986.  He also participates in Engineering Orientation Lectures, is a guest speaker at high schools and recruiting events, and an advisor on engineering co-op assignments. Since 1980, he has served as the chief faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

Kenneth R. Johnson ENG’66

Vice President and General Manager (Ret.)
Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Ken Johnson is honored for his significant contributions to the satellite industry for one of the world's leading centers of space craft design and fabrication. Now retired after a 35-year career with the Astro-Space division (RCA - GE - Lockheed Martin), he built and delivered more than 150 satellites--including virtually all of the meteorological satellites used in monitoring the global climate.  He was also responsible for directing new ways of building power systems and communications payloads, leading to better products at a lower cost.  Johnson is a tireless advocate of Rutgers and committed for many years to strengthening the alumni community. Among his volunteer service, he is an officer of the Rutgers University Alumni Association, a past president of the Rutgers Engineering Society, and chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Advisory Board.