Alumni Honored at 2019 Awards Dinner

Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s School of Engineering honored seven alumni for achievement in their respective fields at a dinner and cocktail event on Thursday, October 10, at the Palace in Somerset. This year's honorees were recognized for their professional contributions as leaders and innovators in fields that include aviation, space systems, medical devices, and satellite communications: Linda Braun, Carlos Caicedo-Carvajal, Robert Cenker, Frank DeMauro, Thomas Everett, Terry Hart, and Michael Inglese. See event photo gallery>>

The event, attended by alumni; faculty, staff, and students; and industry partners, included remarks by Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Chris Molloy who congratulated the honorees and remarked, “The School of Engineering plays an important role in our national prominence as a building block of our strategic plan and is a growth area in academics and transformed campuses.”

Rutgers Engineers alumnus Thomas A. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon, served as dinner chair, with Raytheon contributing lead funding as the presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors included BlackRock, AECOM, PSEG, Aircastle, Goldman Sachs, Lockheed Martin, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Phillips 66, and many more. The event raised more than $200,000 through sponsorships and ticket sales.

Medal of Excellence Award

Michael J. Inglese (BS'83, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, MBA'88)
Chief Executive Officer
Aircastle Limited
Michael Inglese is an accomplished senior executive with more than 30 years of achievement within the commercial leasing and industrial and consumer business industries, providing senior financial leadership for both start-ups and established firms. He has a proven business record for growing value, restructuring operations, increasing margins, and improving investor relations. As chief executive officer of Aircastle Limited, a major passenger aircraft leasing company where he initially served as the company’s chief financial officer, Inglese has successfully established a business framework through enhanced financial management, significantly increasing the company’s total assets and creating long term shareholder value. Prior to joining Aircastle, Inglese held CFO positions at Panamsat Holdings and DIRECTV Japan, where he helped launch the satellite service in Japan. Inglese is a Chartered Financial Analyst who, in addition to his engineering degree, also earned an MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Business Management. He is a member of the Association for Investment Management and Research, the New York Society of Securities Analysts, and Financial Executives International.

Rutgers Engineering Society Distinguished Engineer Award

Thomas D. Everett (BS'84, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Executive Director
Federal Highway Administration

As executive director of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Thomas Everett manages the daily operations of the agency and its personnel and advises the administrator, deputy administrator, and senior officials throughout the U.S. Department of Transportation on the agency's programs and priorities. He joined FHWA in 1985, and has held several positions including the associate administrator of FHWA's Office of Infrastructure. In this capacity he provided leadership, policy direction, and oversight to guide the administration and implementation of the Federal-aid Highway Program. Everett led key program areas dealing with design, construction, and preservation of pavements, bridges, and tunnels, as well as asset management, transportation performance management, emergency relief, consultant services, and construction contract administration. He is a registered professional engineer and holds a master's degree in civil engineering from Johns Hopkins University in addition to his degree from Rutgers School of Engineering.

Distinguished Achievement in Industry 

Frank DeMauro II (BS'88, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
Sector Vice President and General Manager, Space Systems Division
Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
Frank DeMauro is an experienced aerospace professional whose achievements include designing, building, launching, and operating high reliability space products. He has had a long and distinguished career with Northrop Grumman, a leading global aerospace and security company, and currently serves as vice president and general manager for the Innovation Systems Sector’s space systems division. He is responsible for the execution, business development, and financial performance of the company's human spaceflight, science, commercial communications, and national security satellite activities, as well as technical services to government customers. These include some of Northrop Grumman's most important programs such as NASA's Commercial Resupply Services initiatives as well as various national security-related programs. DeMauro is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal, the National Space Society Space Pioneer Award, and the Pete Rustan Civil Space "Courage to Innovate" Award. As a member of the Cygnus spacecraft team, he received the AIAA Space Systems Award and the RNASA Stellar Award for the COTS Development Program.

Distinguished Achievement in Research

Linda M. Braun, Ph.D. (BS'84, MS'87, PhD'90, Department of Ceramic Science and Engineering--now Materials Science and Engineering)
Vice President, Photonic Solutions
CACI International Inc.
As vice president of photonic solutions at CACI International, Linda Braun oversees the efforts of more than 80 scientists and engineers working on optical systems for communications, imaging, and sensing solutions. Braun has led the growth of the photonics solutions team since 1999 when the company was Lucent Technologies, creating some of the most advanced free-space optical (FSO) laser communication and remote optical sensing solutions available today. Braun’s photonics solutions teams are making possible significantly higher bandwidth satellite communications for lunar and Mars expeditions and have been selected to create laser communication solutions for high-profile recent NASA missions. Braun holds two patents and was the recipient of an Achievement Award from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), a non-profit, nonpartisan professional organization for public and private sector members of the U.S. intelligence community.

Distinguished Young Alumnus

Carlos E. Caicedo-Carvajal, Ph.D. (PhD'09, Department of Biomedical Engineering)
Director of R&D and Product Development
Orthobond Corporation
Carlos Caicedo-Carvajal is a biomedical engineer with industry experience in anti-infective medical device and three-dimensional in vitro systems development. Through his career progression at Orthobond Corporation, a biotechnology company developing antimicrobial nanosurfaces for the medical device industry where he is now director of research and development and product development, Caicedo-Carvajal has contributed to research related to laboratory conditions and the flow of granular material on bumpy surfaces, the effects of the extracellular matrix on cellular compaction and segregation, and microenvironment conditions to support in vitro cancer phenotype. He is currently working on the development of nano-scale antimicrobial surfaces for next-generation medical device products. Caicedo-Carvajal earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Rutgers before pursuing a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. He has remained actively involved with Rutgers since graduating by mentoring undergraduate students, supporting summer internship opportunities, and participating as a guest lecturer.

Dean's Award for Service

Robert J. Cenker (MS'77, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Aerospace Systems Consultant
NASA Payload Specialist, 1986 STS 61-C Columbia
As a payload specialist representing RCA Astro-Electronics on the 1986 STS 61-C space shuttle Columbia, Robert Cenker revolutionized cable TV by deploying an RCA Satcom satellite. During his six-day, 2.5-million-mile mission, Cenker also performed a number of physiological tests and experimented with an infrared imaging camera. As the final mission before the Challenger disaster, it was dubbed “the end of innocence” for the space shuttle program. After completing his mission, he returned to work on spacecraft and commercial communications satellite projects at RCA Astro-Electronics, and its successor GE Astro Space. For nearly 30 years, he has served as an independent aerospace systems consultant on projects involving everything from spacecraft design to systems architecture studies for smallsats, military communications satellites and assembled in-orbit platforms. An associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a life member of the Association of Space Explorers, Cenker regularly represents NASA and the Shuttle program at public appearances both in the U.S. and abroad. 
Terry J. Hart (MS'78, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Professor, Lehigh University
NASA Mission Specialist, 1984 STS-41-C Challenger
Lehigh University professor Terry Hart is a former NASA astronaut, pilot, and telecommunications executive. As a member of NASA’s 1978 "Group 8", Hart logged 168 hours as a mission specialist aboard the STS-41-C Challenger in April 1984. He made history by using a robotic arm to retrieve the disabled Solar Maximum Satellite for repairs. A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and Air Force Reserve pilot, he served as director of engineering and operations for AT&T’s satellite network after spending six years with NASA. Since retiring as president of satellite communications services provider LORAL Skynet in 2004, he has taught aerospace engineering at Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Hart holds two patents and has been inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame and the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni. His recognitions and awards include the National Defense Medal; the NASA Space Flight Medal; the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal; the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal; and the Pride of Pennsylvania Medal.