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UMD’s Swenson College Academy of Science & Engineering Inducts Three New Members

UMD SCSE Academy inductees 2015
(From left) SCSE Dean Joshua Hamilton, Dr. Mengtao He, Dr. John C. Green, Mr. Phillip Powers, and Chancellor Lendley Black.

UMD’s Swenson College of Science & Engineering (SCSE) inducted three new members to its Academy of Science and Engineering. Dr. John C. Green, Dr. Mengtao He, and Mr. Phillip Powers were introduced at the 14th Annual Academy Banquet on September 11, 2015. The academy is made up of distinguished alumni and friends of SCSE who have been honored for their dedication, leadership, and outstanding contributions to their field.

“This is one of our favorite annual events at UMD,” said SCSE Dean Joshua Hamilton. “It’s great to see returning academy members and other supporters; it’s inspiring to bring them together with the faculty of the college who are so important for the success of our students. This is also a wonderful opportunity to honor the hard work and commitment of our alumni and supporters.”

The academy was launched in 2002 by James P. Riehl, Dean Emeritus of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering, to honor UMD-affiliated scientists and engineers of distinction. SCSE has approximately 15,000 alumni and each year a handful of people are nominated for the designation by the faculty of the college. A total of 63 members have been honored with academy membership since it was established.

John C. Green is an emeritus professor known for his collaborative work from UMD’s Earth and Environmental Sciences department. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University. He joined the UMD faculty in 1958 and specialized in studying the rocks of the Midcontinent Rift which run through Minnesota. Green has enjoyed many honors and was awarded the Goldich Medal by the Institute on Lake Superior geology for contributing to understanding of the Lake Superior area’s geology. “A famous British scientist once said 'The best geologist is the one who has seen the most geology," and thanks to my time at UMD, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot,” said Green.

Mengtao He came to UMD as an international exchange student from China. Mengtao He received a M.S. degree in Chemistry from UMD in 1989 and his Ph.D. from the U of M Twin Cities in 1993. Mengtao He is currently a senior research fellow at the Dial Corporation/Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. and focuses on corporate sustainability interests in North America. Over the years, he has received many corporate diversity and sustainability awards. “My commitment to helping other people is something I took from my time at UMD into my career,” said Mengtao He.

Phillip Powers is the founder of Lake Superior Consulting which provides engineering, design, and integrity management consulting services to the oil and gas industry. He graduated from UMD’s Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering program in 1990 and has worked in the pipeline industry for many years. His experience covers all facets of pipeline integrity, and he’s managed everything from small jobs to three billion dollar projects. Powers said, “I’m quite honored to be associated with such an esteemed group of people.”

Swenson College is home to ten academic departments, in addition to the Large Lakes Observatory, the UMD Air Force ROTC program, and the Iron Range Engineering program, and connects students with hands-on research opportunities through its collaboration with multiple research institutions and area businesses. To learn more about SCSE visit:

UMD integrates liberal education, research, creative activity, and public engagement and prepares students to thrive as lifelong learners and globally engaged citizens.

UMD offers 153 undergraduate majors and minors and more than 23 graduate degree programs. Find UMD online:



September 2015

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Cheryl Reitan,

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