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Industry & alumni

2009 Honorees

Distinguished Achievement in Industry - Charles V. “Tom” Gibbs
’54 BS, ’66 MS Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tom Gibbs Using his skills in engineering, management and team-building, Tom Gibbs created innovative and lasting environmental legacies. His work for a sustainable environment nationally and in two major cities was of historic importance to the clean water movement. He led construction of Metro's acclaimed clean-up of Lake Washington and Puget Sound, earning commendation from the White House in 1971. Mr. Gibbs was program manager for Milwaukee's ambitious and very successful Water Pollution Abatement Program. While in Milwaukee, he sparked the transformation of the downtown riverfront from a polluted eyesore to a dynamic urban destination. He oversaw the integration of four declining transit systems in the Seattle area into the award-winning Metro Transit program. In 1969, Mr. Gibbs created the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, which is still a highly respected contributor to national environmental issues. He played a significant role in the development of the original Clean Water Act in 1972. He earned national awards from ASCE and American Public Works Association (APWA) for the development of innovative approaches to environmental challenges while at Metro. Mr. Gibbs continued his career at CH2M Hill as executive vice president and director of water practice with responsibility for all of the firm's domestic water engineering projects.

As a community service advocate, during his career and following retirement in 1997, Mr. Gibbs' leadership has touched many organizations, including the Seattle-King County Economic Development Council, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and the Board of Coastal Environmental Systems. He served on the initial board of the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District and was instrumental in the design and construction of a complex engineering challenge – SAFECO Field. He has been recognized as the Engineer of the Year by both the Washington Society of Professional Engineers and the Consulting Engineers Council of Washington.

Distinguished Achievement in Academia - Ray Clough
’42 BS Civil & Environmental Engineering

Ray Clough Last fall Dr. Ray Clough was recognized as a “Legend of Earthquake Engineering” at the World Conference of Earthquake Engineering in China. Dr. Clough is indeed an engineering marvel, renowned for his pioneering work in the field of earthquake engineering, and credited with the development and application of a mathematical method, finite element analysis, that has revolutionized numerical modeling of the physical world. Dr. Clough extended the method to enable dynamic analysis of complex structures and co-authored the definitive text on structural dynamics. Three decades later, this text is still in wide use. He also transformed the field through the development of fundamental theories, computational techniques, and experimental methods. Dr. Clough’s accomplishments are not, however, limited to engineering research. During his almost 40 years at Berkeley he taught, advised, and mentored numerous students, providing them the education, inspiration, and opportunities needed to make their own significant contributions.

Dr. Clough is professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is credited with developing the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Berkeley, a hub for analytical engineering research, information resources, and public service programs. Dr. Clough’s many honors include the Prince Philip Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Royal Norwegian Scientists Society, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. In 1994, President Clinton presented Clough with a National Medal of Science and in 2006 he received the Franklin Medal in Civil Engineering.

Entrepreneurial Excellence - Wayne Quinton
’58 BS Mechanical Engineering

Wayne Quinton Wayne Quinton has always looked for the difficult and challenging things to do. A true entrepreneur, he has said “a magnificent failure is better than mediocre success.” Thankfully for all of us, Mr. Quinton’s achievements were magnificent successes, resulting in inventions that have saved many lives, improved the quality of life for millions of people worldwide and contributed substantially to the local economy. Mr. Quinton’s inventions include the lightweight cardiac treadmill, the oxygenator for the first open-heart surgery in the Pacific Northwest, and the cannula system that enabled long-term kidney dialysis. Mr. Quinton is recognized as the world's first bioengineer and is widely credited with coining the term “bioengineer.”

Mr. Quinton earned his ME degree while working as the head of the Medical Instruments Department at the University of Washington. His engineering studies inspired many discussions with UW physicians seeking to solve clinical problems. Here he pioneered and built 44 medical devices, including gastrointestinal biopsy devices, shunts, oxygenators, and catheters and devices for gastrointestinal biopsy. He founded Quinton Instrument Company in 1961. The company grew under his leadership to become one of the most respected and recognized cardiac brands for both cardiac stress testing and rehabilitation management systems and employing over 700 people. Quinton treadmills are widely acknowledged as the “gold standard” for performance and reliability. Mr. Quinton eventually retired and sold the company. Early in his career, Life magazine listed him as one of the 25 top young scientists in the nation. The University of Washington honored this pioneer and visionary innovator with the title “Father of Biomedical Engineering” in 2005.

Distinguished Service - Max Gellert

Max Gellert Max Gellert merged his skills as an electrical engineer with his passion for music, and for sharing his time and talents in a life of service. Educated as an engineer at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Gellert started his career as a design engineer with Glenn L. Martin Co., an early U.S. aircraft company. He moved to The Boeing Company as a lead engineer, eventually leaving to join the ELDEC Corporation. At ELDEC he rose through the ranks, becoming CEO in 1971. ELDEC (sold in 1994 to Crane Corporation) designs and manufactures electronic and electromechanical products for the aerospace industry. ELDEC's product can be found on virtually every commercial airplane flying today and were used in NASA's Apollo and Saturn programs. In the early 80s, Mr. Gellert served on the Economic Development Council of Puget Sound task force to study engineering education, beginning a quarter century of service to advance engineering education in Washington State and nationally. As CEO of ELDEC he received an urgent request from an industry trade group, American Electronics Association, to help strengthen engineering departments at American universities. Almost immediately, Mr. Gellert and his company become involved with the UW College of Engineering, providing resources and helping guide curriculum decisions that affect the success of graduates in the workplace. He also served MIT as a member of its Corporation Development Committee.

It is no surprise that Mr. Gellert’s community involvement has not ended with engineering education. Organizations such as the Seattle Opera, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the Seattle Symphony all benefit from his passion for music and involvement in their programs. His dedication to the community has extended to the United Way of Snohomish County, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and UW Bothell as an advisory board member. Mr. Gellert’s unfailing dedication to service has improved our community, the lives of its citizens and the fiber of its culture.

Early Career - Matt Shobe
’96 MS Technical Communication

Matt ShobeMatt Shobe reports that he is "stuck in a rut." Since completing his master’s degree at the University of Washington, his early career accomplishments have all occurred with the same serially entrepreneurial startup team based in Chicago. A co-founder in three startups including their latest, FeedBurner, Mr. Shobe is currently Senior User Experience Designer at Google (Google acquired FeedBurner in 2007). FeedBurner provides tools for everyone from individual bloggers to major media outlets to measure their audience, distribute, and earn money from their content published online.

Starting in usability testing at Microsoft in 1993 and continuing through multiple web startups to Google, his mission has been to focus his teams on design challenges that help web application users make the most of what they create online either personally or professionally. That UW and Purdue, his undergraduate alma mater, clashed in the 2001 Rose Bowl while he was obligated to stand up in a wedding that very New Year's Day doesn't bother him a bit. Not. One. Bit.

Questions about the Diamond Awards? Contact Nancy Anderson at (206) 685-2422.