Stanford, Stevens Institute Pick Engineering Deans; Obituary-AE firm Founder Jim Kleinfelder, 82
Jean Zu, a noted mechanical engineering researcher and, since 2009, head of the ME department at the University of Toronto, on May 1 will become dean of the School of Engineering & Science at Hoboken, N.J.-based Stevens Institute of Technology. She is a former president of the Engineering Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering. Zu will lead 170 faculty in one of three schools at Stevens, whose founding in 1870 included creation of the country’s first mechanical engineering degree program, says the institute.
HAKS, a New York City-based engineer, has elevated Alberto Villaman to president. Formerly executive vice president and head of its construction inspection group, he joined the firm in 2000. It now has 700 employees.
Leanna Anderson has joined Michael Baker International as executive vice president and chief communications officer. She previously held marketing and communications management roles at ServiceLink and Siemens Water Technologies. Also, Elese “Lisa” Roger is named EVP and chief information officer. Previously, she served in technology and cyber-security vice president positions at SC3 and Leidos.
Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., has named noted data and information technology management researcher Jennifer Widom as dean of its engineering school. She succeeds Persis Drell, who became university provost in February. Widom, formerly computer science department chair and associate engineering dean, now oversees a program with about 5,300 students and 240 faculty. During her sabbatical this year, Widom taught short-form courses on big data in 15 countries, including Peru, Tanzania and Bangladesh, says Stanford.
John Pfisterer has joined M&J Engineering as a senior vice president. Most recently, he was a deputy director at Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels, New York City.
Sofia Berger, a senior vice president at engineer Louis Berger, now is managing its U.S. transportation program, the firm says. She was managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Succeeding her in that role is Miguel Zaldo. The firm also named Adele Elia as chief integrity officer, managing its global compliance and ethics function. She succeeds Tom Nicastro, who is stepping down from the role but will remain as a senior adviser. Elia had been chief ethics and compliance officer at US Investigations Services, a federal government security consulting firm.
James H. “Jim” Kleinfelder, 82, who invested his $1,500 life savings in 1961 to start a construction-materials engineering and testing firm that became the design-firm giant still bearing his name, died on March 5 in Carefree, Ariz., of natural causes, the firm says.
The firm, which ranks at No. 48 on ENR’s latest list of the Top 500 Design Firms, reported $319 million in 2015 revenue, mostly in environmental and transportation work. It also has nearly 2,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Kleinfelder, who retired as CEO in 1993, is a former president of the Geoprofessional Business Association.
Brad Kleinfelder, who worked for the firm for 25 years and now is CEO of Plateau Sotware Inc., says his father emphasized that, “If you focus on employees first and customers second, business success and profitability will take care of themselves.” The elder Kleinfelder, named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, created in 2010 the James H. Kleinfelder Fellowship in Geotechnical Engineering for a graduate student in the civil engineering master’s program at the university.