ASEE Today

Speakers to address engineering, business, and the global economy

By Vicky Hendley,
Section Editor/Writer

Conference speakers Richard Priory and Ralph Snyderman have very different careers, yet both men have firsthand knowledge of the relevance of the 1999 ASEE Annual Conference theme of "Engineering: Education to Serve the World."

Priory is chief executive officer and chair of Duke Energy Corporation. Snyderman is chancellor of health affairs, dean of the school of medicine, and CEO of Duke University Health System. Priory, an engineer, and Snyderman, a physician, both used their science-based education as the foundation for exciting careers that have brought them to the top of their respective fields; and both lead organizations that are very much a part of the global economy.

Richard PrioryRichard Priory

Priory received a B.S. in civil engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology and an M.S. in engineering from Princeton. He was an assistant professor of structural engineering at University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a design and project engineer at Union Carbide before starting consulting work with Duke Power (now Duke Energy), a global company that develops, owns, and operates facilities that provide engineering, management, and environmental services, in 1974. He joined the company full-time as a design engineer in 1976, and quickly rose through the company's ranks. He was appointed vice president, power operations in 1991, and CEO in 1994.

Priory maintains close ties with the business, engineering, and academic communities, and is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993.

Ralph SnydermanRalph Snyderman

Since 1989, Ralph Snyderman has served as chancellor of health affairs, dean of the school of medicine, and CEO of the Duke University Health System, a fully integrated academic health system. Snyderman began his career in 1972 as an assistant professor of medicine and immunology at Duke, and quickly moved through the system to become chief of the division of rheumatology and immunology in 1975. During a two-year hiatus from Duke, Snyderman served as the vice-president for medical research and development for Genentech, Inc., a biomedical technology firm. In addition to his guidance in the development of the Duke Health System, Snyderman is also well-known for his contributions to inflammation research and is often consulted by Congress, the National Institutes of Health, and national public policy makers to contribute to the ongoing health care debate.

He is a member of the governing council of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Main Plenary
Priory and Snyderman, the main plenary speakers at the 1999 ASEE's Annual Conference and Exposition in Charlotte, will address conference attendees Monday, June 21, at 8:30 a.m. Their presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
For up-to-the-minute conference information, see the 1999 Annual Conference and Exposition home page at .

In Memoriam

Thomas J. Higgins

    Thomas J. Higgins, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died last fall. He was 87. Higgins was an ASEE Fellow and a Life Member who joined the society in 1940. He received ASEE's George Westinghouse Award-presented to the outstanding engineering teacher under 45-in 1954. During his career, he supervised 55 Ph.D. students and more than 140 M.S. theses.

    Higgins received a University of Wisconsin award for "excellence in teaching future engineers," and numerous other  educational and professional awards. He taught at Purdue University, Tulane University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, among others, and was a member of 33 professional and honorary societies.Higgins received a bachelor's in electrical engineering and a master's in mathematics from Cornell University, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Jasper Gerardi

    Jasper Gerardi, a member of ASEE since 1929 and a former associate dean of the University of Detroit's College of Engineering, died last fall at the age of 91. He served on many ASEE committees, and received a Distinguished Service Award from ASEE's Graphics Division in 1962.

    Gerardi, who received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Detroit and a master's in structural engineering from the University of Michigan, taught at Detroit from 1929 until his retirement in 1972. A veteran of three cooperative education assignments during his own education, Gerardi was the driving force behind the development of Detroit's engineering co-op program. A registered professional engineer, he was active outside of academe throughout his career, from ordnance drawing for the U.S. Army during World War II, to surveying, to consulting work on helicopter blade stresses and early computers.

    Gerardi was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Standards Association, the Standards Engineering Society (Fellow), and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

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