Fall 2021 Academic Associates

Armando Licon

Armando Licon is a Product Development Engineer for Hunter Douglas Window Blinds. Previously he worked in the automotive industry as a test engineer for Volkswagen Automotive Group. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from ASU, and was captain of the SAE Aero team. In his free time Armando likes swimming, backpacking, and smoking meat.

Barbara Shirley

Barbara is a retired computer professional with over 4 decades experience that spans technical, project management, research, business development, and teaching in National Laboratories, Silicon Valley, Federal Government, universities and the military.  She received her BA in Physics and PhD in Psychometrics from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended California College of Arts and Crafts for 2 years pursing her second passion for art and design.

 She began her career programming the first computers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Her last technical/management position was Director of Information Resource Management for the Department of Energy’s program tasked with siting a repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste from power reactors.  She was responsible for computer and telecommunications technology, as well as the design and development of a large interactive system to support the licensing of the repository.

Teaching and mentoring threaded their way through her career.  Barbara was an Adjunct Professor in the Master of Information Systems program at George Washington University and a Professor at the National Defense University teaching high-ranking military officers.  She mentored Burmese refugees in Thailand seeking educational support through a small foundation, and served as a docent and mentor at 2 art and architecture museums.

 

 

Ben Lewis

Ben is a self taught engineer with a background in industrial design and a masters in design research and interdisciplinary collaboration. He co-owns and operates a niche automotive aftermarket startup, is a local installation artist with his life and business partner, teaches business development through physical prototyping courses, and specializes in locally sourcing small production runs for new products, lowering the barriers to the size of the community a product needs to serve. Ben continues to be dedicated to dismantling the systems in both his psyche and his community that systemically disadvantage and harm. Ben is actively pursuing opportunities to electrify our existing vehicle fleet and would be eager to discuss opportunities to combine efforts.

 

Carmen Alderton

Carmen Alderton is a Project Engineer at Graycor Construction in Phoenix, AZ, Academic Associate, and EPICS Alumnus. She has experience in project management including fast track scheduling

, budgeting, estimating, material procurement, risk management, and subcontractor coordination.  Carmen specializes in the logistics and distribution construction sector, and is currently building a 1.2 million square-foot manufacturing facility in Glendale, AZ. During her time at ASU, she served as President of Advancing Women in Construction (AWIC) and Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society. Carmen graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations in Construction Management and Business from ASU in 2019. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, wine tasting, and cooking.

 

Danny Kneer

PhD., CPA, CFE blah blah blah (licenses inactive; but he’s NOT!)

As an undergraduate, Danny “borrowed the code” the College of Businesses’ computer simulation game. Amazingly, his team had the highest score in university history! Upon revealing his computer crime (not his first, that was at age 14), the class professor said…wait for it…” WOW, COMPUTER CRIME, THAT COULD BE A CAREER”. And thus, it happened. (Danny also owned every seat to Economics 51, but that’s another story.)

After a consulting career, in San Francisco (and hanging around Berkeley at night), he earned a Ph.D., with a heavy dose of advanced auditing, hard-core computer science and stat. Danny spent 17 years on the faculty of…ASU! (Yea!) HE taught in the College of Business (COB) and founded the Computer Audit Club of Phoenix. He’s most proud of being the Teacher of the Year of the entire COB, and views teaching as an honor and a privilege. Being sorta out-of-the-box (for the 1980’s) he didn’t give finals (even to undergrads): he had them “use Phoenix As a lab (sound familiar?), get a client, and re-design their computer system/computer security. So, he knows how to assist students start…and complete “projects”. He believes in collaborative education: you’ll become the teacher.

After 17 years, he “missed the action” and founded a global advisory company, serving six continents. Danny is a “builder” and designed/develop/lead teacher for internal “Academies/Universities” for several of the Fortune Top 100. He has worked with several major federal agencies (some that don’t even exist (yikes!)and state agencies. Always wanting to advance the profession, he was the Director of Research, for the International Association of Computer Auditors, and developed and ran a Financial Services “Advanced Analytics and Fraud Prevention School” in Milan, Italy. Danny’s interests include 1) Computer Crime/Security, 2) Advanced Analytics, 3) Statistical Sampling and…4) his first love is…engineering!

 

Doug Toy

Doug Toy has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (University of Arizona), Certified Public Manager (Arizona State University), and Master in Business Administration (University of Phoenix) and is a registered professional civil engineer in California and Arizona.

Doug has over 45-years in both the public and private sector.  He has experience in planning, design, permitting, and operations in water resource management, water infrastructure, ground water wells, wastewater systems and reclaimed water facilities.  Doug has developed water policy at both the state and local levels.  He has presented papers on canal operations, dam safety, reclaimed water recharge, and water resource management.  Doug is currently employed by the Town of Queen Creek.

 

Janet Spirer

Janet Spirer, Ph.D. has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses to undergraduate and graduate students. She also co-founded Sales Momentum, LLC in 2000, a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing for Fortune 1000 companies worldwide. Sales Momentum clients cross industries and include: UPS, Boston Scientific, Smith & Nephew, Textron, and The Center for Creative Leadership.

Janet received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She currently holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.

 

 

John Velotta, PE

John Velotta is a retired electrical engineer, utility manager, and United States Navy Captain. He is currently a life long learner. His career started as an officer in the United States Navy nuclear submarine service and spanned over four decades of electric utility and military leadership and management. Areas of expertise include nuclear power plant e n g i n e e r i n g , i n f o r m a t i o n technology, communications, o p e r a t i o n s , m a i n t e n a n c e , training, start-up, and project management. He is a strong believer in training, career development, mentorship, innovation + entrepreneurship within large organizations, and the need to establish a strong Code to Live By early in one’s career. These beliefs evolved from his counseling of young military enlisted and officer personnel. His beliefs were further refined from extensive experience in innovation, training and development of nuclear power plant personnel and organizational succession planning. John served as a Maintenance Manager and Training Director at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. He was the project manager for three nuclear power plant simulators and three modern gas turbine and combined cycle power plants. His assignments included the start-up of Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear power plants for Florida Power and Light Company. Navy Engineering Duty Officer assignments involved ship repair, upgrade and overhaul. John Velotta holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. He has served on a number of nuclear power industry groups and standards committees and has authored technical and training papers for the commercial power industry

 

 

Joyce Weiner

Joyce Weiner is a Principal AI Engineer with Intel Corporation.  She has over 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, having worked in fabrication, assembly and test, and design.  Her area of technical expertise is data science and using data to drive efficiency.  Joyce is a black belt in Lean Six Sigma. Her book, “Why AI/Data Science Projects Fail: How to Avoid Project Pitfalls” was published in January 2021.  She has a BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona.  

Judy Amanor-Boadu, PhD.

Judy Amanor-Boadu, PhD. is an electrical engineer with 10+ years experiences in the semiconductor, PC, and battery charging industries. She currently holds the position of senior analog engineer at Intel Corporation where she focuses on power delivery modeling and characterization of Intel data center products. She also provides implementation guidelines, performs feasibilities studies, design verification, and sign offs of current and future generations of Xeon processors and accelerators. 

She is strong believer in the power of mentorship and the overall career development of people. During her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University, she served as the mentor for the first all-female autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) team to participate in the AUVSI Robosub competition, where she helped team members develop their practical engineering, project management, and budgeting skills. She also served as an advisor for the SAE Supermileage and Vex-U teams and cofounded several student organizations, serving as a career resource for both undergraduates and graduate students during her time at Texas A&M University.

She served as the FY16 National Graduate Society of Women Engineers (SWE) webinar coordinator and Texas A&M University SWE mentorship coordinator from 2014 to 2016. During her tenure, she developed programs for both undergraduate and graduate students concerning career paths and job interviews. She also co-organized the first IEEE African workshop on Circuits and Systems in Ghana in 2017, and sits on the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology 2020 conference committee. Dr. Amanor-Boadu regularly serves as a reviewer for MDPI journals. She is currently piloting a robotics and entrepreneurship program for middles schoolers in Accra, Ghana.

Her current and past research activities include the development of lithium ion battery charging algorithms, energy harvesting, specifically solar energy harvesting systems, and wireless charging.

Judy Amanor-Boadu holds Bachelor and Masters of Science, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering.

 

Paul Balch, PE

Paul Balch, PE, is a Project Manager at Dibble.  He is a registered professional civil engineer with over 22 years of experience in designing freeways, grade separated interchanges, and city street improvement projects. He has worked on over 200 transportation infrastructure projects, totaling 500 miles of roadway improvements.  For the past six years, Paul has served as an Academic Associate at ASU in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program and as a Faculty Associate at ASU for Highway Geometric Design courses. 

Rubayat Mahmud

Dr. Rubayat Mahmud is a Regional Sales Director with HCL Technology. Rubayat has a 16+ years of professional experience. He is a motivational and approachable sales and business development leader with extensive track record of success in Hi-tech, Semiconductor and Emerging Technology areas. He is a business savvy person with a strong technical background who has the vision of relationships and partnerships required to scale in the Hi-tech, Semiconductor and Emerging Technology verticals. Rubayat has deep understanding of the overall technology value chain and has experiences in interacting with customers and partners across the Engineering and R&D value chain. Rubayat is a respected business strategist and change maker with sound judgment who creates and grows new revenue streams by combining deep technical knowledge and exceptional communications and relationship skills to meet the needs of internal and external customers.

 Rubayat has extensive experience in multiple leadership roles in the Hi-Tech and Semiconductor verticals. Before joining HCL, he was serving as Director of Strategic Services at a Management Consulting Firm called MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA). At MSSBTA, Rubayat was responsible for driving strategic growth in the Hi-Tech vertical. Before MSS, Rubayat worked as Director of Sales and Business Development at QuEST Global Services. At QuEST, Rubayat drove Sales and Business Development with marquee accounts like Intel, Dell, Infineon etc. Before QuEST Rubayat spent 11 years with Intel in multiple leadership roles. He started his journey at Intel as a Senior Process Engineer, Litho, PTD in Portland, OR. In subsequent years, he worked in CQN, ATTD, Technology Integration and IOTG groups in various technical and business-related roles.

 Rubayat has an MBA from W P Carey School of Business at ASU. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M and a MSc. In Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University.

 

Shaun Wooten

Shaun Wootten is the Director of Innovation and Design for Aesthetics Biomedical, Inc here in the Phoenix Valley and also serves as a Venture Scout with Sweater Ventures. Shaun also is a NAE Grand Challenge Scholar Alum from ASU majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry with a minor in Business. Shaun has been published in numerous scientific publications and has been awarded 2 issued patents. Shaun specializes in startups, particularly biotech and medtech, and has an emphasis on product development and product overall. This will be Shaun’s first semester serving as an AA for EPICS.

Teja Sathi

Teja Sathi is a Mechanical Engineer with 3 years of industry experience in aerospace cables and medical device industries with most of that time spent in new product development. She is currently an Engineer at W. L. Gore and Associates and has experience with product design, manufacturing support, simulated clinical evaluations, and process improvements. 

Teja graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Computer Science and Spanish. She was manufacturing subteam lead for Hyperloop at Virginia Tech and helped advance the team to the pod competition at SpaceX in 2019. Teja has an academic interest in acoustics and supported Rolls Royce acoustic, nonintrusive thrust measurement research at the Virginia Tech Advanced Power and Propulsion Lab. 

 Teja is passionate about mentoring and is currently a mentor at New Pathways for Youth here in the Valley. In her free time, you can find Teja caring for her houseplants, outdoors adventuring, and crewing for hot air balloon flights. 


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Tom Zender

Tom Zender is a Phoenix-based CEO Mentor, Business Coach, and Leadership Developer – working with the CEO’s and their staffs of large, medium and small businesses. He held leadership roles at General Electric, Honeywell, small-midsize companies, nonprofits, and startups. Tom has served on NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange listed corporate boards. He is the author of six books about business leadership, and writes a column about leadership as a guest columnist for the Phoenix Business Journal. Tom mentors faculty and students with startup businesses and global community projects at Arizona State University, and at the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation. He conducts workshops on leadership in a variety of venues.