Engineering Alumni News

Larry P. Allgaier (ChE’81) was named Group President of Kimberly-Clark North America. In his new role, Allgaier will lead Kimberly-Clark’s $8 billion North American consumer business, with trusted brands such as Huggies, Cottonelle, and Depend. See more at:


Jeff Arnold (CE’78) has been recognized as 2017 Outstanding Engineer of the Year by the Memphis Chapter of Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Arnold, President/CEO of Fisher Arnold (, holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, in 1978. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in multiple states. For over 30 years he has provided leadership, vision and guidance while also serving as project advisor on numerous projects within the various disciplines of the firm. He is also a member of the CBU Engineering Advisory Board.


Tim Verner (left, also a CBU alum) received the award on Jeff Arnold’s behalf at the Engineers Week Banquet on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Torrus Brooks (EE ‘98), has been recognized for his service to the North Memphis community. To learn more about his contributions, visit:

Roch Byrne (EE ’86), named as new Deputy to the Commander at Pine Bluff Arsenal. Learn more about his new role here:

Alumna Carol Jones is profiled on the Memphis Riverfront website:

Matt Odom (CE’96) was recognized as the 2017 ASCE Featured Engineer. He was presented the award by Memphis Joint Engineers Council (MJEC) at the 2017 Engineers Week Luncheon on February 22, 2017. The luncheon was hosted by the Engineers Club of Memphis.

17098118_1245981392118263_4027108974282264083_oMatt obtained his BSCE from CBU in 1996. He began working at Intertek-PSI in 1994 as a geotechnical laboratory technician and obtained his PE in 2001. Matt continued to work his way up through the Intertek-PSI ranks serving as staff and senior engineer, department manager of the Memphis Construction Materials Testing Department in 2007, District Manager in 2010, and now serves as Vice President of Memphis and Little Rock operations. Matt is active in the ASCE West TN Branch and is currently the Past President. Away from the office Matt is married and has three children, which keep him busy! He enjoys hunting and coaching youth baseball and basketball. In the picture Matt worked on the PSI-sponsored barbecue dinner at the 2014 ASCE Deep South Conference hosted by CBU.


Fall 2016 Dean’s Message

Dear Engineering Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends:

The Year 2016 is about to end. It is time to reflect on our accomplishments:PongMalasri3

• The ABET Final Statement from the visit last November shows no deficiency in our Chemical, Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering Programs.
• Our engineering enrollment continues to increase with about 520 engineering students this fall semester.
• Our faculty/staff published a total of 26 publications in 2016.
• We have added one additional faculty member, a lab technician, and two staff members.
• Our FE passing rate has been increasing and more students have become ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician.
• The Healthcare Packaging Consortium has attracted three new member companies, including International Paper.
• Our graduate engineering program has grown into the largest graduate program on campus.
• The biggest news this fall was the naming of School of Engineering after Mr. Richard Gadomski, a new milestone for us.
• And more…

We had a great 2016. I look forward to even a greater 2017.

Happy Holidays!



Gadomski School of Engineering

bell gala - gadomski

CBU recognized alumnus, former trustee, longtime benefactor, and current capital campaign chair Dick Gadomski at the 2016 Bell Tower Gala, announcing that the School of Engineering is now renamed the Gadomski School of Engineering. Gadomski is pictured above (second from left) with his wife Flo Gadomski, son-in-law Jay Healy, daughter Regina Healy, and President Smarrelli.


bharathCongratulations to Bharath Kumar Bahudhoddi for becoming an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician. Bharath is pursuing M.S. in Engineering Management degree at CBU. He earned his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (India). Before coming to CBU, he was a mechanical engineer at Meltech Constructions in Khammam, India.

Congratulations to Abhishek Chava for passing CPLP Technician Exam and becomingchava an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician. Abhishek earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Jawaharlal Technological University, India, in 2011. He is pursuing M.S. in Engineering Management at CBU. Before coming to CBU, he worked as Graduate Technical Engineer for GKC Projects Limited for a canal project in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Congratulations to Yugesh Kumar Devabakthni for passing the CPLP Technician Exam and becoming an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab yugeshTechnician. Yugesh earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from JNTU University, Hyderabad, India. He is pursuing M.S. in Engineering Management at CBU. Prior to joining CBU, he worked as a site engineer and surveyor for Glass Wall Solutions. He won 2nd Place from Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board on his presentation on Global Warming.


Congratulations to Kaila Muhammad (ChE Junior) for achieving Chemical Process kailamSafety in the Chemical Process Industries Certification from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  Topics covered in this certification include concept of corporate safety programs, laboratory safety inspections of personal protective equipment, process area safety featured and procedures, DIERS methods for characterizing runaway reactions, equipment and methods to characterize flammable dusts and vapors, informal and formal safety reviews.  This certification is accepted for four Professional Development Hours by Boards of Professional Engineers in several states.  In December 2015, Kaila did an externship with Medtronic.  She participated in the ENVISION leadership program during her freshman year and has been a tutor with CBU Math Center since 2015.  Kaila currently serves as Secretary for AIChE Student Chapter and Vice President for the NSBE Student Chapter.

thotaCongratulations to Vinithraj Thota for becoming an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician. Vinithraj earned his B.S. in Pharmacy from Kakatiya University (India) and Diploma in Advanced International Business from Newton College of Business and Technology (New Zealand). He is pursuing M.S. in Engineering Management at CBU. His past work positions include Assistant Merchandiser for Bunning’s Warehouse (New Zealand), Pharmacy Assistant for Dominion Road Pharmacy (New Zealand), and Cleaning Supervisor for Green Acres Pvt. Ltd. (New Zealand). He was awarded for Best Poster Presentation at the 63rd Indian Pharmaceutical Congress.

Congratulations to Jeremiah Wooten for being recognized for his participation during September of Service! Wooten won first place for student participation in service events. The events he served in included: Shelby Farms, Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, Elmwood Cemetery, Mckellar Lake, Overton Park, and SOS @ CBU. 

Alumni News

dbc74f25e587d68309b0490692a44413Monica Cole (Mechanical Engineering ’90) has been named Head of North Region for Middle Market Banking at Wells Fargo. Cole has led the Southern Division of Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking since 2014, managing more than 100 team members at regional offices in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Texas, and Oklahoma. In her new role, Cole, who is relocating to Chicago, oversees more than 350 team members in six states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. She will report to John Adams, head of Middle Market Banking, which serves mostly privately held, family owned businesses with annual sales of $20 million or greater.To view the article, visit Businesswire.  

Andrew Rike, P.E. (Civil Engineering ’95), Vice President of Harbor Environmental and Safety’s Engineering Division, is now a partner at Harbor and has been appointed as Secretary on Harbor’s Board of Directors. Rike has lead Harbor’s Engineering Team since 2011 and prior to joining Harbor, he owned his own civil design and consulting company, Rike Consulting. He holds his Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University, and his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. To view the article, visit Seattle PI.


Faculty News

Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (CE) has passed his P.E. exam and is now a registered professional engineer in the State of Tennessee.

Dr. Ray Brown  (ME) received the Brother Lawrence Egbert Award for Distinguished Service at the 2016 Bell Tower Gala. Dr. Brown has been active in the CBU community ever since he began as a student in the early ’60s. During his collegiate career, he was nominated sophomore class president and later president of the Student Government. After graduating, he rejoined CBU as an assistant professor in 1967 and gained tenure in 1974.

Pictured (l-r) Mitch Graves, Dr. Emily Holmes, President John Smarrelli Jr., Gabriela Salinas, David Berges, and Dr. Ray Brown.

Pictured (l-r) Mitch Graves, Dr. Emily Holmes, President John Smarrelli Jr., Gabriela Salinas, David Berges, and Dr. Ray Brown.

Dr. Brown was also the chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department for several years and served as Dean of Engineering from 1992 to 1999. Dr. Brown received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers in 1997 and the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award from CBU in 1999.

Dr. Brown has now been teaching at Christian Brothers University for 49 years. His research and consulting work are invaluable and have paved the way towards more extensive investigations and testing. In essence, Dr. Brown is an excellent teacher and a great mentor. Beloved and respected by his students, his dedication and impact can be seen in their own statements:

Dr. Divya Choudhary (ECE) was recognized by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the 2016 Top 40 Under 40! She is Director of CBU Graduate Engineering and STEM Center for Women and Diversity, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Dr. L. Yu Lin (CE) will be working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and City of Arlington on a $103,000 project to develop flood risk management and to provide planning/ mitigation for future flood events in the City of Arlington.

Dr. Ali Pourhashemi (CHE) has accepted an invitation from the National Science Foundation to serve on Chemical Engineering Panel of the 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Each panelist will conduct a thorough, holistic evaluation of each fellowship application using NSF Merit Review Criteria.

 2016 Engineering Faculty/Staff Publications

  1. A. Assadollahi, “Minimization of Cost and CO2 Emissions for Drilled Shafts under Axial Loading Using a Big-Bang Crunch Algorithm,” Proceedings of the Geo-Chicago 2016 Conference, 683 – 692, ASCE, Chicago, IL, August 14 – 18, 2016.
  2. A. Assadollahi, J. Crocker, B. Harris, “Effects of Shredded Tires on Bean Growth When Used as a Fill Material in Local Memphis Area Loess,” Proceedings of the Geo-Chicago 2016 Conference, 112 – 119, ASCE, Chicago, IL, August 14 – 18, 2016.
  3. A. Assadollahi, B. Harris, and J. Crocker, “Effects of Shredded Rubber Tires as a Fill Material on the Engineering Properties of Local Memphis Loess,”  Proceedings of the Geo-Chicago 2016 Conference, 738 – 745, ASCE, Chicago, IL, August 14 – 18, 2016.
  4. A. Assadollahi, R. E. McGinnis, and C. Moore, “Improving Freshman Student Success through Undergraduate Research Projects,” Proceedings of the First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference, Columbus, OH, July 31 – August 2, 2016.
  5. A. Assadollahi, C. Moore, and R. E. McGinnis, “Pedagogical Updates of the Civil Engineering Freshman Course Sequence,” Proceedings of the First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference, Columbus, OH, July 31 – August 2, 2016.
  6. X. Basogain, M. A. Olabe, J. C. Olabe, R. Ramírez, M. Del Rosario and J. Garcia, “PC-01: Introduction to Computational Thinking. Educational Technology in Primary and Secondary Education.” 2016 International Symposium on Computers in Education (SIIE), Salamanca, Spain, 2016, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.1109/ SIIE.2016. 7751816. Electronic ISBN: 978-1-5090-4596-9. Print on Demand (PoD) ISBN: 978-1-5090-4597-6
  7. X. Basogain, M.A. Olabe, J.C. Olabe. “Computational Thinking Using Educational Technology: Hybrid Learning in Schools.” XIX Congreso Internacional EDUTEC 2016. EDUcación y TECnología. Propuestas desde la investigación y la innovación educativa. Editorial Octaedro, pp. 441 – 443.  Noviembre 9-11, Alicante, Spain. ISBN/ISSN: 978-84-9921-846-5.
  8. X. Basogain, M.A. Olabe, J.C. Olabe. “PC-01: Introduction to Computational Thinking. Educational Technology in Primary and Secondary Education.” XVIII Simposio Internacional de Informática Educativa – SIIE-2016, pp. 191-195. September 13-16, Salamanca, Spain. ISBN: 978-84-9012-630-1.
  9. H. Campbell and A. Ray, “PEN, A Novel & Versatile Material Used for Packaging and Other Application,” PACKCON Online Magazine, April 19, 2016.
  10. D. Choudhary, “Synchrosqueezing Transform for High Resolution Time-Frequency Analysis of Shock and Vibration Measurements,” International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology, 4(1), 177-184, February 26, 2016.
  11. B. Hall, R. Gaines, L. Y. Lin, K. Waller, W. Simmerman, D. Chasteen, R. Health, I. Floyd, M. Winkler, H. Park, and D. Biedenham, Merriwether-Cherokee Potamology Study, Final Report, Engineer Research and Development Center, Mississippi Valley Division, US Army Corps of Engineers, June 2016.
  12. T. Henderson and A. Ray, “Expandable Plastics,” PACKCON Online Magazine, May 24, 2016.
  13. M. S. June and S. Kaul, “Thermo-Fluid Curriculum for Engineering Technology: Learning Outcomes and Industry Needs,” Proceedings of the 2016 IAJC-ISAM International Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 6-8, 2016.
  14. J. D. Kribs, P. V. Shah, A. R. Hutchins, W. A. Reach, R. D. Muncey, M. S. June, A. Saveliev, and K. M. Lyons, “The Stabilization of Partially-Premixed Jet Flames in the Presence of High Potential Electric Fields,” Journal of Electrostatics, 84, 1-9, August 11, 2016.
  15. L. Yu Lin and C. Y Chew, “Development of Green Engineering and Sustainability Curriculum for the School of Engineering at Christian Brothers University,” Proceedings of the 2016 ASEE Southeast Section Conference, ASEE, Tuscaloosa, AL, March 13-15, 2016.
  16. S. Malasri, P. Rayapati, and D. Kondeti, “Predicting Corrugated Box Compression Strength Using an Artificial Neural Network,” International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology, 4(1), 169-176, January 29, 2016.
  17. S. Malasri, “Cold Chain Packaging R&D Projects @ CBU,” Proceedings of the 2016 HPC Spring Meeting, Memphis, TN, April 22, 2016. (Abstract)
  18. S. Malasri, “ISTA: Lab, people and packaged product certifications workshop,” Journal of Food Processing & Technology, 7(7) Supplement, June 2016. (Abstract)
  19. S. Malasri, “International Regulations & Considerations,” Proceedings of the PACKCON 2016 Conference, 34-34, July 19, 2016. (Extended Abstract)
  20. S. Malasri, “Packaging Research Projects @ CBU,” Proceedings of the 2016 HPC Fall Meeting, Memphis, TN, October 28, 2016.  (Abstract)
  21. B. Nikaido and J. Ventura, “Code Puzzles – Robot Chronicle,” Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE SoutheastCon, Norfolk, VA, March 30 – April 3, 2016.
  22. J.C. Olabe (Keynote speaker), Xabier Basogain, M.A. Olabe. “Developing new educational frontiers through breakthroughs in cognitive computation and new dimensions in pedagogical technology.” 5nd International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanity -ICSSH 2016. 11-12 de Abril de 2016, Osaka, Japan.
  23. J.C. Olabe, Xabier Basogain, M.A. Olabe. “Developing new educational frontiers through breakthroughs in cognitive computation and new dimensions in pedagogical technology.” International Journal of Social Science and Humanity IJSSH, vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 813-820, 2016. (ISSN: 2010-3646). DOI:10.18178/ijssh. 2016.V6.755
  24. J.C. Olabe, Basogain, X. and Olabe, M.A. “Solving Complex Problems with a Computational Mind: An Alternative to Heuristic Search.” International Journal of Learning and Teaching. Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 12-19, June 2016. DOI: 10.18178/ijlt.2.1.12-19.
  25. S. Russell, C. Hare, D. Guerrero, M. Johnson, J. Vazquez, T. Dickinson, S. Malasri, R. Moats, and A. Pourhashemi, “Insulation Effectiveness of Coconut Fiber,” Proceedings of the PACKCON 2016 Conference, 29-33, January 30, 2016. (Extended Abstract)
  26. E. B. Welch, “A Decade of Experiences with the Compleat Engineer: A course designed to address the ethics and contemporary knowledge criteria in the ABET a-k,” Proceedings of the SSCET/Jackson State Engineering Forum, Jackson, Mississippi, August 26, 2016. (Abstract)


S-PAC 2016

The CBU Student section of IEEE hosted a Student Professional Awareness Conference (S-PAC) on Friday, November 18th at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception’s Marian Hall. S-PAC is designed to help students in STEM majors meet and network with professionals who are in STEM related fields. This year Michael Belk and Dr. Ben Amaba were invited to hold presentations on “Continuing Education”, and “Innovation and Change” respectively. There was also a panel discussion for each presentation and plenty of networking opportunities.


Grapes for Geeks 2016

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter at Christian Brothers University teamed up with the University of Memphis’ chapter for the 7th Annual Grapes for Geeks Fundraiser. The wine tasting was hosted at CBU on Friday, November 4th. There was live entertainment and 10 wines from 5 different countries served. There was also a selection of “Big Beers” from around the world and an array of hors d’oeuvres. Sponsors of the event included: PSI, Raney Engineering, Smith Seckman Reid,  and the Barge Waggoner Sumner Cannon Engineering and Architectural Firm. All proceeds from this event benefited the CBU and U of M Student Chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Tau Beta Pi Inductions


Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society initiated six students into its membership on November 19th. In order to be invited to the Association, candidates must be in the top eighth of the Junior engineering class or the top fifth of the Senior engineering class. In keeping with the association’s motto, “Integrity and Excellence in Engineering,” the candidates were then judged to be of good character and initiated into the Association. The new members are (from the left) Connor Meeks (Electrical Engineering ’18), Mihael Maldonado (ME ’18), Jael Urbano (ME’18), Kate Bollinger (ECE/CS ’18), Nick Vongprachanh (ME ’18), and Daniel Rodman (ME ’17).