Skip to main content

​1999 Alumni Achievement Awards

Malcolm Deisenroth, Jr.

Malcolm Deisenroth, Jr.
BS GeoE '44
Alumni Achievement Award

Malcolm Deisenroth, Jr. set forth in 1944 on a lifetime career of oil and natural gas exploration and extraction—a career so successful that it spawned ancillary ventures into insurance, banking, ranching, and, more important, into the building of an enviable record of community service.

At age 24, Deisenroth left a corporate paleontologist's security to form a partnership with John Crain—an alliance still active after half a century. Successful as consulting oil and gas geologists, they later became explorers and producers of oil and natural gas in their own right.

In 1963, Deisenroth was elected chairman of University National Life Insurance Company of Memphis. He also entered into another venture that year—raising purebred Brangus cattle. Within two years, he was named "Rancher of the Year" for his contributions to improving soil conservation, grasses, and the quality of beef cattle.

Deisenroth became chairman of the board of the Bank of Tulsa in 1983. During his tenure, the bank won industry recognition for its assistance to minorities and the indigent, and for community social development. A family business, Deisenroth Gas Products of Tulsa, founded in 1984 to produce petroleum products, still follows that mission today. But business success was only the "enabler" for Deisenroth's abiding interest in church and community. The governor of Oklahoma asked him in 1991 to help reorganize the state's business development agency, the Development Finance Authority. He stayed five years as a member and as chairman.

For over 40 years, Deisenroth has been a financial adviser to the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. In 1985, he was given the Diocesan Bishop's Award for Vision. As a trustee of St. Simeon's Episcopal Home in Tulsa, he co-chaired the fund drive, and then he helped plan, design, and build a nationally acclaimed Alzheimer's Disease unit. In 1993, the American Association of Homes for the Aging recognized Deisenroth as its National Trustee of the Year for outstanding service. He was founder of the Day Center for the Homeless in downtown Tulsa and won a community commendation for his work to rehabilitate law offenders.

Deisenroth and his wife, Patricia, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have four children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.


Nicolas M. Georgitsis

Nicolas M. Georgitsis
BSEE'58
Alumni Achievement Award

Nicolas M. "Nick" Georgitsis is a native of Greece. He came to the United States in the 1950s on a Fulbright Grant. It was with the assistance of the International Institute of Education that Georgitsis identified Washington University as his college choice. In 1958, he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a degree in industrial engineering science and management.

Following graduation in 1958, Georgitsis went to work for Wagner Electric in St. Louis as a field engineer and became director of international operations. He joined Bendix International in 1967 and served in various executive positions including president of Bendix do Brazil and president of Bendix European Operations. In 1978, Georgitsis was named vice president of American Can International, overseeing the company's Latin American and Far Eastern businesses. He joined American Standard, Inc.'s Automotive Products Group in 1979 serving as vice president for several different divisions. Later he was also given responsibility for Tyler Refrigeration operations, a subsidiary of American Standard and was elected to the board of directors of the company. During his tenure at American Standard, Inc., Georgitsis built the automotive group to a global business. He was responsible for the reorganization and restructuring of the rail equipment business in the United States and Europe and established new ventures in the United States, Brazil, China, Japan, and Europe.

Georgitsis serves as a consultant to corporations and investment banks. He holds directorships on the boards of Treadco, Inc. and Mosler, Inc. and is a member of the Operating Management Board-Latin American Fund for Trust Company of the West. He is a former member of the European Management Foundation and several other professional societies.

Nick Georgitsis and his wife participate in the Scholars in Engineering Program and also sponsor a scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences. They have three children, two of whom have received degrees from Washington University. The Georgitsis' make their home in both the United States and Greece.


Dennis L. Kessler

Dennis L. Kessler
BSIE'60, MSEA'64
Alumni Achievement Award

Dennis "Denny" Kessler received undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering. In 1964, he accepted a position with Fel-Pro Incorporated, where he worked until 1998 retiring as co-president and member of the board of directors. During his 34 years, Kessler held the positions of vice president of engineering, vice president of manufacturing, vice president of the original equipment sales, vice president of international relations, as well as president of the Ventures Group.

Kessler was part of the Fel-Pro management team that developed a company culture and work/life program that gained international recognition. In 1997, Fortune magazine ranked Fel-Pro fourth in its list of best companies for which to work. Fel-Pro is listed as one of the 10 best companies in The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. In 1997, Working Mother magazine chose Fel-Pro for the 12th straight year as one of the 100 best employers for women. Fel-Pro has also been chosen as the "Employer of the Year" in Illinois. In 1994, Fel-Pro received special recognition from the Business Enterprise Trust, founded by Norman Lear, for its programs that enhance the quality of life for employees.

In 1998, Kessler formed Kessler Management Consulting and serves as its president. He continues to serve as a director of several corporations as well as a member of the advisory board of the MMM Program of the Kellogg Graduate School of Northwestern University and the College of Commerce of DePaul University.

Kessler has volunteered in many community activities. He has served as president of the North Suburban Housing Center, member of the board of the North Shore Interfaith Housing Council, vice president of Congregation Solel, chairman of the Illinois Jewish Genetic Disorders Committee, and for nine years as president of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Kessler serves on the board of directors of Lake County Partners and as chairman of the Workforce Development Committee of Lake County Illinois.

Dennis and his wife, Barbara, live in Highland Park, Illinois, and have three sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.


Cecil Lue-Hing

Cecil Lue-Hing
DScEnvE & SanE '66
Alumni Achievement Award

Cecil Lue-Hing is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. He did undergraduate and graduate work in civil and sanitary engineering at Marquette University and Case Western Reserve. Lue-Hing received his Doctor of Science in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering from Washington University in 1966.

Also in 1966, Lue-Hing went to work for Ryckman, Edgerley, Tomlinson & Associates in St. Louis, where he advanced to vice president. During his tenure, he pioneered innovative pollution-control technologies for the synthetic rubber, non-ferrous metals, textile, and pesticide industries.

In 1971, Lue-Hing entered government service with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as director of research and development, and he has since made significant contributions to municipal wastewater treatment technology in microstraining and disinfection of sewage, design nitrification criteria for large systems, nitrification/denitrification of high strength ammonia wastewaters, inactivation of wastewater pathogens, optimization of polymer dosing for residuals dewatering, and characterization/quantification of volatile organic compound emissions from wastewater treatment systems.

Lue-Hing is internationally recognized as a specialist in the treatment, utilization, and disposal of wastewater residuals. He has co-authored or edited six books, published over 100 technical articles, and is the co-holder of two patents on cyanide analytical methodology.

His professional activities include serving as president, Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies; board member, American Academy of Environment Engineering and the Water Environment Research Foundation; and chairman of the board Environmental Engineering Division, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He received the 1996 Emerson Medal from the Water Environment Federation, the 1992 Freese Award and Lecturer Prize, and the 1996 National Government Civil Engineering of the Year Award from ASCE. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in Technology Today, and Who's Who Among Black Americans.

Cecil's wife, bertha, holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Washington U. and is a retired superintendent of schools. They reside in suburban Chicago and have five children.


Harold W. Wiese

Harold W. Wiese
BSEE '30
Alumni Achievement Award

Harold Wiese received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington U. in 1930. He then went to work for Westinghouse Electric and later Midvale Mining and Manufacturing Company. While at Midvale, he received his license as a professional engineer.

In 1944, Wiese left Midvale to start his own business. He traveled to Cleveland to sign a sales representative agreement with Parsons Engineering. After that task was completed, he had four hours to spare before catching a train back to St. Louis. He did not realize it at the time, but what he did with those four hours decided his future career. During those spare hours, Wiese took a cab to the Towmotor Corporation, a fork-lift manufacturer, and that contact resulted in a sales agreement two months later. This sales agreement is in effect today with Caterpillar, which since purchased Towmotor.

Using a loaned desk, chair, and one light bulb, Wiese was in business. Things were tough; equipment could be sold only to customers tied to the war effort. So he took orders for rubber hoses, foundry supplies, "men-at-work" signs—anything to survive. By the end of World War II, his company Wiese Planning & Engineering, Inc., was specializing in material handling systems through palletizing.

Wiese claims a "first" in palletizing beer. In 1946, at Griesedieck Western Brewery in Belleville, Illinois, he reduced handling of bottled-beer cases from production line to destination from five manual handling operations to one. This led to Wiese engineering similar applications at the other St. Louis breweries—Griesedieck Brothers, Falstaff, and Anheuser-Busch.

In 1998, Wiese Planning & Engineering, Inc.'s sales exceeded $100 million. Employees numbered 517 with 20 branch locations in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and Indiana.

Wiese has given considerably of his time and talents. He was vice president and director of the original board of MHEDA (Material Handling Distributors Association). He is a former president and director emeritus of general Protestant Children's Home and is an elder at Samuel United Church of Christ. In 1988, at age 79, he was the U.S. Tennis Association's Grass Doubles winner and in 1995 was inducted into the University's Sports Hall of Fame. Wiese and his wife, Edith, reside in Ladue, Missouri. They have one son, Harold E. Wiese, who is president of the company.


Joan M. Huser

Joan M. Huser
BSCS'84, BSEE'84
Young Alumni Achievement Award

Joan Huser graduated in 1984 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Following graduation, Huser accepted a position with AT&T Bell Laboratories. Upon earning a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, Huser returned to Bell Labs in New Jersey and spent five years focused on the design and development of AT&T's Digital Signal Processing (DSP) products. Her contributions included product definition, DSP architecture and logic design, board-level development system design, application software development, project management, and technical support.

Anxious to get closer to the customer, Huser expanded her technical expertise into international marketing applications, where her contributions included product and application presentations in Europe and Southeast Asia. Because of her technical and applications knowledge and a year of Japanese language study, she subsequently was awarded a 2 ½-year assignment for AT&T Microelectronics in Tokyo, developing strategies for penetrating communication and multimedia accounts. While overseas, Huser learned more about Japanese language and culture and traveled extensively throughout Asia.

In 1993, Huser returned to Silicon Valley and continued her career with AT&T in technical and sales management positions, selling and supporting semiconductor products to strategic communication and computing accounts throughout North America. While a technical sales manager, Joan received AT&T's top sales recognition and AT&T's Leaders Council Award for reorganizing the technical sales force from a regional-focused organization to an applications-focused organization. When AT&T split into three independent companies, Huser went with the Lucent Technologies arm, where she was again recognized with a similar Lucent Technologies Leaders Council Award for her contributions as a sales manager.

Outside of her career, Huser and her husband, Saul Altabet, keep very active raising their three young boys, which include twins. They make their home in Saratoga, California.


Gregory A. Sullivan

Gregory A. Sullivan
BSSSM '81
Co-Recipient Dean's Award

Greg Sullivan is founder and CEO of G.A. Sullivan, a custom software development services company with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Kansas City, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Atlanta. The company's recent accomplishments include ranking on Inc. magazine's list of 500 fastest-growing private companies in America (two consecutive years), recognition as one of the top 10 fastest-growing high-tech companies in St. Louis by the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association (three consecutive years), ranking among the fastest growing technology companies nationally according to the Deloitte & Touche Technology FAST 500 (two consecutive years), and named the Microsoft MidAmerica District Partner of theYear (two consecutive years).

As a principal contributor to the G.A. Sullivan authoring team, Sullivan is recognized internationally as a leading co-author of several best-selling computer books by Macmillan Computer Publishing's Que and Sams labels, including the recent release Building Enterprise Solutions with Visual Studio 6. Named to Microsoft Corporation's Solution Provider Partner Advisory Council (PAC), he works closely with Microsoft executives to provide guidance on key issues that ultimately shape Microsoft's channel-based strategy for delivering customer solutions and services.

Greg is an active member of the St. Louis community. As vice chairman of science and technology for the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, he is leading an effort to advance the region's technology-based economy through the establishment of Technology Gateway, the St. Louis Regional Science & Technology Alliance. Sullivan also serves on the Junior Achievement board of directors.

Sullivan continues to be an involved leader and participant in Project ASK, the program that he and Tom Bugnitz co-founded to help engineering students gather practical career information. He has also served as president of the School's Alumni Advisory Council and is a current member of its National Council as well as a participant in the Scholars in Engineering Program. In 1995, he received the School's Young Alumni Achievement Award.


Thomas L. Bugnitz

Thomas L. Bugnitz
BSAMCS '74, MBA '74
Co-Recipient Dean's Award

Tom Bugnitz has given unselfishly of his time and expertise to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is a devoted volunteer to the School as well as to Washington University and has spent many hours on activities such as alumni leadership, fund raising, student advising and recruiting, and special event planning. Along with co-recipient, Greg Sullivan, he founded Project ASK, an acronym for Alumni Sharing Knowledge, and is a leader/mentor in the LeaderShape Institute for engineering students. These programs provide leadership training and practical career information not traditionally addressed in the classroom to current students and gives them the opportunity to interact with alumni in their field of study. In addition, Bugnitz is a participant in the Scholars in Engineering Program; is a past president of the Alumni Advisory Council, which he has served on since 1975; serves on the Alumni Board of Governors; and teaches computer science to undergraduate students.

Personally, Tom is an instrument-rated private pilot and an avid outdoorsman. In the company of his closest friends, he has hiked across the Grand Canyon, floated the Colorado River, summated Half Dome in California and numerous 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, run three marathons, jumped from airplanes, and in one eight-day period drove and flew non-stop with a friend until they had been in all 50 states.

Professionally, Bugnitz is president of the Beta Group, a St. Louis-based consulting company specializing in the strategic application of information technology for the Fortune 500, and is the co-chair of the Information Technology Network of the RCGA Technology Gateway initiative. His clients have included IBM, AT&T, EDS, Maritz, Inc., GartnerGroup, Amtrak, the U.S. Geological Survey, Chrysler Financial Corporation, as well as a number of Canadian and European companies. He lectures extensively on the subject of strategic information management and the use of information systems as a competitive business tool. He is the co-author of two books on the IBM PC.