Skip to main content

​2003 Alumni Achievement Awards

Dale H. Besterfield

Dale H. Besterfield
EN'53
Alumni Achievement Award

After graduating from Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering in 1953, Dale H. Besterfield spent two years in the Army as a combat engineer. His first professional job was with Union-Camp Paper Corporation in Trenton, New Jersey, as an industrial engineer, quality engineer, and first-line supervisor.

In 1962 Besterfield was employed by the College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale. The next 29 years were spent earning a PhD, teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and publishing articles and books. A recognized authority in quality control, he has authored over 22 publications, including a best-selling textbook, Quality Control, 6th Ed., 2000, which has been legally translated into Spanish and illegally into Chinese, Pakistani, and others. In addition, Besterfield has authored Total Quality Management, 3rd Ed., 2003 with his three children and coauthored Technical Sketching, 3rd Ed., 1997. While at the university, he earned numerous teaching awards and was listed in six Who's Who rosters. He developed and directed the graduate program in manufacturing systems, which has a strong quality focus. Besterfield has chaired more than 20 university program accreditation evaluations and still performs that activity.

Besterfield, who is a registered professional engineer in California and Missouri, operated his own consulting firm, which specialized in continuous quality improvement. Fortune 500 companies, universities, and small companies have used his services. He organized and participated in a six-day seminar on quality assurance at Damascus, Syria, for the Arab world in 1994.

Since retiring from SIU-Carbondale, Besterfield has concentrated on his consulting activities, revising the three textbooks, and volunteering. He organized and participated in construction activities at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Sunshine Ministries, Open Door Art Studio, and Camp Barnabas, Springfield, Missouri. He has participated in mission trips to Haiti (twice), Guatemala (twice), Belgium, Russia, England, and Honduras.


Richard E. Pinckert

Richard E. Pinckert
EN'62
Alumni Achievement Award

Richard E. Pinckert received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Washington University in 1962, and a Master of Science in 1964 and PhD in civil engineering in 1966 from the University of Illinois. He served as an Army officer for two years and joined McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1968 as a strength engineer.

After performing stress analysis on the DC-10 wing structure, Pinckert transferred to the F-15 program to incorporate fracture mechanics technology in the initial design of the F-15. He became a nationally recognized expert in fracture mechanics and supervised workers on the F-4 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program, which doubled the life of the F-4. In 1984 he became branch chief of structures technology for the F-15 program, a project that culminated in the initial design of the F-15E. He was promoted to department head of structural research in 1987.

In 1993, Pinckert created the environmental assurance division. He implemented strategic planning to anticipate environmental regulations in order to incorporate cost-effective, environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes in a timely manner. His team developed an advanced performance coating for the C-17 that lasts approximately three times as long as the existing topcoat, saving the Air Force millions of dollars. Pinckert is frequently invited to speak at national and international conferences on environmental technology. He currently is Boeing's director of design integration and environmental assurance.

Pinckert received the prestigious James B. Eads Award from the St. Louis Academy of Science in 2002 for innovation in engineering. He has been a deacon, elder, church council president, Sunday school teacher, and church choir member. He has served on two school boards. Pinckert is married to Nell, an active volunteer in her church and community. They have three grown children; Robin and Catherine, in New York City, and David, in Cincinnati.


John L. Stein

John L. Stein
EN'67, SI'69
Alumni Achievement Award

A native of St. Louis, Jack Stein received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering in 1967 and a Master of Science degree in environmental and sanitary engineering in 1969. Upon receipt of his degrees, Stein joined the United States Public Health Service as a commissioned officer. In 1973 he was awarded a Master of Science degree in engineering management by the University of Missouri–Rolla.

In 1970 Stein began a 32-year career with Anheuser-Busch, becoming the company's first environmental engineer. He was initially responsible for industrial waste treatment, and took on assignments of increasing responsibility and diversity. In 1972, as the nation began enacting a series of environmental statutes, Stein became responsible for ensuring the company's compliance with these new laws and regulations. In 1981 he created one of the first corporate environmental audit programs.

Stein also became responsible for finding sites for new manufacturing facilities as Anheuser-Busch grew and diversified. In addition to developing sites and obtaining permits, Stein oversaw utility negotiations throughout the company for water, wastewater, and electric power. He also led his company's efforts to create its first public environmental, health, and safety annual report.

In 1983 Stein was named Anheuser-Busch's director of environmental engineering and site services, and in 1991 became director of strategic environmental initiatives. For several years he chaired the National Environmental Development Association, an industry group focused on balancing economic growth and environmental protection. In 2002 he was elected chairman of the Global Environmental Management Initiative, a group of large industries committed to environmental excellence.

Stein is married to Julianne Johnson Stein. They are both committed to the support of private secondary and university education. The Steins have two grown children: a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Andrew, both in St. Louis. In retirement, Stein pursues a lifelong interest in railroads and railroad history.


David F. Winter

David F. Winter
EN'42
Alumni Achievement Award

St. Louis native David F. Winter graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1942. During World War II, he worked in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) radiation laboratory and helped develop an oscilloscope that measured radar signals at 300 inches per microsecond; the oscilloscope also measured the fission rate of the first atomic bomb explosion. In 1948 Winter received a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from MIT; in 1954 he became a full professor of electrical engineering at Washington University.

From 1954 to 1974, Winter was vice president of engineering and research at Moloney Electric, where he was responsible for design and manufacturing practices for utility power transformers and electronic magnetic components for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line. He also served as an affiliate professor of electrical engineering at Washington University from 1955 to 1969. From 1974 to 1986, Winter was vice president of research and development and director of advanced technical development at International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT)'s Blackburn Division.

In the 1980s, Winter developed a computer data acquisition system to study the amount and effects of "stray voltage" on dairy cattle and humans. With William K. Dick, he patented an electronic grounding system to mitigate the detrimental effects of stray voltage on cattle. In his retirement, Winter is often called on by the legal community to serve as an expert witness on stray voltage. He also continues to consult as a licensed professional engineer.

Winter holds 21 patents in the United States and additional patents abroad. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi. He is a fellow and life member of the IEEE and has been listed in Who's Who in America. Winter and his wife, Bettie, have been married for 58 years. They have two daughters, Suzanne and Sharie; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Winter has served as elder/pastor of Maplewood Bible Chapel for close to 50 years.


Matthew M. Thomas

Matthew M. Thomas
EN'85,TI'88,SI'89,SI'95
Young Alumni Award

Born in Granite City, Illinois, and a lifelong St. Louis-area resident, Matthew Mark Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1985, a Master of Science degree in 1989, and a Doctor of Science in 1995, all in chemical engineering. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree in data processing in 1988. Thomas' doctoral studies focused on quality control of batch chemical processes, with special application to fiber-resin composite materials, under the direction of Professors Babu Joseph and John L. Kardos. These efforts are summarized in a chapter of the 1999 book, Processing of Composites, and were the basis for a subsequent collaboration between The Boeing Company and Czech Technical University in Prague.

Thomas has been active in the development of novel radar absorbing materials, "smart structures," and composites. With colleagues from McDonnell Douglas Corporation (most notably Thaddeus J. Podgajny and fellow alumnus Jack H. Jacobs), he is a co-inventor on seven U.S. patents, covering computer-aided resistive tapers and the creation of optical/electronic "nervous systems" within fiber-resin composite hosts. His current technical interests involve composite bonding applications; his current administrative responsibilities involve the cross-promotion of technology between academia and The Boeing Company, in conjunction with former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program manager Allen R. Atkins.

Thomas also served for several years as a contributing editor to the quarterly journal Mathematics in Education and Research, reviewing submissions and writing a software review for each issue.

A licensed professional engineer in Missouri, Thomas is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Neural Network Society. His wife, the former Diane Beers, is a biologist whose work has supported a number of biotechnology companies in the St. Louis area. With sons John and David, they live in Florissant, Missouri, where they are members of Most Sacred Heart parish. They are also BackStoppers (benefiting The Policemen and Firemen Fund of St. Louis).


William A. Peck

Dr. William A. Peck
Dean's Award

William A. Peck received a biochemical sciences degree from Harvard in 1955. Graduating from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1960, he completed two years of residency (internal medicine) and one year of fellowship (metabolism) at Barnes Hospital. He served for two years as a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Peck returned to the University of Rochester as chief medical resident of Strong Memorial Hospital, eventually becoming head of the Division of Endocrinology. In 1976, he was appointed the John E. and Adaline Simon Professor of Medicine and co-chair of the Department of Medicine at Washington University, and physician-in-chief at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. In 1989, he became vice chancellor for Medical Affairs of Washington University, dean of the School of Medicine, and president of the Washington University Medical Center. He became executive vice chancellor in 1993.

Dr. Peck's academic activities include original investigations in bone and mineral metabolism (resulting in 100 scientific publications), extensive clinical teaching and patient care experience. Major scientific contributions include the first method for studying directly the structure, function, and growth of bone cells, demonstrating mechanisms whereby hormones regulate bone cell function, and studies of the causes of osteoporosis.

He is a member of many professional societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (elected president, 1984), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (awarded fellowship, 1992), and the Institute of Medicine. He has received numerous professional honors.

Dr. Peck has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals, on numerous medical and scientific panels, and on advisory boards of major pharmaceutical companies. He has appeared as a scientific spokesperson on local and national media and chaired many conferences and symposia. He has served as chairman of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and of the AAMC. His hobbies include piano, tennis, reading, and travel.