Holloway, Liebman share Dean's Award
Six alumni representing a wide range of careers in the field received Achievement Awards from the School of Engineering & Applied Science April 26 at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Alumnae Jan Holloway and Michele Liebman share the Dean's Award for their work with Women & Engineering.
L to R: Vincent Belusko, Cedric Yu, Michele Liebman, Jan Holloway, Nathalie de Vos Burchart, Steve Lowy
Young Alumni Award
Nathalie de Vos Burchart
An Attitude of Service
Leading operations, business expansion and acquisitions comes naturally to Nathalie de Vos Burchart. De Vos Burchart started her career at ExxonMobil in the refining & supply division, working in Fairfax and Baytown, Texas, as a crude oil distillation process contact engineer.
Amid changing federal regulation, de Vos Burchart co-founded BioUrja Trading LLC in 2006 to serve the ethanol supply and logistics needs of major refining companies. Now a globally recognized physical commodity trading firm, BioUrja successfully expanded to also supply petroleum products, crude oil, natural gas and power. De Vos Burchart played an integral role in the company's growth, serving as vice president through 2017. BioUrja is ranked among the top five privately held companies in Houston.
Through her current company, Heathwood Enterprises Ltd., de Vos Burchart has been an active investor in residential real estate since 2009.
De Vos Burchart is a mentor in the Women & Engineering Leadership Society, a member of the Houston Regional Cabinet, and a volunteer for the Alumni and Parents Admission Program. She and her wife, Irina, support an annual engineering scholarship. They reside in Houston with their son, Lucas.
De Vos Burchart earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from WashU in 2004 and a master of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
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Alumni Achievement Awards
As partner at Morrison & Foerster, Vincent Belusko is committed to shaping a culture that is defined by respect and trust. Within the firm's intellectual property group, Belusko's practice focuses on patent litigation, trademark, copyright, trade secret and related matters. He has an unbeaten streak in more than 25 intellectual property cases during the past five years.
Belusko has litigated cases on a diverse range of technologies and chaired a notable patent infringement trial in which a $70 million jury verdict for his client was confirmed on appeal.
In addition to being admitted to practice in all California district courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, Belusko is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2012 and 2013, the Daily Journal named Belusko one of the Top 75 Intellectual Property Litigators in California. He is also recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA 2015 and Super Lawyers.
As a former scholarship recipient, Belusko is committed to helping students succeed. He supports the School's annual Discovery Competition. He is a member of the School's National Council and is the executive co-chair for his 40th class reunion. Belusko joined the Alumni Board of Governors in 2013 and is the chair for the Students and Young Alumni Committee. He and his wife, Lynne, reside in Los Angeles.
Belusko earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from WashU in 1978 and a juris doctor from the George Washington University Law School.
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A Commitment to Scholars
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Steve Lowy was president of the family business, Lowy Enterprises Inc. from 1970 to 1994. The company was one of the nation's largest floor covering distributors and carpet manufacturers.
For the past 23 years, Lowy has been chairman of Envision LLC, a computer services firm targeting computer services and staff augmentation for Fortune 500 companies. Lowy focuses on mergers and acquisitions, financial operations, customer and employee relationships, and new business development. In 1999, Lowy bought Quatrix, also an information technology consulting firm concentrated on computer programming and internet development. With Lowy's leadership, Envision has more than tripled sales and opened two new offices with more than 250 employees.
As a passionate advocate for the Engineering Scholarship Program, Lowy has sponsored endowed and annual scholarships that have supported more than 100 engineering students during the past 40 years. He has developed lasting relationships with the students helped by those scholarships. He is chair of the Eliot Society Patrons Committee and co-chair of the 50th reunion gift committee. He and his wife, Susie, and reside in St. Louis.
Lowy earned a bachelor of science degree in 1968 and master of science degree in 1970, both in chemical engineering, from WashU.
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Raising Quality, Improving Lives
Cedric Yu is the Carl M. Mansfield, MD Professor in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the co-founder and chief executive officer of Xcision Medical Systems LLC. Yu's work and leadership have contributed to the international recognition of the school's Department of Radiation Oncology, where he joined the faculty in 1997. Holding 20 patents for his revolutionary developments, he has improved the quality and efficiency of cancer treatments using radiation.
Yu is the co-inventor of Xcision's GammaPod, a high-precision, image-guided radiation therapy system designed to treat early-stage breast cancer. After more than a decade in development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval in 2017 to bring GammaPod to market. The system of stereotactic body radiation therapy has the potential to change the paradigm globally for breast cancer treatment as it may allow patients to avoid surgery or prolonged radiation in order to be successfully treated.
In 2006, Yu received a $3.5 million federal Small Business Innovation grant to develop GammaPod, and in 2010 he was named the University of Maryland's Entrepreneur of the Year. Yu also received the Hall of Fame award from the North American Chinese Medical Physicists Association in 2016.
At WashU, Yu serves on the Advisory Board in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He and his wife, Ying Su, reside in Pasadena, Maryland.
Yu earned an electrical engineering degree from Tianjin University in China. Yu then moved to the United States and earned a master of science degree in 1985 and a doctor of science degree in 1989, both in electrical engineering, from WashU.
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Jan Holloway and Michele Liebman
Women & Engineering
The School of Engineering & Applied Science established Women & Engineering as a means for engineering alumnae to support each other, mentor female students and support STEM outreach to female students of all ages. Jan Holloway and Michele Liebman established the first Women & Engineering Challenge Fund to inspire other alumni and friends to support diversity, encourage a strong community to enhance the experience of female students during their time on campus, and provide additional opportunities for their development and growth.
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As senior vice president, chief of staff and community relations of Monsanto Co., Holloway oversees the multinational company's community relations activities and business services organization and manages the office of the chairman and CEO.
A strong advocate for women in the St. Louis community, Holloway has earned significant recognition for her work, including the St. Louis Business Journal's 25 Most Influential Women in Business and the YWCA Leader of Distinction.
Holloway serves on the School's National Council and Campaign Committee and received the Engineering Alumni Achievement Award in 2010. She resides in St. Louis.
Holloway earned a bachelor of science degree from Augusta College and a master of science degree in applied mathematics and computer science from WashU in 1983.
Liebman was named principal at Edward Jones in 1994, and her role expanded in the firm's intranet and client reporting.
She led the effort to evaluate, select and implement the St. Louis headquarters' first office automation software, satellite vendor and integrated usability lab techniques. At the time of her retirement in 2014, she was responsible for the firm's banking operations, including cash management, trust operations and customer loans.
At Edward Jones, Liebman initiated the Women's Business Forum for senior-level professionals and supported the Washington University partnership by helping raise more than $1.5 million in scholarship support. She received the Engineering Alumni Achievement Award in 2015. Liebman resides in St. Louis.
Liebman earned a bachelor of science degree in technology and information management from WashU in 1986 and a master of business administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.