McKelvey Engineering Awards


The McKelvey Engineering Awards honor the professional accomplishments and service of distinguished alumni and friends.

2024 McKelvey Engineering Awardees. From left: Bob Behnken, Laurie Bowen, John Berra, Charlotte Berra, Eddie Lou, David Moellenhoff, Greg Hyslop and Aaron Bobick

Bob Behnken headshot
Bob Behnken

Alumni Achievement Award

Bob Behnken translated his experiences as an ROTC student in mechanical engineering and physics into a career of exploration at the highest levels. Bob served as a NASA astronaut from 2000-2022, spending 93 days in space over the course of three groundbreaking space flights. He was named chief of the astronaut office by NASA in 2012, the most senior leadership position for astronauts and he served as joint operations commander on the SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission, becoming one of the first two astronauts in NASA’s history to launch from a commercially built and operated spacecraft. In 2023, Bob was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in recognition of the Demo-2 mission building a bridge to low Earth orbit and to the International Space Station.

Following graduate school, Bob served as an Air Force officer and attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. Assigned to the F-22 Combined Test Force, he served as the lead flight test engineer during early development of the aircraft. While serving in the Air Force, Bob achieved the rank of colonel. He retired from active military service and from the NASA astronaut office in 2022. He currently is director of technology acceleration for Lockheed Martin Space where his team performs terrestrial and on-orbit demonstrations of new and novel technologies.

In addition, Bob has received numerous awards, including National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School Distinguished Graduate and Distinguished Alumni Awards; Defense Meritorious Service and Defense Superior Service Medals; and NASA Space Flight, Exceptional Service, and Outstanding Leadership Medals.

As an undergraduate, Bob was a scholar in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and earned the Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Senior Award. WashU honored Bob with the Young Alumni Award from McKelvey Engineering in 2009 and the Founder’s Day Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.

Bob earned bachelor of science degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from WashU in 1992. He also earned a master of science degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate of philosophy in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Charlotte Berra headshot

John Berra headshotCharlotte Berra
John Berra

Dean's Award

Charlotte and John Berra are among the most dedicated supporters of Washington University and McKelvey Engineering. Through their volunteerism and philanthropy, the couple has made a significant difference at the university and in the lives of students for more than 50 years. 

John Berra began his career as a control engineer at Monsanto. In 1976 he joined Rosemount, holding several management positions, including president of the Industrial Division. He was named president of Fisher-Rosemount Systems in 1993, and in 1999 became senior vice president and process group business leader for Emerson Electric. In 2008, he was named chairman of Emerson Process Management.

Charlotte used her knowledge of people and society to manage a team of accountants for AT&T and later to manage patient intake and evaluation for a mental health care facility. After serving as the primary caregiver for the couple’s children she returned to school to study medical imaging. She is now retired, having worked as an X-ray, MRI, and CT scan technician for several healthcare organizations, most recently Southwest Diagnostic Center.

John has contributed not only to the success of the companies he has worked for, but also to the automation industry, where he drove the development of the Highway Addressable Remote Transducer protocol. Additionally, John was an early proponent of an all-digital fieldbus and served as the chairman of the board of the Fieldbus Foundation from its creation in 1994 to 2010. He was chairman of the board of the Measurement, Control & Automation Association and served on the board of directors of Ryder System, Inc. and National Instruments.

In addition to being named one of the 50 most influential industry innovators by Intech Magazine and being inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame, John received the Emerson Electric Technology Leadership Award, the McKelvey Engineering Alumni Achievement and the WashU Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISA, and the Frost and Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award.

John and Charlotte were both members of fraternity and sorority life during their time at WashU. They both serve on WashU’s Austin Regional Cabinet and have participated as campaign volunteers. John is also an emeritus member of the McKelvey Engineering National Council. As Danforth Circle Chancellor’s Level members and Life Eliot Benefactors, they continue to support engineering students through the John and Charlotte Berra Scholarship. As Brookings Partners, John and Charlotte have ensured their scholarship support will continue in perpetuity through their estate.

John earned a bachelor of science degree in systems science and engineering and Charlotte earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from WashU in 1969.

Laurie Bowen Headshot

Laurie Bowen 

Alumni Achievement Award

Laurie Bowen is a global telecommunications and professional services executive with more than 30 years of experience across six continents, creating, growing, and transforming major international businesses. Throughout her career she has leveraged her ability to negotiate the technical and human sides of business to bring value to companies through the closure of major transactions, customer relationships, brand building, new ventures, and innovation. Laurie is now sought after as a non-executive director for companies seeking growth, expansion, or turnaround.

After starting her career at IBM, Laurie spent more than 20 years in senior positions across the telecommunications and financial services industries. Her leadership role at British Telecommunications culminated with her serving as managing director of commercial & brands for BT Global Services. She later served as chief executive officer of Business Solutions at Cable & Wireless and guided the $83.5 billion Tata Group as president of enterprise business and growth ventures for Tata Communications. Most recently, she served as chief executive officer for the Americas companies of Telecom Italia Sparkle, where she transformed the business in response to a period of significant market change.

Laurie currently serves as non-executive director of Ricardo plc, a leading global engineering, strategic, technical and environmental consultancy business; Chemring plc, a global business that specializes in the manufacture of high technology products and the provision of services to the aerospace, defense, and security markets; and SBA Communications a major telecommunications infrastructure company. As a court appointed advocate, Laurie diligently represents the best interests of vulnerable children as a Guardian ad Litem.

As an alumna, Laurie is passionate about the Women & Engineering Center and has served as a member on the McKelvey Engineering National Council since 2019. Laurie is an Eliot Society Benefactor member and supports the Bowen Family Scholarship.

Laurie earned bachelor of science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science in 1983 and a master of business administration degree in 1989 from WashU.

Greg Hyslop headshot

Greg Hyslop

Alumni Achievement Award

As a respected aerospace industry leader with a proven record of driving large-scale financial and cultural change, Greg Hyslop is chief engineer emeritus at The Boeing Company Rising from chief technology officer to chief engineer, Greg worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the company’s CEO to elevate and strengthen engineering at Boeing. His role focused on aligning all of engineering under one global leadership team and modeling a culture driven by safety and engineering excellence through the development of design practices across all of engineering, and establishment of the processes under-pinning Boeing’s safety management system.

Prior to becoming chief technology officer, Greg served as vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Research and Technology division, having begun his career as guidance and control engineer at McDonnell Douglas. After its merger with Boeing, he progressed through various program management roles focused on proprietary and missile defense programs.

Greg’s proudest achievements center on the engineers he has mentored. Throughout his career, he nurtured future leaders by championing educational partnerships and technical fellowships that have broadened talent pipelines. As chief engineer emeritus for Boeing, he continues to assist in leadership development, program management, technology strategy, and university engagement.

Greg serves as a board member for multiple academic and industry groups, including the AI Institute at the University of Washington, the Dean’s Advisory Board for the University of Nebraska College of Engineering, the National Council for the McKelvey School of Engineering, and the Visiting Committee for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. Previously, Greg served on the WashU Board of Trustees, the board of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation, and was honored by the Society of Women Engineers for his leadership in the advancement of women in engineering.

Greg earned a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned a doctorate of science in systems science and mathematics from WashU in 1989.

Edward Lou headshot

Edward Lou

Engineering Entrepreneurship Award

Edward Lou is co-founder and chief executive officer of CodaPet, a startup connecting veterinarians and pet parents for at-home pet care. Edward is also an active angel investor in more than 80 early-stage tech companies and serves as a mentor, coach, advisor, or board director to the leaders of startups such as, Chowbus, HiLink,, Infi, Lemonlight, MSPBots, Reloshare, Songfinch, and The Mom Project.

Edward is also co-founder and board director of One Goal, a non-profit that improves college acceptance and persistence by empowering urban high school students through a teacher-led fellowship. One Goal has grown to more than 250 staff members and a $30 million annual budget in large part due to the program’s success with 98% of program fellows accepted to college and 78% persisting. Since inception, the program has grown from seven students in one school to 30,000 students across seven states.

Previously, he was a co-founder of Shiftgig, the mobile app that connects hourly labor with opportunities for shifts. Edward grew the company from an idea to 200 full-time employees across 13 cities serving 2,000 business clients and 30,000 hourly workers, raising more than $50 million of institutional capital during a rapid growth period.

Edward is a venture partner at Mercury Fund and Corazon Capital and was previously a general partner with OCA Ventures. As a board director or observer, Edward worked closely with management teams to scale their business, raise capital, and attract talent.

During his time at WashU, Edward was a Woodward Scholar, a member of Pi Tau Sigma and Kappa Sigma, and an athlete on the varsity soccer team.

Edward earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of business administration in finance from WashU in 1994.

David Moellenhoff headshot

David Moellenhoff

Alumni Achievement Award

As a lifelong entrepreneur, David Moellenhoff is a technology visionary and passionate philanthropist. He is best known as a co-founder of Salesforce, the world’s top AI customer relationship management platform, serving more than 150,000 companies with its cloud-based software.

Upon co-founding Salesforce in 1999, David assumed the role of chief technology officer growing the company to $35 billion in annual revenue, more than 72,000 employees, and a component of the Dow Jones and S&P 100. He continues to serve in the role of founding architect guiding the technical vision of the company.

David previously held positions at Metropolis Software, an early CRM innovator; Clarify; and Left Coast Software. He has served on the boards of several startups, including Threadsuite, BeautyCounter, Mile IQ, Cloudwords, and SpecRight.

Beyond his enthusiasm for engineering, David is also engaged in philanthropy on multiple levels. He served on the board of directors of the Salesforce Foundation, pioneering the 1:1:1 model of corporate philanthropy, in which companies donate 1% of their product, equity and employees’ time to community programs. To date the foundation has facilitated more than 8 million volunteer hours by Salesforce employees, provided free or heavily discounted licenses to more than 50,000 non-profit customers, and distributed more than $600 million in grants. Additionally, he serves on the managing board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County & the Inland Empire, one of the largest chapters in the country, pairing over 3,500 children a year with mentors, and supports local organizations in the state of Montana.

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him, David is a third-generation WashU alumnus. As an undergraduate, he was a student senator and the vice president of the Student Union. David is an Eliot Society Fellow and Life member and supports the Moellenhoff Family Scholarship.

David earned bachelor of science degrees in computer science and electrical engineering in 1992 and a master of business administration degree in 1994 from WashU.