Emerging Leader Awards


The Emerging Leader Award honors recent alumni of McKelvey Engineering who exemplify leadership and continued service through scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration. This award highlights the positive impact alumni make on their local community, the country and the world.

2023 McKelvey Engineering Emerging Leaders. From left: Chris Kroeger, Craig Goergen, Kate Nevin, Frank Bergh, Fiona Turett and Aaron Bobick

Frank Bergh
Frank Bergh

BS '08
Founder/CEO, Beyond the Grid
Senior Engineer, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International

Frank Bergh, PE, has built his career at the intersection of renewable energy technology and holistic humanitarian development. He specializes in the design of utility-scale and micro-grid wind, solar and energy storage projects.

As co-founder and chief executive officer for Beyond The Grid, he catalyzes energy access by making power a human right for billions of people living without reliable access to electricity. Since its founding in 2018, Beyond The Grid has assisted clients mainly in sub-Saharan Africa on renewable energy projects, investments and sector-specific research outcomes valued at nearly $10 million.

After several positions working in wind and solar energy, Frank presently serves as a senior electrical engineer with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International (NRECA), a nonprofit cooperative whose rural electrification initiative has reached 160 million people in 65 developing countries since 1962. As NRECA’s first specialist on microgrids and renewable energy, he is working on off-grid systems for rural communities and national electrification strategies for several countries in Africa and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Dedicated to changing lives, Frank is a board member for EOS International, Engineers Without Borders USA and the Franciscan Outreach. Midwest Energy News named him one of the Top 40 under 40 energy professionals in 2015.

As an undergraduate, Frank co-founded the WashU chapter of Engineers Without Borders, served as a member of Eta Kappa Nu and a senator with the Student Union, was a NCAA athlete on the baseball team, and was deeply involved with the Catholic Student Center.

Frank earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a minor in Spanish from WashU in 2005. Currently, he is pursuing a master of engineering degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.


Craig Goergen, PhD

BS '05
Leslie A. Geddes Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University

As the Leslie A. Geddes Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, Craig Goergen, PhD, focuses his research on cardiac imaging and mechanics. Craig’s current project investigates high-frequency four-dimensional ultrasound and label-free photoacoustic imaging. Recently, the NIH awarded Craig and a team of collaborating researchers a more than $1 million grant to investigate targeted drug delivery in a live colon using tumbling magnetic microrobots.

The Cardiovascular Imaging Research Laboratory, where Craig is the principal investigator, is advancing imaging techniques to study disease progression and improve detection and treatment across a broad spectrum of medical conditions. His expansive portfolio includes collaborative translational research projects ranging from cancer to diabetes.

Craig previously served as a visiting scientist with the Biomedical Imaging Group at Genentech, studying abdominal aortic aneurysm formation and progression. His postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School addressed molecular optical imaging through cardiac disease and left ventricular remodeling. He joined the faculty at Purdue University in December of 2012.

Craig has received several honors for his pursuit of innovative global health and development research projects, including the Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for research at the Université de Montpellier, France in 2022.

A demonstrated leader in service with a strong commitment to community, Craig was a Danforth and Woodward Scholar, and a WashU class valedictorian. He is a member of Kappa Sigma and was a NCAA athlete on the swimming team.

Craig earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from WashU in 2005. He also earned a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy degree in bioengineering from Stanford University.

Kate Nevin
Kate Nevin

BS '09, MS '09 
Director, Health System Operations, Mount Sinai Health Systems

Kate Nevin joined Mount Sinai Health System in 2017 as a process improvement engineer. Her work was integral in helping one of New York City's largest health systems develop an effective operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this project she leveraged her analytical skills to identify and communicate staffing needs, in-patient census and resource utilization, medication inventory, and vaccine inventory and logistics.

In 2021, she was promoted to director of health system operations where she leads engineers responsible for developing and deploying analytics tools that empower health system leadership to make data-driven decisions. Kate has successfully applied her engineering skillset to synthesize operational data and observational findings to identify opportunities for improvement and enhance patient experience in both in-patient and ambulatory settings.

Her career began at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where Kate honed her technical skills as an associate staff responsible for the structural design, analysis and testing of laser communication systems. She transitioned to MakerBot in 2013, taking on the role of director of research and development. At MakerBot she led the team of scientists and engineers responsible for developing novel 3D printing technologies and launching new extruders and filaments to drive the strategic vision of the company.

During her time at WashU, Kate worked in the biomechanics lab studying the motion of cilia and flagella. She was a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and Tau Beta Pi.

Kate earned a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from WashU in 2009.

Fiona Turett

BS '09
Flight Director, NASA
Johnson Space Center

At the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Fiona Turett made history as NASA’s 100th flight director in Mission Control. Since the position was established in 1960, Fiona is the 18th woman to hold the role. She leads the human spaceflight operations for International Space Station missions and the return to the Moon through Artemis. Fiona is responsible for leading teams of flight controllers, astronauts, research and engineering experts, and commercial and international partners around the world. She is responsible for making real-time decisions critical to keeping NASA's crew members safe while in space.

After completing three summer internships with NASA, her full-time career started in 2009 with the Safety and Mission Assurance organization for the final space shuttle missions before moving to flight operations in 2012. Fiona was the Expedition 56 control system lead for both crew training and real-time operations.  

As a student, Fiona was a member of the Bandit/Akoya nanosatellite team. Through this small satellite work, she was able to fly two experiments on NASA's reduced gravity aircraft. She was also a Woodward Scholar and reflects fondly on the tight-knit cohort experience, unique extra-curriculars and associated leadership development opportunities.

Her involvement with the Catholic Student Center inspired a year of service in Nicaragua with Manna Project International in 2011, and later she assisted with strategic decisions as a member of the board of directors. Fiona remains engaged with WashU through mentorship and with the Alumni and Parents Admission Program. 

Fiona earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from WashU in 2009.