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Distinguished Alumni Awards

2021 Award Winners

Laurie C. Conner E'76: Distinguished Alumnus Award

Laurie ConnerLaurie C. Conner E’76 has led a 40-year career in high technology companies and is particularly experienced in bringing new technologies and concepts to market. She is currently President of The Detection Group, an emerging growth company providing cloud-based IoT water solutions for the built environment.  

Prior to The Detection Group, Ms. Conner held executive positions in a wide variety of Silicon Valley companies, including as President of Gazebo Capital Management LLC, a financial technology and investment firm. She also held various executive roles for New Focus, a manufacturer of optical networking and photonic products; Silicon Valley Group (now part of ASML), a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer, and Crystallume, where she helped establish the emerging synthetic diamond coating industry.

Ms. Conner holds BS and MS degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University and Stanford University, respectively, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has served for several years on the Pratt School of Engineering Board of Visitors and also serves on the Board of Directors of NV5 Global.

Lisa Burton O'Toole E'07: Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Lisa BurtonLisa Burton O'Toole, Ph.D. is Vice President of HearstLab, where she provides investment and resources for early-stage, women-led startups that innovate across media, data, healthcare and technology. Lisa was previously the founder and Chief Data Scientist of AdMass, a startup that leveraged social media data to help brands understand and connect with their customers online. Throughout her career, she has built and led data science groups at startups and as a consultant. She came to data science from engineering, where she specialized in data-driven modeling and machine learning to predict the motion of swimming animals. Lisa holds a Ph.D. and master's degree (S.M.) from MIT and B.S. from Duke, all in Mechanical Engineering. Lisa supports women in business and STEM through several organizations including All Raise, NYU Summer Launchpad and MIT's Women in Technology Program and is an Advisory Board Member of Duke’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Lisa has received a number of awards recognizing her work in engineering and entrepreneurship including the ASME Kate Gleason Award for distinguished female leaders and the MIT Luis de Florez Award for Outstanding Ingenuity and Creativity.

Adrienne Stiff-Roberts, PhD: Distinguished Service Award

Adrienne Stiff-RobertsAdrienne Stiff-Roberts is the Jeffrey N. Vinik Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, where she is also founding Director of Graduate Studies for the University Program in Materials Science and Engineering. Her research emphasis is in thin-film deposition of semiconductor materials for optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells and light emitting diodes. Dr. Stiff-Roberts joined Duke University in 2004 as an Assistant Professor. In 2018, she became the first Black woman to be promoted to full professor within the Pratt School of Engineering. Dr. Stiff-Roberts’ service to Duke includes helping to establish a multidisciplinary, university-wide research and education initiative in materials science and engineering, as well as helping to develop the energy materials emphasis within the Duke University Energy Initiative. Dr. Stiff-Roberts’ dedication to teaching and mentorship excellence has positively impacted Pratt undergraduate and graduate students alike. Dr. Stiff-Roberts also has provided sustained, high-quality engagement with the Durham community through her creation of the Student Engineers Network: Strengthening Opportunities in Research (SENSOR) Saturday Academy for 8th and 9th graders in Durham Public Schools.

Make a Nomination

The Engineering Alumni Council seeks nominations from fellow Duke Engineering graduates for our annual recognition awards.

Please click below to see award criteria and to submit a nomination.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

  1. Must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from the School of Engineering at Duke University
  2. Must have achieved recognition for academic, scientific, or practical contributions in their chosen field of engineering, science or business
  3. Must have demonstrated exemplary service to Duke University and to their community

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

  1. Must have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from the School of Engineering at Duke University within the last 15 years
  2. Must have achieved recognition for academic, scientific or practical contributions in their chosen field
  3. Demonstrated effort toward the promotion of the School of Engineering's excellence will be considered

Distinguished Service Award

  1. Any person, alumnus or not, who has exhibited an extraordinary effort in helping the School of Engineering achieve its goals and objectives
  2. Must have achieved recognition for academic, scientific or practical contributions in their chosen field of engineering, science, or business

Submit a Nomination

Past Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Each winner holds a degree from the Pratt School of Engineering, has achieved recognition in their chosen field, and has demonstrated exemplary service to Duke and to their community

  • Robert W. Anderson BSCE’59
  • Charles P. Ballenger, Jr. BSCE’36
  • William M. Bartlett BSCE’54
  • Walter J. Bishop BSCE’73
  • Shem K. Blackley, Jr. BSCE’54
  • Stephen R. Bolze BSEE’85
  • Emmett H. Bradley BSEE’49
  • Lewis Campbell BSME’68
  • Everitt A. Carter BME’40
  • John Cocke BSME’45, PhD’56
  • John M. Derrick, Jr. BSEE’61
  • Gary W. Dickinson BSME’60
  • Ray B. Duggins BSME’44
  • Robert R. Everett BSEE’42
  • Fred M. Fehsenfeld, Jr. E'73
  • Robert E. Fischell BSME’51
  • W. Kent Fuchs BSE’77
  • Robert L. Galloway, Jr. BSE’77, PhD’83
  • Robert A. Garda BSME’61
  • C. Gary Gerst BSME’61
  • Clair H. Gingher, Jr. BSME’43
  • James F. Girand BSEE’59
  • R. Eugene Goodson T’57, BSME’59
  • William H. Hall E’09 AM’14
  • Philip J. Hawk BSE'76
  • William A. Hawkins III BSE’76
  • Michael R. S. Hill BSE’86
  • Grant T. Hollett, Jr. BSME’64
  • Charles H. Holley BSEE’41
  • W. Kenneth Howard BSEE’35
  • John L. Imhoff BSME’45
  • Edwin L. Jones T’12
  • Edwin L. Jones, Jr. BSCE’48
  • Alan L. Kaganov BSME’60
  • John J. Karakash BSEE’37
  • Senator Edward E. Kaufman BSME’60
  • Clinton W. Kelly III BSEE’59
  • Theodore C. Kennedy BSCE’52
  • Kenneth T. Knight, Jr. BSE’33
  • Lawrence J. Lang BSE’86
  • Chester L. Lucas BSCE’38
  • Robert C. Marlay BSCE’69
  • Capers W. McDonald BSE’74
  • Larry K. Monteith MS’62, PhD’65
  • Billy B. Olive BSEE’48
  • Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. BSEE’47
  • James F. Rabenhorst BSME’64
  • L. Russell Ranson T’31
  • Randolph K. Repass BSEE’66
  • Patricia K. Scheller BSE'81
  • Kenneth T. Schiciano E'84
  • W. Brewster Snow BSE’32
  • J. Stephen Simon BSCE’65
  • William A. Stokes BSCE’53
  • W. John Swartz BSME’56
  • David S. Taylor, E’80
  • T. Edward Torgerson BSCE’49
  • Charles R. Vail BSEE’37
  • James W. Vaughan, Jr. BSEE’57
  • James L. Vincent BSME’61
  • Christopher R. Webster T’39
  • Arthur J. Wennerstrom BSME’56
  • Hugh E. Whitted, Jr. BSEE’39
  • Blake S. Wilson BSE’74
  • F. Thomas Wooten BSEE’57, PhD’64
  • Harold L. Yoh, Jr. BSME’58

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Each winner earned a degree from the Pratt School of Engineering within 15 years of their award, achieved recognition in their chosen field, and demonstrated effort promoting Duke Engineering's excellence

  • Benjamin S. Abram E'02
  • John A. Board, Jr. BSE’82, MS’82
  • Lewis C. Brewster BSE’86
  • Matthew Q. Christensen BSE'02
  • Max D. Cohen BSE'03
  • Karen E. Conover BSE’85
  • J. Michael Drozd BSE’89, PhD’97
  • Michael Feldman BSE’84
  • Jacob J. Flomenberg, E’05
  • Russell M. Glass BSE’98
  • David J. Gregory BSE’84
  • Robert J. Greenberg BSEE’90
  • Anita J. Hill BSE’85, MS’86, PhD’89
  • Lawrence D. Lenihan, Jr. BSE’87
  • Gregory R. Maletic BSE’90
  • Mia K. Markey PhD’02
  • Leslie Voorhees Means E'08
  • Nicholas A. Millington BSE’98
  • Terry Myerson BSE’91
  • Ananth Natarajan BSE’90
  • Aaron T. Patzer BSE’02
  • Scott D. Olson BSE'91
  • Christophe H. Schilling BSE’95
  • Kristine M. Singley BSE’96, B’07
  • George S. Taylor BSE’78
  • Edward L. Trimble BSE’90
  • Jeffrey N. Vinik BSE’81
  • James H. Vogeley BSE’80
  • James G. Whayne BSE’90
  • Harold L. Yoh III BSE’83

Distinguished Service Award

The winner of this award may be any person, alumnus or not, who has made an extraordinary effort to help the Pratt School of Engineering achieve its goals and objectives, and who has achieved recognition in their field

  • Donald M. Alstadt
  • Roger Coke Barr BS'64, PhD'68
  • C. Leland Bassett BSME’59
  • Sterling M. Brockwell, Jr. BSCE’56
  • Robert W. Carr, Jr. BSE’71
  • Howard G. Clark III
  • F. Hadley Cocks
  • James H. Corrigan, Jr. BSME’47
  • Daniel M. Dickinson E’83
  • Earl H. Dowell
  • Ernest Elsevier
  • F. Reid Ervin BSME’42
  • Harold L. Flowers BSEE’38
  • Stacy S. Gardner BSE’91
  • Suzanne M. Gregory BSE'87
  • Michael R. Gustafson II E'93, G'99
  • Fitzgerald S. Hudson BSCE’46
  • Alfred M. Hunt
  • Joseph H. Jarboe BSCE’69
  • Edward L. Koffenberger BSME’47
  • George D. McCeney BSCE’33
  • Martha Monserrate McDade BSE’81, MS’82
  • James H. McElhaney
  • Fred W. Neu BSCE’34
  • George W. Pearsall
  • Henry Petroski
  • Robert H. Pinnix T’24
  • Edward M. Reefe BSCE’68
  • Janis J. Rehlaender BSE’77
  • Marion L. Shepard
  • Constance E. Simmons
  • Wilbur S. Smith
  • Nello L. Teer, Jr.
  • R. Dillard Teer
  • George A. Truskey, PhD
  • Aleksandar S. Vesic
  • Seth A. Watkins BSME’92, JD’99, MS’93, PhD’96
  • Richard D. Webb T’51
  • Arthur E. Wheeler BSME’47
  • Jerry C. Wilkinson BSEE’67
  • William B. Wilmer VI BSEE’51
  • Howard M. Winterson T’39
  • Thomas M. Woodard BSEE’69
  • William H. Younger, Jr.