February 14, 2001
Outstanding Recent Graduates Named
The Outstanding Recent Graduate Program honors graduates who have achieved exemplary career progress and recognition within 10 years of their graduation. The program was originated and is sponsored by the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Alumni Association and the Tech Foundation.
The individuals selected for this award are considered excellent role models to show Tech’s current students the importance of continued personal growth in a rapidly changing world. Tech will honor these Outstanding Recent Graduates during a ceremony scheduled for 11 a. m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Surbeck Student Center Ballroom. The ceremony is part of Engineers Week.
The Outstanding Recent Graduates:
Michael J. Bestgen graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering in 1991. Since graduation, Bestgen has risen from entry- level engineer to Senior Engineer, with greater and greater levels of responsibility, at FMC Corp. He is active in charitable organizations and community youth activities. He is a member of the Society of Mining Engineers and attends local and national meetings of this professional organization. Bestgen has been instrumental in designing, managing and implementing new, cost- saving technology at FMC Corp. His work has resulted in the issuance of a U. S. patent with other works patent- pending.
Patricia M. Cihak graduated from Tech in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Cihak has demonstrated extraordinary problem solving, technical and leadership skills. She not only made major technical contributions, but she has served as a coordinator and project systems manager for Electronic Data Systems. Cihak developed a bit- mapping strategy used by GM for vehicle mass analysis. She developed routines, algorithms and standards for interfacing mainframes to JAVA. Cihak is an asset to her community. She is involved in numerous charitable and service activities, including the Tech Alumni and Friends Choir and professional organizations.
Troy A. Thennis graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1990. He has worked within the Ticona Division of Celanese for the past 10 years. He has risen quickly through the technical organization and supervisory ranks. Thennis now is an operations section leader responsible for the Nylon 6,6 and Polyester manufacturing units. He has served as a mentor and process steward in assisting with the technical development of his peers. At Celanese, Thennis has been recognized three times as a “ top contributor.” Additionally, Mr. Thennis has given to his church and community through various activities.
Dave Verburg graduated from Tech in 1990 with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He has worked in a variety of positions at IBM and is currently a technical assistant. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1996 and has co- authored one patent. In 1996, Verburg received an Elite Advocate Account Award for teaming with marketing to drive $ 20 million in sales. In his spare time, Verburg has focused on working with children in the community and, along with his wife and their four children, is involved in a variety of church- related activities.
Ian J. Wilson graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering in 1990. As a development engineer with Reynolds Metals Company, he has made significant contributions to the implementation of electromagnetic ingot casting processes. With colleagues from the University of Alabama and the University of California, Berkeley, Wilson has published seminal technical papers on aspects of aluminum casting and material properties. At Reynolds’ Global Can Business he acted as an expert resource for the management of materials purchases and performance involving over $ 500 million yearly. Personally, Wilson has made great efforts to contribute to his community and schools.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The work from which this copy was made did not include a formal copyright notice. This work may be protected by U. S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code), which governs reproduction, distribution, public display, and other uses of protected works. Uses may be allowed with permission from the copyright holder, if the copyright on the work has expired, or if the use is fair use or within another legal exemption. The user of this work is responsible for compliance with the law.
Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.