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College of Engineering


April 27, 2024

Engineering Fellows

Note from the Dean

On behalf of The University of Alabama College of Engineering, it is my honor to congratulate the 2024 class of Distinguished Engineering Fellows and welcome them into the College’s most revered group of alumni and friends.

Selection as a Distinguished Engineering Fellow is the highest commendation bestowed by the College. This honor acknowledges the positive contributions made by individuals in their professional careers as well as their local communities. It also recognizes our Fellows’ commitment to strengthening the reputation of the College and supporting its mission to be a global leader in engineering education, research, and service.

Along with our faculty, staff, and students, our Fellows are some of our most effective ambassadors. This year’s class is comprised of individuals who have made an indelible impression on both our College and the broader technical and professional communities, including academia, government, and industry. Throughout their careers, these seven individuals have been agents of change and used their expertise to advance the field of engineering. As a College, we are continuously inspired by our Fellows and proud to celebrate their tremendous impact and accomplishments.

Our Fellows are an integral part of our success, and I would like to thank each of this year’s inductees for selflessly devoting their time, talent, and treasure to the College. With their support, we look forward to maintaining a standard of excellence and positioning the College of Engineering as one of the most impactful programs in the world.

– Dr. Clifford L. Henderson
Dean, College of Engineering

2024 Inductees

Each year, the College of Engineering inducts a select group of alumni and friends as Distinguished Engineering Fellows. Recognition as a Distinguished Fellow is the highest commendation given to graduates and others who have strengthened the reputation of the College of Engineering through their efforts. Learn more about Distinguished Engineering Fellows Throughout the Years.

Photo of Dr. Gary April

Dr. Gary April

Dr. Gary April is a former head of The University of Alabama College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He first joined the College as an assistant professor in 1969 and went on to serve the department for more than 40 years. During that time, he ascended into numerous leadership roles within the University and externally. Most notably, he served as the state of Alabama’s director of the DOE/EPSCoR program from 1992 to 2008.

Photo of Artis Brown

Artis Brown

Artis Brown is the vice president of ExxonMobil’s Global Basestocks and Waxes business. Throughout his 28-year career with ExxonMobil, he has demonstrated his ability to successfully run multi-billion-dollar businesses and held assignments across the United States and Asia Pacific. He has experience working across a broad range of fields, including engineering, sales, marketing, supply chain, strategy, planning, manufacturing, organizational behavior, and diversity.

Photo of Rodney Chester

Rodney Chester

Rodney Chester is the chief executive officer of Gresham Smith, a leading architecture, engineering, and design practice that provides creative solutions for clients. As CEO, Chester is responsible for the alignment of Gresham Smith’s leadership in order to execute the overall strategy and operations of the firm in pursuit of smart, sustainable growth that provides opportunities for employees and value to its clients.

Photo of Jeff Gronberg

Jeff Gronberg

Jeff Gronberg is the chief executive officer of deciBel Research, a small business based in Huntsville, Alabama, that specializes in the research, development, and advancement of weapon systems and sensor technologies. The company designs, develops, integrates, tests, and fields advanced system concepts, algorithms, and applications through high-fidelity modeling and simulation, sensor system design and analysis, threat engineering, and sensor test support.

Photo of J. Gaston Large III

J. Gaston Large III

J. Gaston Large III has spent his entire career with Alabama Power and is currently the distribution engineering supervisor in Hueytown, where he manages operations including system improvements, installations, reliability, engineering, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers crew personnel. Before this role, he worked as the distribution engineering supervisor in Haleyville, where he managed operations and system improvements.

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Yvonne Thomas Stevenson

Yvonne T. Stevenson is the president and chief executive officer of Jackson Business Consulting, an acquisition and program management consulting firm supporting the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and federal government civilian agencies. She previously served as the associate chief officer for information resource management at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for seven years.

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Sandy Stimpson

William “Sandy” Stimpson is the 108th mayor of Mobile, Alabama. Stimpson’s four decades of experience in the private sector and extensive community service provide a solid foundation for the type of practical change he has generated in just 10 years in office. Stimpson has ushered in a new culture at City Hall, emphasizing a commitment to transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency.

CES Outstanding Seniors

The Capstone Engineering Society established the Outstanding Senior Award in 1986 to honor an exceptional student who deserves distinction among peers. Every year, a superior student is selected from each department in the College of Engineering. The overall winner is determined by a selection committee after assessing each student’s academic performance, professional and technical activities, College leadership, external leadership, and other activities.

Gideon Lombardo

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Lela Connors

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Charles Crouse

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Kittson Hamill

Computer Science

Benjamin Fitzpatrick

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Fatema Dhondia

Mechanical Engineering

Skylar Elliott

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award

Photo of Dr. Derek Williamson<

Dr. Derek Williamson

The T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award honors a faculty member who exemplifies the constant guidance and leadership necessary to make The University of Alabama College of Engineering exceptional. Dr. Derek G. Williamson, associate professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering and interim associate dean of undergraduate and graduate programs, is the recipient of the 2024 T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award.

Outstanding Alumni Volunteer

Photo of Paul Lammers

Paul Lammers

In 1995, The University of Alabama College of Engineering began a yearly tradition of recognizing an alum who provided excellent volunteer assistance to the College as the Outstanding Alumni Volunteer. The 2024 Outstanding Alumni Volunteer award recipient is Paul Lammers.

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