Bagley honors newest class of Distinguished Fellows

March 29, 2018

Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering honored nine alumni for their accomplishments and commitment to the field of engineering at the 2018 Distinguished Fellows banquet.

The Distinguished Fellows program began in 1991 when 100 alumni were honored to celebrate the college’s 100th anniversary. Now, each spring, new alumni fellows are selected to recognize not only their great commitment to the engineering field, but also to represent the best and brightest that Bagley College has to offer.

The 2018 Bagley College of Engineering Distinguished Fellows. (From left) Ben Hunter Kennett, Frank Lundy Jr., Joel Speights, Shun VanBuren Williams, Karen Fili, Chad Steed, Richard Lopez, Guy See. Not pictures, Douglas Craft.

The 2018 Fellows include:

Douglas Craft

Craft is the principal and chief executive officer of Medicraft, Incorporated, which is one of the largest independent distributors for Medtronic. He is a director for seven privately held medical device companies and the past director of a publically traded device business.

Karen Fili

Fili has more than 30 years of experience in the field of nuclear engineering. Most recently, she served as the site vice president of operational readiness at Southern Company’s Vogtle 3 and 4, the first new nuclear construction in the U.S. in more than 40 years. She has also worked in nuclear operations for Xcel Energy, First Energy and Entergy Corporation. She is a proud second-generation mechanical engineering graduate, following in the footsteps of her late father, Cecil Davis, who was a member of the class of 1959.

Ben Hunter Kennett

Kennett is currently the Upstream Resources Manager for Exxon Mobil where he is responsible for personnel deployment across Exxon Mobil’s upstream activities as well as on-boarding and career development for the company’s engineers. During his time with Exxon Mobil, he has served in a variety of leadership roles within the company and in locations as varied as Singapore, Norway, South Korea, Angola, the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan. He is the grandson of the late Robert G. Robinson, who was also a Mississippi State grad and has an endowed scholarship in his name that supports engineering students.

Richard Lopez

Lopez is the vice president of advisory services for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions based in Nashville. A native of Tupelo, he began his professional career as a productivity engineer before moving into the consulting field. He has since held vice president positions with several healthcare systems and consulting firms, focusing on improving healthcare delivery, reducing the cost of care and improving patient flow. He and his wife Lisa have four children, two of whom were Mississippi State graduates in the class of 2016.

Frank Lundy Jr.

Lundy is a 1963 Mississippi State graduate in chemical engineering. He began his career with Humble Oil and Refining Company in Baytown, Texas, rising through the ranks to become manager of the plastics division. In 1983 he joined Al Jubail Petrochemical Company in Saudi Arabia as Operations Manager before returning to the states to serve as Worldwide Polymers Engineering Manager. His last assignment was as project manager for operations integrity management systems throughout Exxon Mobil’s chemical organization. He has five grandchildren, three of whom are MSU graduates while the other two are seniors this year.

Guy See

See is currently the managing director of maintenance strategy for Fed Ex Air Operations, managing the operational and financial planning of all maintenance activities for FedEx’s 350+ aircraft fleet. He started his professional career working on both the F-16 fighter and A-12 attack aircraft programs for General Dynamics before joining SRS Technologies and working on the X-31 enhanced fighter program. He ultimately moved into commercial aviation with Fed Ex where he has led the successful integration of the new Boeing 777F into Fed Ex’s fleet. He has served on the aerospace engineering advisory board for over 20 years.

Joel Speights

Speights is currently the Reservoir Engineering Manager in Mexico for Talos Energy. A 1979 Mississippi State graduate, he started his career with Chevron before helping to develop multiple oil and gas start-up companies. He has worked on major projects across a number of international locations, including South Africa, Indonesia, Qatar and Kazakhstan. Before joining Talos Energy, he worked on Deep Water projects with Freeport McMoRan. He is a 25-year member of both the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Chad Steed

Steed is a senior researcher and the leader of the Data Visualization and Machine Learning team in the computer science and mathematics division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also holds a Joint Faculty Appointment with the University of Tennessee’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and is an Adjunct Professor with Mississippi State’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. He holds three patents and has been featured in more than 80 research publications.

Shun VanBuren Williams

Williams is the president of Avenuhs VanBuren Consulting. A 1989 Mississippi State graduate, he spent the first 16 years of his career as a military officer and aviator in combat operations and electrical engineering. His service culminated as a senior electromagnetic spectrum program manager in the office of the Secretary of Defense and as branch chief and principle continuity advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. He has also worked with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce.

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By: Philip Allison