Elite alumni recognized for achievement, service

Posted: October 8, 2019

On October 4, 2019, the College of Engineering's 22nd Annual Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Alumni Awards celebration featured 22 exceptional alumni honored from across the College of Engineering who have achieved distinction in their fields or through their extraordinary service contributions since graduating from The Ohio State University.

The winners include four chemical engineering alumni.

William G. Lowrie (BS ’66, chemical engineering) was the sole recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership. Lowrie, now retired, was a successful oil and gas industry executive who played a major role in advancing energy production and drilling technology during his 33-career with Amoco. After joining the company in 1966, he worked his way through the ranks and became president of Amoco Oil Co. in 1990, president of Amoco Production Co. in 1992, and president and director of Amoco Corporation from 1995 until 1998, when the company merged with BP. He then served as deputy CEO of BP Amoco until his retirement in 1999. Throughout his career, he remained a dedicated volunteer and friend to Ohio State whose transformative gifts include supporting the construction of the Koffolt Laboratories in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry (CBEC) Building and creating the H.C. “Slip” Slider and Umit S. Ozkan Professorships.

Laura M. Ensign (BS ’07, chemical engineering) was one of two COE alumni who received the 2019 Texnikoi Outstanding Alumni Award. The Texnikoi Award is presented to individuals under the age of 40 who have risen rapidly in the field of engineering, and are chosen by the College of Engineering's current undergraduate members of Texnikoi, a society that recognizes qualities of leadership, integrity and personality as exemplified by active participation and leadership in extracurricular activities. Ensign has achieved a great deal in a short amount of time. She is the inaugural recipient of the Marcella E. Woll Professorship in Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University and vice chair for research for the John Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute. She created several approaches for improved drug administration that lead to increased and sustained delivery to precisely targeted cells and tissues, which minimizes side effects and reduces the frequency of doses.

Biotechnology innovator Michael Triplett (BS ’97, PhD ’04, chemical engineering) was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Triplett is co-founder of 1787 Bio LLC, a gene and cell therapy company headquartered in Columbus, and president of Carmen Partners, a life science commercialization and innovation consultancy. Triplett currently leads the InnovateOhio Life Sciences Working Group for Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, charged with proposing a life sciences economic development strategy for the state. He co-founded and served as president and CEO of Myonexus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing first-ever treatments for limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. He began his career at Procter & Gamble as a product development engineer. After completing his graduate work in nanoparticle engineering as a U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, he joined Battelle where he held roles of progressing responsibility before assuming the role of CEO of N8 Medical, a clinical-stage device company with Breakthrough designation for its antimicrobial endotracheal tube product. 

Denise M. Burcham (BS ’87, chemical engineering) won a Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement. Burcham is the venture executive in the Major Growth Ventures organization of ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Houston. She focuses on commercializing new technologies and bringing new businesses to ExxonMobil Chemical Company. Before moving to venture development, Burcham was the Baton Rouge Plastics Plant manager for ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Louisiana for three years. The site includes eight production lines focused on producing a large variety of specialty polymers. Burcham joined ExxonMobil in 1987 at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. After working in various plant engineering assignments, she was promoted into manufacturing management. In 1999, she moved to the ExxonMobil Chemical Headquarters in Houston. She held positions including financial analyst, multiple market planning roles, North American Benzene Sales manager and Americas Polyolefins Supply Chain manager. 

Congratulations to all!  Visit the College of Engineering Flickr page to see photos from the whole event!

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