College of Engineering honors outstanding alumni

2016 Outstanding alumi

The College of Engineering at Texas A&M University honored six alumni during the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Awards Banquet.

Receiving the Outstanding Alumni Honor Award were Stuart R. Bell ’79, president, The University of Alabama; Greg C. Garland ’80, chairman and CEO, Phillips 66; J. Stephen Rottler ’80, deputy laboratories director and executive vice president, National Security Programs Sandia National Laboratories; Merri J. Sanchez ’85, chief scientist, Air Force Space Command; and Charlie Shaver ’80, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Axalta Coating Systems.

Receiving the Outstanding Early Professional Achievement Alumni Award was Christopher T. Rodenbeck ’99, head, advanced concepts group, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.


BellStuart R. Bell ’79


The University of Alabama

Dr. Stuart R. Bell became the 29th president of The University of Alabama on July 15, 2015. He first joined Alabama in 1986 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and was named department head nine years later. He then served Alabama for 16 years and directed the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies. With a research interest in combustion engines, Bell has expertise in alternative fuels for engines, innovative engine designs and modeling of engine and engine processes.

Prior to becoming Alabama’s president, Bell first served as dean of the college of engineering at the University of Kansas then as executive vice president and provost at Louisiana State University. Both institutions opened new facilities and saw an increase in student recruitment, retention and success under his leadership.

Bell was awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Ralph Teetor Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research and Teaching in 1988. He was presented the T. Morris Hackney Faculty Leadership Award from Alabama’s college of engineering in 2001 and the Richard S. Woodbury Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2005.

A native of Abilene, Texas, Bell earned a nuclear engineering degree from Texas A&M University in 1979. He earned his Master of Science and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M in 1981 and 1986, respectively.

Bell and his wife, Susan, have three adult children, Stuart, Stacy and Stephen.


GarlandGreg C. Garland ’80

Chairman and CEO

Phillips 66

Greg C. Garland is chairman and chief executive officer of Phillips 66 with more than 30 years of industry experience in the oil, natural gas and chemical industries.

Garland served as senior vice president, Exploration and Production, Americas for ConocoPhillips starting in 2010. Prior to joining ConocoPhillips, Garland served Chevron Phillips as senior vice president, Planning and Specialty Chemicals, before being elected as president and chief executive officer.

Previously, Garland has held numerous leadership positions at Phillips, including general manager of Qatar/Middle East, general manager of natural gas liquids, manager of planning and development in planning and technology, and manager of the K-Resin® business unit.

Garland began his career with Phillips in 1980 as a project engineer for the Plastics Technical Center. He later worked as a sales engineer for Phillips’ plastics resins, business service manager for advanced materials, business development director and olefins manager for chemicals.

He serves on the board of directors for DCP Midstream, the board of Amgen, the board of the National Petroleum Council, the board and executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute, the board and the executive committee of Junior Achievement for Southeast Texas, the board for The Greater Houston Partnership, and as a member of the Engineering Advisory Council for the college of engineering at Texas A&M University.

Garland received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M in 1980.

He and his wife, Gail, have four children, Jared, Stacey, Tim and Jon and four grandchildren.


Rottler _HeadshotJ. Stephen Rottler ’80

Deputy Laboratories Director and Executive Vice President

National Security Programs

Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. J. Stephen Rottler is the deputy laboratories director and executive vice president, National Security Programs, at Sandia National Laboratories. In this role, he leads the Nuclear Weapon Program Management Unit and is responsible for other national security-related functions.

In his 31-year-career at Sandia, Rottler has held a number of leadership roles, including vice president of Sandia’s California laboratory; leading the Energy and Climate Program Management Unit; chief technology officer and vice president, Science and Technology; and chief engineer and vice president, Weapon Engineering and Product Realization.

Rottler is a recipient of the Department of the Air Force Award for Exemplary Civilian Service. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a former member of its board of directors, and has served on several of its committees.

Rottler has led and served as a member of advisory boards and independent review panels for government agencies, other national laboratories and universities such as the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the System Engineering Research Center at Stevens Institute of Technology.

He received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University in 1980, 1982 and 1984, respectively.

He and his wife, Lee ’81, have two children, Caitlin and Adam.


SanchezMMerri J. Sanchez ’85

Chief Scientist

Air Force Command

Dr. Merri J. Sanchez is chief scientist for Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). She is the primary adviser to the commander on all scientific and technical matters concerning space and cyberspace, serving as the senior authority for this substantive program.

Sanchez entered government service in 1982 with NASA. Her last role at NASA was as liaison to AFSPC, Strategic Command, Northern Command and NORAD, where she advised the NASA administrator on U.S. Department of Defense space-related matters.

She has served as an increment manager for the International Space Station Program (ISS) and as the X-38 deputy project manager for operations. Prior to assuming her current position, Sanchez was senior director for the Space Systems Group at the Sierra Nevada Corporation in Colorado, where she was deputy program executive and program manager for the Dream Chaser commercial crew lifting body spacecraft.

Sanchez received two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, the Johnson Space Center (JCS) Director’s Commendation and two JSC Certificates of Commendation. She was also selected as a recipient of the Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award from the aerospace engineering department.

Sanchez is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, has authored 18 publications and was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She currently serves on the advisory boards for both the college of engineering and the aerospace engineering department at Texas A&M.

Sanchez earned her Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M. She earned two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree from the University of Houston.

She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Shaver _charles _0018_f _5x 7.Charlie Shaver ’80

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Axalta Coating Systems

Charlie Shaver is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Axalta Coating Systems. Shaver has spent more than 35 years in the global petrochemical, oil and gas industry. From 2004 to 2011, prior to leading Axalta, Shaver was chief executive officer and president of the TPC Group.

Shaver also served as vice president and general manager for General Chemical from 2001 to 2004, and as a vice president and general manager for Arch Chemicals from 1999 to 2001. Shaver began his career with the Dow Chemical Company serving in a series of operational, engineering and business positions from 1980 to 1996.

He has served in a variety of industry organizations, including the American Chemistry Council Board of Directors and Finance Committee, the American Coatings Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association Board and Executive Committee. He has also served as an operating partner of private equity firms, Golden Gate Capital (San Francisco) and The Carlyle Group (Washington D.C.).

Shaver currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for U.S. Silica and is a past chairman of Taminco, Inc. He serves on the President’s Council and is a major donor to Ducks Unlimited conservation organization. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1980.

Shaver and his wife, Sharon ’80, live in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and have four children, Caroline, Nick, Megan and Ryan.


Rodenbeck TrimChristopher T. Rodenbeck ’99

Head, Advanced Concepts Group

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Dr. Christopher T. Rodenbeck joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in January 2015 to start a new “Millimeter Wave Airborne Radar” department. He has won multiple grants for advanced millimeter-wave radar systems and was recently promoted to head of Radar Division’s Advanced Concepts Group, responsible for identifying and developing disruptive radar technologies for the U.S. Navy.

From 2004 to 2014, Rodenbeck led a multidisciplinary advanced/exploratory technology development program for radar and sensor applications at Sandia National Laboratories. He has mentored numerous engineers in the radar electronics application area and is responsible for numerous radar innovations including a spatial power-combining technique mitigating interference between co-located radar systems and a novel radiation-hardening-by-design technique applicable to commercial semiconductor processes.

Rodenbeck received an internal citation at Sandia for Excellence in Radar Technology Leadership in 2011 and the prestigious 2012 National Nuclear Security Administration Award of Excellence. He received a Sandia corporate-wide Innovator Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Young Engineer Award in 2015 from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

As an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Rodenbeck is responsible for its microwave theory and techniques subject area. He has authored or co-authored 29 refereed journal papers, 18 conference papers and 19 government reports, and holds six patents with 10 more pending.

Rodenbeck earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1999, 2001, and 2004, respectively.

He and his wife, Haifeng ‘08, have a daughter, Elizabeth.