Introducing the 2020 SCE Alumni Board

President: Christopher Kruse (BSCS ’05, MBA ’16)

Vice President: Ed Downey (​BSCNSM ’93, BSECE ’10)

Treasurer: Brian Boman (BSCE ‘17)

 

Directors at Large:

Ricky Abnos (BSME ‘17, MSME ‘19)

Ken Gerling, P.E. (BSCE ’91, MS Engineering Management ’98)

Jose Lopez, E.I. (BSCE ’15, MSCE ’18)

Adam Mitchell, P.E. (BSCE ’10)

Chelsea Pfaffly (BSCE ’18)

Sierra Shipley (BSME ’14)

DeJ’on Slaughter (BSCE ’13)

Zaheer Mohammed Siddique (MSEE ’17)

Jan Williams (BSME ’83)

 

In January, elections for the SCE Alumni Association Board were held. Contributing and Lifetime Members of the Alumni Association voted on officer and director-at-large positions.

 

Your newly elected officers are:

 

Christopher Kruse (BSCS ’05, MBA ’16), President 

Chris Kruse is a native of Kansas City and graduated from UMKC in 2005 with a B.S in Computer Science.  He went on to earn his MBA from Berkeley-Haas in 2016.  While serving on the SCE alumni board for the last 3 years, he has held the position of treasurer followed by vice president.  He currently lives in Parkville with his wife and two kids.

Ed Downey (​BSCNSM ’93, BSECE ’10), Vice President

Ed Downey is President of Capital Electric Construction Company & Bell Electrical Contractors. He holds a B.S. in Construction Science & Management from K-State and a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from UMKC. Ed is also a Block certified Master Electrician. Prior to his current roles, he worked for JE Dunn for 16 years as VP of the Mechanical Electrical & Plumbing Division. Ed recently served as treasurer for AFCOM Kansas City and is currently serving as the chairman of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Ed was elected to his second two year term, and will serve the first year of his term in the Vice President role.

 

Brian Boman (BSCE ‘17), Treasurer

Brian Boman is a Project Manager for the City of Kansas City’s Public Works Department.  Focusing on sidewalk and roadway pavements, he uses city standards to design, estimate, and inspect local infrastructure projects integrating various modes of transportation.  Brian has a passion for all things Kansas City.  He graduated from SCE in May 2017 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Brian was elected to his second two year term, and will serve the first year of his term in the Treasurer role.

 

The following alumni were elected to as directors-at-large to the Board.

 

Ricky Abnos (BSME ‘17, MSME ‘19)

Ricky Abnos graduated with his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2017 and 2019, respectively. Currently, he works at Kiewit in the power delivery division. In the short time he has been with Kiewit, he has been able to transfer from an estimator to a lead estimator. Ricky’s role requires overseeing several power delivery projects and working with a team of four to ensure construction quantities are captured for each of their estimates. While at UMKC, Ricky was involved with Engineers Without Borders as a member of the travel team and acted as the treasurer, where he helped raise funding for their water distribution project in Panama. He was also involved with Enactus, a student-based organization which empowers communities using entrepreneurial methods and means. Through Enactus Ricky was able to travel to China for their Kansas City Economics project. While in China, Enactus represented UMKC and met with business leaders to build lasting relationships for the City of Kansas City trade agreement between Chinese cities that had similar economic growth to Kansas City. Ricky was elected to a two year term.

 

Jose Lopez, E.I. (BSCE ’15, MSCE ’18)

Jose Lopez is a graduate engineer/project manager for KC Water Services. He has manages multiple stormwater projects, completed hydrologic and hydraulic analysis for watersheds in Kansas City, among other projects and is currently helping build a physical hydraulic model. Jose obtained his undergraduate degree in 2015 and his graduate degree in 2018. When he was a student at UMKC he was President of the Chi Epsilon Student Chapter, Secretary of the Student Chapter of ASCE, and also participated in Engineers Without Borders and Steel Bridge. Jose has been a member of the UMKC Young Alumni Committee since 2018 and is excited to serve on the SCE Alumni Association Board.  Jose was elected to a two year term.

 

Adam Mitchell, P.E. (BSCE ’10)

Adam Mitchell has over 20 years of experience in the Engineering and Construction Industry. He maintained a full-time position while attending UMKC where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a civil engineering degree in 3 years. After graduating from UMKC, Adam worked for a small local Structural Engineering firm where he gained experience in both Commercial and Residential structural design, and in all types of construction materials. In 2016, he founded S1 Structural LLC. The firm was named “S1 Structural” to reflect Adam’s geotechnical background. Adam was elected to a two year term.

 

Chelsea Pfaffly (BSCE ’18)

Chelsea is a Civil Engineer-in-Training for Wilson & Company Inc., Engineers and Architects in Kansas City where she has worked on a variety of roadway and stormwater projects. While she was a student at UMKC she was involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Undergraduate Research, SCE Student Ambassadors, and a Teaching Assistant and held many officer positions throughout her time in college. Chelsea has remain involved in SWE and UMKC since graduating. Chelsea enjoys participating in outreach to inspire and encourage K-12 students to pursue engineering degrees. Chelsea is currently the Outreach Chair in SWE’s Kansas City Section. As Outreach Chair she organizes K-12 outreach events, communicates with local SWENext chapters, and participates in other organizations outreach events. Chelsea was elected to a two year term.

 

Sierra Shipley (BSME ’14)

Sierra Shipley is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, where she works on developing New Infusion System Products. Sierra is currently on the System Engineering team, where she is responsible for formulating product and system level requirements and insuring full functional coverage at all levels. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Blackburn College (2011) in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Missouri-Kansas City in Mechanical Engineering (2014). Sierra’s hobbies include hiking, play sports, and traveling to new and exciting places. Sierra was elected to a one year term.

 

New officers and board members will join the following board members whose terms end in January 2021.

Ken Gerling, P.E. (BSCE ’91, MS Engineering Management ’98)

DeJ’on Slaughter (BSCE ’13)

Zaheer Mohammed Siddique (MSEE ’17)

Jan Williams (BSME ’83)

 

School of Computing and Engineering Receives $2 Million Gift To Upgrade Flarsheim Hall

 
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing and Engineering will receive $2 million of a $15 million gift from the Sunderland Foundation for key renovations within Flarsheim Hall.

The work will reconfigure existing spaces in Flarsheim in conjunction with the completion of the new $32 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center, scheduled to be finished in August 2020. In 2018, the Sunderland Foundation provided the lead gift for this center, which will be a significant addition to the community as well as the university, and will include labs that incorporate   virtual reality, clean rooms and renewable energy coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

“We are very grateful for the continued support of the Sunderland Foundation,” said Dean Kevin Z. Truman. “This gift makes possible renovations in Flarsheim Hall that will create an environment for multidisciplinary collaboration through additional teaching, research and office space, and a seamless transition from the new Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center. With this state-of-the-art facility being built connected to the south face of Flarsheim, we’re excited that Flarsheim will be receiving the modernization it needs for these spaces to serve as a hub for science, engineering and technology at UMKC.“

Flarsheim will connect to the new building on all five floors. Research space upgrades include enlarging the materials and nanomaterials labs on the first floor, which are used not only by the school’s researchers but those throughout the university. By enlarging this space it would create a large research suite that would be much more conducive to collaboration and multidisciplinary research.

The machine shop — used for building prototypes and testing apparatuses for UMKC researchers — will be expanded to accommodate additional, new equipment and personnel due to the large increase in research projects that need custom-built equipment.

In addition, the dean’s suite offices will be upgraded and overhauled to be more collaborative with staff.

The front entrance of Flarsheim will be overhauled with a community wall that showcases the wide variety and plentiful opportunities for careers for students who complete degrees at the school. Designed by Dimensional Innovations, this installation will feature the logos of 60 companies in the Kansas City Metro who engage with the school in a variety of ways.

As the school continues to work to grow enrollments—especially in new degree programs including construction engineering and management, architectural engineering, biomedical engineering, data analytics and cyber security – the community wall will be an important recruitment tool, clearly demonstrating the potential for students to establish their careers in Kansas City. Currently, 80% of undergraduates take jobs in the metro area.

 

Story by Stacy Downs, Strategic Marketing and Communications