Introducing the 2021 SCE Alumni Board

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

Vice President: Ed Downey (​BSCNSM ’93, BSECE ’10), President of Capital Electric Construction Company (Kansas City, KS), CEO of Bell Electrical Contractors (St. Louis, MO) and CEO of PerLectric (Fairfax, VA)

Treasurer: Brian Boman (BSCE ‘17), , Project Manager, City of Kansas City MO Public Works

Directors at Large:

  • Ricky Abnos (BSME ’17, MSME ’19), Field Engineer, Kiewit
  • Jose Lopez (BSCE ’15, MSCE ’18), Graduate Engineer/Project Manager, KC Water Services
  • Adam Mitchell, P.E. (BSCE ’10), Founder | Structural Engineer, S1 Structural
  • Chelsea Pfaffly (BSCE ’18), Civil Engineer-in-Training, Wilson & Company Inc., Engineers and Architects
  • Sierra Shipley (BSME ’14), Senior Mechanical Engineer, Baxter Healthcare Corporation
  • Zaheer Mohammed Siddique (MSEE ’17), Engineer Systems Architecture, T-Mobile
  • James Watson, P.E. (BSCE ’98), Senior Project Manager, Burns & McDonnell
  • 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:

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

Ed Downey is President of Capital Electric Construction Company (Kansas City, KS), CEO of Bell Electrical Contractors (St. Louis, MO) and CEO of PerLectric (Fairfax, VA). 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 on the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association Heart Walk.

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 UMKC in 2017 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.

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

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 UMKC in Mechanical Engineering (2014). Sierra’s hobbies include hiking, playing sports, and traveling to new and exciting places.

Zaheer Mohammed Siddique (MSEE ’17)

Zaheer Siddique is an Engineer Systems Architecture at T-Mobile. He earned his bachelor of engineering in electronics & communication from Osmania University in India before coming to UMKC for his master of science in electrical engineering. While at UMKC he was president of the Indian Student Association, which he is still involved in as an alumni advisor. Zaheer is a foodie & likes to cook and experiment with food. He inherited this from his Granddad who was a good chef. Zaheer is also good at video games and likes to play Strategy and Action games. Apart from this he likes to play cricket and Soccer, and is now developing interest for Baseball and American Football. Zaheer also enjoys volunteer work and community activities and is an active member of UMKC SCE Alumni association.

James Watson, P.E. (BSCE ’98)

James Watson is a Senior Project Manager at Burns & McDonnell where he’s been employed since graduating from UMKC’s Civil Engineering program in 1998. He received his Professional Engineering license in 2003 and has advanced his career by acting as a department manager, division quality control manager and project manager. He currently manages Burns & McDonnell’s largest electrical transmission line design team supporting one of the firm’s largest clients. James credits much of his career achievements to the education he received at UMKC along with the opportunities to serve and the connections he made while attending. He served as UMKC’s ASCE Student Chapter president his senior year, where he and a dedicated group of students and faculty hosted the Mid-Continent Regional Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Competitions. James continues to support the SCE by contributing to scholarships and the new Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center, and through recruitment of SCE students.

Jan Williams (BSME ’83)

Jan Williams (BSME ’83) retired from a 33-year career at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM and maintains ties with the nuclear security enterprise through a part-time analyst job with a major defense contractor. She began her career at Burns & McDonnell Engineering as a technician while attending UMKC and later spent time at the (then) Bendix plant in Kansas City before relocating to New Mexico. Jan is a Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers and received their Distinguished Service Award in 2017. She is also a 1991 UMKC Alumni Award recipient. She has advocated to get more women in engineering throughout her career, participating in many outreach and advocacy events and working to ensure that deserving women engineers receive recognition through the SWE awards program.


New officers and board members will join the following board members whose terms end in January 2022.

Christopher Kruse (BSCE ’05, MBA ’16), President
Ricky Abnos (BSME ’17, MSME, ’19)
Jose Lopez, E.I. (BSCE ’15, MSCE ’18)
Adam Mitchell, P.E. (BSCE ’10)
Chelsea Pfaffly (BSCE ’18)