Four Outstanding Seniors Honored

Students recognized for academic achievement, leadership, professional development and community service

Maddie Costelli

Maddie Costelli

Four seniors have been awarded the 2013-2014 Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in the University of Mississippi School of Engineering.

This year’s recipients are Samuel Di of Oxford, Madeline Costelli of Gulfport, Zachary Morgan of Horn Lake and Trey Powell of Pascagoula. Each was selected through a nomination process in their respective departments, based on their records of academic achievement, leadership, professional development and community service. Nominees also delivered a presentation to the selection committee about their experiences as students in the engineering school.

“As in the past, this year’s competition has brought forward a group of outstanding seniors, who not only excelled academically but also demonstrated strong leadership qualities,” Dean Alex Cheng said. “We congratulate all the students who participated in the competition.”

Di is an electrical engineering major with a minor in computer science. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, he won Eta Kappa Nu’s Outstanding Sophomore, Junior and Senior awards. A recipient of a Taylor Medal, Di has been a student employee in the National Center for Physical Acoustics since 2010 and served as a School of Engineering Ambassador and treasurer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His other honors include Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and the Chancellor’s Honor Roll every semester of his enrollment.

Di participated in summer undergraduate research programs at the University of Southern California and the University of Minnesota. He is a named

Sam Di

Sam Di

contributor to published work presented at the 2013 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Symposium. Di was the institutional representative to the Mississippi Engineering Society’s Outstanding Senior Award, where he was recognized by the state organization at its annual ceremony. His plans are to attend graduate school and major in electrical engineering.

Costelli is a civil engineering major. Another Taylor medalist who is consistently on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, she serves as vice president of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, vice president of design for Engineers Without Borders and is on the concrete canoe team for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

She has traveled to the African nation of Togo three times to work on the EWB school building project. Costelli holds memberships in Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Kappa Delta sorority. Her summer internships include Neel-Schaffer Inc. in Jackson and the Mississippi Department of Transportation in Gulfport. On campus, she worked as a research assistant in the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology. She has accepted a full-time position with Lanier & Associates Inc. in the company’s structural division.

Trey Powell

Trey Powell

Powell is also a civil engineering major. He is the recipient of several scholarships, including a John G. Adler scholarship from the UM School of Engineering, a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship, Community College Leadership and Academic Excellence scholarships and the highly competitive Chancellor’s Scholarship. A Taylor medalist, he has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Mortar Board honor societies, as well as Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Tau Beta Pi. He serves as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers and as treasurer of TBP.

An engineering intern with Neel Schaffer Inc., Powell is deciding between full-time employment opportunities and pursuing a graduate degree.

Morgan is another electrical engineering major with an emphasis in computer engineering. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and regularly listed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, he has served as president of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers organization and Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honor society. A Luckyday scholarship recipient, he is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma and Tau Beta Pi.

Morgan has also been heavily involved with the FIRST Robotics Competition. His internships have focused on software and electrical engineering, with Raytheon in Texas and Maryland, respectively. He is a named contributor to work presented at the 2013 Electrical Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates Symposium and at the 2013 Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.

Zach Morgan

Zach Morgan

After graduation, Morgan plans to be a research assistant for the computational electromagnetics and antennas research laboratory as he pursues a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.

(Ted) Bean’s About It

Civil engineering alumnus credits alma mater with launching successful, long-lived career

Theodore T. 'Ted' Bean and family.

Theodore T. ‘Ted’ Bean and family.

Ask Theodore T. “Ted” Bean (BSCE 62) what has been the key to his long, diverse and successful career and without hesitation, the University of Mississippi alumnus will tell you that it’s his alma mater.

“I would not be where I am today without the education I gained there,” said Bean, principal systems engineer at SAIC. “I can’t recall a single professor that wasn’t someone I couldn’t learn from. They were all good, but Dr. Sam Deleeuw was my favorite.”

Bean is paying his respects to Deleeuw in a concrete manner by contributing to the university’s Samuel L. Deleeuw Civil Engineering Endowment.

“Dr. Deleeuw was instrumental in getting me focused,” Bean said. “I have a lot to thank him for.”

A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Bean came to Ole Miss after a good friend and a fellow football player in high school, Bob Benton, was offered a scholarship at UM. Benton, who was an All-American in high school and all-SEC at Ole Miss, convinced Bean that he could play football for the Rebels as well.

“That is why I chose Ole Miss,” he said. “Unfortunately, when I met Johnny Vaught, my marriage as a freshman precluded me from playing for the team. He wouldn’t allow his players to be married until they were seniors.”

Putting collegiate athletics behind him, Bean refocused on his academics. The engineering school appealed to him for several reasons.

“It was very well-organized and we were motivated and encouraged by the faculty to learn,” Bean said. “I liked their honor system. We were trusted to do our own work and take exams without faculty oversight.”

An enlisted Marine attending the university, Bean found his UM experience paralleled his Marine training, where integrity and commitment drove the core values. Moreover, the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program oversight by Navy ROTC ensured that he took many extra courses above the minimum required in his chosen engineering field.

“These extra courses in language, history, sociology and government were all above and beyond what was required in the engineering department,” Bean said. “I had to attend summer school every summer. These extra courses offered us the opportunity to meet, learn with and socialize with students from other majors, broadening our learning experience.”

Deleeuw joined the UM engineering faculty during Bean’s junior year and taught FORTRAN. Bean found this, coupled with his association with the American Society of Civil Engineers, very rewarding.

“Dr. Deleeuw once asked me to prepare a paper for delivering at an ASCE meeting,” he said. “It forced me to start working on my delivery skills, which I have worked on over my career, and I am much better now than I was then.”

Bean was also asked if he would help students in Deleeuw’s FORTRAN lab and to prepare a program to estimate the cutting and filling required to turn a creek into a smooth-flowing waterway. “I never knew if the computer program was used, but it really helped me focus my mathematics skills and engineering logic,” he said.

Deleeuw’s encouragement of Bean to learn and use what he had learned to solve problems has rewarded Bean throughout his career.

Deleeuw saw Bean’s potential as a student and somehow felt he would do well after graduation.

“I remember Ted was always so inquisitive and eager to learn,” Deleeuw said. “Anything I challenged him to do, he accepted with great enthusiasm and commitment. I figured those qualities, in addition to his problem-solving skills, would serve him well in life.”

Bean acknowledged two other members of the engineering school as having greatly impacted him.

“Dr. George and Dr. Karl Brenkert (former dean of engineering) were also two I thought highly of for their guidance and motivating techniques,” he said. “They made us want to learn and to have pride in our progress.”

After Bean graduated from Ole Miss and served a tour in Vietnam, the Marine Corps sent him to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. There, he obtained a master’s degree in operations research-systems analysis.

“After I retired from the Marine Corps, the MITRE Corp. sent me to George Washington University to work on my doctorate in operations research, but management tasks got in the way and I wasn’t able to complete it,” Bean said. “These studies set me on a course to specialize in systems acquisition for the Marine Corps, which I still do to this day.”

Bean has received many awards and honors over his career, including membership in Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi, awards from the Military Operations Research Society for technical skills and leadership, multiple leadership awards from his corporations and combat ribbons while on active duty.

“My most cherished award is a Certificate of Accomplishment from the Commandant of the Marine Corps for my technical and leadership contributions to a Marine Corps system acquisition while on active duty,” Bean said. “The CMC is the highest ranking officer in the Corps, and to have him formally recognize my efforts is most rewarding.”

Bean is married to the former Kathy Brown, a lawyer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, William and Mary College and Georgetown University. The Beans adopted two children from Russia in 1995. Morgan attends Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Staunton, Va., and Trent attends Northern Virginia Community College.

“Trent is planning to transfer to Ole Miss,” Bean said. “We visited the campus two summers ago and he loved it.”

Bean is in the process of retiring and in training to become a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in northern Virginia.

“That will be my principal hobby, along with improving my golf game and reading,” he said. “I’m looking forward to all three, as well as attending as many of the Washington Nationals baseball games as possible. I also attend several Rebel games at a D.C. sports bar with Ole Miss alumni and we see good things for the Rebels coming this year.”

Bean entered the university the same year as James Meredith integrated it with his enrollment. While admitting there have been challenges, Bean said his alma mater has continued to make him proud.

“The reaction to a black student on campus startled me, as I had never been in a segregated society,” Bean said. “But Chancellor Williams led us into an integrated world, followed by a speech by Robert Kennedy on campus at the invitation of the law school during my senior year. This leadership helped heal these wounds, and I couldn’t be prouder to be an Ole Miss alumnus. We have come a long way.”

ME Professor Proves Major Asset to Department, Students

Ellen Lackey gives back to the institution that helped her achieve greatness

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

When Ellen Lackey first arrived at the University of Mississippi, the Forrest native was much like any other first-year student. A brilliant scholar, she soon graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering.

Within six years, Lackey also completed both her master’s degree in mechanical engineering and her doctorate in materials science and engineering, both from Ole Miss.

“Because I am originally from Mississippi, I was excited to have an opportunity to stay in Mississippi and contribute to the education of students in Mississippi,” she said. “I enjoy working with the students in classes and on projects.”

After joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an acting assistant professor in 1995, Lackey quickly rose within the ranks. A year later, she became an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 2002 and became a full professor in 2010.

She teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in materials science, design, manufacturing and CAD/CAM/CAE courses. Lackey has also participated in course development activities, including courses in failure analysis, composites manufacturing, CAD, mechanical characterization of composites and introduction to manufacturing. A beloved instructor, Lackey has been selected to receive the ASME Student Section Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Teacher Award (which may be received once every three years) seven times since 1996.

“In terms of academic honors, I am proud of receiving the UM Faculty Achievement Award and the School of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award,” she said. “Both of these awards value the significance of both teaching and research.”

Involved with composite materials research for the past 24 years, Lackey has made numerous contributions to the composites industry.

“I am proud of my work as a member of the Pultrusion Industry Council Load Resistance Factor Design Technical Committee and the ASTM D 20.18 Committee,” she said. “Work on these committees has included the development of various ASTM standards and the development of the ANSI standard document, ‘Code of Standard Practice for Fabrication and Installation of Pultruded Structures.’”

The Standard for LRFD of pultruded fiber-reinforced polymer structures will have long-term impacts, as it will help expand opportunities in structural applications for the composites industry.

Besides her work at UM, Lackey has worked in summer positions at the National Mechanical Engineering Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan, and at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“In 2012, I joined 10 other industry professionals on the annual list of Bright, Energetic, Skilled Trailblazers in the composites industry, as selected by the American Composites Manufacturers Association,” she said.

Lackey holds membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASM International, Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, American Composites Manufacturing Association and American Society for Engineering Education. Lackey is chief faculty adviser for the Mississippi Beta chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

Lackey’s dedication, scholarship and service have garnered her highest regards from colleagues.

“Dr. Lackey is most definitely one of the strongest members of our faculty,” said Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering. “Not only is she an outstanding teacher and accomplished researcher, she is also an excellent mentor and adviser to our students.”

In her spare time, Lackey said she enjoys watching Ole Miss sports, playing league tennis, travel, the outdoors, reading, computer-electronics projects and her corgis: Worf and Sulu.

ExxonMobil Executive Remembers, Supports Alma Mater

Albert Hilliard donates annually, advises undergraduates, networks and recruits potential students

ExxonMobil employee and UM School of Engineering alumnus Albert Hilliard finds time to give back to his alma mater.

ExxonMobil employee and UM School of Engineering alumnus Albert Hilliard finds time to give back to his alma mater.

When it comes to supporting the University of Mississippi School of Engineering, Albert Hilliard goes all out.

The projects execution manager for ExxonMobil Upstream IT Division, Hilliard manages 120 IT project managers and consultants who execute IT business projects associated with oil and gas exploration, development and production around the world. Yet the life member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association also finds time to donate annually (getting a triple match from ExxonMobil), network with other alumni, advise undergraduates on career opportunities, assist with job searches and recruit family, friends and strangers.

A regular attendee at football games and black alumni reunions, Hilliard also supports Ole Miss diversity program and racial reconciliation initiatives.

“My experience at Ole Miss helped me to appreciate the value of perseverance, resourcefulness and hard work,” said the Hernando native, who earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the university 31 years ago.

A first-generation college graduate, Hilliard remembers spending many long nights at the computer finishing computer programs and class projects. Engineering professors Tobin Maginnis and Tyrus McCarty are two faculty members he credits with being most influential during his years at Ole Miss.

“Being from rural Mississippi, Dr. Maginnis helped me understand the unimaginable possibilities of computer technology by presenting real-world problems to solve,” he said. “It was great seeing a young African-American engineering professor in the classroom at Ole Miss. Dr. McCarty motivated me to strive for excellence in the classroom as well with other student activities. He was very approachable and set high expectations.”

Three of Hilliard’s brothers and a nephew have also graduated from UM. He also has a great-niece and a great-nephew scheduled to attend this fall.

“I am very proud of becoming an executive at one of the largest corporations in the world,” said Hilliard, who also has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Dayton and an EMBA from Baylor University. His wife, Harriet, earned her bachelor’s from Ole Miss and her M.D. from the UM Medical Center. The couple has two sons: Cedric, a Notre Dame graduate who played football in the NFL; and A.J., a sophomore linebacker at Texas A&M University.

Hilliard’s hobbies include playing tennis, golf, biking and basketball, watching sports (especially college football) and traveling for pleasure.

“Albert Hilliard is an excellent example of everything an Ole Miss engineering school graduate should be,” said Kevin Gardner, the school’s development officer. “He’s successful, generous, professional, yet personable and, most of all, dedicated to maintaining excellence in the educational programs at the institution that gave him his start.”