Engineering Accolades


Robert C. Marlay B.S.E. '69, Lewis C. Brewster B.S.E. '86, and former dean Earl H. Dowell were honored by the Pratt School of Engineering Alumni Association at its annual awards banquet in April. Marlay received the Distinguished Alumni Award, Brewster the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and Dowell the Distinguished Service Award.Marlay is director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Policy. He is an adviser to the Secretary and, as executive secretariat to the department's R&D Council, he leads agency-wide groups charged with developing policies on research and development management, portfolio analysis, intellectual property, use of peer review, foreign-company participation in national laboratory research,and technology transfer.

An NROTC graduate, he served in the Navy's Civil Engineering Corps before earning two master's degrees and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He serves in the Naval Reserve as an admiral, where he is the senior combat engineering and construction officer overseeing the Navy's 13,000 reserve Seabees. His military decorations number more than a dozen.

Marlay was appointed to President Carter's task force on energy policy,which resulted in the passage of the Energy Production and Conservation Act that established the Department of Energy in 1977. He had worked at its predecessor agencies since 1974. He received the department's Meritorious Service Award for his two-year work in developing a national energy strategy that became the basis for the Energy Policy Act of 1992. This year, the department presented him with two additional awards for his leadership in technology issues.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipient Brewster joined Rockwell as a systems engineer in 1986 in its Dallas-based Network Transmission Systems division. He helped upgrade the backbone microwave telecommunications system for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was also instrumental in
engineering the fiber-optic transmission system that carried broadcast video and data traffic throughout metropolitan Seoul during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

He took a leave of absence to pursue his M.B.A. at Stanford University and rejoined Rockwell upon graduation in 1991 in its Semiconductor Systems division in Newport Beach, California. In 1998, Rockwell spun off that business into a separately traded public company, Conexant Systems Inc.,
and appointed Brewster senior vice president of worldwide sales. Conexant is now the largest maker of semiconductiors focused exclusively on communications.

Last year, Brewster was named by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the county's top ten businesspeople under forty. Dowell, dean emeritus of the Pratt School and J.A. Jones Professor of mechanical engineering and material science, earned his B.S.E. at the University of Illinois and his S.M. and Sc.D. degrees from M.I.T. He was on the faculty at Princeton University before coming to Duke in 1983. He was dean for sixteen years, the longest tenure for a dean at both Duke and engineering.

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993, Dowell has served as vice chair and chair of the American Society for Engineering Education's Engineering Dean's Council, and has chaired its public policy committee. He is a past president of the American Academy of Mechanics-which has given him a Distinguished Service Award-and past vice president and member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Dowell is a recipient of AIAA's Structural Dynamics, Structures, and Materials Research Award; this year the AIAA named him the Theodore Von Karman Lecturer. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Illinois.

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