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Alumni Awardee Bios - 2021

Robert McNally, Ph.D., EE ’70

Robert McNally, Ph.D., EE ’70

Bob McNally had a long and successful career in the medical biotech industry since graduating from Villanova and subsequently earning his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. From his early career in cardiac pacing, he co-founded CryoLife, a Georgia-based human heart valve and tissue-for-transplant company, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange (CRY). As a serial entrepreneur he was involved in a number of startups, most recently as the now-retired President and CEO of GeoVax, a vaccine company newly listed on NASDAQ (GOVX).

Bob is a past chairman and recipient of the Georgia Biomedical Industry Growth Award from the Georgia affiliate of the Bio Innovation Organization (BIO). He’s a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers and a long time Georgia Tech advisory board member for Biomedical Engineering and the School of Business. At Villanova he is actively involved in the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Institute and the Engineering Entrepreneurship advisory boards. For years, he has been passionate about encouraging a bioengineering degree at Villanova and fostering engineering entrepreneurial activity through interdisciplinary curricula to support engineers becoming successful CEOs.

Bob and his wife Gert reside on St Simons Island, Georgia.

Peiman Naseradinmousavi, ‘12 Ph.D.

Peiman Naseradinmousavi, ‘12 Ph.D.

Dr. Peiman Naseradinmousavi earned his PhD at Villanova University in 2012 and was presented with the College’s Outstanding PhD Student Award. Today he is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University. Before joining San Diego State, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue University. Dr. Naseradinmousavi’s research interests include robotics, smart flow distribution networks, nonlinear dynamics, control theory, optimization, magnetic bearings, and mathematical modeling. He serves as Associate editor for the ASME Letters in Dynamic Systems and Control, and the Journal of Vibration and Control. His robotic research work has been publicized on NPR (KPBS) news. Dr. Naseradinmousavi’s earned his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (dynamics and control) from Tabriz University in 2002.

Patrick J. Smith, ME ’82, MSME ’90

Patrick J. Smith, ME ’82, MSME ’90

Patrick Smith is a Fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in Allentown, PA. Air Products is an international supplier of industrial gases with customers in the refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage industries. Patrick is the Global Machinery Technology Manager and the Global Machinery Lead on the Operational Excellence Technical Team.

Patrick started his career with Ingersoll-Rand in the Pump Division in 1982 and joined Air Products in 1986 as a rotating machinery specialist. He has published dozens of articles on rotating machinery and has written and presented tutorials and case studies for the Turbomachinery Symposium. He has also presented multiple times at the annual Compressed Gas Association Safety and Reliability Seminar. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania, a member of CGA and has been a member of the Turbomachinery Advisory Committee since 2016.

TBA
(awarded at Convocation)

Annina M. Hogan, MChE ‘13

Annina M. Hogan, MChE ‘13

Annina M. Hogan, PE, RA, CME, LEED AP earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and her master’s degree from Villanova University. She initially worked for Texaco, Inc. and then joined Remington & Vernick Engineers where she quickly ascended to Executive Vice President and Director of Municipal and Engineering Services. Annina developed and led various design teams in the preparation of plans and subsequent construction of numerous municipal, school district, healthcare, and state capital improvement projects. Her areas of expertise include facilities improvement, renewable energy, utilities, drainage, transportation, parks and recreation, permitting and grant applications, and water treatment and distribution. Since March 2020 she has taken on the additional role of Chief Operating Officer for the firm. She is a Registered Professional Engineer; a Register Architect; a Certified Municipal Engineer; and a LEED-Accredited Professional.

April E. Barkasi, CE '96, MSWRE ‘98

April E. Barkasi, CE '96, MSWRE ‘98

After graduating from Villanova, Mrs. April Barkasi entered the world with the hopes and dreams of making a positive impact on the quality of life in her community. She started working at a small consulting firm creating stormwater management plans for large industrial and institutional properties. Mrs. Barkasi also worked for medium and larger companies to gain experience and perspective on the business and practice of the civil engineering industry.
Since 2010, she has been the President and CEO of the firm she founded, CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, llc. She grew the firm through some of the most difficult economic times and now has a team of more than thirty professionals. In 2020, she purchased a heavy civil construction company to complete the capabilities of the design-build firm. Her love for humanity and capitalism has also fueled a passion for redevelopment of economically stressed communities to create opportunities for employment and workforce development.

Steven Benvenuto, ME '96

Steven Benvenuto, ME '96

Steven Benvenuto is president of PrimeTest Automation, located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. PrimeTest Automation specializes in the design and manufacturing of custom assembly and process automation for the automotive, electronics, aerospace, medical device, consumer goods, and energy industries. The company integrates leading industrial automation brands and is both a National Instruments Alliance Member and an Authorized System Integrator for Fanuc Robotics.

Benvenuto started his career as a process engineer working in both the semiconductor and automotive industries. In 2001, he founded Performance Automation, a supplier of custom assembly automation utilizing industrial robotics and PLC technologies. As his business expanded, he recognized the growing need for data acquisition and analysis in automation. In 2005 he entered a strategic merger acquiring PrimeTest Corporation, an industrial test and measurement supplier, and established PrimeTest Automation. PrimeTest Automation has since become one of the largest automation houses in Florida.

Benvenuto has served on the Fanuc Robotics President Council and is serving on the Villanova Mechanical Engineering’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the South Florida Manufacturing Association and the Robotics Industries Association. Benvenuto lives in South Florida with his wife Tiffany (Brandt) Benvenuto ’96 CLAS, and their three children.

David Guro, ChE '84

David Guro, ChE '84

As Director of Global Product Management at Air Products, David Guro is responsible for the strategic direction, overall growth, and profitability of Air Products’ generated gases and cryogenic air separation product lines.

Dave joined Air Products in 1984 with an initial assignment in the Process Engineering department and has worked in various positions within engineering, operations, R&D, and product management. Throughout his career, he has combined deep technical expertise and market insights to help Air Products develop and commercialize a variety of key product offerings. His pioneering work on adsorption technology, hydrogen plant design, hydrogen refueling systems and carbon dioxide capture are foundational to the Hydrogen-for-Mobility and CO2-Solutions platforms that underpin Air Products’ ongoing growth.

Dave has participated in industry standards committees and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Hydrogen Association, where he sat as the chairman of the Policy Committee. He is currently a member of the Villanova Engineering Alumni Advisory Board.

In addition to his Chemical Engineering degree from Villanova, Dave holds a master’s in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University.

Phillip A. Piro, EE '50

Philip A. Piro, EE '50

Philp A. Piro was born in 1925 in White Haven, PA, a small town in the Poconos. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and served for seven years, three of which were on active duty as a radar operator and gunner on a carrier-based torpedo bomber covering the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and four years at Willow Grove Air Base while attending Villanova on the GI Bill. After graduation in 1950 he started at RCA’s newly formed Missile and Surface Radar Division where he became program manager and established the world-wide radar tracking network for the National Air and Space Administration. He and his team were actively involved in NASA’s early satellite development programs that eventually put a man on the moon.

Subsequently awarded a Sloan Fellowship at MIT, Piro became vice president and headed the development of the Navy’s Aegis Missile System now installed on over 45 destroyers and cruisers throughout the world. Other programs included development of over-the-horizon radar technology with the British Air Ministry. After RCA he became president of Holman Auto Group consisting of many retail auto franchises and corporate fleet leasing.

Piro says, “Without Carolyn, a tolerant, understanding and cooperative wife of 67 years who raised seven children, these careers would not have been possible.” Piro retired in 1991 and continues to be an active board member at Hall Capital, a venture capital company based in Oklahoma.

Elizabeth Andrews, ChE '12, MSSE '18

Elizabeth Andrews, ChE '12, MSSE '18

As an undergraduate, Elizabeth Andrews served as president of the Society of Women Engineers and participated in several service break trips. Following graduation in 2012, she joined the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission through the Nuclear Safety Professional Development program where she became a qualified nuclear power plant inspector. Elizabeth has held many positions within the NRC including resident inspector at Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station and her current position as Health Physicist. In these positions, Elizabeth inspects nuclear power plants to ensure they are operating safely and in accordance with federal regulations. In her free time, Elizabeth likes to read, listen to podcasts and go for walks with her fiancé, Peter, and their dog, Scotty.

Eugene P. Fogarty, PE, EE '58

Eugene P. Fogarty, PE, EE '58

Graduating from Villanova’s NROTC program, Eugene Fogarty qualified as an aircraft commander in the SH-3A helicopter and participated in the recovery of astronaut L. Gordon Cooper following the final flight of the Mercury space program.

After active duty, Gene was employed by the Philadelphia Electric Company where his assignments included start-up of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Director of Research, and Chief Planning & Research Engineer. Upon retirement, Gene was a nuclear consultant, primarily with Ontario Hydro in Canada.

In addition to being a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and California, Gene is a Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers where he served on the Standards Committee. He is also an emeritus member of the American Nuclear Society.

Gene is president of the Development Council of Assumption BVM parish in West Grove, PA, where he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He served on the Avon Grove School Board and the Chester County Parks and Recreation Board.

Gene and his wife Eileen are particularly proud that four of their six children, along with a son-in-law and three of their twelve grandchildren, are Villanova graduates.

Keith Lieberman, CE '93, MSWRE '05

Keith Lieberman, CE '93, MSWRE '05

A Senior Partner at T&M Associates, Keith Lieberman is Mid-Atlantic Regional Operations Manager and Site Development Practice Leader. He leads a multi-disciplinary team of over 60 professionals designing projects resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure. His passion for delivering engineering solutions to T&M’s clients is contagious in the workplace, where he promotes a culture of collaboration and innovation. Mr. Lieberman is also a member of T&M’s Board of Directors, Strategic Planning Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Committee. A recognized leader in the real estate development industry, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of NAIOP New Jersey. Mr. Lieberman serves on the Civil Engineering Academic Advisory Committee at Villanova.

As a Civil Engineering undergrad at Villanova, Mr. Lieberman participated in the first College of Engineering International Service Project in Panama, a program that continues today. After graduating, he volunteered for two years in Bolivia, working on rural potable water projects. Returning to the US, he received his Master’s in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Villanova.

Ean Mulligan, ME '09

Ean Mulligan, ME '09

Ean Mulligan has 11 years of experience in the energy industry, five of which have been in renewables. He currently works as the Vice President of Development at Foundation Solar Partners, a solar developer focused on developing and financing utility scale solar farms in PA and surrounding states. Prior to that Ean worked at Cypress Creek Renewables overseeing a community solar portfolio of over 400MWs across 80 projects in the Northeast. He has worked in acquisitions, market development and project management on ground-mounted solar projects built mostly on the east coast. Prior to his career in renewable energy, Ean worked for Schlumberger as a drilling engineer and well site supervisor.

Ean received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and later his MBA from UCLA Anderson. At Villanova, he played for the Rugby Football Club and was one of the founders of the Villanova Engineers Without Borders chapter for which he managed their first international water project in Thailand.

Virgina Smith, PhD

Virgina Smith, PhD

Dr. Virginia Smith joined Villanova University in 2015 as an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. An expert in water resources, her studies focus on river dynamics and how they change through time. In recognition of her contributions to this field, Dr. Smith was presented with the 2020 Early Career Award for Applied Research by the Universities Council on Water Resources. In only five years, she has served as principal investigator on related grants worth more than $3M.
Dr. Smith received her PhD studying hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and sediment transport at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). She began her collegiate academic career at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she received a BS in civil and environmental engineering. Upon graduation Virginia joined the Peace Corps, where she spent two years working in Samoa on the National Water Project and myriad village development projects. Following her time in Samoa, she began graduate school at UT, where she received a master’s degree in civil engineering before beginning her doctoral studies. Dr. Smith’s doctoral research focused on hydrology and geomorphology of sandy coastal dammed rivers. After finishing graduate school, she continued her research studying sediment transport with UT. She then worked in Asia and the South Pacific as an associate scientist for USAID's Adapt Asia-Pacific Project. She also worked as the Water Coordinator for USAID in Afghanistan, overseeing water and natural resource management projects in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Meg Amis

Meg Amis

Meg Amis joined the College of Engineering in 2015 as the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications. Working in higher education was always of great interest to Meg as her mom spent half of her career at Widener University. Thus, the opportunity at Villanova felt serendipitous, plus it didn’t hurt that her husband is an engineer (University of Delaware, but we won’t hold that against him). Meg most enjoys work that allows her to tap into her creative side, which luckily in marketing, is required often! However, her favorite part of the job is working with the students, especially telling their stories through video. She shares, “I’m so impressed by how talented, humble and passionate they are, it makes me proud to share all the great things they are doing.”

Villanova has become like a second home to Meg. In addition to her position in the College, she serves as the marketing chair for the University’s parent group – the Parenthood Collective. She writes, “I love that we have opportunities to meet and connect with so many different people in different areas across the University; it really feels like its own little town and I’m grateful for the friendships I have made here.” Now a Wildcat herself, Meg officially joined the Villanova alumni family earning her MBA in the fall of 2020. She is excited for the future of the College and looks forward to being a part of it.