Academy of Science & Engineering

Established in 2002

The Academy of Science and Engineering was established by Dean James P. Riehl to publicly recognize distinguished alumni and special  friends of Swenson College who have distinguished themselves through commitment and leadership in their chosen profession. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Swenson College of Science and Engineering. We have more than 15,000 alumni and each year a handful are nominated by their departments for induction into the Academy of Science and Engineering. Since its inception, 78 members have been inducted into the Academy.

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2021 Inductees

On Friday, October 15, 2021, two new members were inducted into the Academy.

Dr. Jonathan Schroden

Dr. Jonathan Schroden is the Director of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Countering Threats and Challenges Program, whose mission is to support United States government efforts to better understand and counter state and non-state threats and challenges. Dr. Schroden also directs CNA’s Special Operations Program, which focuses on bringing CNA’s “full spectrum” research and analysis capabilities to bear on the most complex and challenging issues facing special operations forces today and in the future.

Jonathan graduated from UMD in 1998 with bachelor of science degrees in Chemistry and Physics. He went on to earn a PhD in Physical Chemistry at Cornell University. He has had a long and distinguished career in the US military. Jonathan has served as a strategic advisor to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Multi-National Force – West in Iraq, US Central Command, and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He also served as CNA’s first interim advisor to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Most recently, Jonathan directed CNA’s independent review of the US Marine Corps’ force design and the congressionally-mandated independent assessment of special operations force structure. He has been with CNA since 2003 and during that time he has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times and twice to Al Anbar, Iraq. 

Schroden is an adjunct professor at George Washington University where he lectures on military power and effectiveness, and US special operations, and he is an adjunct scholar with the Modern War Institute at the US Military Academy. In addition to his work, he frequently publishes articles and is a commentator on television, radio, podcasts and in print.

Dr. Steven Stanley

Dr. Steven Stanley is President of Univation Technologies LLC, the world’s leading polyethylene process technology licensing and catalyst sales company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

Steve grew up in Duluth, MN and attended UMD for pre-engineering before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. After earning a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston in 1988 he joined Shell Development Company as a research engineer in the field of polypropylene polymerization catalysis. In 1995, he served in Shell Chemical Company as an Economics & Analysis Leader, joining Union Carbide Corporation in 1996 when they purchased the polypropylene business from Shell. Over the next several years, Steve held business management and director positions in their UNIPOL™ Polyethylene & Polypropylene Systems division. With the acquisition of Union Carbide by The Dow Chemical Company in 2001, Steve became Sr. Business Director for UNIPOL™ PP Licensing & Catalyst and then Global Business Director in 2005 for Dow Performance Fluids, a six-business portfolio in the Epoxy & Specialty Chemicals division. In 2009 he became Commercial Vice President for Univation Technologies LLC, before becoming President in 2015.

His 33-year career leading multiple global businesses has had him call several cities home, both domestic and abroad, leading him to conduct business in over 50 countries. He and his wife, Candace, reside in Katy, TX.

2019 Inductees

Dr. Tamara Diedrich

Dr. Tamara Diedrich received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from UMD in 1999. Her interest in mineralogy and geochemistry was kindled by an undergraduate research project on carbonate mineralogy of the Biwabik Iron Formation, which she completed with the advisement of Dr. Penny Morton.

After UMD, she went on to study high pressure experimental mineralogy and geochemistry at Arizona State University. In 2007, Tami received a PhD and returned to Duluth to take a position as Group Leader of the Mineral and Particle Characterization Group at the Natural Resources Research Institute.

At NRRI, Tami worked on developing protocols for taconite particulate characterization and conducted applied research on beneficial reuse of taconite byproducts. In 2010, she left Duluth with her family for an NSF International Research Postdoctoral Fellowship at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. At the completion of the fellowship, she returned to Minnesota to a position with Barr Engineering Company, where she worked to develop a mining geochemistry practice within that firm.

In 2016, Tami founded MineraLogic LLC, a specialty geochemistry consultancy, based out of Duluth. As Principal Geochemist, she helps mining companies predict and limit their environmental impact by developing technical programs to understand the potential geochemical interactions between minerals, water, and atmosphere on their projects.

Dr. Robert Mitchell

Dr. Robert Mitchell grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an MS in Geophysics from Michigan Technological University (MTU) before attending UMD. He earned an MS degree in Physics from UMD in 1990 and became an instructor in UMD’s Chemical Engineering Department teaching the engineering mechanics sequence.

In 1991, Bob returned to MTU as a GAANN PhD Fellow and received a PhD in Environmental Engineering in 1996. Since then, he has been a faculty member in the Geology Department at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. He currently serves as the Digges Distinguished Professor of Engineering Geology. Bob’s research includes modeling the effects of forecasted climate change on mountain hydrology and hillslope processes and has been instrumental to management and policy decisions regarding water quantity and quality in Washington State.

He has held leadership positions in state and national professional organizations and Bob currently serves on the Board of the Environmental & Engineering Division of the Geological Society of America.

Cary Scheiderer, PhD

Cary Scheiderer, PhD, graduated from UMD in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She then earned a PhD in neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After serving two years as a secondary education Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, Cary transitioned into science policy via a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This led to a Senior Policy and Research Analyst position with the Obama administration’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues where Cary led a report on privacy issues surrounding whole genome sequencing.

Cary has held policy analyst positions at the National Institutes of Health and worked on initiatives related to bioethics, protection of participants in research, privacy, and the future of the biomedical workforceCurrently, Cary is a Senior Merit Review Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, where she is responsible for organizing and managing the review of research applications. In this role, she works with scientists, patients, physicians, and other healthcare stakeholders.

Full list of Academy Members