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Curtis Johnson, Cindy Raman, and Tho Huynh

Curtis Johnson, Cindy Raman, and Tho Huynh

Several staff members of the Mechanical Engineering Department were recently honored for their many years of dedicated service to the University. Staff members are given a Staff Service award based on the numbers of years of employment in the University. The following individuals have been honored.

In addition to being honored at the upcoming President's Staff Awards, the department held a ceremony on the 22nd of April. Following are brief biographies for several of the award recipients.

Cindy Raman

Cindy has been an Administrative Associate with the Mechanical Engineering Department since December 1988. She works with 17 faculty in the Dynamic Systems and Control/Manufacturing and Design Areas. Area Faculty come to her for assistance with appointments, correspondence, course materials, purchasing, processing vouchers, travel and other administrative tasks. She is also a liaison for both undergraduate/graduate students and their faculty.

In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her 24 year-old daughter, Jennifer. She loves to watch movies, read and is huge animal lover.

Curtis Johnson

Mr. Johnson began his career at IBM in 1968. He worked in IBM's Machine Shop for 26 years. He came to the University of Texas in 1994, to work in the Mechanical Engineering department's Machine Shop, performing much of the same duties he performed for IBM. He enjoys his job, and plans to retire next year.

Sean O'Kelly

Sean O'Kelly

Sean O'Kelly

Sean O'Kelly is the Associate Director at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory. He is licensed as a Senior Reactor Operator on the 1 MW TRIGA research reactor by the U.S.NRC, was previously licensed on the Texas A&M University Nuclear Science Center research reactor and was a Reactor Operator in the United States Navy on three different submarine nuclear propulsion plants. Sean is the in-coming Chair of the American Nuclear Society Operations and Power Division representing over 4000 members in the nuclear field. He has been the Chair of the National Organization of Test, Research and Training Reactors (TRTR) and is currently Chair of the IAEA Technical Working Group on Research Reactors representing all international research reactors.

Tho Huynh

Tho Huynh

Tho Huynh

Mr. Huynh was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. At age 20, he joined the South Vietnamese Navy, during the peak of the Vietnam war. After being taken as a POW by the North Vietnamese, he was put into a forced labor camp for three years. He escaped and made his way to Hong Kong as a refugee, and then to America.

He ended up in East Texas and worked on an Associate's Degree in Electronics while working as power line transformer tester in the evenings. He moved to Austin in 1988 and worked as an electronic technician in the semiconductor industry. Following that, he worked four years as an engineering tech at University of Texas Applied Research Laboratories. He came to the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2002 and enjoys the opportunity it gives him to work on systems that he's never previously had the opportunity to use.

To read a more detailed telling of Mr. Huynh's story in his own words, please read this PDF.

Dr. Thomas Kiehne

Dr. Thomas Kiehne

Dr. Thomas M. Kiehne

Dr. Kiehne is currently a research engineer and program manager at the Applied Research Laboratories. For seven years prior to joining the Laboratories, he was a member of senior management at the Institute for Advanced Technology where he directed the Hypervelocity Physics Division. In this capacity, his responsibilities included administration and management of the hypervelocity impact and flight physics research laboratories where he provided leadership and guidance to senior scientists and engineers.

Dr. Kiehne joined the University of Texas after a 22-year career in the United States Army where he rose to the rank of Colonel. With the Army he established a record of success in various command and staff assignments up to the Field Army level in the United States, Europe, Vietnam, and Korea. His service included time as a logistician, property manager, and base facility manager. In the last fifteen years of service, he specialized in engineering education, research, administration, and management. For seven years, he served as an Assistant and Associate Professor on the faculty of the United States Military Academy where he directed the Thermo-Mechanics and Energy Systems Group in the Mechanical Engineering Department. At the Academy, he was responsible for management and supervision of military and civilian personnel while administering an accredited Mechanical Engineering curriculum. He also taught a full course load and pursued research interests with colleagues at the University of Texas.

In his final military assignment, Dr. Kiehne served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition with management and administrative responsibility for a diverse group of programs totally about $55M of budget authority at DARPA. In this capacity, Dr. Kiehne served as a strong program advocate while providing liaison between the Military Services, the United States Congress, and various industrial research partners. As senior Army officer, he also coordinated the work of all engineers and scientists assigned to DARPA from the Army.


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