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Engineering and Applied Science Announces Commencement Program Speakers

April 26, 2011

Retired Brigadier General Patrick Burns will address more than 100 Engineering and Applied Science graduates during the May 7, 2011 commencement ceremony. Pat will be joined by two student speakers, Joint Engineering Council Outstanding Senior James Follum of Sundance, Wyo., and Wyoming Engineering Society Outstanding Senior Robert Streeter of Saratoga, Wyoming.

Patrick Burns
Pat Burns has been employed since Oct 10, 2005 by M. A. Mortenson Company as Vice President in their Federal Contracting Group. M. A. Mortenson is the 32nd largest general contractor in the U.S., and most is known for complex construction such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Denver Coors Field, and most recently the Denver Metropolitan Museum of Art. Burns retired from the Air Force in Sept 2005 having served as the Director of Installations, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He was responsible for planning, programming, construction, operation, maintenance, and services for all Air Combat Command facilities, housing, and infrastructure, and the oversight of contingency engineering, contingency service fire protection, explosive ordnance disposal, security, force protection, and chemical/biological protection programs totaling $2.4B annually. He assumed that duty in Feb 2001, after having served in a similar capacity in charge of all Air Force bases in the Pacific from 1999 to 2001. Burns was drafted during the Vietnam War, and served four years enlisted duty with the U.S. Air Force Security Service prior to being commissioned at Officer Training School in December 1974. He has commanded a support group and civil engineer squadron, and served in a wide range of civil engineer positions at base level, numbered air force, major command, and at the Air Staff. He also served as an aide to the First Family for the 1985 Presidential Inauguration. In August 1990, he deployed to Saudi Arabia as Combat Support Commander to bed down the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing in support of Operation Desert Shield. After the events of September 9, 2001, he led his staff in planning, programming and executing over $800M in bed down construction at 32 bases in 11 countries to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was then responsible for follow-on construction (totaling over $1.4B) at 14 bases to support continued U.S. Air Force presence in South West Asia. Upon his retirement, he received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal from the President of the United States for his exceptionally meritorious service in his Air Combat Command position. Buildings Magazine named his organization one of the “Top Twenty-Five Innovative Building Organizations in the U.S. for 2004”, the first time that a military engineering organization has ever achieved that recognition. Recently, Engineering News Record magazine named him one of the “Top 25 Engineer Newsmakers for 2005”, and he will be recognized at a ceremony in New York City in April of this year. Burns is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also chairs the UW Mechanical Engineering Department External Advisory Board. Burns and his wife Diane currently reside in Lorton, VA. His mother Anne Burns and sister and brother-in-law Karen and Mike Carney live in Cody, Wyoming; his sister Sandy Steele is a local Laramie teacher.

James Follum
Jim Follum is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis on power systems and signal processing at UW. Last summer, Jim had the opportunity to assist with research developing methods to analyze the stability of power systems at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. This experience helped solidify his decision to remain at UW after graduating in May and pursue a master’s in electrical engineering. He intends to build a career research the power system following graduation. He is a participant in Tau Beta Pi and Golden Key honor societies.

Robert Streeter
A native of Saratoga, Wyo., Rob Streeter is a senior in electrical and computer engineering. Rob is involved in campus activities including the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and IEEE student chapter. He is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key International. In addition to his involvement on campus, he also serves as an assistant leader in his church youth group, is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop #153, and is a member of the Albany County Sheriff Search and Rescue team. Following completion of his undergraduate studies he plans to continue at UW in the M.S. program and eventually teach electrical engineering close to home along the Front Range.

Congratulations seniors and the best of luck in your future endeavors!


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