Outstanding Graduates and Alumni

College of Science & Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award 2017

Jeff received his BS at WWU and then went on to get his MBA.  Soon after, he was General Manager for Nike at a time of significant environmental regulations, which he helped the company emerge with a completely new product line.  He later went back to school to receive his PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from the U of So Mississippi.  He is currently a faculty member at USM in Polymer Science and Engineering.  He directs a multi-million-dollar research group with multiple industrial partners while also helping create a pipeline for WWU undergrads to consider research as a career (through NSF’s REU program and by recruiting WWU graduates to USM’s grad programs which he does by visiting campus once a year). He has published 23 papers since 2010 relative to his current work at U of So Mississippi.

Jeff Wiggins in a suit smiling

Dr. Jeffrey Stuart Wiggins - Industrial Technology 1988

Director of the School of Polymers & Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi

Engineering and Design Outstanding Graduates 2020

an image of Nathan Bock smiling in front of a brick wall

Nathan Bock, Electrical Engineering

Nathan Bock was born and raised in Port Angeles, Washington. In addition to his outstanding academic achievements, Nathan is active in the WWU chapters of IEEE and HKN, and participates in peer tutoring and mentoring of other students. He also served as a Teaching Assistant for multiple EE courses. He was elected as a Team Captain of the WWU Swim Team and filled that role for two years. He helped lead the team to USMS Nationals in 2019. He engaged in several acts of University service through his activities with the Swim Team.  In addition to team fundraisers, he participated in the Washington Trails Association events at the Arboretum, and the #1ThingWWU domestic violence awareness effort. Nathan was also involved in outreach to new students by providing tours during Western Preview Day.

Mikayla Sadri smiling in front of a green background

Mikaela Sadri, Plastcis & Composites Engineering

Mikaela is a strong student, an active member of the WWU and broader community, a teacher and mentor of others, and an enthusiastic person that elevates all around her.  Along with her 3.75 GPA, she somehow finds time to be involved with several WWU student chapter organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Plastics Engineers, and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Processing Engineering, and serves as a TA for new pre-majors in the program. Mikaela also has several scholarships and awards to her credit.  She has been awarded the 2019 Western Plastics Pioneers Scholarship through SWE and the Ivy Roth Memorial Plastics Engineering Technology Scholarship (2018 and 2019).  She is an active participant in the community by taking part in the Spotlight on Women in STEM outreach event (April 2019), judging CAD design s for the Washington State Technology Student Association (WTSA) (2019 and 2020), and participating in outreach activities with the Society of Women Engineers.

Jacob Newer-Thurber smiling at the top of a mountain

Jacob Newer-Thurber, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design

Jacob Newer-Thurber, of Bothell, Washington was instrumental in the testing of the electric vehicle project, Lyn Okse, this year.  Jacob learned to program micro-controllers to enable programmable LED lighting to be added to the project. He played a key role in debugging, wiring, repairing, and testing the Battery Management System for a new lithium polymer battery pack.  This enabled the Lyn Okse vehicle to be tested under its own power for the first time.  Jacob also participated on the successful WWU Racing team, taking 11th place overall with Viking 61 in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2019.  After graduation, Jacob will work as the Powertrain Engineer for Keller Motors.  

An image of Austin Ball smiling in front of the Bay

Austin Ball, Manufacturing Engineering

Austin Ball, of Bellevue, Washington has a diversity of experience that stands out in his resume and portfolio. He received a prestigious internship with PACCAR during the summer prior to his senior year where he got to practice many of the skills he has been acquiring in his studies, including Design for Manufacture and Assembly and Quality Control. He is also the driving force behind a team of students working with Robotics and Automation faculty to develop a new “Learning Factory” called the LEAF. This facility is utilizing the latest technologies to provide the technology to support new laboratory experiences in Automation, Manufacturing Systems Integration and Industry 4.0. Austin can often be found working diligently in the LEAF directing other students on the team in assembling and testing the new hardware and software systems being installed. While a top student in the Manufacturing Engineering program, Austin also played on the varsity soccer team for the WWU. This summer he will be working at Boeing as a Quality Engineering Intern and will start a master's in science and engineering at UW in the fall. 

Ben Lorimore smiling

Ben Lorimore, Industrial Design

Raised in Portland Oregon, Ben Lorimore has a deep seated affection for the pacific northwest. He can usually be found exploring the outdoors, cooking long and intricate meals or meditating and conversing with friends. Through his exploration of mindfulness, he endlessly pursues a heightened awareness and connection with his self and those around him. He believes love and empathy are fundamental to the human experience and explores such themes in his passion for design. He aspires to create products and experiences that warm the heart and inspire us to love, connect and grow.

Previous Outstanding Graduates



Arthur Marechal, Electrical Engineering 2019
Georgia Donaldson, Manufacturing Engineering 2019
Levi Hamernik, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2019
Annelise Payne, Industrial Design 2019
Logan Slack, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2019
Kyle DeWitte, Electrical Engineering 2018
Erica Eggeman, Manufacturing Engineering 2018
Chris Croshaw, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2018
Scott Patton, Industrial Design 2018
Ryan Peabody, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2018
Chris Carpenter, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2017
Myann Refai, Manufacturing Engineering 2017
Cole Rogers, Electrical Engineering 2017
Justin Janczakowski, Industrial Design 2017
Aidan Kane, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2017
Jolee Nebert, Industrial Design 2016
Victor Perez, Electrical Engineering 2016
Kyle White, Manufacturing Engineering 2016
Jacob Blagg, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2016
Andrew Hollcraft, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2016
Mauricio Romano, Industrial Design 2015
Isaiah Ryan, Electrical Engineering 2015