Five engineering alumni named STATEment Makers by Alumni Association

Iowa ‘STATEment Makers’ is an honor that recognizes the early personal and professional accomplishments and contributions to society of Iowa State University’s young alumni (graduates 32 years of age and under). Nominations are sought annually for‘STATEment Makers’ who have made differences in their own lives, the lives of others, their communities, and/or their professions through ambitious efforts that reflect the scholarly, entrepreneurial, or service-oriented spirit of an Iowa State University education. Five engineering alumni were selected as 2015 STATEment Makers.

Daniel Eaton ’08
Deephaven, Minn.

After earning an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 2012 and gaining years of experience as a mechanical engineer, project manager, operations director, and consultant, Dan (’08 mechanical engineering) launched his own company: Parallel Computing Solutions, a Minneapolis-based firm which aims to “commercialize innovative technology by communicating the technology’s strategic and business value to influential decision makers.” He has built the company, which is based on the new SRC Computers platform, from the ground up thanks in part to a strong interest in energy efficiency he developed while studying at ISU. “Customers can now quickly and easily take their core business logic and create a custom processor tailored to their business logic, leading to massive improvements in business efficiency,” Dan says. “The infrastructure and energy savings are huge.”

Andy Hoernecke ’05 ’07
San Francisco, Calif.

As an information assurance professional, Andy (’05 computer engr, MS ’07) is focused on finding practical solutions to long-standing, difficult problems. After successful stints at Neohapsis and Sears Online Business in Chicago, he moved to the Silicon Valley in 2013 to become a senior application security engineer for Netflix’s cloud security team. He has used his current position at Netflix as an opportunity to promote collaboration among major companies in addressing security challenges and has worked on a variety of open source projects designed to help developers and security professionals work together on building more secure applications. His work has garnered media attention from such publications as PC World, Slashdot, Reddit, and Slate. He is also a frequent presenter at software development and security conferences across the country.

Carl Kirpes ’12, ’14
Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Upon graduation, Carl (’12 mechanical engr and industrial and manufacturing systems engr, MS ’14 systems engr) moved to Kansas City and began working for GENESYS Systems Integrator as an entry-level sales engineer. He immediately impressed his colleagues, who began assigning him projects they say had been on the company “wish list” for years. Not only did Carl complete the list of projects, but he did so in a way that shattered expectations. So when it came time to name a new vice president of operations, the recent college graduate was the obvious choice. “He has raised the bar of expectations for many new hires and young employees at GENESYS and throughout the industry,” GENESYS president Matthew Perry says. “GENESYS has become a thriving organization under his excellent leadership.”

Mark Richard Kresser ’09
Seattle, Wash.

While more than 10,000 bicyclists pedaled 423 miles across Iowa the last week of July 2013 as part of RAGBRAI XLI, Richard (’09 civil engineering) chose to do it the hard way: He ran. The 27-year-old Raymond, Iowa, native averaged three to four hours of sleep a night and ran between 12 and 20 hours a day. He alternated among four pairs of running shoes and ate breakfast burritos and other food from vendors along the route. As he finished the race in Fort Madison, he told the Des Moines Register: “Now that I’m done, the body is like, ‘OK, let’s move on to something else, like a couch.’” His efforts raised more than $20,000 for the Iowa Veterans Home. Richard, who recently transitioned from his career in the U.S. Army to pursue his dreams in the outdoor recreation industry, is no stranger to adventure. He has led two successful mountaineering expeditions, completed numerous ultramarathons – including five 100-mile trail running races, and is currently working as a professional ski patroller, EMT, and avalanche controller in Washington state.

Cristina Saint-Blancard ’06
Plantation, Fla.

When Cristina (’06 mechanical engineering) was in graduate school at Ohio State University, she volunteered and conducted research at a neonatal intensive care unit, where in her spare time she cradled infants born to addicts – and where she contracted a bacterial infection in her ears and brain that forced her to leave school and nearly took her life. Although today she is now profoundly hard of hearing and faces tremendous health obstacles, she has completed her master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Purdue University and even lost more than 160 pounds. She has become an advocate for disability awareness and service animals. “I got a lot of help and encouragement from my family and friends,” Cristina says, “but I also would not be here if it were not for my beloved service dog Tatiana, who one night saved my life when she alerted my family after I suffered a sudden respiratory arrest. Because of the exposure she got for that, we give presentations to children and adults about service dogs and some of the issues we face daily in hopes that it will help create awareness.”

Read more about about STATEment Makers at the Iowa State Alumni Association.