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Three Alumni Earn School of Engineering’s Top Honor

Friday, May 2, 2008

The University of Kansas School of Engineering and its Advisory Board will honor three of the school’s alumni for careers that exemplify professional achievement.

On Thursday, May 8, Stanley Englund, Midland, Mich.; Charles Salanski of St. Joseph, Mo.; and Michael Shinn, Shaker Heights, Ohio, will receive the Distinguished Engineering Service Award at the Kansas Memorial Union. The award was created by the KU School of Engineering Advisory Board in 1980 to honor engineering alumni, or engineers who’ve maintained a close association with the school, for their outstanding contributions to the theories and practices of engineering research and development in new fields of engineering, or direction of an organization that has made exceptional contributions in design, production and development.

“These three engineers have done amazing things within their sphere of influence,” said Stuart R. Bell, dean of the KU School of Engineering. “Not only have they had highly successful careers in engineering, but they’ve shown resourcefulness and compassion to help others around them. Stanley Englund has been a key player in ensuring that chemical-based product manufacturing is as safe as possible. Charles Salanski led the Wire Rope Corporation of America to new heights and is unrivaled in his contributions to his community. Equally as significant are the contributions of Mike Shinn, a stalwart KU supporter, who has championed the support and development of minority engineers across the nation. The School of Engineering and its Advisory Board are pleased to recognize these outstanding alumni”

Englund, Salanski and Shinn will each received a bronze sculpture acknowledging the achievement. Portraits of the honorees and highlights of their professional accomplishments also will become part of the permanent DESA display in Eaton Hall, home of the School of Engineering.

“These alumni are outstanding role models of professional and personal integrity that we hope our students will emulate,” Bell said.


[Stanley Englund]

Stanley Englund

Retired, Senior Process Consultant Dow Chemical Company

Retired, Midland Engineering Ltd.

B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1950

Englund is an international authority in process safety and risk management and, as a consultant for Dow, traveled the world.

Englund graduated from Salina High School before serving in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. He graduated in 1950 from the University of Kansas with a degree in chemical engineering. In 1951 he earned a master’s in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He then began a 42-year career in engineering, research, and plant management with Dow Chemical Company. His leadership in the areas of process engineering and improvement helped make Dow an industry leader in chemical process safety and in several technologies including Saran resins.

He has served on numerous national safety-related committees with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Center for Chemical Process Safety.

Englund has addressed significant safety challenges facing the chemical industry in China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Jordan, Peru and Cuba. He has been involved in numerous community activities and organizations as well as service projects in Russia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the United States.

He and his wife, Marjorie, reside in Midland, Mich., and have four children.

[Charles Salanski]
Charles W. Salanski

Executive Director, The CENTER, a Samaritan Counseling Center

Retired President and COO, Wire Rope Corporation of America Inc.

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1957

Salanski joined Wire Rope Corporation of America while still a mechanical engineering student at the University of Kansas, and joined the firm full time after graduating in 1957. By 1995 he was named chief operating officer.

As COO of the St. Joseph, Mo.-firm, Salanski led a growth strategy that increased sales four-fold and generated $200 million in revenue.

Salanski has been a leader in wire rope industry groups, been active in international trade issues and served on a U.S. Department of Commerce advisory committee.

He retired from Wire Rope in 2002. He is now executive director of The CENTER, a Samaritan Counseling Center. He also chairs a project to design and implement a new system of care for emotionally disturbed children.

For many years he has chaired the KU Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board. Salanski is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of several engineering organizations.

He has held numerous leadership roles throughout St. Joseph, including with the Allied Arts Council, the Symphony, the City Council, the School District Foundation, the Wyatt Park Christian Church, Heartland Health, United Way and more.

He lives with his wife, Margaret, in St. Joseph, Mo. The couple has three children and five grandchildren.

[Michael Shinn]
Michael Shinn

Certified Financial Planner

Retired Executive, General Electric Company

B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, 1966

Before graduating in 1966 with an aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas, Mike Shinn led the KU football team as co-captain and earned academic All-America and dean’s honor roll recognition. The Topeka native was hired as a process control engineer for General Electric in Cleveland. He earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and was made quality control supervisor at GE’s Memphis plant in 1972. Under his direction, the unit averaged $150 million annually in cost reductions.

From 1976 to 1979 Shinn worked as a production manager at Ford Motor Co.

He returned to GE to manage corporate recruiting and university development. He spurred the creation of GE’s African-American Forum, a personal and professional development program for black employees.

Shinn is a passionate supporter of the National Society of Black Engineers, having established scholarships for students and helped form NSBE’s Board of Corporate Affiliates.

Shinn retired from GE in 1999 and is a certified financial planner with Financial Network Investment Corporation and syndicated columnist.

Shinn is very involved within his community. At KU, he has provided scholarship support for minority engineering students, is a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Board and a trustee of KU Endowment. He is active in the KU Alumni Association, and served on its National Board of Advisers. In 2004, he received the Alumni Association’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion.

He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with his wife, Joyce, and son, Stephen.

Learn about previous recipients.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times