David R. Buchanan (1958 B.S.E.E., 1963 M.S.) of Flagstaff, Arizona, has an entrepreneurial spirit and a common-sense management style, both of which have helped him achieve astounding financial and technological success. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa College of Engineering, he held a variety of technical and managerial posts including at General Dynamics Corporation in San Diego, where he was an engineer on the Atlas Missile Project and in the autopilot design group. Other projects included Bendix Project Mercury, Bermuda and Sperry Flight Systems, and General Electric’s computer department in Phoenix. Buchanan then entered the entrepreneurial phase of his career, founding and investing in young high-technology companies and building them into successful enterprises. When General Electric moved its Computer Peripherals Division to Oklahoma City, Buchanan decided to remain in Phoenix. He hired GE’s four best engineers and started Peripherals, Inc., which designed and produced disc-drive testing equipment. Within three years, the company expanded and was sold to Wabash Magnetics, Inc., for $5.4 million. In 1971, he founded Talos Systems, Inc. Within 10 years, the company was a leader in its field and became part of Sauder’s Associated on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, the business is owned by Lockheed Martin and is the largest supplier of digitizers in the world. David Buchanan has played a major role in the development of several highly successful businesses that have helped the U.S. remain a major player in the international computer and electronic technology industry, including Three-Five Systems, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange Company, from which he recently retired as chairman. Buchanan came out of retirement in 1985 to rescue Three-Five Systems, building the struggling manufacturer of advanced computer chips into a leading supplier of customized controls and electronic displays (particularly liquid crystal display) for original equipment manufacturers. Three-Five Systems was nominated as the top stock performer on Wall Street in 1993. The company has grown along with the expanding industries it serves—cellular communications, medical electronics, and office automation—and continues to serve the dynamic custom display module market with manufacturing facilities in North America, the Philippines, and China. In 1980, Buchanan, a Belmond, Iowa, native, established the David R. Buchanan Scholarship Fund to support UI students in electrical engineering. In 1996, he received the UI Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Phoenix Executives Club, and the White Mountain Country Club.
James (Jim) R. Whiteley of Lake Forest, Illinois was born and raised in Corydon, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1963. Working with mentors like Professor John Liittschwager and Professor Gerald Weeg at the dawn of the digital age set the direction for Jim’s entire professional life. When he asked Professor Weeg for a future career direction, the Professor quickly replied, “Computing: it is the only invention that extends the human mind.” Following that advice, Jim accepted a position at The University of Iowa in the University Computing Center in 1961. He managed the programming staff of graduate assistants on projects for various University departments. Jim also created a consulting business for the university by taking on outside projects for many organizations, including the Department of Defense, Time Inc. and AG Becker & Co. After over a decade in Iowa City, Jim moved to Chicago, engaging in the burgeoning entrepreneurial computer culture there. In the 70s and 80s, Jim constructed large computer systems for an investment banking firm, ran a computer services bureau company, and was a principal in SEI, a large computer-consulting firm. Jim also started his own consulting company and was involved in founding ten other companies during this period. Today Jim is the President of Vail Systems of Deerfield, IL, an internet telecommunications company which he founded in 1991. Vail has successfully incubated several other start-up businesses, spinning off multiple companies since its founding. Vail’s customers include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and telecom service providers. Vail still uses the first principals Jim learned at Iowa: work to make people around you better; revision is about making things better; and most importantly, the proper use of technology can change the world. Jim has been lucky enough to have his living converge with his passion. He is also an extensive traveler and reader in US and world history, two other activities that serve to extend the human mind. Jim and his wife Adrienne Johns are active in the National Parks Conservation Association, a non-profit organization that helps protect the National Parks. They also are involved in the Beyond Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged high school athletes prepare for success as both students and athletes in college. Jim has two children and three grandsons. The James R Whiteley Challenge Scholarship was established to direct engineering students toward facing the difficult problems that face us at the start of the 21st Century. It is technology and responsible citizenship that will address these concerns. This scholarship is given with the belief that fostering the imaginations of young people and enabling them to do the hard work to meet these challenges is the future of our society and planet.
Wayne L. Paulson (1965 Ph.D.) was an instructor in civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering from 1960 until 1965 and a professor (with a primary focus in environmental engineering) from 1965 until 2000. Paulson, from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, along the Mississippi River, has always had an interest in natural systems, rivers, and lakes. He enjoys participating in sports, outdoor activities, photography, and outreach programs to help persons in need. Paulson attended the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse for two years and served in the United States Navy in the Mediterranean for two years. He received a B.S.C.E. degree from UW-Lacrosse in 1959, an M.S. degree in environmental engineering from University of Wisconsin in 1960, and a Ph.D. degree in environmental engineering in 1965 from University of Iowa. As a professor, Paulson taught Intro to Engineering, Thermodynamics, and many of the environmental engineering and science (EES) courses. His emphasis areas were in water quality, the processes for water, wastewater, and industrial and hazardous waste treatment. He interacted with about 1,500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students during his career. The EES graduate program grew from 10 students in 1960 to 30-40 students in the 1970s, and the EES faculty grew from two in 1960 to seven in the 1990s. Paulson received teaching awards from Chi Epsilon and the College of Engineering. He enjoyed encouraging students and helping to create a supportive family environment in the EES program among students and faculty. He frequently held social gatherings and receptions to recognize student achievements. Faculty also participated with students in sports and outdoor activities, and traveled together to conferences. Paulson believed in getting to know students in his courses. He was a champion of students and one of the college’s most distinguished mentors. He became fondly known as “WLP” among students, faculty, and friends. A former student of Paulson’s said, “WLP shared many gems of wisdom and perspectives with us in the field and classroom, and highlighted the ties between practice and academics.” Paulson brought environmental engineering practice into his courses to enhance students’ learning and was an advocate of learning in the field. He took students on field trips to water and wastewater treatment operations and hazardous waste remediation systems in Iowa and the upper Midwest. He also took students on side trips to natural sites, museums, and baseball games. In the 1980s and 1990s, he directed three one-day field trips for 50 students and faculty to civil and environmental engineering operations and systems in the metro areas of Chicago, St. Louis, the Twin Cities, and Kansas City. He enjoyed advising and counseling students in academics and job searches for summer and career employment, and he utilized his network of relationships with alumni and friends to help advance the success of his promising students. Paulson’s research focused on water quality and treatment processes. One major focus area was the development of fine pore aeration systems (FPA) for the activated sludge process including the evaluation of oxygen transfer. FPA systems have become extensively adopted as an energy efficient treatment process component. The goal of the Wayne L. Paulson Scholarship is to recognize, encourage, and support students pursuing a career in the environmental engineering profession who will become involved in environment programs in communities. Wayne and his wife, Nancy, moved to Stoughton, WI near Madison in 2001. They have three children and eight grandchildren living in Wisconsin and Minnesota. They remain active in their communities and enjoy biking, hiking, birding, fishing, photography, and travel. Wayne continues to play tennis and golf. They enjoy keeping in touch with alumni, faculty, and the University of Iowa.