TTU honors its 'Engineers of Distinction' including the first woman honoree

Tennessee Technological University named its first female Engineer of Distinction recently, a woman who has achieved success as a chemical engineer and has a keen interest in protecting the environment.

Sandra K. Dudley, a past Outstanding Young Alumnus at Tennessee Tech, was named an Engineer of Distinction, a traditional honor that began in 1981.

Also named an Engineer of Distinction for the year 2000 was James Laycock of Texas, who received both his undergraduate and master's degrees in industrial engineering from TTU and currently serves as a Vice President of Product Development and Research for a division of one of the world's largest manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration products.

Sandra K. Dudley

Dudley, a native of Dickson, Tenn., holds a B.S. in chemical engineering; an M.A. in education; and a Ph.D. in engineering, all from Tennessee Tech. She is now employed as Project Manager in Energy, Environment & Systems Business Group of CH2M HILL, an international engineering consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado. She joined the company's Atlanta office in January 2000 and is responsible for the management of a diversity of environmental engineering projects for industrial clients.

She began her post-graduate career with Martin Marietta Systems as a Development Engineer at its Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge where she optimized chemical treatment processes for the site's wastewater treatment plant and prepared decontamination/decommissioning plans for building enrichment.

Dudley joined Eastman Chemical Company in 1992 and was instrumental in the formation of a new environmental research laboratory. She also directed a corporate biofiltration research program which resulted in the commercialization of an award-winning biofilter for the reduction of air emissions, odors and operating costs.

In 1998, she was honored by the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers as Young Engineer of the Year and was also named by TTU as Outstanding Young Alumnus.

James R. Laycock

Jim Laycock currently serves as Vice President, Product Development and Research, for Lennox Industries, a division of Lennox International, one of the world's largest manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration products. As vice president, Laycock is responsible for product design, product marketing, product testing and applied research. He is also co-leader of a team responsible for designing the company's cultural change initiatives.

He joined Lennox in 1992 as Director of Operations for the Heatcraft Refrigeration Products plant located in Tifton, Georgia, which produced evaporators, air cooled condensers and condensing units for supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores.

From 1996 to 1999, Laycock served as General Plant Manager for Lennox's Commercial Operations in Stuttgart, Arkansas, where roof top packaged air conditioning and heating products were made for companies such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Blockbuster.

Prior to joining Lennox, Laycock served in a number of manufacturing positions for Carrier Corporation, including Industrial Engineering Supervisor, Production Superintendent and Quality and Industrial Engineering Manager at its McMinnville, Tenn., office. He was also Plant Manager of Carrier's Ellijay, Georgia, manufacturing operation from 1987 to 1992.

He has served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering since 1994 and currently serves as chairman