Rafael Bustamante and Donald White join a succession of distinguished individuals honored for their contributions to the engineering profession and the academic programs of the college.
Although he now works for Lockwood Greene Technologies in Oak Ridge, Rafael Bustamante is more familiar to Cookeville area residents as the former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tennessee Tech, a position he held for 21 years. Upon his retirement from the university in 1994, he joined Lockwood as senior environmental consultant. Seven months later, Bustamante was appointed director of the corporation's environmental services operations, encompassing activities at offices throughout the United States.
Bustamante joined Tennessee Tech's engineering faculty in 1967 as assistant professor and progressed through the academic ranks until 1973, when he was promoted to full professor and appointed department chair. Under his leadership, the department achieved record enrollment, showing a student population increase of over 105 percent from 1989 to 1994. In 1990, with Bustamante's assistance, the department earned full-term accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Bustamante's contributions extend beyond his departmental service. He was a driving force in establishing the university's Center of Excellence for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources, and served as its interim director for one year while a permanent director was sought. He also has provided leadership to the Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Control Board. Through extensive work on this and other state and federal boards, he is considered an authority in environmental regulatory matters.
His professional career has included extensive consulting experiences with more than 30 firms, industries and organizations engaged in a wide range of environmental services. In addition, he has made substantive contributions through service on university, scientific and professional societies.
Bustamante holds three degrees in civil engineering: a bachelor's from Auburn University; a master's from Tulane; and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State, where he was a United States Public Health Research Fellow.
As general manager of manufacturing divisions for Westinghouse's Power Generation Business Unit, Donald White oversees five major plant facilities that manufacture combustion and steam turbines and electric generators for customers worldwide.
Although he now resides in Longwood, Fla., White was born in Knoxville and lived throughout the Tennessee Valley in his early years, reflecting the course of his father's 40-year career with the Tennessee Valley Authority. White earned his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Tech in 1958 and did graduate study in heat transfer and solid mechanics at Marquette and the University of Alabama in Huntsville prior to receiving a master's in engineering mechanics from the University of South Florida.
He began his career in 1958 with Combustion Engineering Inc. in Chattanooga, where he performed thermal and structural analysis of nuclear pressure vessel components. In 1963, he joined Thiokol Chemical Corporation in Huntsville, Ala., where he assisted in the design and analysis of solid propellant rocket motors.
White moved to Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1969, first working at the company's steam generator manufacturing plant in Tampa, Fla. In the years that followed, he has held management positions of increasing responsibility, including engineering manger of nuclear energy systems steam generator technology division; manager, nuclear instrumentation technology and training center; and manager of nuclear projects management and marketing operations. In 1985, he was appointed to general manager of the Power Generation Service Division, a position that was since broadened to include engineering and marketing responsibilities.
In addition to his work with Westinghouse, White is active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and serves on Tennessee Tech's College of Engineering Board of Engineering Advisors. He also is involved in civic and church organizations in the Longwood, Fla., community.
Both men were recognized at a public reception Feb. 22 at Tennessee Tech and at the 16th annual Engineers' Week Banquet, hosted by the Engineering Joint Council.