NNU News

Outstanding engineering alumni throughout the decades

August 17, 2016

NNU has a 61-year history of providing a quality engineering and physics education. Beginning in 1955 by Manhattan Project scientist Dr. Gilbert Ford, the Department of Engineering and Physics provides a multidisciplinary degree focusing on broad engineering fundamentals with a choice of concentration, taught from a Christian worldview. In addition to the education, the department offers a number of design projects and research that are in partnership with organizations such as NASA, ASI and Micron. With over 300 alumni pioneering in science and engineering fields around the globe, the education and hands-on experience this program offers has provided students with a great foundation for their future careers. Below are just several of those alumni.

1958—Terrel Samuels
BA in Engineering Physics; ME in Nuclear Engineering (1977): Not only did Terrel find the love of his life, Ruth Russell (1958), at NNU—he also received an education that would serve as the foundation for his future career endeavors. After finishing his education, Terrel spent over 40 years working with nuclear reactors, including the testing, planning, and operation of said power plants.

1961—Leland (Lee) Carter
BA in Engineering Physics; MS in Physics, University of Washington (1964); Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering, University of Washington (1969): Lee has participated in shield design and evaluation for numerous projects at Westinghouse Hanford Company. He coordinated the effort in 1976-79 that combined a number of special-purpose Monte Carlo computer codes along with an upgrade to an interactive computer environment to obtain the first release of the MCNP computer code that is now utilized extensively throughout the world. Lee co-authored a book “Particle Transport Simulation with the Monte Carlo Method,” which is still a world standard. Lee is married to Gerry Lindley, who is also an NNU alum.

1961—Richard Williamson
BA in Engineering Physics: After graduating from NNU, Richard chose to pursue a career in aerospace and found extreme success in doing so. Richard’s body of work includes over 55 years spent in the U.S. Space Program. His expertise in his field has led to Richard taking a major role in nearly every space mission and program. For his accomplishments, Richard was awarded NNU’s Professional Achievement Award in 2008.

1973—Doug Bloomquist
BA in Physics; Ph.D. in Physics, Washington State University (1978): In 1978 Doug joined the staff of Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he spent 32 years using science and technology to solve issues of national security. During his time at Sandia, Doug contributed to numerous research teams, furthering what is known about science. Doug also spent over 20 years providing managerial leadership to various operations and organizations. Doug is happily married to Julia Streight (1973), whom he met while at NNU.

1982—Natalie Kay Williams
BS in Physics; MS in Astronautics, University of Texas, Austin: Natalie is retired from a 34-year career with Boeing Co. in Seattle, Washington. She worked in aerospace engineering, specifically in aerospace objectives analysis, design, test, training and mission execution. Natalie is a firm believer in lifelong learning and holds a certification from the Dale Carnegie School of Management. She has recently joined the Seattle chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

1988—Carolyn A. Fitch
BS in Physics; Ph.D. in Biophysics, John Hopkins University (2002): Between 2002 and 2015 Carolyn published 18 research articles in biophysics research journals. In 2008 Carolyn began her teaching career at John Hopkins University in the Department of Biophysics. She is currently a senior lecturer in Biophysics. In 2015 Carolyn received the George E. Owen Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. Carolyn is married to fellow NNU engineering physics alumnus Chris (1988).

While alumni have used their degree to go various directions, the legacy of the value of NNU’s education remains. As Doug Bloomquist remarked, “The Lord provided me with the great opportunity to begin my advanced education at NNU where professors like Drs. Ford, Sharpton, Marks, and many others modeled excellence in academics and the love of Christ as a normal part of daily life.” NNU students not only get a quality education, they also receive an enriching academic and spiritual foundation.


Photo caption: Dr. Gilbert Ford teaches a class.