Portrait of Pat Wingate

CEEFA Board welcomes new president, VP and board members

Board members seek greater input from alumni.

The Civil & Environmental Engineering Friends Association (CEEFA) Board has elected CEE alumni Pat Wingate as President and Lynn Stephens as Vice President, respectively, for new terms, effective June 1, 2023. Neeraj Buch, Peter Cavagnaro, Maddy Fairley-Wax and Terry McDonnell have been elected as new members, joining Larry Brinker, Jr., Tom Cox, Bruce Dorfman, Domenico Grasso and Kim Newsome on the board. CEEFA’s purpose is to promote a close working relationship between civil and environmental engineering alumni and friends and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, to serve in an advisory capacity to the Department, and to cooperate with the University in its service to the public.

Wingate is the Vice President of Engineering for Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. (OHM Advisors), a full-service architectural, engineering and planning firm with 18 offices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. He is responsible for the technical direction, business growth, and client management for all transportation engineering, construction administration, and surveying services and he works primarily with governmental clients, including cities, townships, counties and state DOTs. Wingate has a BSCE from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Davenport University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, and is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and with the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Portrait of Pat Wingate
Pat Wingate

“Finding and placing engaged alumni on the board is critical to keep the strong connection to industry and continue to provide broad, relevant guidance,” Wingate said. “As part of my responsibilities as president, I intend to work to ensure that our board is diverse and represents wide-ranging, strategic thinking. I want to build stronger bridges between the department and alumni.”

Stephens is a Principal Engineer with Brown and Caldwell (BC). BC is a national, employee-owned, environmental consulting firm that safeguards water, maintains infrastructure, and restores habitats to keep our communities thriving. Stephens’ work focuses on climate change resiliency, water supply planning, water quality characterizations and treatment analysis and design for potable, recycled water and wastewater systems. She serves as BC’s Pacific Northwest 1 Water Leader and she is also BC’s Client Service Manager for the Water Research Foundation. 

One of CEEFA’s newest board members, Dr. Buch, is the Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Associate Provost of Student Success at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology. Dr. Buch also is committed to exploring ways to increase alumni engagement. “Alumni are always looking for opportunities to ‘give’ back,” he said. “Some do that by establishing scholarships or endowments, and some donate their time.” He is an advocate for strengthening CEE’s mentorship program for students by increasing alumni participation. 

New board member Fairley-Wax is a water resources engineer at Jacobs. Her projects have included the planning and design of large-diameter drinking water pipelines, sewer odor and corrosion control studies and programs and wastewater treatment plant process design. She is part of Jacobs’ Lead and Copper Rule Strategy Team, a team of technical specialists focused on developing solutions to meet the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions and Lead and Copper Rule Improvements requirements. 

Fairley-Wax also is energized about connecting with current students. “I would like to see a broader range in engagement opportunities, such as coffee hours, mentoring, planned outings and volunteer activities,” she said. “These are all ways alumni can become involved in a more formal capacity. Students are almost always seeking ways to connect with the post-graduate world to learn about the work they can do and how they can change the world. What better way to aid current students than to bring back people who were in their position before? U-M CEE produces some of the most innovative engineers and researchers in the world who can provide unique perspectives and guidance to current students. If we provide more opportunities – both in person and virtually – for alumni to inspire future engineers and scientists, graduates will continue to uphold U-M’s reputation as a leader in innovation. The alumni will want to come back throughout their careers to continue the cycle.”

CEE Chair Yafeng Yin presents outgoing CEEFA board member Tarolyn Buckles with a plaque honoring her years of service on the board.

At the most recent CEEFA Board meeting in April, CEE honored outgoing member, Tarolyn Buckles (BSCE ’93), President and CEO of Onyx Enterprise, Inc. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Buckles is a CEEFA past president and past vice president, having contributed her time and energy to the board for more than 10 years. “A CEE degree prepares students for now, and challenges in the future,” she said. “I believe in encouraging students to learn how to set up a business plan and the need to network. Many aspects of business growth in engineering are relationship-driven and built on professional trust.”

For more information on ways for CEE alumni to connect with department activities, please contact Amy Shepherd at shepamy@umich.edu.


Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering