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U of M's Herff College of Engineering Will Present Awards March 20
For release: March 8, 2007
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Laura Small Whitsitt, vice president of research and development at Smith & Nephew’s Orthopedic Reconstruction Division, will be honored as the Outstanding Alumna at the Herff College of Engineering’s annual awards dinner March 20. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the University Holiday Inn.

Whitsitt, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the U of M, has held various roles in Product Development and Research, starting as a product development engineer, then moving into product development management. Later she moved into a technology assessment/licensing position and then into different research management roles.

Whitsitt’s career accomplishments include designing two successful implant systems, inventing five patented products, contributing to the initial development of national testing standards for spinal devices, establishing a research and development internship program and employee mentoring program, and leading an acquisition team to obtain distribution rights to a joint fluid therapy product.

She is also an active volunteer with the Herff College; she is a frequent guest speaker at the Girls Experiencing Engineering summer enrichment program, a member of the College’s Advisory Council and a mentor in the Women in Engineering program. 

The Distinguished Service in Engineering Awards will be presented to Dennis W. Koerner and Jon C. Serbousek.  Koerner is president of RING Industrial Group, a leading manufacturer of drainage products. Koerner, who holds a Ph.D. degree in food chemistry, has held various senior management level positions with large multinational food companies including Frito-Lay and Kraft Foods. 

Serbousek is vice president and general manager of the Biologics, Orthopedics, Interventional Spine, and International divisions of Medtronic’s Spinal and Biologics business. During his work with leading medical device companies, he has contributed to the design, development and commercialization of products in the area of spine, total joint replacement, arthroscopy, and sports medicine and rehabilitation products leading to the generation of more than 10 patents.

For reservations or more information, call 901/678-3119.

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Last updated: 03/19/2008 16:36:28
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