During the Spring Governance Meetings on March 18, the ABET Board of Delegates, which is comprised of representatives from each of ABET’s 35 member societies, elected 2023-2024 officers. Sarah Rajala was elected as the 2023-2024 ABET President-Elect and Thomas Hanley was elected as the 2023-2024 Board of Directors Secretary. Charles “Charlie” Menke was reelected as 2023-2026 At-Large Director. They will be inaugurated during the Fall Governance Meetings later this year.
Sarah Rajala served as the 12th dean of the College of Engineering at Iowa State University from 2013 – 2019. She led the largest college on campus and was responsible for more than 9,500 students, 500 faculty and staff, 12 academic majors, multiple research centers and programs, and 11 buildings that comprise the engineering complex. Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.
Rajala had a distinguished career as a professor and center director prior to moving into administrative positions. In recognition of the impact of her numerous contributions, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2022 for “innovations in engineering education: outcomes assessment, greater participation and retention of women in engineering, and an enhanced global community.” Previously, she was elected Fellow of AAAS, ABET, ASEE and IEEE. Among her many awards, Rajala received the ASEE Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering in 2020; the IEEE Award for Meritorious Achievement in Accreditation Activities in 2017; the National Engineer of the Year Award by the American Association of Engineering Societies in 2016; the IEEE Hewlett Packard Harriett B. Rigas Award in 2015, and was named the Phi Kappa Phi National Scholar Award, 2010-2012.
Rajala has been an active participant and leader in engineering accreditation for over 20 years. She is a program evaluator (PEV) for IEEE and served on the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission for 11 years, participating in program reviews both domestically and internationally. She served as team chair for one of the largest visits ABET has conducted at a single institution, evaluating 23 engineering programs with 27 team members. In total, these visits have impacted nearly 200 different academic programs. During her service on the EAC and the EAC ExCom, her roles included Chair of the Materials Committee, Chair of the Nominating Committee, Chair of the Consistency Committee, Editor 1, Editor 2, Vice-Chair of Operations, Chair-Elect, Chair, Past Chair and a member of the Accreditation Council.
Thomas R. Hanley is a professor of chemical engineering at Auburn University. After earning three degrees at Virginia Tech and a tour at the Air Force Materials Laboratory, he moved to Tulane University, where he served as AIChE student chapter advisor and chaired the New Orleans Section. At Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, he chaired AIChE’s Terre Haute Section. While department chair at Louisiana Tech and Florida A&M/Florida State University, he was General Arrangements Chair (1986 Annual Meeting), Meeting Program Chair (1988 Annual Meeting), and chair of the Tallahassee Section. While dean of engineering at the University of Louisville, he chaired the Student Chapters Committee, the Management Division and the AIChE Foundation. He served on the Career and Education Operating Council and the Board of Directors. An AIChE Fellow, he chairs the Audit Committee, serves on the Executive Committee of the AIChE Foundation and the Education and Accreditation Committee, and participates on the International Committee and in the North American Mixing Forum. A member of the Committee of 100 at Virginia Tech, he served on the Plasticolors Board of Directors and the Michigan Tech college advisory board.
Hanley has previously served on the ABET Board of Delegates Audit Committee and Board of Directors Audit Committee. He was also a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission from 2010-2014. Hanley has been a PEV trainer since 2016.
Charles “Charlie” Menke has 33 years of experience with Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 100 corporation and the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer. Menke currently has dual roles at Caterpillar of Machine Development Manager and Earthmoving Quality Manager. As Machine Development Manager, he’s responsible for operations and test engineering at the Caterpillar’s Peoria Proving Ground facility. As Earthmoving Quality Manager, Menke is responsible for developing and executing a strategy to achieve defect-free performance for the Earthmoving business unit, which includes four product families and ten manufacturing operations worldwide.
After joining Caterpillar in 1990, Menke spent 15 years in design of construction and forest equipment in Aurora, IL. He relocated to Peoria, IL in 2005 and held several leadership positions in Caterpillar’s applied research department. In 2008, he became manager of Caterpillar’s drivetrain laboratory, with responsibilities for operations and test engineering. Since 2010, he has led machine validation at Caterpillar with responsibility for proving ground operations and test engineering at multiple facilities in the U.S. and China. He led validation efforts for Caterpillar’s Tier 4 emission compliant new product introductions, and, most recently, he led the Earthmoving business unit to historic best quality levels.
Menke is past-Chair of ABET’s Industry Advisory Council where he also served as a member from 2009 to 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University and a Master’s in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. His is a member of SAE International and the American Society for Quality. Menke lives in the Peoria, IL area with his wife and two children. His hobbies include boating and golf.