Class of 2020
The University of Idaho recognizes these individuals for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, engineering education, and service to the profession and society.
We salute engineering leaders for their lifetime commitment to advancing the quality of life through achievement, high ethical standards, innovation and commitment.
John recently joined Flex as Senior Director of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), where he leads evolution of the company's global ERM program.
In his previous role as Associate Director with Guidehouse, he led multiple risk management projects in federal government agencies. Over the past two decades, John has created and implemented global risk and resiliency frameworks and programs at Fortune 500 companies.
John received his Master’s of Engineering and Bachelor’s of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho. He also earned his MBA from the University of Washington.
- B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1979
- M.Engr., Electrical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1985
- M.S., Business Administration, University of Washington, 2001
Thomas started his career in 1958 with AT&T-Bell Telephone Laboratories, in their Underwater Systems Division. He led a team of engineers in the design and installation of a Top-Secret classified Navy early-warning system for detecting, identifying and tracking Soviet Union ballistic missile submarines.
In 1990, Thomas retired from Bell Laboratories to form his own company, Integrated Technical Solutions, a business aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses deal with the rapidly changing computing and internet technology.
Thomas sold the company in 2010, retired for the last time, after which he and his wife Bonnie moved to their current home in Montana. He passed away September 24, 2020. He is survived by his wife Bonnie and brother Don, who is also an Academy member.
- B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1958
- M.S., Electrical Engineering, New York University, 1960
- Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1969
Nick is the president and owner of Picabo Livestock Company and the president and director of Purdy Enterprises. He has his Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Engineering from U of I. He is a member of the U of I Foundation and the Idaho State Department of Environmental Quality Board.
- B.S., Agricultural Engineering, University of Idaho, 1962
Born 1950 in Rexburg, Idaho, Ted grew up on Cattle Ranch located on Henrys Fork of Snake river in Eastern Idaho . He attended the University of Idaho 1968-1974. He worked his way through school as laboratory technician, a brick carrier, dump truck driver and surveyor. He graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering .
After college, Ted worked for local consulting firm in Moscow while his wife attended law school. The couple moved to Idaho Falls in 1980 to start Sorenson Engineering . Beginning his career as a sanitary engineer. Ted designed approximately 30 municipal water supply and wastewater treatment facilities, designing simple reliable systems to include land disposal for nutrient removal .
Ted transitioned to designing small hydroelectric plants, primarily associated with existing irrigation diversions or existing non-powered dams. He designed approximately 46 small hydroelectric plants ranging from 300 Kilowatts to 40 Megawatts as a consultant or developer. He currently has ownership in and operates some 22 plants in the Western U.S. and Belize. He has had the privilege to see a Mayan Indian village transformed with electricity.
Ted and his wife Gayle Sorenson ’75 ’78 have six kids, and three are engineers. Ted served for twenty-five years on his local cemetery board and worked with youth groups for 35+ years. His hobbies include reading, hiking, bicycling and skiing. He recently took up flying in 2010 and has a passion for the mental challenge associated.
- B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, 1974
- M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, 1975
Kim Zentz, P.E., is co-founder and chief executive officer of Urbanova where she oversees every aspect of Urbanova’s mission, strategy and portfolio of projects, assets, and services. Her career spans executive, entrepreneurial and project leadership across utilities, transportation, tech-based economic development, higher education, and clean-tech startup companies. Her leadership positions include CEO of Innovate Washington, CEO of the Spokane Transit Authority, founding president and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn/Plug Power) and several executive positions for Avista Utilities. Kim is also director of urban innovation for Washington State University (WSU) and previously served as director of the Engineering and Technology Management online graduate program for WSU’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. She has provided leadership in the community on the boards of The University District Development Association, Spokane County United Way, Mobius Science Center, and Greater Spokane Incorporated among others. Kim holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho and a Master of Engineering Management from WSU.
- B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, 1981
- M.Engr., Engineering Management, Washington State University, 1988