University of St. Thomas Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

tommie network


ALUMNI YOU SHOULD KNOW Did you know engineers are in high demand but short supply across the country? The School of Engineering is the fastest-growing school at St. Thomas, and we are graduating engineers ready to enter the workforce and meet the diverse needs of the industry. Meet some of our Tommie engineers!

Andrew Senn ’03, ’06MS Vice president, marketing and strategy, Integer Holdings, Plymouth, Minnesota Andrew Senn recounts time with friends as his most memorable St. Thomas experience. “I treasure late nights with classmates in the engineering building and the study lounge in Ireland Hall.” The two-time Tommie has had a unique career path. “After starting in R&Dmy responsibilities shifted. Now, I am vice president

Rachel Gehlhar ’16 Graduate research assistant at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California As a student, Rachel Gehlhar was grateful for the one-on-one attention from her professors. “They saw the potential I could not see for myself. Their encouragement empowered me to pursue research opportunities and apply to high-ranked graduate schools,” she said. “My connections at St. Thomas greatly contributed to why I am in my current position. My professor and research adviser, Dr. Jeffrey Jalkio, connected me with my PhD adviser, who also was his student at St. Thomas.” Gehlhar works in a lab led by St. Thomas alumnus Dr. Aaron Ames. “I conduct research on a powered prosthetic leg. … I enjoy the multidisciplinary work and think prostheses are a great application for controls and robotics, since my work could help someone walk more easily in the future.”

Senta Riley ’12 Principal mechanical engineer, Ecolab, St. Paul, Minnesota Senta Riley spends her days at St. Paul-based Ecolab, but her attention is spread all around theworld. “I develop products and programs that address customer needs inChina, the Middle East andAfrica in food service and hospitality,” Riley said. “My teamprovides research and development support for smaller regions that aren’t supported locally or need additional expertise. I develop regional requirements for NorthAmerica-led innovation, reviewproduct scale-up batch results, and conduct financial analyses on newproduct lines.” Riley credits a unique class for giving her a leg up in her current role. “I took an engineering economics course, which consolidated essentials of a four-year business degree into one semester. It is the foundation for my business acumen, providing insight onwhat levers impact growth and profitability, while providing transparency on supply chain and marketing functions.”

of marketing and strategy at Integer Holdings, a medical

device outsourcing company that provides contract development andmanufacturing,” Senn said. He believes the university prepared him for anything. “The engineering programwas very challenging, and I couldn’t have made it through without my classmates and professors. This continues in my career, as I rely on a strong team.” He stays connected with future Tommies through the Tommie Network. “It is helpful in recruiting talented engineering and marketing professionals.”

Readmore: alumnitoknow

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