The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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College Welcomes Six New Members to Dean’s Advisory Council

Top row, l-r: Kokui Adesokan, Rena Bizios, Ruth Bonsignore. Bottom row, l-r: Divi Gupta, Adam Miller, Edward Price

Six new members are now serving on the all-important Dean’s Advisory Council. The newest members are: Kokui Adesokan (B.S. 2009 Chemical Engineering); Rena Bizios (B.S. 1968 Chemical Engineering); Ruth Bonsignore (B.S. 1983 Civil and Environmental Engineering); Divi Gupta (B.S. 2000 Electrical and Computer Engineering, M.S. 2006 Electrical and Computer Engineering); Adam Miller (B.S. 1993 Civil and Environmental Engineering); and Edward Price (B.S. 1990 Chemical Engineering).

The Dean's Advisory Council is comprised of accomplished alumni and friends from industry, government, and academia who are dedicated to excellence in engineering education, research, and innovation and share a commitment to building strategic academic-industry partnerships. Its members serve as ambassadors for the College of Engineering and provide invaluable insight, contacts, and support to help the dean set priorities and garner the necessary resources to move the college forward. The council meets biannually, in the spring and fall.

Adesokan is the associate director of the GTF Program at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, leading the externals module Component Integrated Product Team (CIPT) for the PW1100G-JM, PW1400G-JM, NIS, and GTF Advantage commercial engine programs. Her team is involved in the design, analysis, test support, and industrialization of hardware to meet engine performance, safety, cost, and weight requirements. She is also responsible for managing a multi-million-dollar budget.

In 2017, Adesokan was selected as an Emerging Leader for the national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production Ahead Award, sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute. The award recognizes women in the manufacturing industry who are making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion, and leadership. In 2019, she received the Professional Achievement in Industry Award at the Women of Color STEM conference. This prestigious award recognizes professionals for their achievement as leaders and role models in industry and the community. In 2020, she received one of the Trailblazer Spectrum Awards at the Black Engineer of the Year conference.

Bizios now holds the Lutcher Brown Endowed Professor of Biomedical Engineering Chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a Fellow of five professional societies: American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering; Biomedical Engineering Society; American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Athens, Greece, the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas, the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors.

Among her numerous other awards, Bizios has received the Clemson Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Literature from the Society for Biomaterials; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology; the Founders Award from the Society for Biomaterials; and the Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Bonsignore is the founder of Flink Consulting and has more than 35 years of consulting experience in transportation planning and design, systems analyses and operations, and policy for the public, private, and institutional sectors. She has served as a strategic advisor to numerous public-sector agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, MassDOT, MBTA, and Massport. Prior to founding Flink Consulting, Bonsignore served as senior vice president and transportation practice area leader at the Massachusetts-based consulting firm VHB while overseeing more than 400 transportation professionals across 22 offices.

Bonsignore served on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and chaired MassDOT’s Capital Program Committee from 2015 to 2018. In the spring of 2019, she taught Urban Transportation Planning and Implementation at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She has been on the UMass Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Council since 1994, serving in the role of chair for the past 15 years. She earned her M.S. in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gupta is the vice president and general manager of Ultrasonic Fingerprint Business Unit, TDK USA Corporation. Prior to this role, he was TDK’s CTO in the U.S., leading organic and inorganic technology strategy and opening TDK’s Silicon Valley R&D center. Gupta came to TDK following the acquisition of his startup (Newlans) in 2016, where he was CEO. Newlans was a pioneer in tunable radio frequency semiconductor devices, and Gupta built a world-class team and group of investors.

Prior to founding Newlans, Gupta cofounded Narad Networks, which was sold to Ciena in 2007. Gupta is currently a partner in General Inception, a pioneer in the investing world as a “company that builds companies,” pairing an incubator concept with industrial manufacturing partners to advance promising research-stage venture concepts that aren’t quite ready for venture capital funding. Gupta holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Adam Miller is the owner, president, and founder of Summit Design + Build, a general contracting firm with headquarters in Chicago. After working as a landscaper and laborer at a young age and then graduating from UMass in 1993, he rose through the ranks from project engineer to vice president with various firms. Miller’s years of construction management and real-estate experience and extensive industry knowledge continue to guide the growth of Summit Design + Build. Over the course of his 26-year career, Miller has overseen the completion and successful occupancy of more than 400 projects, totaling in excess of 12-million square feet of space and $910 million in revenue.

Originally from Boston, Miller came to Chicago shortly after graduating from college and has called the city home ever since. He currently resides in Glencoe, Illinois, with his wife and four children and enjoys spending time with family, reading, skiing, and playing hockey.

Price is the co-founder, president, and CEO of PCI Synthesis, a pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization based in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It is the largest small-molecule, drug-substance manufacturer in New England. PCI is a clinical and commercial manufacturer of new chemical entities, generic active pharmaceutical ingredients, and other specialty chemical products.

In 2016, PCI was named by Inc. Magazine to the publication’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. and also named “Best NCE Manufacturer for 2016” by Global Health Magazine. From 2014 to 2017 PCI was awarded a total of 24 CMO awards by Life Science Leader Magazine. The 14 individual awards PCI received in 2017 covered all six award categories, making PCI the most awarded drug substance CMO in North America and the first time an individual company was named a “Top Performer” in every category. He also sits on the Industrial Advisory Board for the UMass Chemical Engineering Department. (November 2020)