Alumni of Distinction Chosen

Contact: Dan Adkins










Photo of Deane Blazie
Deane Blazie








Photo of Michael L. Marberry
Michael L. Marberry







Photo of Robert W. Vaughn
Robert W. Vaughn










Harry L. Washburn













Photo of James H. Young
James H. Young





LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2005) -- Five people, including the chief financial officer of a major international finance corporation and the founder of two electronics companies, will be inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Alumni Hall of Distinction at 2 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the William T. Young Library auditorium.

This year’s inductees are Deane Blazie, Michael L. Marberry, Robert W. Vaughn, Harry L. Washburn and James H. Young.

“Once again, the Engineering Hall of Distinction has identified individuals of remarkable achievement for this special recognition. These five have made significant contributions not only to their fields of endeavor, but to the quality of life both in our nation and abroad,” said Thomas W. Lester, dean of the UK College of Engineering.

Blazie, a 1968 electrical engineering graduate, has been interested in developing devices for handicapped persons since he was a high-school junior in Frankfort, when he became friends with a ham radio club member who was blind.

Blazie co-founded Maryland Computer Services (MCS) in 1976, specializing in software design for businesses. Earlier that year, he was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America by the U.S. Junior Chamber, with his nomination based on his design of a calculator to be used by blind persons. His interest in solving problems faced by the blind led to MCS designing and marketing the first synthetic speech device, the Talking Telephone Directory.

After selling MCS in 1986, he founded Blazie Engineering, which developed Braille ‘n’ Speak, a pocket note taker for blind persons similar to today’s personal digital assistants.

His inventions led to his selection for the Johns Hopkins First National Search for Devices for the Handicapped and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s Winston Gordon Award. He and his wife, Marty, live in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Paducah native Marberry, currently chief financial officer of J.M. Huber Corp., earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1981. During his studies at UK, Marberry performed engineering internships at Union Carbide Corp. and Exxon research and development laboratories. He received graduate fellowships from Ashland Oil and Phillips Petroleum and earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering at UK in 1983.

That year, he joined Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati as a product development engineer, leading the product formulation and process design for Crest Tartar Control toothpaste. In 1986, he was promoted to product development group leader, heading projects that coordinated the purchasing, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of new Crest products.

In 1994, Marberry was named director of corporate strategy and development for M.A. Hanna Corp. He joined J.M. Huber Corp. in 1997, with responsibility for corporate portfolio management, technology transfer, and merger and acquisition transactions. Today, he serves on most boards of Huber’s subsidiaries and affiliates, and led negotiations for Huber’s largest merger and acquisition transaction ever, the $1 billion acquisition of C.P. Kelso. A resident of Fair Haven, N.J., he and his wife Phyllis have three children.

Vaughn, a 1958 graduate of Hazard High School, entered UK on a Kentucky Department of Highways’ scholarship and earned his civil engineering degree in 1963. During his academic career, he worked summers with the department on construction, design and traffic projects, and was hired by the department after graduating.

He left the Department of Highways in 1966 to join Crowder and Associates in Columbus, Ind. He was involved in urban street design and long-range planning for water and sewer facilities. He and Lewis Melton, a former UK classmate who had recruited him to Crowder and Associates, left to form Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers in Middlesboro, Ky., in 1967.

Vaughn& Melton made its name in engineering quickly. It worked with Florence & Hutcheson to design 16 miles of the Green River Parkway in Butler County in 1969. By 1985, the firm employed more than 100 people, and that number has risen to more than 200 today.

Vaughn & Melton also played a central role in the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, completed in 1996 and recently selected as ranking among the top 100 projects of the last century by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

A resident of Middlesboro, Vaughn and his wife Sharon have two daughters.

Washburn, a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, came to UK after serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and earned his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering in 1950.

He went to work for a Buffalo, N.Y., coke plant that tested eastern Kentucky coal as a source of coal for steel production. He used the results of these tests for his master’s thesis, earning his master’s degree in mining engineering from UK in 1951.

Washburn joined Consolidation Coal Co. of Jenkins, Ky., as a project engineer. He provided valuable new knowledge regarding spontaneous combustion of coal stored on docks, an industry issue, and was involved in the industry’s first attempt to transport coal through a surface pipeline.

He joined North American Coal Corp. in Cleveland in 1966 as an assistant vice president. He was promoted to vice president of engineering and senior vice president of operations before becoming the company’s president in 1981. The company had operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota and Utah, and was the country’s seventh largest producer during his tenure, employing more than 7,000 people and producing 20 million to 25 million tons each year.

He and his wife, Gay, live in La Jolla, Calif., and have three children.

A native of LaFayette, Ky., Young earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering in 1962 and his master’s degree in agricultural engineering in 1964. He earned a National Science Foundation Fellowship that supported his pursuit of his doctoral degree in agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University.

In 1966, Young joined the faculty at North Carolina State University as an assistant professor, becoming an associate professor in 1970 and full professor in 1976. His research focused on various aspects of crop processing, including drying systems and environmental control.

His primary focus is on heat and moisture transfer as applied to peanut and tobacco curing. He developed a computer model to simulate curing of peanuts under various temperatures, humidity and air-flow conditions. Another model he developed simulated peanut growth under different environmental, soil and weather conditions. He also designed and tested computer-control techniques for flue-cured tobacco curing barns, allowing remote access to data and manipulation of curing schedules.

The UK Agricultural Engineering Department named him its Alpha Epsilon Outstanding Alumnus for 1985-86. He won six outstanding paper awards from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and has been elected a Fellow of the society.

Scott and his wife, Adrienne Lou Scott, live in Raleigh, N.C. They have two children.

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