University of Pittsburgh
February 28, 2010

Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering Honors Notable Alumni at 2010 Distinguished Alumni Banquet March 4

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-In recognition of the accomplishments of individual alumni in their respective fields, the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and its departments will honor six alumni at the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet March 4 in the J.W. Connolly Ballroom of Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The awards include the schoolwide Distinguished Alumni Award and an alumni award for each of the Swanson School's five departments.

"We have been formally celebrating the success of our alumni since the inception of the Distinguished Alumni Awards in 1964," said Gerald Holder, Pitt's U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "Every year we are impressed by the achievements of the Swanson School alumni body, which today comprises approximately 25,000 alumni living around the world."

Brief biographical information on the awardees follows. Full biographies are available on the Swanson School's Web site at

Francis J. Kramer, Swanson School Distinguished Alumnus: Kramer, of Saxonburg, Pa., is president and CEO of Saxonburg-based II-VI Inc., which engineers materials and components used to transmit infrared energy. He has held his current position since 2007, before which Kramer was president and chief operating officer since 1985. Kramer joined II-VI in 1983 when the company employed fewer than 100 people, had only one manufacturing facility, and annual sales were $6 million; since then, the company has expanded to include 5,000 employees worldwide, 16 manufacturing facilities, and more than $300 million in sales annually. Kramer serves on the Swanson School's Board of Advisors and received the Department of Industrial Engineering's Distinguished Alumni award in 1999. He also is a member of the Panther Club and the Pitt Alumni Association. Kramer graduated from Pitt in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.

Anthony Massaro Jr., Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering: Massaro, of Sarasota, Fla., is the retired chair and chief executive officer of Cleveland-based welding-product manufacturer Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. Prior to joining Lincoln in 1993, Massaro had worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation since 1967 where he held a series of engineering and management positions in the company's nuclear, international, and automation divisions, including serving as an executive vice president. Massaro graduated from Pitt in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in chemical and petroleum engineering.

Wesley C. Pickard, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Pickard, of Washington, D.C., is the retired chief financial officer of D.C.-based consulting firm Synergy Inc., which provides strategic planning analysis and technology solutions for defense operations and logistics for several U.S. agencies. Over a period of 33 years, Pickard helped the company grow from five staff members to more than 200 with revenues of approximately $25 million when it was sold in 2005. His support of Pitt includes the establishment of a scholarship for D.C.-area students interested in attending the University. Pickard earned his bachelor's degree in mining engineering at Pitt in 1961.

John Choma Jr., Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Choma, of Los Angeles, is a professor and former chair of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California. His technical work focuses on broadband analog and high-speed digital integrated circuit analysis, design, and modeling. Choma has authored or coauthored approximately 160 journal and conference papers, received numerous professional awards, and frequently testified as an expert witness in legal proceedings involving patent infringement, and technical arbitration, among other issues. He earned his bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at Pitt in 1964, 1966, and 1969, respectively.

Francis E. Novak, Department of Industrial Engineering: Novak, of Amityville, N.Y., and Wichita, Kan., is the retired president and chief executive officer of Amityville-based Stellex Monitor Aerospace, Inc., and Stellex Precision Machining, Inc., leading providers of highly engineered subsystems and components for the commercial, military, and private aviation markets. He also has held executive and engineering held positions at various other companies, including Pittsburgh-based Alcoa. Novak graduated from Pitt with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1966.

Paul E. Fischione, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science: Fischione, of Export, Pa., is president of Export-based E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc., which produces sample preparation instruments, advanced imaging technology, and specimen holders for electron microscopy; its instruments are found in more than 500 laboratories worldwide. Fischione has published more than 40 technical papers relating to transmission electron microscopy specimen preparation and analytical instrumentation and also is a recipient of multiple U.S. patents. Fischione graduated from Pitt with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1978.