Professional Progress Award
The Carl R. Ice College of Engineering recognizes successful alumni in the midst of their professional careers and accomplishments.
Award selection criteria
- Significant early to mid-career success demonstrated by one or more of the following:
- Professional accomplishments
- Service to society and/or the profession of engineering
- Support of the college
- Other distinguished activities
- Promise of continued success
2023 Professional Progress Award recipients
Bryan Anderson is a 2005 graduate of Kansas State University in chemical engineering with a minor in business. He is currently the asset manager of ExxonMobil’s Santa Ynez production unit, where he is responsible for ExxonMobil’s Upstream Company operations in California. He began his career with ExxonMobil in 2005 and has since held a variety of roles supporting operations and business development in the U.S. and abroad, including LNG sales in Doha, Qatar, global mergers and acquisitions, and as the commercial manager in Luanda, Angola, negotiating new fiscals and additional business development with the Angola government. Anderson served on the chemical engineering advisory council from 2016-2019 and is currently a board member of the Western States Petroleum Association. He and his wife, Celia, have two children, Graceyn and Gavin.
Jonathan Feldkamp is a 2003 graduate of Kansas State University in computer engineering with a minor in computer science. Following graduation, he worked in Olathe, Kansas, for Castle Creations, a U.S. manufacturer of power electronics for the radio-controlled hobby market. Feldkamp started as an entry-level engineer and rose to president of the company and member of the board of directors during his first eight years at Castle. In 2017, he started his own consulting service, Foundation Engineering, helping small companies quickly launch new products. Foundation Engineering focused on mobile apps, circuit board layout, embedded firmware and global sourcing. Feldkamp then moved to South Carolina, where he is currently the senior vice president of engineering for Techtronic Industries Power Equipment, leading the global outdoor products team of more than 600 engineers. In this role, he guides development of around 200 projects every year under the Ryobi and HART brands.
Kyle Grabill is a 2003 and 2005 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor’s and master’s in industrial engineering. He is currently the senior director of quality and product support at Garmin International in Olathe. Grabill started at Garmin in 2008 and has held several leadership positions in operations and engineering, serving Garmin’s multiple business segments and implementing the company’s vertical integration strategy. Grabill served on the industrial engineering advisory council at K-State from 2009 to 2015 and is a member of the IMSE Professional Academy. He regularly presents at department assemblies and classes and has mentored industrial engineering students. Grabill and his wife, Emily, have three boys, Jack, Elliot and Reid.
Jennifer Jacka-Taylor is a 2004 graduate of Kansas State University in civil engineering. She also has a bachelor’s in business administration from K-State. Jacka-Taylor began her career as a highway engineer with HDR Engineering. She then served as stormwater management coordinator in Hutchinson, Kansas, for three years before joining Burns & McDonnell, where she worked as an environmental and civil engineer for the firm’s oil, gas and chemical division. She then became a project manager on site design projects at TREKK Design Group. This varied experience led to her current position as project manager with SCS Engineering. Jacka-Taylor currently serves as Region 7 governor for the American Society of Civil Engineers and awards chair for both WTS-KC and NCEES central zone. She also was appointed by the governor of Kansas to serve on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions. She and her husband, Seth, have two children, Addilynn and Grayson.
Brad Kaufmann is a 2004 graduate of Kansas State University in computer science. He has a master's degree in information technology focusing on software engineering and management from the University of Kansas. Kaufmann is currently a senior software engineer with Adobe designing and building libraries supporting cloud-first document formats and workflows across Adobe's suite of Creative Cloud applications. Before joining Adobe, he worked many years for Garmin building solutions and key features for OEM customers across the automotive and marine markets. Kaufmann is a K-State Alumni Association life member and supporter, and has been a classroom volunteer with the Microsoft Philanthropies Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program in the Seattle area.
Keegan Odle is a 2003 graduate of Kansas State University in electrical engineering. He has an MBA from University of Missouri – Kansas City and is a licensed professional engineer in Kansas and Virginia. Odle is currently the vice president of substations at Burns & McDonnell’s world headquarters in Kansas City. He oversees the substations business line, managing multidisciplined teams of more than 1,100 managers, engineers, designers and support staff across 14 domestic locations. Odle is currently a member of IEEE, an active member of AABE and sits on K-State’s electrical and computer engineering advisory council. He has presented at conferences across the county, published multiple whitepapers and trade articles, and was named to Public Utility Fortnightly’s Under 40 group in 2020. In Kansas City, Odle is on the board for the local child advocacy center, Sunflower House, and has been active with a wide variety of area charities.
Cade Schoonover is a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University in biological and agricultural engineering with a secondary major in natural resources and environmental sciences. He joined Cargill after graduating from K-State, and in his current role leads global capital and engineering for the company. Schoonover is responsible for the development and execution of more than $3 billion in capital projects annually to maintain production assets, create new processing capabilities or significantly enhance production capacities at more than 1,600 production facilities across all four major enterprises. While at Cargill, Schoonover has had the opportunity to work closely with protein facilities across North America, Central America and Asia and is also a member of Cargill’s global manufacturing excellence leadership team. He is currently involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas and has been a big for nearly two years, is a volunteer scholarship judge for the Navy SEAL Foundation and continues to be active with Cargill’s university recruiting efforts for engineering, including being a member of the K-State team. Schoonover and his wife, Stacey, have three children, Jaeyd, Cooper and Caedryn.
Jason Wollum is a 1996 graduate of Kansas State University in architectural engineering. He began working for Henderson Engineers 25 years ago and is currently the chief sector officer and a principal at the nationwide building systems design firm headquartered in Lenexa. Wollum oversees the execution of the company’s strategic initiatives within its key market sectors including business, community, health, retail, grocery and venue. He is a past member of the architectural engineering advisory council for the GE Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science and is a licensed professional engineer in 33 states, Puerto Rico and eight Canadian provinces. In addition to serving as chair of the chairman’s circle for the American Cancer Society’s Kansas City chapter, Wollum is a past member of the board of directors for the Henderson Foundation, Henderson’s nonprofit arm.
Justin Zeh is a 2004 graduate of Kansas State University in construction science and management. Upon graduation, he accepted a position as a field engineer in the Las Vegas office for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. After seven years in Las Vegas, Zeh and his wife, Katie, relocated to his hometown of Kansas City to help start operations for Whiting-Turner. Zeh is now a senior superintendent for the Midwest, overseeing field operations that includes supporting more than 50 superintendents and projects throughout the region. He also serves on various corporate committees focusing on training and field initiatives as well as the diversity and inclusion council. Zeh has served on K-State’s construction science and management advisory council for the past six years and is involved with numerous high school programs, where he has helped elevate education and a professional connection to the industry. He is passionate about K-State engineering graduates and involvement within the GE Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science.