Two Alumni Honorees Are among World Leaders
in Engineering and Science
Every year, UDM selects two outstanding alumni for its Alumni of the Year Awards, presented at the Slide Rule Dinner. This year, the two honorees are not only outstanding alumni and exceptional professionals, they are among the best specialists in the world: John M. Griffin in aeronautical engineering and Dr. Joseph E. Kutz in neurosurgery.
John M. Griffin earned his Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University in 1964. He went on to earn his Master's in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in 1968. He also completed the Senior Executive Sloan Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984.
Griffin is President of Griffin Consulting, which applies program management and systems engineering skills to a myriad of business enterprises. From 1962 to 1997, Griffin held various positions at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Under the Program Offices and Engineering Directorate, Griffin worked as Chief Engineer (F-15 Eagle Fighter), Chief Airframe Engineer (F-16 Fighting Falcon), Chief Airframe Engineer (Air Launched Cruise Missile) and Stability and Control Aerodynamicist.
As Director of Engineering (B-2 System Program Office), Griffin provided engineering leadership and management for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber from the start of the program through its first flight. He managed the design, development and testing of the system to meet the fighter's needs. In the position of Chief Systems Engineer, Griffin provided engineering leadership and management for all Air Force aeronautical weapon systems, and initiated and implemented actions to start Air Force-wide acceptance of Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) as a new way to conduct business. He also co-chaired the team that developed, documented and implemented the system engineering process for the Department of Defense. As Director of Development Planning (Aeronautical Systems Center), Griffin applied program management skills and systems engineering techniques to invent, develop and implement an entirely new process by which the Air Force plans for future systems. He implemented program plans through Air Force Budget Program Objective Memorandum by publishing Technical Planning Integrated Product Team's Development Plans for the Air Force Modernization Planning Process. He also served as the Source Selection authority for two major source selections.
Griffin is the recipient of various awards including the Meritorious Service Medal for Advances in Stealth Technology and for Technology Transition Process, the Distinguished Civilian Career Medal for 37 years of distinguished service to our nation, Pioneer of Stealth Inductee for contributions to stealth development, Pioneer of the Air Force for development of major weapons systems, and Aeronautical Systems Center Chief Engineer.
Griffin has also contributed in various capacities within the community, including founder of Gonosko Men's Society and co-founder of the Youth Commission at St. Charles Borremeo Church.
Dr. Joseph E. Kutz received his B.S. in Chemistry and master's in 1955 from the University of Detroit. He received his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1958.
Kutz has held several academic and administrative appointments at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, including clinical professor of Surgery in both Hand and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and director of the Christine M. Kleinert Fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery. Kutz was also a member of the surgical teams that conducted the first two hand transplants in the United States in 1999.
Kutz is certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) and holds Certification of Added Qualification in Surgery of the Hand. He holds Medical Licensure in Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan and is affiliated with various hospitals including active affiliations with Jewish Hospital, Frazier Rehab Center, Kosair Children's Hospital and University of Louisville Hospital.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of Microsurgery, Official Journal of the International Microsurgical Society and the European Federation of Societies for Microsurgery. Kutz holds professional memberships with numerous organizations in his field, including a Lifetime Member of the American Medical Association, World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (founding member), American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American College of Surgeons, Kentucky Medical Association, and Michigan Medical Society.
Kutz has provided extensive service and leadership to the professional community as a board member, author and editor. He has held the position of chairman of the Board of Trustees at Spalding University, member of the Board of Directors of The dePaul School as well as numerous others. He has published more than 50 articles in scientific journals and numerous book chapters.
He has received many prestigious honors and awards including the Tribute to Excellence Award (Arthritis Foundation), induction into the Marmion Athletic Hall of Fame, Centurion Award (Marmion Military Academy), Ephraim McDowell Physician of the Year Award, Distinguished Leadership Award (National Association for Community Leadership), University of Detroit Mercy President's Cabinet Award. In honor of Kutz' work and dedication, which helped educate, support and sponsor more than 900 doctors in the U.S. and abroad, Spalding University named its new international center, "The Joseph E. Kutz, M.D. International Center."
The Engineering and Science Alumni of the Year are selected from a group nominated by previous winners and UDM's Engineering and Science faculty and staff. Once nominations are received, nominees are notified, requesting detailed resumes regarding their careers and community involvement. A committee of volunteer faculty and Engineering & Science Student Council members convene and review all submissions. The committee considers positions of employment, honors/awards received, voluntary service to the community, church, to the University, and within their profession. Winners are selected based on significant service to their profession, community, UDM and how their contributions reflect the overall mission of the University.
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