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Industrial Advisory Board

Industrial Advisory Board

The objective of the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) is to provide support and assistance to the College from the business and industrial community (College of Engineering constituencies). The primary goal of the IAB is to provide the departments in the College with an independent, critical assessment feedback on the curricula and facilities while promoting the needs, trends and challenges of industry. This is done with semi-annual program audits.

Secondary goals include:
a) enhancing the interaction between McNeese State University Engineering and the industrial community
b) assist the Dean with strategic planning for the College of Engineering

The IAB sponsors the Faculty Excellence Award given every year to a fulltime faculty member from the College of Engineering who has demonstrated excellence inside and outside of the classroom. The award is presented to the faculty member during the annual Engineers Week banquet.

The Board is a volunteer group, currently comprised of representatives from 12 local industries. Each industry pays an annual membership fee of $600 to be represented on the Board. The IAB meets on the campus of McNeese State University twice per year, on the first Thursday in October and April. The current member companies and representatives are:

Company Name & Position
Industrial Advisory Board Members


John Manns 

Jackie Anderson

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Ryan Vining

Brent Fetzer

Brent Mayo

Energy Transfer

Jeff Brightwell

Joe Perez

Firestone Polymers

Karl Heimbach

Bill Dutridge


Ben Garber

Travis Griffin

David Nixon

Lechtenberg Consulting

W.J. Lechtenberg

Phillips 66

Anthony Nalbone

Greg Young

Polaris Engineering

Gerry Obluda

Michael Nodier

Lee Zimmermann

ReCon Engineering

Alex Boti

Glenn Boaz

Jeff Cherp

Sasol North America, Inc.

Gary Keers

Thomas Tyree

Patricia Heinen

Westlake Chemical

Joe Andrepont

Gino Lubrano

Paul Dsimon

Industrial Advisory Board

Pictured from Left to Right are :
Don Fruge, Brent Fetzer, Ryan Vining, Patricia Heinen, Robert Chandler, Paul Nelson, Bill Dutridge, Karl Heimbach, and Weejee Lechtenberg

The Board officers for the 2013 term are:

  • Mr. Ben Garber, Grace, Chairman
  • Mr. Weejee Lechtenberg, Lechtenberg consulting, Vice-Chairman
  • Mr. Don Fruge, Citgo Petroleum, Treasurer

The IAB is governed by a set of By-Laws and employs a part time Staff Assistant who serves as the liaison between the College of Engineering and the Board. The staff assistant works for the Board and reports to the Board Chairman. The Staff Assistant is Ms. Lisle Howard. Meeting minutes can be requested from Ms. Howard (337) 562-4268, or

For more information about the Board, contact:

Mr. Ben Garber -

Dr. Nikos Kiritsis - (337) 475-5857 or

The next Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 15th, 2014.

If you like to represent your company on the Industrial Advisory Board, contact Dr. Nikos Kiritsis.

IAB Faculty Excellence Award

The purpose of the Industrial Advisory Board Faculty Excellence Award is to honor faculty who have:

  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, or service.

  • Positively impacted students, colleagues, and the MSU community.

  • Contributed substantially to the goals and mission of the College of Engineering.

Dr. John Li
2008-09 Award Recipient - Dr. John Li

Dr. Jay Uppot
2007-08 Award Recipient - Dr. Jay Uppot