Industry Advisory Board
Charles P Berry, Jr. is a native of Branchville, SC. Charles received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in 1988. He began working for the Torrington Company in Walhalla, SC, and held various positions in engineering and management. In 1996, he moved to East Tennessee and began working for NN, Inc., a ball and roller company, where he helped establish a new plant in Mountain City, TN. In addition, he often traveled to and worked with the plant located in Erwin, TN. Within NN, Inc. he held various positions in engineering, engineering management, and Plant management in the Mt City and Erwin facilities. In 2017, the ball and roller division of NN, Inc. was purchased by Tsubaki-Nakashima, Inc. Charles is currently the Regional Technology Manager for the Americas Region for Tsubaki-Nakashima, Inc.
Charles is happily married to his wife of 17 years, Laura Berry, a Family Nurse Practitioner in Erwin, TN. Charles enjoys spending time with Laura and their five children, playing the guitar with the worship band at Evergreen Baptist Church, and playing basketball with friends at the YMCA in Erwin.
Jacob Bubalo, PE
Jacob Bubalo graduated in 2015 with a BS in civil engineering from Purdue University and recently passed his mechanical engineering (HVAC) PE licensure exam. He is actively involved in Eastman’s engineering recruiting program, both on campus as well as mentoring students and new hires once on site.
While a student at Purdue, Jacob interned for six semesters with the physical facilities department, supporting laboratories and other critical environments from a facilities perspective: HVAC, utilities, minimum ventilation rates, code compliance. After graduation, he joined Eastman in Kingsport as an HVAC and general facilities engineer. In that role, he was responsible for HVAC system design at our regional and global manufacturing sites. He also had responsibilities for some of the non-manufacturing assets including the commissioning and start-up of Eastman’s new global headquarters building. In February 2019, he switched roles to join the Advanced Work Packaging development group focused on capital project execution excellence. He also leads the engineering mobility team focused on industrial uses of drones, robots, extended reality (augmented, mixed, virtual reality), wearables, etc.
Larry D. Durham
Larry Durham is the Human Resources Business Unit Manager at Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee, and leads the HR organization as a member of the site’s senior management team. Durham possesses more than 18 years of experience in Human Resources and has provided employee and executive consultation, employee relations management, recruiting and HR risk management services to various functions, departments and organizations. Durham supported Duke Energy’s Nuclear Generation Department for more than two years, operating out of the Oconee Nuclear Station where he provided support to the Engineering, Chemistry, Supply Chain, Site Services and Training functions. Larry’s assignment before arriving at NFS involved leading the Duke Energy enterprise diversity and inclusion function with responsibility for developing, deploying and monitoring the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies.
John Kenny, PE
A native of East Tennessee, John is the founder and principal of Facility Systems Consultants, LLC, based in Knoxville, TN. He holds the BSME from Tennessee Tech and he is a professional engineer, licensed in 13 states, including much of the Southeastern US. He has had 29-year career in building energy use and has managed over 100 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified projects. He’s been a guest lecturer and design counselor for students at The University of Tennessee and also at ETSU. He is currently serving as a member of Tennessee’s Energy Policy Council, and is also a member of the NSPE, ASHRAE, and the American Council of Engineering Companies (served as Tennessee president in 2015-16 and as a member of the International Affairs Steering Committee in 2000). He has also been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and he has served on the East Tennessee Board of the council.
John started working as an engineer with Stone & Webster, Inc. in 1990. In 1996, he became a region manager for Earth Tech, Inc. and in 1998, he became a vice president at Lamar Dunn & Associates, Inc. Since 2005, he is the founder and principal of Facility Systems Consultants—one of the largest specialty mechanical and electrical engineering firms in the Greater Knoxville area. Among his several awards and honors, John was named the TSPE’s Outstanding Engineer of the Year in 2017.
Ron Kinser, PE
A native of Kingsport, Ron is a Continuous Improvement Specialist at Tenneco Automotive in Smithville, TN. He has remained in a technical track as a manufacturing engineer since graduating from Tennessee Tech with the BSIE in 1988. He became a licensed Professional Engineer in 1992. He has taught for many years at Tennessee Tech as an adjunct instructor. Ron’s work career started with very traditional industrial engineering work at Kantus Corporation: plant layout, workflow, and material flow improvements. He developed time studies and standards used for setting production rates and manpower requirements. He developed and maintained packaging systems for incoming material and finished goods for customers. Later, he worked for TRW Automotive, where he became the Lean Promotion Officer. He led Kaizen workshops and Lean activities and training. He is Green Belt certified through TRW in Six Sigma. He has worked for Invensys Rail and Star Manufacturing as well, serving a point person for lean manufacturing implementation. Currently, he works at Tenneco Automotive where he continues to lead efforts in overall plant process implementation and improvement.
Alison Knight, PE
Following more than eight-years of employment with the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) in increasingly responsible positions, Alison joined Carilion Clinic, a six-hospital system in southwest Virginia, in May 2019, as a Senior Process Improvement Consultant. While at Mayo Clinic, Alison’s most recently served for three years as Operations Manager for the Department of Anesthesiology, integrating practice across 18 hospitals, leading a 400-provider department through a three-year electronic health record implementation, and directing day-to-day activities in an outpatient procedure center with 13 operating rooms and 16 procedure rooms.
In addition to employment in healthcare, Alison’s industrial experience includes over two years as a simulation analyst with TranSystems, a consulting firm in Nashville, Tennessee, and a year in manufacturing as a co-op engineer with Luvata Heatcraft in Grenada, Mississippi. Her academic experience includes serving as a graduate teaching assistant and class instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
After completing high school in Mountain City, Tennessee, Alison earned a BSIE at Tennessee Tech University in 2007 and an MSE with concentration in systems engineering and engineering management from UAH in 2011. She is a licensed professional engineer (Minnesota) and has earned certifications as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers) and as a Gold-Level Mayo Clinic Quality Academy Fellow. She has been a mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students while at Mayo Clinic, served on the PE exam committee for industrial engineering, and coached middle school girls’ basketball teams for the City of St. Charles, Minnesota. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Perioperative Care and Operating Room Management.
A native of Southwest Virginia, Eric is the Laboratory Functional Excellence Leader for Cummins Filtration and Manager of the Laboratory located in Cookeville, TN. He graduated from ETSU with a BS Manufacturing Engineering Technology in 1992. After working for several years, he earned a MSME in 2005 from TTU. Also, he is currently the chairman of the SAE Filter Test Methods Committee, which is responsible for developing and maintaining test standards for fuel and lube filtration for diesel engines. He also represents the US as an expert to ISO/TC 22/SC 34 for the same filtration applications.
Eric started his career working in the Cummins Filtration Laboratory in 1992, where he has held various roles within the Laboratory organization over his 27-year career. His past experiences include process and test method development, as well as test equipment specification/design/build/validation to meet specific customer and product test requirements. He is Green Belt certified in Six Sigma. His current Functional Excellence and management responsibilities for Cummins Filtration include the development and improvement of people, processes, and tools. As a manager, he is also responsible for operations within the Cookeville Lab, which includes establishing and ensuring that requirements for qualified staff, safety, and quality meet customer and ISO 17025 accreditation requirements.
Jeffrey L. Ray, Ph.D., F.ASEE
Jeffrey L. Ray is the Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining Western Carolina, Dr. Ray was Dean of the School of Engineering Technology and Management at Southern Polytechnic State University, now Kennesaw State University. Before moving to Southern Poly, he was Director of the School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University for ten years, in addition to leading the multidisciplinary industry-sponsored capstone design program.
Dr. Ray received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from
Tennessee Technological University and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Prior to his engineering studies, he completed an apprenticeship and received his Journeyman Industrial Electrician license. Dr. Ray has been involved at various levels of ASEE leadership, including the Board of Directors, VP of Institutional Councils, and many other positions with the Engineering Deans Council. He was elected to Fellow grade in 2014. Additionally, he has been an active member of ABET’s Academic Advisory Council since its founding and currently serves as the Chair, reporting to the Board of Directors.
Cecelia Wigal, PE, PhD
Cecelia is a Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University (1998), MSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology (1991), and BSEE from Ohio Northern University (1985). Dr. Wigal teaches freshmen and upper level interdisciplinary design courses and upper level industrial engineering courses. Her primary engagement activity is improving the lives of those with physical and mental disabilities. Her primary areas of research include complex system analysis and quality process analysis with respect to nontraditional applications such as service systems. Dr. Wigal is also interested in engineering education reform to address present and future student and national and international needs. Dr. Wigal is a member of ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) where she has served in various officer positions for the Southeast Section, INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), and AAUW (American Association of University Women). Dr. Wigal is an ABET Program Evaluator for General Engineering.
Cecelia Wigal is a Professor of Engineering with degrees in electrical and industrial engineering and has held many roles in the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science. Cecelia comes from an industry background where she helped design electric power systems for aircraft. Her academic focus is on anything that involves systems thinking. She teaches engineering design courses, project-based instruction courses, information systems courses, and systems modeling courses. Cecelia’s primary areas of research include complex system analysis and quality process analysis with respect to nontraditional applications such as service systems. Cecelia is particularly interested in improving the lives of those with physical and mental disabilities so they can be independent and personally engaged members of society.