Donahoe and Koe named Grainger Engineering Distinguished Alumni

3/14/2024 The Grainger College of Engineering

Daniel N. Donahoe and Bruce Koe are two of the 2024 recipients of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service from The Grainger College of Engineering.

Written by The Grainger College of Engineering

The Grainger College of Engineering has announced its 2024 Alumni Award for Distinguished Service recipients, and the roster includes MechSE alumni Daniel N. Donahoe (MSME 1979) and Bruce Koe (BSME 1966).

Donahoe was named for his distinguished career specializing in mechanical and materials engineering for electronics spanning corporate, civilian, military and entrepreneurial experience with exceptional service to the Air Force, IEEE and the ISE department. Koe was selected for his outstanding career in marketing and management, his loyal engagement with the University of Illinois, and his generous philanthropic support of students. 

Daniel N. Donahoe

Daniel N. DonahoeA two-time Illinois alumnus, Donahoe earned his bachelor’s degree in general engineering (now Industrial and Enterprise Systems) in 1977 and stayed to earn an MS in mechanical engineering two years later.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Donahoe is currently the owner and CEO of 1000 kilometers, a general engineering practice with specific focus defined by a radius of 1000 kilometers from Salt Lake City.

He has been a licensed professional engineer in several states since February 1982. He also passed the ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer exam, completed an MBA at Santa Clara University in 1983 and earned a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland in 2005.

Donahoe’s career interests have spanned spacecraft thermal control work at Lockheed to artillery fuzing at Motorola to worldwide tracking stations at Ford Aerospace. From there he spent time at Teledyne working on avionics, worked in reliability at Compaq Computer Corporation and enjoyed a short stint at Iomega. After serving on the staff of the University of Maryland while completing his PhD, Donahoe worked in exponent failure analysis and spent more than five years working as a civil servant for the U.S. Air Force.

His work in thermal analysis continues by participating in ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment. He has also been active in many other professional organizations including AIAA, ASME, ASHRAE and IEEE. Much of his career has been spent in integration of equipment into systems, a “general engineer” in the truest sense.

Bruce Koe

Bruce KoeDuring his corporate career, Koe worked in the publishing industry. His roles included vice president of global operations at Reader’s Digest, executive vice president of operations at Golden Books Family Entertainment, director of business development at Hallmark Cards and corporate vice president of Banta Corporation.

Koe then launched The Kirkwood Group, providing strategic marketing, management and operations consulting to the publishing, media and printing industries. As a consultant, he successfully helped his clients develop strategic imperatives to drive real growth and assisted them with restructuring their operations to improve profits and net worth.

Since retiring, Koe has focused on giving back to the University, his community and his church. He is a founding director and board member of Building One Community (The Center for Immigrant Opportunity) in Stamford, CT. He also serves on the board of Food Rescue U.S., a not-for profit organization that serves the food insecure by employing technology and volunteers while also reducing food waste in more than 40 cities across the country. Koe also served on the Grainger Engineering “With Illinois” campaign cabinet from 2017 to 2022.

In 2001, he and his wife Linda established the Kirkwood Scholarship for women in engineering, endowing it in 2018. Since its inception the scholarship has benefitted 55 women engineers, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers with several Fortune 500 companies. Both he and Linda are life members of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

Grainger Engineering will host a panel discussion on Friday, April 5 – part of the Engineering Open House activities – at which the award recipients will share their experiences, lessons learned and advice for current students.

The full list of recipients of the 2024 Alumni Award for Distinguished Service includes:

  • Daniel N. Donahoe (ISE - BS 1977; MechSE - MS 1979)
  • Hillery C. Hunter (ECE - BS 1999, MS 2002, PhD 2004)
  • Roger L. Johnson (ECE - BS 1965, MS 1966, PhD 1970)
  • Bruce Koe (MechSE - BS 1966)
  • Linda Petzold (CS - PhD 1978)
  • Chris Raymond (AERO - BS 1986)
  • Scott A. Spellmon (CEE - MS 1997)

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This story was published March 14, 2024.