Dr. Alice Squires named Wendell J. Satre Distinguished Professor

Alice Squires has been named the Wendell J. Satre Distinguished Professor in WSU’s Engineering Technology Management (ETM) program.

Supported by the professorship, she will serve as the program’s graduate studies committee chair, leading efforts to refresh its core competencies.

“Alice has a long history of industry engagement and leadership,” said Todd Vanek, the program’s director. “With her drive and strong attention to detail, she will be a key partner in growing the program and helping it to better meet industry needs.”

Squires has taught in the ETM program since 2014 and has more than 30 years of technical and leadership experience in engineering. Her areas of expertise include systems engineering, technical management, project management, systems thinking, online education, and engineering education. Among some of the positions she’s held,  she served as manager of systems engineering at Aurora Flight Sciences; senior researcher for the University Affiliated Research Center in Systems Engineering; online technical director for the School of Systems and Enterprises at Steven Institute of Technology; senior engineering manager at both General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, and as an advisory engineer and scientist at IBM. She also founded the Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering group within the International Council on Systems Engineering professional society.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Maryland, an MBA from George Mason University and a PhD in systems engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Wendell Satre. Courtesy of the University of Idaho

Wendell Satre received an electrical engineering degree from the University of Idaho and went on to work for Washington Water Power Company, which later became Avista Corporation. Except for time spent in the military during World War II, he spent the next 46 years with the company, becoming Chief Executive Office and Chairman of the Board before retiring in 1985. Satre supported engineering education, but he also wished he had had more education in management, so he was happy to provide support for the establishment of the Satre Professorship in the ETM program in 1997. He died in 2010.

“Wendell Satre wished that he would have had more management education to better prepare him for the climb up the corporate ladder,” Vanek said. “The professorship supports that vision by maintaining an industry-relevant program that can help as many people, including those who aren’t necessarily engineers, get the education Wendell wished he had had, so that they can ascend to management positions with confidence.”

Squires added, “I am honored to have this opportunity to pursue Satre’s vision of broadening the reach of engineering management education to support those whose leadership and decision-making skills are pivotal not only to the future of their organizations but also to making the world a better place.”