Cockrell School Presents Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards

May 13, 2013

Every year at spring commencement, the Cockrell School of Engineering honors its alumni with the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards. The Distinguished Engineering Graduate and the Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate awards are the highest honors that the Cockrell School bestows on its alumni.

Established in 1957, the Distinguished Engineering Graduate Award (DEG) recognizes honorees as highly respected professionals, dedicated engineers and supporters of higher education. Including this year’s honorees, 255 alumni have been selected for this award.

Established in 1991, the Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate Award recognizes rising stars of Cockrell School alumni under the age of 40. Honorees are selected for their early outstanding professional achievements, dedication to public service and support of higher education. Including this year’s honoree, 26 alumni have received this award.

This year’s honorees have established themselves across multiple disciplines as innovators, leaders and philanthropists. The recipients are: Thomas Baker (DEG), Forrest “Eddie” Harrell (DEG), Robert Mansfield (DEG), Dana Davis Sellers (DEG) and Carrie Colbert (OYEG). Read about the 2013 Distinguished Engineering Alumni below.


Thomas L. Baker

thomas baker

B.S. ME 1968
Chairman Emeritus, Energy Future Holdings Corp.

Tom Baker is chairman emeritus of Energy Future Holdings Corp., formerly TXU Corp. He was previously vice chairman of TXU Corp., and prior to that he served as chairman and CEO of Oncor Electric Delivery, TXU’s regulated transmission and distribution business.

Baker has a distinguished 36-year track record at TXU, having held leadership positions in generation, utility operations, finance, customer service, rates, and regulatory affairs and public policy. Except for a three-year period when he served as a nuclear missile launch officer in the U.S. Air Force, he has spent his entire career in the energy industry with TXU, culminating in key high-level roles. Read more


Forrest E. “Eddie” Harrell

eddie harrell

B.S. PE 1958
Non-Executive Chairman, Citation Oil & Gas Corp.

After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering, Eddie Harrell joined Humble Oil & Refining Co. (Exxon) as a reservoir engineer. He left Exxon in 1964 to accept a position with Tenneco Oil Company. While at Tenneco he held a number of engineering and management positions, ending as manager of the Economics and Planning Department. He then joined TransOcean Oil, Inc. as financial vice president and, after a three-year tour with TransOcean's parent, Vickers Energy, was named president and CEO. TransOcean was sold to Mobil in late 1980 and, rather than continue with an established company, he elected to form Citation Oil & Gas Corp. in 1981. Read more


Robert L. Mansfield

robert mansfield

B.S. EE 1982
Senior Vice President of Technologies, Apple Inc.

Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of technologies at Apple Inc., has spent three decades as a leader in the computer and consumer electronics industry.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982, Mansfield launched his career at IBM. He held a number of silicon design and design management positions at IBM, leading the design of several parts of the original IBM RS-6000 processor chipset, which became the foundation of PowerPC, an architecture created by IBM and Motorola. Shortly after the formation of PowerPC, Mansfield took over the management of IBM's Somerset Design Center in Austin. After more than 11 years at IBM, Mansfield moved with his family to the San Francisco Bay Area to join Silicon Graphics Inc. In 1997, after three years at SGI, Mansfield joined a small startup called Raycer Graphics. Apple acquired Raycer in 1999. Read more


Dana Davis Sellers

dana davis sellers

B.S. ChE 1975
CEO, Encore Health Resources

Dana Sellers is the CEO of Encore Health Resources, one of the fastest-growing consulting firms in the health care technology industry and one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s “Best Places to Work in Healthcare” for three years running.

Sellers, who earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1975, has more than 25 years of experience in health care, technology and consulting. Under her leadership, Encore's annual revenue growth has averaged more than 200 percent since the company’s founding. Read more


Carrie Colbert

carrie colbert

B.S. PE 1999, MBA 2009
Senior Reservoir Engineer, Hilcorp Energy Company

A native of the small Texas Panhandle town of Perryton, Carrie Colbert is the first college graduate in her family. Colbert graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering with highest honors. In 2009, she earned her Master of Business Administration from UT Austin while continuing to work full time. Colbert’s business passion begins at the intersection of technical analysis and business strategy. Read more