Business leaders, Vanderbilt dean to join Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Vanderbilt engineering alumni G. Edmond Clark, Steve M. Hays, and Knowles Arthur Overholser will be inducted into the School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the March 21 Engineering Celebration Dinner.

The School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes distinguished achievement, significant service and excellent character.

“The newest members of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni have left their marks on our world. They have provided expertise to companies all over the world, built schools, and taught and mentored hundreds of engineers along the way. Their achievements are truly worthy of our recognition,” said Dean Philippe Fauchet.

Ed Clark

G. Edmond “Ed” Clark, a  Shelbyville, Tenn. native, graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1976. Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, Clark moved to Houston, Texas, to work for Exxon. He received an MBA in finance from the University of Houston in 1979.

He moved to Memphis in 1983 to begin a 27-year career at Federal Express, where he served in a variety of roles including senior leadership positions. In 2000 he formed the subsidiary FedEx Trade Networks, which became the largest customs broker in North America and an international freight forwarding and trade consulting firm. Clark retired in 2009 after a decade as president and CEO of FTN.

He now leads Clark Investments LLC and is active in numerous local service initiatives. Additionally, he has established the Clark School for AIDS orphans in Kenya. He and his wife, Sue, BA’77, created the Ed and Sue Clark Scholarship in Engineering.

Steve Hays

Steve M. Hays, PE, CIH, FACEC, FAIHA, is partner and chairman of the Board of Gobbell Hays Partners Inc. (GHP), where he is the driving force behind the company’s leadership in dealing with hazards in the built environment.

Hays was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Building Sciences, where he served for 17 years. Recently, he accepted the 2012 Mortimer M. Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute. Hays has co-authored two books and numerous features in trade and professional publications on various environmental issues.

Hays graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He became a Tennessee-registered professional engineer in 1978 and is also registered in eight other states and Ireland. In 1999, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Council of Engineering Companies, and in 2010, inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Industrial Hygienists Association.

Art Overholser

Knowles Arthur “Art” Overholser serves as senior associate dean of the School of Engineering. He is a 1965 chemical engineering graduate and earned his doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin and a post-doctoral appointment at Imperial College in London.

Overholser joined Vanderbilt in 1971 as an assistant professor. During his career, he served as a visiting scientist at the University of California at San Francisco. He then joined Vanderbilt’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, where he pursued research in quantitative cardiovascular physiology. He has been with the Engineering Dean’s Office since 1999, where he has administrative responsibility for the undergraduate educational functions of the school.

Overholser is a celebrated member of the engineering community, having received numerous awards and recognitions at the university and national levels. At Vanderbilt, he received the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Classroom Teaching and the Thomas Jefferson Award for Distinguished Service. At the national and state levels, he is a leader in a number of professional organizations and is dedicated to engineering education.

Recipients of this award, first given in 1969, must have attended or graduated from the School of Engineering. The honorees are chosen by an awards committee which comprises the dean of the School of Engineering, alumni representatives and faculty members in the School of Engineering.