Address: P. O. Box 1166, Bettendorf, IA 52722
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Supporting STEM professionals, societies, educators, parents and students

Board of Directors

List of past Chairs

President and Award Chair
Dan D’Alessandro

Dan D’Alessandro retired from Deere & Company in 2016 after 40 years of service. In his last role, he was the Global Manager of an engineering organization that developed embedded electronic hardware and software systems for Deere agricultural and turf products.     

Dan graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Northern Iowa.

He is involved in several volunteer roles including FIRST FLL/FTC/FRC competition Judge, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Iowa Chapter Board Member, American Red Cross Orientation Trainer, YWCA of the Quad Cities Board ex officio Member, and Western Illinois University Senior Design Mentor.

Also, Dan is an independent engineering management consultant.

President-Elect Austin Laugen   

Austin Laugen graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2013.  In 2018, he completed the Systems Design and Management certificate program through MIT.   

Since then, he’s worked for John Deere in multiple embedded software roles.  He currently works as the software delivery lead for an upcoming combine program. 

Outside of work, he’s spent four years mentoring two different FTC teams.  He also mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters and serves on Beta Sigma Psi Fraternity’s alumni board. 

Austin grew up in the Quad Cities and first became involved with QCESC while in high school.  He’s excited to be back involved to help facilitate further STEM opportunities in the area.

Secretary and Communications
Beth Ullmark
Beth Ullmark graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Computer Science through the College of Engineering.  She has an MBA degree through St. Ambrose University. 

After graduation, she worked at Linguisystems, but since 1991 has worked at John Deere.   Her assignments in Global IT have included network and server admin, managing the Corporate networks, and John Deere Finance Software Testing.  She is currently working on the largest software program in John Deere history as a Quality Manager in Davenport.  

In the past 7 years, she has worked extensively with the FLL tournaments in the Quad Cities.  She became a member of the State of Iowa SE Stem Advisory council in 2016.   A lifelong Quad City inhabitant, she is committed to ensuring that all children have opportunity to realize the potential of a STEM career.

Chris Hebel
Chris Hebel earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1981.He has been employed by Exelon Corporation at Quad Cities Generating Station for over 34 years, in various positions.Chris is currently a Senior Engineer with responsibility for the Reactor Vessel and Internals Program.
Director Emeritus
Pat Barnes
Twitter @PatrickOBarnes
Pat Barnes is currently the QCESC Director Emeritus and has served since 1992 in various roles including three times as QCESC President.     

Pat is John Deere’s Global Program Director for STEM & Youth Education.  This includes responsibly for John Deere’s youth education strategy,  investments and related volunteerism.   He works at John Deere’s World Headquarters in Moline in the Foundation & Citizenship Group.  

Throughout his career at John Deere, Pat has held technical positions and leadership roles in plant engineering, production engineering, quality assurance, product engineering, and Information Technology supporting engineering operations worldwide. This included  responsibility for an extended IT Team in Pune, India.

Pat holds an Electrical Engineering Degree from Iowa State University and is a member of IEEE along with serving on numerous boards and committees including: Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Southeast Iowa STEM Advisory Board and the United Way of Quad Cities Area Education Council.

Pat has served as a volunteer for FIRST for 11+ years supporting all four FIRST programs.  This includes coordinating FIRST events in the Quad Cities and Judge Advisor for State Champions for FLL and FTC in Iowa.  In addition, he has judged at the FIRST World Championships and supported  FIRST events on four continents.

Pat shares STEM education and career related information regularly on Twitter at @PatrickOBarnes.

Jeff Melvin
Phone 309-227-3822
Jeff Melvin, P.E. (NSPE), is a past QCESC President and Director and has been active with the QCESC since 2007. Jeff is a Senior Engineer with Exelon–Quad Cities Nuclear (Cordova, IL) where he has served as the Turbine System Manager since 2006. Jeff is a Licensed Mechanical Engineer and earned his BSME and ASNT (Nuclear Technology) from Arkansas Tech University in 2002. Jeff joined the US Navy after graduating high school in Linwood NJ, becoming a Nuclear Machinist Mate on a Fast Attack Submarine, and was honorably discharged after six years.In addition to his past roles as a QCESC officer, Jeff also serves as the QCESC’s Iowa FLL Head Referee, QCESC-Order of the Engineer Link 271 Governor, QCESC Emcee, the former event-Director of the annual “Battle of the Bridges”. He also serves on the Project Lead The Way-Davenport, Blackhawk College Engineering Technology, and St. Ambrose University Engineering Advisory Councils.Jeff enjoys running and attempting to play golf. He is a Quad City Mallard’s Off-Ice Official, and a perennial John Deere Classic volunteer (Walking Scorekeeper, Laser Operator, Standard Bearer, Information, Admissions, Marshal, etc.).
STEM Coordinator
Sankari Kandasamy
Scholarship Chair
Tom Hein
Phone 309-798-0556
Tom retired from Deere & Company in Moline, Illinois after 32 years of service. He was a leader innovation and in evaluating and applying emerging technologies for the company, most recently focusing on information technology impacting Deere’s customer and product. He also supported research alliances with Universities, industry and standards groups. He served on the boards of the Object Management Group and the Automotive Industry Action Group. He has held various positions in manufacturing, engineering, and systems management during his 41-year career, including several entrepreneurial startups. Tom has a degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.In retirement, Tom is continuing his focus on innovation and STEM literacy through community organizations.
Professional Development Coordinator
Chance Corum
Fundraising Chair