Address: P. O. Box 1166, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Sign Up for our eNewsletter

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.


Austin Lauger

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.  Immediately following graduation, she worked for 3 years at LinguiSystems, implementing desktop standards and network infrastructure.  In 1991, she began working at John Deere Insurance, transferring to John Deere Corporate in 2000.  Through the 26 plus years at 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.
Executive Director Emeritus
Pat Barnes
Phone 309-765-3629
Twitter @PatrickOBarnes
Pat Barnes is the Program Director for John Deere Inspire which is John Deere’s three year old, Global STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative. Pat led a team that developed John Deere’s enterprise STEM strategy and is now responsible for the implementation and on-going management of that initiative. He currently resides at John Deere’s World Headquarters in Moline.

Throughout his career at John Deere, Pat has held technical positions and leadership roles in production engineering, quality assurance, product engineering, and Information Technology supporting engineering operations worldwide. In his previous position, 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, Executive Director Emeritus with the non-profit Quad City Engineering and Science Council, and Project Lead the Way Leadership Team for the state of Illinois. Pat has served as a volunteer for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognization of Science and Technology) Robotics for five years, including his role as Tournament Director for Quad City area Tournaments with 130+ teams. He has also been a judge / judge advisor for various FIRST tournaments including the annual FIRST “World” Championship. Pat has participated at FIRST tournaments and events on four continents in his current role at John Deere.

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