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Our campus

Graduate Studies



Physical location
438 Old Main

Mailing address
Graduate Studies
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Office hours
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

The Hal and Inge Marcus
School of Engineering Faculty

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Full-time faculty

Zella Kahn-Jetter Zella L. Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean of engineering
Professor, mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D.: Polytechnic University
  • MSME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BME: The Cooper Union
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 102A
Phone: 360-438-4553

Dr. Kahn-Jetter has over twenty years of experience in Catholic higher education. She most recently served as the chairperson of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Manhattan College, a private Catholic college in New York following the Lasallian tradition founded by the Christian Brothers.
In her tenure at Manhattan, Dr. Kahn-Jetter was involved in student advisement, curriculum development, budget preparation and management, faculty and course scheduling, student affairs, hiring of adjuncts, overseeing full-time and tenure-track faculty appointments, and accreditation. She was very focused on recruitment and retention issues, especially in creating a more diverse student population.
Dr. Kahn-Jetter’s most recent area of interest involved studying the mechanical properties of plants and has co-authored numerous articles in plant mechanics.

Pius O Igharo Pius O. Igharo, Ph.D.
Associate professor, civil engineering

  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S., Columbia University
  • B.S., Swarthmore College
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203E
Phone: 360-438-4322

Dr. Igharo has more than 30 years experience in industry, consulting and academia, specializing in transportation systems management and design. Dr. Igharo has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1996.

Isaac Jung Isaac Jung, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate professor, mechanical engineering

  • MBA, Saint Martin's University
  • Ph.D., University of Florida
  • M.S., University of Florida
  • B.S., Seoul National University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103F
Phone: 360-438-4316

Dr. Jung's specialty is in the field of aerospace, engineering mechanics, system dynamics and machine design. He has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1991. Dr. Jung is also the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Alpha Tau chapter of Pi Tau Sigma. He is also the advisor for Engineers Without Borders. He also holds the position of Lacey Civil Service Commissioner and is a member of the Committee on Ministry at the Olympia Presbytery.

Dintie Mahamah Dintie S. Mahamah, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, civil engineering

  • Ph.D., Washington State University
  • M.Sc., Washington State University
  • B.Sc., University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203A
Phone: 360-438-4321

Professor Mahamah is highly qualified in the areas of environmental and water resource engineering, as well as computer modeling. He enjoys riding his bicycle with his kids and watching European football.

Bill Phillips Bill Phillips, M.E.M, P.E.
Director of the MEM program

  • M.E.M, Saint Martin's University
  • B.S.C.E, Saint Martin's University
Contact information:

Bill has over 30 years of experience in the construction field. He earned his BSCE from Saint Martin's University in 1978. Bill has extensive experience with large construction projects. His interests focus on project management and construction management.

Roy Sandford Jr. Roy D. Sandford Jr. MSME, P.E.
Associate professor, mechanical engineering

  • M.S.M.E., New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • B.S.M.E., New Jersey Institute of Technology
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103A
Phone: 360-438-4308

Professor Sandford has over 22 years of industrial experience in mathematical modeling, gas turbine engine analysis, and computer application program developments spanning several disciplines. In addition, Sandford has over 19 years of experience teaching mechanical engineering subjects. He has taught engineering at Saint Martin's University since 1992. His background includes seven equivalent years doing graduate work. His academic interests include mechanics and fluid dynamics. His interest is in internal combustion engine developments and hybrid automobiles. Professor Sandford also enjoys playing the violin, reading non-fiction materials related to course work, international problems and domestic issues.

Chun Seong Chun Kyung Seong, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and chairperson, civil engineering
Director of the MCE program

  • Ph.D., Lehigh University
  • M.S., Seoul National University
  • B.S., Seoul National University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203F
Phone: 360-438-4318

A structural engineer with over 25 years experience, Professor Seong brings a wealth of experience in structural analysis and design for buildings and bridges to the classroom. Professor Seong has been teaching at Saint Martin's University since 1995. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys swimming and fishing. He is also fond of watching movies, operas, and plays.

Paul Slaboch Paul E. Slaboch, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, mechanical engineering

  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
  • M.S., University of Notre Dame
  • B.S., University of Notre Dame
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103D
Phone: 360-438-4376

Prior to joining St. Martin's in the fall of 2012, Dr. Slaboch worked for the US Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. While at the Volpe Center, his major areas of research included jet blast and aircraft wake turbulence mitigation strategies. He worked with a number of public and private entities during his time at Volpe including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Dr. Slaboch earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. all in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His doctoral dissertation examined side window buffeting in automobiles to reduce interior cabin noise. Other research areas of interest include fluid mechanics, acoustics, and fluid-structure interactions.

John Sladek John R. Sladek, MSCE, P.E., S.E.
Associate professor, civil engineering

  • M.S.C.E., University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S.C.E., Northeastern University
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 203C
Phone: 360-438-4352

Professor Sladek has practiced civil and structural engineering for more than 30 years with extensive experience in the design/evaluation of buildings, bridges, and foundations, along with site development and flood plain related issues. He has been with Saint Martin's University since 1985 when he came on as an adjunct professor. In the 2009-2010 academic year he took on the role of advisor to the Saint Martin's student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He visits local elementary, middle and high schools to introduce students to engineering and geology. Fun fact: he was awarded two Varsity letters in crew by Northeastern University; perhaps this will come in handy for the concrete canoe!

Jim Witsmeer A. Jim Witsmeer, MSEE, DEngrAA, P.E.
Interim chairperson and professor, mechanical engineering
Director of the MME program

  • Engineer Degree AA: Stanford University
  • MSEE: University of Southern California
  • BSEE: Illinois Institute of Technology
Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 103C
Phone: 360-438-4323

Upon graduation from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1959, Jim Witsmeer received a commission in the U.S. Navy and served three years aboard a destroyer in the Pacific, the final year as the ships Chief Engineer. Mr. Witsmeer left the Navy to work as an engineer on the design of the Apollo command vehicle which successfully brought astronauts to the moon and back. With the assistance of a wonderful wife, Jim became a graduate student and research assistant at Stanford University, working in optimal control and estimation theory. His thesis involved design of the attitude control system for a scientific satellite which is still orbiting the earth and providing useful data today. The following thirty-two years were spent helping his wife raise four children, developing technology, and managing projects at several aerospace companies including Boeing. His main area of expertise involved the application of digital computers to the control of missiles, air- and space-craft.

Since his retirement in the year 2000, Dr. Witsmeer has turned his attention to teaching in both business and engineering education. In  2010 he was invited to join the Saint Martin’s Engineering Department. Since joining SMU, Dr. Witsmeer has come to appreciate the friendly environment and especially the ability and dedication of its students. Dr. Witsmeer considers it a great privilege to serve in a prestigious Christian institution of higher education.

Adjunct faculty

Steven Bao Stephen Bao, Ph.D., CPE, CCPE
Engineering management

  • Ph.D., Lulea University of Technology
  • M.Sc., Shanghai Second Medical School
  • B.Sc., Shanghai Jiaotong University
Contact information:

Dr. Bao believes that it is fun and important to teach future industrial leaders to consider human operators in the production system and make the system more efficient and productive. Outside of his duties as a professor he is the editor of Ergonomics and the associate editor for Ergonomics in Design. He enjoys being in the beautiful Northwest and he likes the outdoors. He likes working out, bicycling, kayaking, skiing and playing badminton.

Douglass C Howie Douglas C. Howie, P.E.
Civil engineering

  • MEM, Saint Martin's University
  • B.S.C.E, Union College
Contact information:

Professor Howie has lived in western Washington most of his life. Whenever he lived elsewhere, he was always planning to return. His engineering career has been mostly in consulting focusing on water related planning, design, and construction. He currently works fulltime at the Department of Ecology as a storm water engineer in the Water Quality Permit Development Services section. He was a Navy veteran serving in the Seabees for four years. He was an Engineering Aide during my tour of duty providing engineering support to officers within the Naval Civil Engineering Corps. He provided services to Public Works Departments maintaining bases in Bermuda, California, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Outside of the classroom, he and his wife are active in many local animal related issues. He is the President of the Thurston County Humane Society and is on the Board of the Joint Animal Services Commission who manages operation of the Animal Shelter. He visits on a regular basis at St. Peter Hospital with his dog and teaches and evaluates other animal/handler teams for skills and aptitude in visiting with patients.

David Jansen David B. Jansen, M.S., P.E., LEED-AP
Civil engineering, engineering management

  • M.S., University of Central Florida
  • B.S., University of Florida
Contact information:

Mr. Jansen has been teaching in the Masters of Civil Engineering and Masters of Engineering Management since 1985. He also has more than 28 years experience in wastewater treatment and environmental cleanup and currently is director of capital programs at the Washington State Department of Corrections. Outside of his duties in the classroom Mr. Jansen also holds the title of father and (contrary to his youthful appearance) grandfather. He also enjoys public speaking, traveling and diving.


Kalash Gautam Kailash Gautam
Senior lab technician

Contact information:
Zaverl Hall (Engineering Lab)
Phone: 360-486-8100
or 360-486-8095

Hopie Lopez Hopie Lopez
Executive assistant to the dean of engineering

Contact information:
Rm. Cebula 102
Phone: 360-438-4320

The Office of Graduate Studies

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