About Us

The Renew Rensselaer team is comprised of RPI alumni from all generations. Some have seen their careers come to a successful conclusion, others are in their early and middle stages; all are grateful to have the solid foundation of an RPI education, and share a deep concern about the Institute’s future.

As individuals, we understand the difference between mediocrity and excellence. We see a great need for top-quality engineers, scientists, and leaders in other disciplines who challenge the status quo and invent new and more productive products and processes. Essentially, this is what we believe RPI is all about, why we care so much for it, and why it must be strengthened for the future.

Original Leadership Team

BILL CRISS ’68, ’69G

Bill earned both his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and his M.S. in Astro/Aeronautical Engineering from RPI. While a student, Bill served as President of the Union, was a member of Phalanx, and played varsity football and lacrosse. In 1967, he was selected as a student representative to the first “Goals for Rensselaer” strategic planning conclave. At graduation, Bill received the Houston Award as First Citizen of RPI.

Upon leaving Troy, Bill embarked on a twenty-six year career with the U.S. Air Force, building and flying spy satellites, during which he achieved the rank of Colonel. Since retiring from the Air Force, Bill has worked for a combined twenty-two years in technical consulting and research for Booz Allen Hamilton, Tesla Laboratories, and a non-profit government think tank.

As an RPI alumnus, Bill was a key leader in rejuvenating the D.C. area alumni chapter, which won two consecutive RAA Best Chapter Awards. Bill is a Patroon of RPI and was the recipient of an RAA Award in 1970 as well as the Albert Fox Demers Medal in 2009.

TED MIRCZAK ’66

Ted earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from RPI. During his undergraduate years, Ted was elected President of his freshman and sophomore classes, served as president of Phalanx, and president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, in addition to being a recipient of the White Key Award.

Following graduation, Ted worked at New York Telephone for twenty years in both Treasury and Facilities Management, during which time he earned an Executive MBA from Pace University and a CEP Certificate from Texas A&M University.

In 1990, Ted returned to RPI to become Director of Campus Planning and Facilities Design until his retirement in 2001. During his final year at RPI, Ted also served as Acting Vice President for Administration.

PETER VANDERZEE ’70

Peter earned his B.S in Mechanical Engineering from RPI. While a student, he played on the Varsity Basketball Team, of which he was Captain for two years. Peter was recognized as one of the Outstanding College Athletes of America in 1970 and was inducted into Olympia, RPI’s student-athlete honor society.

In 1972, Peter earned an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University before embarking on a thirty-year-long career in industry during which he held positions in research, engineering, and executive management. Over the past 16 years, Peter has been a serial entrepreneur and is currently the President/CEO of LifeSpan Technologies, a company that emerged several years ago from the Georgia Tech incubator program.

JOHN KROB ’78

John earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering with a Management Minor from RPI. While a student, he was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, holding several officer positions.

Following graduation, John worked as an engineer before entering Columbia University School of Business, earning an MBA with concentrations in Finance and Accounting in 1981. He then embarked on a twenty-eight-year career in commercial and investment banking and portfolio management. During that time, he earned a CPA Certificate from the University of Illinois, as well as Series 7 and Series 24 Securities licenses. John retired from Citigroup as a Managing Director in 2008.

Since then, John has been an active volunteer at RPI, having been invited several times as a guest speaker to discuss careers and job-hunting on Wall Street with students of the Lally School. Beginning in 2010, he has served as an alumni advisor for his fraternity chapter and on the board of the house corporation. John co-led a five-hundred-thousand dollar renovation program for the chapter house, including assisting with fundraising. He is an active member of the Alumni Fraternity & Sorority Council and visits Troy frequently.