Montana Tech Announces Distinguished Alumni Awardees

Montana Tech Announces Distinguished Alumni Awardees


Montana Tech will honor two alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award this year at Montana Tech’s 113th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Alumni Coliseum. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Wade W. Bristol, B.S. Mining Engineering (1981); and Tom Hohn, B.S. Petroleum Engineering (1974)

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni of Montana Tech, who have established a professional career of at least 20 years, of which five years have been in a responsible capacity, and who has either contributed in an outstanding manner to the furtherance of his or her profession and/or has been an outstanding contributor to Montana Tech.


Wade W. Bristol, B.S. Mining Engineering (1981)
Wade Bristol, a native of Butte, Montana, attended Montana Tech from 1976-1981 and received his BSc Mining Engineering degree in June 1981.  While at Tech, he was a four-year starter on the Oredigger football team, a three-time Frontier Conference first-team selection, a second-team NAIA All American selection, and an Ed Simonich award recipient for the 1979 Frontier Conference champion Oredigger gridiron team.

Wade has worked for Newmont Mining Corporation for the past seven years and is currently General Manager for Newmont’s Carlin Operations in northeastern Nevada.  The Carlin Operations consist of a vast complex of active gold-mining facilities - including four open pit mines, five underground mines and five ore processing facilities - spread over 60 square miles.  In his role as General Manager, Wade oversees and leads a workforce in excess of 2,500 employees and contractors, who safely produce more than one million gold ounces per annum, with annual operating and capital budgets exceeding $700M and $250M, respectively.  In his most recent visit to the Tech campus in 2011, Wade, on behalf of Newmont Mining, was honored to help unveil and dedicate the Newmont #1 and #2 headframes and “Digger Vision” scoreboard at the Diggers’ home opener.

During his 33-year mining career, Wade mainly specialized in underground mining throughout the western United States, progressing upward through senior leadership roles.  He worked for various mining companies, such as ASARCO, Independence Mining, Getchell Gold, and Apollo Gold, prior to joining Newmont.  Since his graduation from Montana Tech, Wade and his family have lived and worked in Montana, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and, for the past 20 years, Nevada.  He is especially proud of his project development accomplishments and underground leadership during his tenure in Nevada.  During the past 20 years, he has played key roles in the exploration, feasibility work, project funding and development of ten underground mines and two open pit mines, most of which are still active, profitable and safe operations.

Wade is married to Butte native Debbie (Kinsella) Bristol and has three grown children, as well as two grandchildren.  He and his family currently reside in Elko, Nevada, where he enjoys golfing and watching or attending football games … when not spoiling his grandkids.  Wade and a host of other Tech graduates in Elko were especially pleased this year to see the Digger football team beat the purple team from the north.

Thomas K. Hohn, P.E., B.S. Petroleum Engineering (1974)
Montana native, Tom graduated from Broadwater County High School in Townsend, Montana, in 1969. That fall, he enrolled at Montana Tech to pursue a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Graduating in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering, he moved to Southern California to begin his career with Union Oil Company in their Santa Barbara Channel offshore operations. He also worked on several of their legacy onshore properties pre-dating Colonel Drake’s 1859 discovery in Pennsylvania. After four years, Tom accepted a position in Denver, CO with Petro Lewis Corporation.  Over the next six years, he held various engineering and management positions and worked in virtually every oil producing basin in the US. 

In August of 1984, while working in Oklahoma, Tom left Petro Lewis to establish Hohn Engineering, an independent consulting Petroleum Engineering firm. His first client was a truck driver out of Enid, Oklahoma who wished to expand his production company. Over the next ten years, together they worked through several producing property acquisitions that helped build a company now known as Continental Resources.

In 1987, Tom returned to Montana, moving his business to Billings. Over the next decade he worked extensively in the shallow gas fields of Northern Montana and regionally became known as one of the foremost authorities on shallow gas field engineering and operations. Much of his business today is related to the tremendous natural gas resources located in the Northern Rockies. In 2004, Tom established Remuda Energy Development, LLC which has successfully pursued exploration and production opportunities throughout the region.

Tom is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Oklahoma and is a member of numerous professional societies. He’s also never met a trout or a river he didn’t like.