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The Spotts Lecture

The Spotts Lecture series was established in 1986 to bring distinguished speakers to ONU on an annual basis to inform students of the probable professional conditions and challenges that engineers and computer scientists will face in the future.

Dr. Merhyle F. Spotts, BSME '23, Hon. D. '81, sponsor of the lecture series, graduated from Ohio Northern's College of Engineering in 1923. After 10 years in heavy and light industry, he obtained a master's degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He taught at the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University. He wrote extensively for technical journals and was the author of four books, including Design of Machine Elements, now in its sixth edition and in worldwide use. He was the recipient of many awards and honors, among them an honorary doctor of engineering degree from ONU.

Past Spotts Lecture Series Speakers

2017 Paul Orban, Market Leader-Higher Education at BHDP Architecture and Drew Suszko, Lead Strategist/Architect at BHDP Architecture
2016 John Nottingham, co-founder and co-president of Nottingham Spirk and Jason Ertel, BSME ’99, engineering program director at Nottingham Spirk
2015 Carey (Wurgler) Smith, BSEE ’85, President of Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc. VIDEO
2014 Paolo Pirjanian, Ph.D., chief technology officer at iRobot. VIDEO
2013 Keng-Siang Lim, BSCE ’89, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of NextLabs. VIDEO
2012 Kevin E. Bennet, chairman of the Division of Engineering, assistant professor of neurologic surgery, and co-director of the Neural Engineering Laboratory, Mayo Clinic VIDEO
2011 Dr. Paul Polak, founder of the nonprofit International Development Enterprises
2010 Bob Peterson, BSME ’83, Academy Award-Winning writer and director for Pixar Animation Studios VIDEO
2009   Dr. Steven W. Squyres, Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University
2008   Dr. Joseph Hager, director for Technology Transfer Programs at the Edison Materials Technology Center
2007   George A. Manos, general manager, Human Resources of United States Steel Corporation
2006   Janis Mitchell, founder of Precise Resource Inc.
2005   Dr. Sherra E. Kerns, president of American Society for Engineering Education, vice president for innovation and research, F.W. Olin Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Olin College of Engineering
2004   James R. Eifert, president of Rose-Hulman Ventures
2003 Gary Rutherford, president of Classic Roadsters and Sugar Sand Jet Boats and Tom Kenville, Mid-America Aviation Inc. and president of DT and J Roll-A-Ramp
2002 Brenda L. Reichelderfer, president of ITT Industries
2001 Capt. Jon A. McBride, engineer, astronaut, president and chief executive officer of Flying Eagle Corporation Inc.
2000 Robert Dobo, entrepreneur and retired former owner of Cape Fear Utilities Inc.


Carey (Wurgler) Smith, BSEE ’85
College of Engineering

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