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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. The original purpose was "to predict as nearly as possible the conditions under which present day engineering graduates will be working a generation from now," and the series continues to inform today's engineering and computer science students of the professional conditions, opportunities and challenges that they may face in their future careers.

Dr. Merhyle F. Spotts, BSME '23, Hon. D. '81, sponsor of the lecture series, graduated from Ohio Northern's College of Engineering. 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. Spotts wrote extensively for technical journals and was the author of four books, including Design of Machine Elements, which released eight editions and was used worldwide for decades. Spotts was the recipient of many awards and honors, among them an honorary doctorate of engineering from ONU.

Past Spotts Lecture Series Speakers

2019 Brent Schroeder, BSEE '88, Group President, Heating and Air Conditioning, Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
2018 David Heppner, BSEE '88, senior vice president of Engineering Services and Corporate Support at Speedway LLC
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, BSEE '73, 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, BSEE '80, 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.
1999 H. Louis Gurthet, president of American Institute of Steel Construction
1998 Donald J. Campbell, BSME '59, director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lewis Research Center
1997 Dr. Charles K. Alexander, BSEE '65, president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
1996 Victor G. Beghini, president of Marathon Oil Company and Vice Chairman of Marathon Group
1995 Dr. Carl A. Erikson, president and chief operating officer of Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company
1994 Dr. Renso L. Caporali, chairman and chief executive officer at Grumman Corporation
1993 Gregs G. Thomopulos, president of Stanley Consultants, Inc.
1992 Hiroyuki Yoshino, president of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.
1991 Dr. Barry Commoner, director of the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, Queens College, City University of New York
1990 Richard L. Southard, BSEE '61, director of the European Consumer Systems division, IBM Germany
1989 Stanley D. Lindsey, president and founder of Stanley D. Lindsey & Associates, Ltd. and vice president of Brown & Lindsey, Inc.
1988 Richard E. Disbrow, president of American Electric Power Company and president & COO of American Electric Power Service Corporation
1987 Stanton R. Cook, president and chief executive officer of The Tribune Company


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

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