Distinguished Lectures, Seminars and Symposia in Engineering

The College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture series, begun in 2019, brings world-class experts to the University to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom with faculty, students, the Villanova community, and the public. Distinguished speakers have made outstanding and impactful contributions to their respective fields and may be U.S.-based or international experts on technical topics in any engineering discipline of interest to the Villanova community.

The College-sponsored day-long event includes a talk to be held annually on one of the first two Fridays in April. While on campus, the speaker meets with students and faculty as scheduled, is hosted at a luncheon and/or dinner as appropriate and in an open-to-the-public reception before or after the talk.

Past Distinguished Lecturers:

2021: Nader Engheta, PhD, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor, University of Pennsylvania, “A Journey with Waves and Matters

2019: Sheldon Weinbaum, PhD, CUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, City College of New York, "Lymph Formation and Muscle Compressibility in Skeletal Muscle during Contraction and Stretch"

From 2015-2017, Gerard “Jerry” Jones, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, served as chair of the distinguished Franklin Institute Committee on Science and the Arts, whose principal responsibility is granting the annual Benjamin Franklin and Bower Science Awards. Prior to serving as chair, he was a long-time committee member. Through the years, Villanova’s College of Engineering has sponsored workshops and symposia to honor the winners of these prestigious medals.

2021: Dr. C. Daniel Mote, Mechanical Engineering

2017: Dr. Adrian Bejan, Mechanical Engineering

2016: Dr. Solomon Golomb, Electrical Engineering

2014: Dr. Ali Hasan Nayfeh, Mechanical Engineering

2012: Dr. Zvi Hashin, Mechanical Engineering

2011: Dr. Ingrid Daubechies, Electrical Engineering

2010: Dr. D. Brian Spalding, Mechanical Engineering

2009: Dr. Lotfi Zadeh, Electrical Engineering

2009: Mr. Richard J. Robbins, Engineering

2006: Dr. Ray W. Clough, Civil Engineering

2004: Dr. Roger Bacon, Mechanical Engineering

2003: Dr. Paul MacCready, Franklin Institute Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science

In 2009, Villanova Engineering alumnus Susan Ward ’80 ChE and her husband Patrick Cunningham established an endowed engineering lecture series to offer students exposure to experts from various engineering fields and educational opportunities outside the classroom. The inaugural lecture was held in 2010 and has since become Villanova’s annual culminating event for Engineers’ Week.

2021: “How Good Engineers Craft Great Careers” with Lillian Dukes ’87 MSEE, senior vice president of Technical Operations at Atlas Air.

2020: “When I Grow Up: A Life’s Narrative” with Dr. Douglas Munch ’69 ChE, who served on the Apollo mission team, ran flight test and development for the F-14 fighter aircraft, and earned a PhD in Medicine and Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

2019: “Engineers Advancing Sustainable and Integral Development” with Dr. Anne Roby '86 ChE, senior vice president of Linde plc.

2018: “The International Space Station: Engineering the Unknown” with Alumnus Brian T. Smith ’93 EE, a NASA flight director. (video)

2017: “Business and Professional Ethics—Managing with Integrity” with Nicholas DeNichilo, PE, FASCE, NAC, president and CEO of global engineering, management and development firm Mott MacDonald. (video)

2016: “The Doors Technology Can Open” with Gretchen McClain, founding CEO of an S&P 500 global water technology company, and NASA’s former Chief Director of the International Space Station. 

2015: “The Evolution of Wireless Technology” with Anthony J. Melone ’82 EE, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Verizon Communications (video)

2014: “Building Fields of Dreams” with John Stranix ’78 CE, founder and president of Stranix Associates, LLC (video)

2013: “Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurialism” with world-renowned designer and entrepreneur Mike Nuttal, former manager of IDEO Ventures (video)

2012: “The Panama Canal Expansion Project” with then-CEO of the Panama Canal Authority Alberto Alemán Zubieta (video)

2011: “Technological Packing for a Trip to Space" with former NASA astronaut Andy Allen ’77 ME (video)

2010: “They Speak in Pixels! Interactive Digital Games as the 21st Century’s Mode of Human Expression” with Dr. Peter E. Raad, Southern Methodist University

The COVID-19 pandemic inspired several Villanova Engineering faculty to put their expertise to work in the areas of healthcare, pharmaceuticals and modeling. Through a series of symposia, they shared the outcomes of their research with the Villanova community and beyond.

Physics-Based Learning of Growth of a Pandemic Diseasewith Dr. Hossein Rastgoftar, Mechanical Engineering (Presented March 24, 2021)

An Integrated Computational and Experimental Approach to Identifying Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 3CL Proteasewith Dr. Zuyi “Jacky” Huang, Chemical and Biological Engineering (Presented March 10, 2021)

"Respiratory State Detection and Real-time Monitoring of COVID-19 Symptoms through Tracheal Sound Analysiswith Ms. Indu Priya Eedara, PhD candidate, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Presented Feb. 24, 2021)

NovaVent: An Affordable High Quality Emergency Ventilator with Drs. C. Nataraj, Garrett Clayton and Alfonso Ortega (Presented Nov. 11, 2020)

DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS