Distinguished Lectures, Seminars and Symposia in Engineering
In the spirit of St. Augustine, Villanova’s College of Engineering hosts a variety of lectures, seminars and symposia with leading voices in engineering education and research to stimulate ideas and advance understanding among people of many backgrounds.
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.
2022: Dr. Sheldon Weinbaum, Biomedical Engineering
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.
2022: “Global Change and The Panama Canal” with Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez Morales ’73 CLAS, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority.
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.
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 Disease” with Dr. Hossein Rastgoftar, Mechanical Engineering (Presented March 24, 2021)
“An Integrated Computational and Experimental Approach to Identifying Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 3CL Protease” with 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 Analysis” with 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)