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The Patrick J. Cunningham, Jr. and Susan Ward '80 Endowed Lecture Series in Engineering

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.

Since the inaugural lecture in November 2010, the Cunningham/Ward Lecture Series in Engineering has delivered a wide variety of speakers from diverse engineering backgrounds. 

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. (video

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