Engineering Lecture Series Begins Fifth Year
Distinguished Engineering Lecture Series, established in 2000 by
Dean Frank P. Incropera, is entering its fifth year of service to
undergraduates. Its goal is to expose students, particularly first-year
engineering intents, to professional engineers who have achieved
at the highest levels in their fields, giving the new undergraduates
an overview of the range of opportunities available in engineering
and providing them with a deeper understanding of the role of engineering
in society and the impact that they, as future engineers, can have.
The two speakers who participated this past year represent different
fields, but they both serve in high-profile industries where decisions
and actions can have tremendous consequences.
William F. Readdy, associate
administrator of NASA’s Office
of Space Flight, delivered the first talk in the 2003-04 series.
A former astronaut and veteran of three space shuttle missions --
including commanding a docking mission to the MIR Space Station --
he is responsible for the Johnson, Kennedy, Marshall, and Stennis space
stations; the International Space Station; and space shuttle, space
communications and space launch vehicles programs.
During his presentation, “Engineering Challenges in Human
Space Flight: NASA’s Path from Columbia Recovery to Return
to Flight,” Readdy discussed the engineering challenges of
space flight as he highlighted the incredible successes and tragic
failures of the space program. He also addressed the Columbia Accident
Investigation Board report and the path that NASA has chartered for
a stronger, smarter, and safer flight program.
Readdy earned a bachelor’s
degree in aerospace engineering, with honors, from the U.S. Naval
Academy and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot
The second speaker in the 2003-04 series was Michael
O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for FPL Energy, LLC. His talk, “Engineering
Careers and the Energy Industry,” outlined the importance of
energy in a global economy; wind energy, one of the most exciting
developments in power generation today; and the benefits of an engineering
O’Sullivan, who was appointed to his current position in July
2001, is responsible for FPL Energy’s business development
and asset acquisition activities. He previously held management positions
at Commonwealth Edison, NRG Energy, and the AES Corporation.
professional engineer, O’Sullivan earned his
bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Notre Dame in 1982
and a master’s of business administration degree from the University
of Chicago in 1987.
FPL Energy is one of the largest providers of
clean energy in the United States, operating facilities -- natural
gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear -- in more than
for the 2004-05 academic year will be announced on the College of
Engineering home page, www.nd.edu/~engineer, later