Dean's Distinguished Lecture with George M. Whitesides

Dean’s Distinguished Lecture

Annual speaker series featuring distinguished guests who offer transdisciplinary conversations for all in the Fulton Schools.

The Fulton Schools Executive Committee identifies prominent individuals to speak on a variety of science and engineering topics for this special lecture series.

These leaders in engineering and the sciences engage in transdisciplinary conversations with Fulton Schools faculty and students on emerging areas of research and knowledge development.

The distinguished visiting scholar also has the opportunity to see and learn about the exciting work going on in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

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The Executive Committee looks for accomplished scholars who can speak to a diverse audience on a topic of wide interest across the seven Fulton Schools.

Upcoming lectures

The 2024 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture has not been scheduled.

To suggest a speaker for 2024, complete the form.

Past lectures

  • Jiawei Han

    Jiawei Han, the Michael Aiken Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed Text Mining — A Pretrained Language Model-Based, Annotation-Free Approach on February 24, 2023.

    Read more about the lecture

    Watch this lecture on YouTube

  • Robert Calderbank

    Robert Calderbank

    Robert Calderbank is a Distinguished Professor at Duke University, where he directs the Rhodes Information Initiative. He is known for contributions to voiceband modem technology, to quantum information theory and for co-invention of space-time codes for wireless communication. He presented the lecture “Back to the Future” on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

    Read more about the lecture

    Watch the lecture recording — use passcode uh+y8ik@

  • Ellen R. Stofan

    Ellen Stofan

    Ellen R. Stofan, the Undersecretary for Science and Research and the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, discussed the geology of other planets in “Exploring Outward and Homeward: The Past, Present and Future of Moving Us Beyond Earth” on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

    Read more about the lecture

    Watch this lecture on YouTube

  • Robert Langer

    Robert Langer

    Robert Langer, considered the “Edison of medicine,” spoke about advanced drug delivery systems, biomaterials and tissue engineering in his lecture “Robert Langer’s quest to solve global health challenges using biotechnology” on Friday, February 7, 2020.

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    Watch the lecture recording

  • Megan Smith

    Megan Smith

    Megan Smith, a prominent engineering entrepreneur, delivered the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture titled “Innovation Unleashed: Engineering Systems and Collective Genius” on Friday, April 5, 2019.

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    Watch the lecture recording

  • George M. Whitesides

    Deans Lecture 2018

    In this lecture by George M. Whitesides entitled “Soft Robotics,” listeners learned about how flexible invertebrates such as starfish, worms and octopi can inspire robot designs that provide opportunities in materials and polymer science.

    The lecture was held Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

    Read more about the lecture

    Watch this lecture on YouTube

  • Pramod P. Khargonekar


    Pramod P. Khargonekar provided an overview of the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation, beginning with a description of the mission and vision followed by various research and education programs. He discussed major trends and novel programmatic directions, ending with a discussion of the key strategic issues in engineering education.

    The lecture was on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.