Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Speakers: Engineering

To request a speaker, please complete the Speaker Request Form.

*Please note, making a request does not guarantee your speaker will be available. Please wait for confirmation from the Alumni Association before advertising your event.

View full speaker list for additional speech topics.


CurtisDr. Kent “Kip” Curtis, Associate Professor, Environmental History

Bio and Topics

Professor Curtis specializes in Environmental History and Environmental Studies with research and teaching foci on mining, environmental ideas, and food systems. He is currently Principal Investigator on a $2 million Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research “Seeding Solutions” project, which began implementation in 2019. In 2020, Curtis published his third major peer-reviewed mining essay, “’Tanks are Born Underground’: Mining and World War II,” in Robertson, et al, The Nature of War: American Environments and World War II. Curtis is currently working on a book about his experiences in the field of environmental studies tentatively titled, Edible Peace: Food Systems as Vehicles for Social Justice. In addition to his research work, Curtis teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern United States history and environmental history and offers independent studies and undergraduate research opportunities in environmental history and the environmental studies and sciences.

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Topics: Mansfield microfarmproject, sustainable urban farming; Environmental History, mining; History of environmental ideas (U.S./west)

*Available for virtual presentations

HorackJohn M. Horack, PhD, Professor and Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy, Sr. Associate Dean, College of Engineering Interim Director, Center for Avia6on Studies

Bio and Topics

Dr. John M. Horack is the inaugural holder of the Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy, with a joint appointment between the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, in the College of Engineering, and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He is also the Senior Associate Dean of Engineering, and the Interim Director for the Ohio State Center for Aviation Studies. Before coming to Ohio State in 2016, Dr. Horack served as the Vice President for Space Systems at Teledyne Brown Engineering, as the Vice President for Research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and spent nearly two decades as a NASA Civil Servant, performing original theoretical and experimental research in high-energy astrophysics, cosmology, and gamma-ray bursts, as well as serving as a member of the Senior Executive Service, leading the Science and Mission Systems Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

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Topics: Space Exploration/Astronomy/Astrophysics; Leadership, Motiva6on, Organizational Development; Science and Engineering in the Public Interest; Aviation/Aerospace

*Available for golf outings

*Available for virtual presentations

MillerHarvey Miller, PhD, Bob and Mary Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science; Professor, Department of Geography; Director, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis

Bio and Topics

My scholarship focus on urban transportation, sustainability and geospatial data science. I use new sources of mobility and urban data to understand human dynamics at a range of geographic scales –local, neighborhood, community and regional. My lens for viewing these dynamics is sustainability –environment impact, social equity and economic innovation. As Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, I engage community partners to help them address urban challenges with the best science and data available. I am also interested in smart cities and the future of urbanity.

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Topics: Transportation and cities, Smart cities, Sustainable mobility, Mobility and social equity, Future of cities

*Available for virtual presentations

Rizzoni GiorgioGiorgio Rizzoni, Ford Motor Company Chair in Electromechanical Systems and Professor, MAE and ECE Departments, Director, CAR

Bio and Topic

Giorgio Rizzoni is the Ford Motor Company Chair in ElectroMechanical Systems, is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University. He received his B.S. (ECE) in 1980, his M.S. (ECE) in 1982, his Ph.D. (ECE) in 1986, all from the University of Michigan. Since 1999 he has been the director of the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research (CAR), an interdisciplinary university research center in the Ohio State College of Engineering. His research activities are related to modeling, control and diagnosis of advanced propulsion systems, vehicle fault diagnosis and prognosis, electrified powertrains and energy storage systems, vehicle safety and intelligence, and sustainable mobility.

The Ohio State Center for Automotive Research, CAR, is an interdisciplinary research center in the Ohio State College of Engineering founded in 1991 and located in a 60,000 ft2building complex on the west campus of Ohio State. CAR conducts interdisciplinary research in collaboration with the Ohio State colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Business, and Arts and Sciences, and with industry and government partners. CAR is also the home of the Ohio Stae Motorsport program, which supports the activities of 7 student vehicle competition programs: the Buckeye Bullet (holder of all current electric vehicle land speed records), EcoCAR hybrid-electric vehicle team, FSAE, Baja SAE, Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Racing Team, Supermileage SAE, and Underwater Robotics Team.

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Topic: The Future of Mobility

*Available for golf outings

*If Dr. Rizzoni is not available, David Cooke at the Center for Automotive Research may be able to attend your event.

SmithBrandon Smith, Esports Director, Office of Student Life

Bio and Topics

Brandon Smith ’94, ’95 MA serves as Ohio State’s Esports Director in the Office of Student Life. He leads Ohio State’s competitive esports program and directs the first esportsfacility for students with over 80 gaming PCs, a live-streaming broadcast studio and virtual reality experiences accessible to all students. Brandon is a Columbus, Ohio native and holds degrees in Technology Education from Ohio State. He attended Columbus City Schools and lives in Westerville, Ohio with his wife Holly and their three boys.

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Topics: Esports, gaming, and community: New student engagement at Ohio State; Innovating with technology in Student Life

*Available for virtual presentations

TarvinAndrew Tarvin, Humor Engineer

Bio and Topics

Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first Humor Engineer, teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. Andrew graduated from The Ohio State University, Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering and a minor in playing videogames. After graduating, Andrew worked as global project manager at Procter & Gamble wherehe managed million dollar projects for a $350 million business, earning multiple internal awards for his leadership, communication style, and the jokes he included at the ends of emails. In 2009, he started Humor That Works, a leadership development company that helps organizations use humor to increase engagement, relieve stress, and reduce turnover. Since then, Andrew has helped more than 250 organizations, including P&G, GE, IBM, ESPN, Microsoft, the FBI, PepsiCo, and the International Association of Canine Professional. He is a best-selling author, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Forbes, and was recently recognized as a ‘Visionary Under 40’ by the P&G Alumni Network. His TEDx talk on the skill of humor has been viewed more than seven million times, only half of which were his mother. He loves chocolate and tweeting puns.

Topics: Leading on Your Feet:  The Art and Science of Leadership through Improvisation; Humor That Works: The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work; Effective-er Virtual Presentations: How to Increase the Impact of Your Message in a Virtual World

*Available for golf outings

*Available for virtual presentations

Full speaker list