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MAY 2, 2018

37th Annual Patterson Transportation Lecture:

The sky’s no limit: Boeing and the future of space exploration


Dennis A. Muilenburg
Chairman, President, CEO
The Boeing Company

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Lutkin Hall, Evanston



Over the course of decades, Boeing has celebrated lunar footsteps, space shuttle launches and the assembly of the International Space Station, among other milestones. Now the aerospace leader is focused on what comes next. Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg will discuss the future of space exploration, from traversing deep space and taking our first steps on Mars to the evolving combination of commercial air and commercial space travel.


Featured Speaker

Dennis Muilenburg is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company.

Muilenburg, 54, oversees the strategic direction of the Chicago-based, $93.4 billion aerospace company. With roughly 140,000 employees across the United States and in more than 65 countries, Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and top U.S. exporter. It is the leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes, military aircraft, and space and security systems, and a provider of global services; it supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 nations.

Muilenburg, who joined Boeing in 1985, holds a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and an honorary doctor of science degree from Iowa State University as well as a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington.

Muilenburg is a member of the board of directors of Caterpillar Inc., the U.S.-China Business Council, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology). He is past chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) board of governors and a current AIA executive committee member. He also is an executive committee member of Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies. He also serves on the boards of trustees for the National World War II Museum and Washington University (St. Louis).

He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Royal Aeronautical Society.



Patterson Lecture History

The Annual Patterson Transportation Lecture is named for William A. "Pat" Patterson. In 1980, the NUTC established the Lecture as an integral part of the Patterson Endowment. It has since become an annual highlight at Northwestern University, drawing influential speakers from all facets of the transportation industry.


About William A. Patterson

William A. "Pat" Patterson was a central figure in the United States air transport industry for more than four decades. He served as president and chairman of United Airlines from 1934 until his retirement in 1966. He was a life trustee of Northwestern University and was instrumental in the establishment and strategic leadership of the Northwestern University Transportation Center.

Past Lectures

2017 - 2010

Connecting People, Creating A Better Future—Why International Trade Benefits America

Lance Fritz, Chairman, President & CEO, Union Pacific

Union Pacific President and CEO Lance Fritz discussed the secrets behind Union Pacific’s enduring success as well as the importance of global trade during the 36th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read about the event at Northwestern Now
Read about the event at Northwestern Engineering
Watch video of Fritz's talk

Technology & Culture Meet A New Era of Expectation

Jeff Silver, Founder & CEO, Coyote, A UPS Company

When Jeff Silver entered the world of third-party logistics (3PL) in the 1980s, the industry suffered from a bad reputation. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Silver worked to transform the 3PL industry with his company American Backhaulers, the second largest North American freight brokerage at the time. But he finally hit his career-long goal when he co-founded Coyote Logistics, one of the fastest growing 3PL service providers of all time. Silver shared how Coyote won customers by meeting their expectations at the 35th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read about the event at Northwestern Now
Read about the event at Northwestern Engineering
Watch video of Silver's talk
View photos from Silver's talk

American Airlines: Building an Airline for the Future

Douglas Parker, Chairman & CEO, American Airlines Group, Inc.

A lengthy period of transition followed the federal government’s deregulation of the airline industry in 1978. American Airlines is still in transition, but, according to American Airlines Chairman and CEO Douglas Parker, the end is in sight. He discussed the end of the airline industry’s long transition at the 34th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read about the event at Northwestern Engineering
Watch video of Parker's talk

Funding the Future, Lessons from the Past: How Underinvestment in Highway Infrastructure Threatens Transportation Efficiency and Sustainable Economic Health

Chris Lofgren, President & CEO, Schneider

Read about the event at Northwestern Engineering
Watch video of Lofgren's talk

The Impact of Wireless on Logistics and the World from OmniTRACS to Ubiquitous Smart Devices

Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Founding Chairman & CEO Emeritus of Qualcomm Inc.

Irwin M. Jacobs discussed his adventures at Qualcomm from its first commercial product, OmniTRACS, a communications and asset location system for the trucking industry, to the latest smart devices and sensors impacting all aspects of our lives. He focused on the growing scope of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and described an experiment currently underway in London on wireless charging curb-side of electric vehicles, a positive for broad acceptance.

Read about the event at Northwestern Engineering
Watch video of Jacobs' talk

The Ford Story

Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company

The New United: Flying to Win in a Changed Industry

Jeffery A. Smisek, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Continental Holdings, Inc.

In his talk, “The New United: Flying to Win in a Changed Industry,” Smisek covered rising fuel prices and how the new United follows its “Go Forward Plan” to benefit employees, customers, shareholders and communities around the world.

Read about the event and listen to audio samples at Northwestern website

The Future of River Transportation in the U.S. -- Safest... Sustainable... Subsidized... A Bargain? -- And What it Might Mean for Freight Policy

Dr. Craig E. Philip, CEO, Ingram Marine Group

Domestic Marine Transport is a significant but underappreciated and often invisible part of the freight network in the United States. While use of waterways around the world is being encouraged by government policy and action, policies in this country are conflicted and inconsistent. Dr. Philip, CEO of the largest U.S. Barge Company, shared his views about the present state of the industry and how future policy might shape its future.

2009 - 2000

Focus Transportation: Humanitarian Relief Through Better Technology

Governor Scott McCallum, 
President & CEO, The AidMatrix Foundation

America's Transportation Challenge

Matthew K. Rose, 
Chairman, President & CEO of BNSF Railway, Member of the National Surface Transportation, Policy and Revenue Commission

Watch video of Rose's talk

On the Road to Safety: Milestones of Progress

Mark V. Rosenker, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

25th Anniversary Patterson Transportation Lecture

Peter D. McDonald, Executive Vice President & COO, United Airlines

Read a transcript of McDonald's talk

Reinventing the Automobile

Lawrence D. Burns, Vice President, GM Research & Development and Planning, General Motors Corporation

Innovation in an Age of Globalization

Michael L. Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc.

Read a transcript of Eskew's talk

The Jet Blue Story

David Neeleman, Chief Executive Officer and Director, JetBlue Airways

National Transportation Security System

Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Watch video of Mineta's talk
Read a transcript of Mineta's talk

Enhancing Logistics Productivity

Donald Schneider, President, Schneider National, Inc.

Read a summary of the event

Expressing the Future

Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corporation

Fred Smith, air express pioneer and founder of Federal Express delivered the 2000 Patterson Transportation Lecture. His seminar focused on the air express industry as a primary facilitator of trade worldwide. He explored some of the major forces driving global economic prosperity including the sweeping developments in technology, fast cycle logistics, globalization and the rise of e-commerce. He also offered his personal predictions for the future of the transportation industry.

Watch video of Smith's talk
Read a transcript of Smith's talk

1999 - 1990

You Can't Haul Freight on the Internet: Railroads in the 21st Century

Robert Krebs, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

Watch video of Krebs' talk

Container Shipping in the Globalized Economy

Lua Cheng Eng, Deputy Chairman, Group President and Executive Chief Officer of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.

Leadership--Southwest Style

Herb Kelleher, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Southwest Airline Co.

Watch video of Kelleher's talk

Europe's Railways: At the Crossroads

John Welsby, Chairman & CEO, British Railways

Use of Military Logistics Concepts and Principles in the Civilian Sector

William ("Gus") Pagonis, Senior Vice President, Logistics, Sears Merchandise Group, Sears, Roebuck and Co.

European Competition Policy in the Transportation Sector

Karel Van Miert, Commissioner of Competition, European Union

Traffic Science, Congestion and the Urban Environment

Dr. Robert Herman, L.P., Gilvin Centennial Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Intermodalism: The Future Challenge

J.B. Hunt, Chairman of the Board, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

Challenges in Air Transportation Deregulation: A European Perspective

Heinz Ruhnau, Chairman of the Executive Board, Lufthansa German Airlines

Space Transportation and Commercialization

Donald (Deke) K. Slayton, Former astronaut, President & Vice Chairman, Space Services Inc. of America

1989 - 1980

The Airlines: Globalization and Post-1992 Europe

Sir Colin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, British Airways

Planes, Trains and Trucks in an Era of Deregulation

William W. Winpisinger, International President, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

The Consumer and Deregulation

Frank Lorenzo, Chairman, President & CEO, Texas Air Corporation

The Airline Industry: Still in Transition

Robert L. Crandall, Chairman & President, AMR Corporation and American Airlines, Inc.

Information Technology and Organization Change: Strategies for Managers

Marvin L. Manheim, William A. Patterson Distinguished Professor of Transportation, Northwestern University

1984: Transportation Quality: User Friendly?

Dr. Daryl Wyckoff, James J. Hill Professor of Transportation, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

The Airline Industry: Is it Time to Reregulate?

Alfred E. Kahn, Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Economics, Cornell University
Special Consultant, National Economic Research Associates

The Future of Air Transportation

Richard J. Ferris, Chairman & CEO, United Airlines, Inc.

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