JAMES D. GIBBONS BSIE ’85
President and CEO, Good will Industries International Inc.
James Gibbons was in third grade
when he began to lose his eyesight,
due to a degenerative condition
similar to retinitis pigmentosa. A little
over 10 years later, during his years
at Purdue, he became completely
blind. He credits Betty Nelson, the dean of students at the
time, for providing the assistance he needed to succeed.
The skills he learned as an industrial engineer led him to
become the first blind person to obtain a master’s degree
in business administration from the Harvard Graduate
School of Business Administration. After that, he held
various leadership positions with AT&T. Before taking his
current position with Goodwill, he was president and CEO
of National Industries for the Blind (NIB).
JILL M. HRUBY BSME ’81
Vice President for Energy, Nonproliferation and High-Consequence Security and International, Homeland and
Nuclear Security Program; Sandia National Laboratories
Jill Hruby’s love of math initially
led her to decide to major in that
field, but being at Purdue with so
many engineers changed her mind.
Today, Hruby leads more than 1,300
employees and contractors at Sandia
National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She
is vice president over the Energy, Nonproliferation and
High-Consequence Security Division, which supports
Sandia's global security of weapons of mass destruction,
energy systems, and the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition,
Hruby is Sandia’s vice president over the International,
Homeland and Nuclear Security Strategic Management
Unit. The unit handles nonproliferation and arms
control, securing and safeguarding nuclear weapons and
materials. Before going to Sandia, Hruby worked briefly at
the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
KATH Y KORT TE KILMER BSIE ’92
Director of World wide Sales Channel Planning and Analysis,
Kathy Kilmer is skilled at putting
engineering to work to solve
problems. Theories and formulas
are important, but to her, they are
just a means to an end. Kilmer was
offered a job with Disney right after
graduation from Purdue. She spent 19 years within the
industrial engineering department, for the last eight of
which she was director of a team of 110 Disney employees
that supported all of the Disney destinations worldwide.
In Kilmer’s current position at Disney, she oversees the
planning and analysis team as well as the sales solution
program management and delivery team. She says
the best part of her career has been using her Purdue
education to be a part of innovations in her field.
RICHARD W. KORSMEYER MSCh E ’80, PhD ’83
Senior Research Fellow and Head of External Technology and
Collaborations for Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Inc.
Being interested in, and adept at,
many different things is a hallmark of
Richard Korsmeyer’s career. As head of
external technology and collaborations
for Pfizer’s Pharmaceutical Sciences
group, he oversees cross-departmental
teams that manage all of the chemistry, manufacturing,
and controls aspects of licenses, acquisitions, collaborations,
and divestitures. In addition, he works with technology
companies and universities to innovate pharmaceutical
development. He is well known for the “Korsmeyer
Equation,” a simple tool for designing drug-delivery
products, and for his co-invention of Zmax™, a commercial
product that delivers a full course of azithromycin, an
antibiotic, in a single oral dose. That discovery was among
the accomplishments cited in his election to the National
Academy of Engineering.
RITA S. LANE MSEE ’91
Vice President of Operations for i Pad/Mac Desktop/Mac
Accessories, Apple Inc.
After earning a bachelor’s degree
in electrical engineering, Rita
Lane spent five years in various
Air Force leadership positions. She
then received a National Science
Foundation graduate fellowship and
obtained her master’s degree from Purdue. She began
her work in the high-tech industry in an entry-level
engineering position at IBM. Since then, she has held
senior-level positions at IBM and Motorola. Today, she
is vice president of operations for iPad/Mac Desktop/
Mac Accessories with Apple Inc. Lane also supports
underrepresented groups within the industry, particularly
gay and lesbian professionals, women, ethnic minorities,
and veterans and has served on the Purdue electrical and
computer engineering advisory board.
AN TONIOS G. MIKOS MSChE ’85, PhD ’88
Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and
Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University
Longtime distinguished researcher,
educator, and mentor Antonios
Mikos credits Nicholas Peppas,
former Showalter Distinguished
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
at Purdue, with teaching him that
building a strong foundation is the best way to prepare
oneself for the rapidly evolving field of engineering.
Mikos now instills this lesson in his own students. He
merged his chemical engineering knowledge with
medicine to become a world-renowned pioneer in tissue
engineering. His current research focuses on improving
technologies to treat wounded soldiers. His research to
advance craniofacial reconstruction received significant
funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. Mikos is
collaborating with other researchers at Rice University,
the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston,
and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
JIM MILLER BSAAE ’86
Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Google Inc.
Jim Miller's career reads like a history
of high technology. After his position
as production manager at Intel during
the introduction of the Pentium chip,
he went to Amazon.com, participating
in the meteoric rise of e-commerce.
He moved to Cisco as global telecommunications on the
Internet surged. Later, as green technologies grew, he left
Cisco for First Solar. Today, as vice president of worldwide
operations at Google, he is helping to lead a company
whose very name is used to describe how people around
the world search online and use cloud computing. He
is most proud of the work that he has done at Google
in supporting and developing the company’s efforts in
computational genomics and cancer research.
DON THOMPSON BSEE ’84
President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation
As president and CEO of McDonald’s
Corporation, Don Thompson drives
business results and global strategic
innovation at the leading global
foodservice retailer. Growing up
near the Cabrini-Green public-
housing project in Chicago, Thompson excelled in math
and science. Seeing this aptitude, Purdue’s Minority
Engineering Program recruited him to study at Purdue.
After graduating, Thompson joined Northrop Grumman’s
defense systems division. Six years later, he began his
McDonald’s career as a restaurant systems engineer,
designing robotic equipment for food transport and
control circuits for cooking. Thompson now directs
strategy and operations for nearly 32,000 restaurants in
119 countries. In 2006, he earned Purdue’s Outstanding
Electrical and Computer Engineering Award and was
also named a Purdue Old Master. In 2008, he received an
honorary doctorate from Excelsior College in Albany, N. Y.
He currently serves on the Purdue Board of Trustees.