Featuring opening remarks by:

Dr. James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering at the
University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering

If you are working on a limited budget, please contact Ryan Foster for scholarship opportunities.

Dr. Frances Arnold

Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry
and Director of the Rosen Bioengineering Center,
California Institute of Technology

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Recognized most recently with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Arnold pioneered directed protein evolution and has used those methods for applications in alternative energy, chemicals, and medicine. Directed evolution is now used worldwide to make enzymes for consumer products, textiles, gene sequencing, chemical synthesis, clinical diagnostics, drug discovery and manufacturing, and more. Arnold also received the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2011, the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2013, and the Millennium Technology Prize in 2016. Elected to all three US National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering, she is also an international fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.

Co-inventor on 58 issued US patents and active in technology transfer, Arnold co-founded Gevo, Inc. in 2005 to make fuels and chemicals from renewable resources, Provivi, Inc. in 2014 to develop non-toxic modes of agricultural pest control, and Aralez, Inc. in 2019 to develop sustainable biocatalytic processes for producing medicines and chemicals. She is a Director of Illumina. Born in Pittsburgh, Arnold received her B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and spent one year at the Solar Energy Research Institute, a national laboratory devoted to alternative energy research (now NREL), before obtaining her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Arnold chairs the Advisory Panel of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships in Science and Engineering and is a Trustee of the Gordon Research Conferences.

Dr. Arnold is a Pittsburgh-native and graduate of Pittsburgh Public School, Taylor Allderdice. Come to give a warm welcome back to Pittsburgh and celebration of her recent Nobel Honor. She won the Prize for her work conducting the directed evolution of enzymes. Learn more.

Dr. James R. Martin II

U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering,
University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering

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Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, Martin served as the Bob Benmosche Professor and Chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University, where he led the development of new curricula, establishment of new degree programs and forged new transdisciplinary research collaborations both nationally and in China.

Prior to Clemson, Dean Martin served more than 20 years on the civil engineering faculty at Virginia Tech and five years as director of the Disaster Risk Management Institute.

Internationally recognized for his earthquake research, Dean Martin has served as an earthquake engineering consultant on more than 100 major infrastructure projects for global corporations, engineering firms and government agencies, and has contributed to improved earthquake building code standards in the central and eastern U.S.

Dean Martin earned a B.S. in civil engineering from The Citadel, and M.S. and PhD in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He has received numerous national, state and university awards for research, teaching and professional service, including the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Norman Medal, the highest honor for published work in his field. He was inducted into the Virginia Tech Civil Engineering Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2015.

Presented in partnership with:

The Inspire Speakers Series

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The Inspire Speakers Series is a sequence of lectures that brings fresh, innovative thinking on topics of sustainability to Pittsburgh, with the goal of inspiring and motivating our citizens and leaders to think bigger and bolder about what is possible for our region.

The series features nationally renowned thought-leaders from various sustainability fields, as well as local experts who can share their experiences of promoting environmental quality, social equity, and economic vitality in Western Pennsylvania.



Carnegie Mellon University

Chatham University

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh CREATES

Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

ThermoFisher Scientific

UPMC Enterprises