Friday, February 21, 2014

Celebrating Engineers Week

This week of Feb. 16-22 is Engineers Week, a national event celebrating the engineering profession.

E- Week is a time to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world. The focus on engineering helps increase public dialogue about engineering and the need for highly qualified engineers like those who graduate from LeTourneau University. The national focus also helps bring engineering to life for kids, parents and educators, as professional engineering groups offer scholarships to area students planning to pursue a degree in engineering.

In celebration of E-Week, LETU hosted the 53rd annual E-Week Banquet on our campus Tuesday night in the Solheim Arena.  About 200 professional engineers and engineering students attended.

I had the honor of introducing the banquet speaker, PING Golf CEO John Solheim.  As a young man, John chose to come to LeTourneau to study engineering.  He didn't stay long, however, because of the exciting prospect of working with his father on a revolutionary new golf putter. John has remained a leader in the LeTourneau Nation serving on our Board of Trustees since 1992.  His leadership at PING is a wonderful example for our students. He places an emphasis on engineering innovations, a respect for the game of golf, and a humility that can only come from an understanding of God's providence. 

Banquet Speaker John Solheim
John told the history of PING Golf and about how his father, Karsten Solheim, gleaned from each work experience the tools he needed to build his own business.

John shared that his father learned valuable lessons in quality and marketing from each of even his most early jobs, from working in a shoe shop to selling cookware door-to-door. He learned how customers viewed a low price as cheaper quality.  He learned about how to make sales one customer at a time. He later worked as an engineer at General Electric when he began making putters from his garage in 1959.

He knew about working with his hands, applying sales experience and retaining quality in mass production. 

Through each work experience and transition, no matter how humble, the Lord was preparing him for the future.

John also shared that last week was a particularly good week for PING, with Bubba Watson in the PGA, Kirk Triplett on the Seniors Tour and Karrie Webb won the LPGA Australian Open - all winning their tournaments with PING Clubs. 

Our world-class engineering program here at LETU is a direct result of the love for engineering of our university founder, R.G. LeTourneau, and his dedication to improving the world through the engineering profession. John Solheim is an inspiring example of Mr. LeTourneau's legacy. It is a privilege to carry on his vision and to celebrate engineering this week as we seek to claim every workplace in every nation for Christ.