Distinguished Speaker Series

The PNW College of Engineering and Sciences Distinguished Speaker Series is back, and we are proud to feature our own alumni for 2023!

All presentations are free and open to the public and all PNW students, faculty, and staff. The events will be held on the Hammond Campus, in the Powers Building (PWRS) 115 (CIVS Immersive Theater), each beginning at 3 p.m.

We invite you to check the schedule of events below, mark your calendar and bring a friend (or two or three).


robert maldonadoFriday, February 24, 2023

Robert Maldonado

BS Physics ’16
Metrologist/Site Manager, Advanced Technology Services (ATS), Honda Motor Company

“Metrology and the Physics of Measurements”

Pursuing a STEM degree and sticking to a traditional education path (i.e. bachelor’s enroute to Ph.D.) can be an overwhelming obstacle and doesn’t always work out for everybody, however, higher level education doesn’t have to be traditional. Upon graduating from PNW in 2016 with a bachelor’s in physics, Robert Maldonado went immediately into the work force, working in metrology and engineering laboratories applying computer science and uncertainty analysis skills to automation in testing, research and new product development. After some time building upon baccalaureate and industry experience at Dwyer Instruments, Inc., he continued with his pursuit of knowledge by attending Johns Hopkins University in pursuit of a master’s in applied physics with a concentration in Photonics. While finishing his master’s degree, he is currently a Metrologist/Site Manager for ATS, developing an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration/testing/sampling laboratory serving all of Honda’s North American manufacturing and research and development facilities. The knowledge and experience developed throughout this time would not have been possible without the support of the PNW staff and he is looking forward to sharing his experience with the PNW community.


Friday, March 24, 2023

Justin LaFolletteJustin LaFollette, DVM

BS Biology ’14
Associate Veterinarian, Hero Pet Animal Hospital

“Goal Setting Doesn’t Have To Be Ruff”

I always knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian. But getting to that goal was not a linear path from A to B. Navigating that path is part of what I learned during my time at PNW in the Biology program. During this presentation we’ll talk about the skills learned and the challenges faced on my road to becoming a veterinarian as well as the leadership skills I gained that have helped make me the doctor I am today.


Friday, April 7, 2023

dr. andrew jackuraAndrew Jackura, Ph.D.

BSME ’11; BS Physics ’13
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Old Dominion University

“From Newton to Nuclei”

The skills I learned during my time at PNW shaped my trajectory in the STEM field, from my beginnings as a mechanical engineering student to my current occupation as theoretical nuclear physicist. I will discuss my time and experiences as an undergraduate student at PNW, and share key lessons I learned which have helped me throughout my professional career as a scientist. Throughout my talk, I will provide a personal view of modern physics, from the initial developments by Newton to our current understanding of the subatomic world.