STORIES

Jack Kuehler ‘54, M.S. '86:
Funding Innovation and Creativity

Jack KuehlerWhen the late Jack Kuehler spoke, people listened—and for good reason. An SCU alumnus who held a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s in electrical engineering, and an honorary doctorate of engineering science, Kuehler was also former president of IBM, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, IEEE fellow, and a Santa Clara University Trustee. So when, in 2008, he advised a group of undergraduate engineering researchers that they must be missionaries to the public spreading the gospel of the importance of technological competitiveness to the health of the United States, the students took notice.

Kuehler warned complacency regarding innovation and creativity in the technical arena is a long-term problem for the United States and he urged students and faculty members to keep competitiveness alive, to keep researching, and to be aggressive in patenting engineering ideas. Not one to merely talk the talk, Kuehler and his wife also funded The Carmen A. and Jack D. Kuehler Undergraduate Engineering Research Fund. Each summer, five to six faculty members invite promising sophomore and junior students to join them in research funded by this grant. 

When Kuehler visited campus to hear about some of the projects his funding supported, he remarked, “I am encouraged by the important and meaningful research being done here in the School of Engineering. We need to promote inventiveness within our students—it is vital that we do so; our children’s children are counting on us to keep America competitive.”

The support of our engineering alumni, whether through mentoring, serving on our advisory boards, or funding engineering programs, is vitally important to the success of our programs and ensures another hundred years of Bronco engineering that is as illustrious as our first!