SMU has named its 83-year-old School of Engineering in honor of Bobby B. Lyle, a Dallas entrepreneur and industry leader who has been instrumental in shaping the direction and growing prominence of the school. The School of Engineering had been the only unnamed school at SMU.
“Over the past several years, Bobby Lyle has spent countless hours helping to chart a course that will position the school for national leadership in American higher education,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In recognition of his leadership, we are honored today to name the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at SMU. No one in the history of the School of Engineering has brought more dedication, support and commitment to its permanent development than has Dr. Lyle. With the naming of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, we are confirming our commitment to leadership in engineering education and securing the school’s bright and promising future.”
Lyle has served as an SMU trustee for 20 years. As a member of the Engineering Executive Board, he has worked with Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak and the faculty to introduce several new major initiatives expanding the school’s focus on technology leadership, engineering activism and social responsibility. As an SMU trustee, Dr. Lyle serves on the University Audit Committee; Executive Committee; Academic Policy, Planning and Management Committee; Compensation Committee; and as chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Among the new initiatives announced at the ceremony, SMU is establishing the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering. Through this partnership with Lockheed Martin, SMU will be the first university in the nation to create and host a Skunk Works® Lab. The lab will be modeled closely on the iconic and top-secret California research and development facility created by Lockheed Martin to solve the “toughest technology problems facing this country,” Orsak said.