May 7, 2010

With three billion people in the world living on $2 a day or less, global poverty is one of society’s most pressing problems. A new SMU institute will combine the power of engineering, collaboration and the free market to address the vital needs of the impoverished in the United States and abroad.


Gathered for the announcement of SMU’s newest institute are (from left) Geoffrey C. Orsak, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering, William T. Solomon ’64, Gay F. Solomon, Hunt Institute Director Jeffrey C.
Talley, Stephanie Erwin Hunt, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Hunter L. Hunt ’90 and Bobby B. Lyle ’67.

In December SMU announced the
creation of the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity in Lyle School of Engineering. The institute was established with gifts totaling $5 million from Hunter L. Hunt ’90 and Stephanie Erwin Hunt, William T. Solomon ’64 and Gay F. Solomon, Bobby B. Lyle ’67 and others.

The institute’s founding director is Jeffrey Talley, chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, the Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship and a U.S. Army Reserve general. The institute is housed in the new Caruth Hall. The gifts also create two endowed professorships.

Both engineering and non-engineering students will be involved in projects. Safe, affordable and sustainable housing tops the institute’s project list. Other challenges to be examined are ready access to clean water and sanitation; functional roads and transportation systems; and clean, reliable energy.

The Lyle School’s partnership with the renowned Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® will provide proven innovation methodologies to support the institute’s research and development efforts.