Major General, Civil & Environmental Engineering chair leaving SMU

Jeffrey W. Talley will join innovative technologies company and Johns Hopkins

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey W. TalleyAcclaimed general and engineering professor Jeffrey W. Talley will leave SMU Aug. 31, 2011 to begin new duties as President and CEO of Environmental Technologies Solutions (ETS). ETS is an engineering, research and services limited liability company (LLC) that develops and commercializes innovative technologies to benefit society and the environment. ETS consists of a combination of subsidiary companies and joint ventures around the globe, predominantly organized around new technical products and associated services.

At SMU, Talley is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship and the Founding Director of the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity.

“Jeffrey Talley is an engineer who has made important contributions to our country, particularly as an Army officer in Iraq working to provide the infrastructure needed for peace and hope,” said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “We thank him for his service to SMU and wish him well as he takes this wonderful opportunity to lead ETS in areas of great importance.”

Prior to his appointment at SMU, Talley was on faculty at the University of Notre Dame. He has more than 29 years in various academic, design, consulting and military positions involving hundreds of different environmental sites and business projects throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Talley will continue his academic activities as an Adjunct Professor at The Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Talley will teach and conduct research in environmental engineering, engineering for sustainability development and entrepreneurship associated with technology. He also will continue his global work integrating engineering and business as part of social entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities. Talley will retain his duties as a Major General in the Army Reserve as Commanding General, 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Talley received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds multiple master’s degrees in environmental engineering and science, strategic studies, liberal arts (history and philosophy) and religious studies. He currently is completing his Executive M.B.A. at the University of Oxford. Talley is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in environmental engineering, a board certified environmental engineer (BCEE) in environmental sustainability and a diplomate, water resources engineer (D.WRE).

TEDxSMU hosts live webcast Sept. 20

Jeff TalleyTEDxSMU and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth are bringing a live webcast of New York-based TEDxChange, a TED-styled discussion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, to the SMU campus Sept. 20.

“The Future We Make” begins with registration at 9 a.m. CT in SMU’s Collins Executive Education Center, with the Dallas response and a luncheon scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m.

The event marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the 8 goals set out to tackle global issues such as poverty, child mortality and disease by 2015. Convened by Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the program will look at changes in the last decade and action necessary to ensure the health and well-being of future generations. TED curator Chris Anderson will moderate.

At a luncheon following the conclusion of the webcast, Robert Freling, executive director of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), will present a response from the SMU stage, “Energy for All: Powering the Millennium Development Goals.”

Tickets are $20 each for the program, $35 with lunch included, and are available through the World Affairs Council Box Office at

(Above, Jeff Talley, environmental and civil engineering chair and Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship in the Lyle School of Engineering, speaks at TEDxSMU 2009. Watch the video. video)

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For the Record: April 29, 2010

Jeffrey Talley, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed “Building Communities, Baghdad and Beyond” as the keynote speaker of The American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) 2010 awards luncheon on April 28 in Washington, D.C. The annual luncheon honors distinguished environmental engineers as well as consulting firms, public agencies and universities for Excellence in Environmental Engineering (E3) practice and research.

Paul Rogers, Dedman School of Law, presented “There’s No Crying in Baseball” to the North Texas History Center April 16, 2010.

Carrie Nie, a first-year student in Dedman School of Law, has received a 2010 Winstead Juris Doctor Scholarship from the Dallas-based law firm Winstead PC. The awards, presented to outstanding first-year minority law school students, equal up to $18,500 per student in scholarship funds, grants and hiring bonuses and include a one-time grant of $1,500 to a student interest group of the winner’s choosing. Nie’s award also includes a summer 2011 clerkship at Winstead.

A. Sunshine (Sunny) Prior (’06), who received her degree in psychology from Dedman College, has received a 2011 Fulbright Grant to study the deaf majority and Maori deaf minority communities with the Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Hayley Nelson, a junior journalism major in Meadows School of the Arts, has received a $1,000 TAPB Scholarship from Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the Headliners Foundation. The scholarship winners are chosen from undergraduates who attend schools that receive AP services, or who are interns at an AP member station, who have a goal of entering any area of broadcast journalism after graduation.

Faculty in the News: March 2, 2010

Jeffrey Talley, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was the subject of a feature article in The Chronicle of Higher Education Feb. 28, 2010.

Renee McDonald, Ernie Jouriles and George Holden, Psychology, Dedman College, discussed what can be done to end family violence and child maltreatment on the KERA 90.1 FM program “Think” with Krys Boyd Feb. 24, 2010. Listen to the broadcast. audio

Michael CoxMichael Cox, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Cox School of Business, discussed President Obama’s commitment to double U.S. exports over the next five years with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal live from the SMU Public Affairs Broadcast Studio on Feb. 23, 2010. Watch the video. video

Ravi Batra, Economics, Dedman College, talked about free trade and buying American with Fox Business News live from the SMU Public Affairs Broadcast Studio on Feb. 19, 2010. Watch the video. video

New engineering institute to develop solutions for global poor

Hunt Institute for Engineering and HumanityPairing technological innovation with business collaboration to improve conditions for the global poor is the driving force behind the new Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

Gifts totaling $5 million from Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, William T. and Gay F. Solomon, Bobby B. Lyle and others will establish the institute and initially create two endowed professorships to support a unique, interdisciplinary approach to delivering basic technology to the impoverished.

Jeffrey Talley, chair of the Lyle School’s Environmental and Civil Engineering Department and a U.S. Army Reserve general, will be the founding director of the institute, which is to be housed in the new Caruth Hall upon its completion in early spring.

“The Institute for Engineering and Humanity will accelerate the ability of the Lyle School of Engineering to serve as a magnet for the kind of students and researchers who seek solutions to societal challenges,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are very grateful for the generosity of these donors, whose passion for improving the lives of others matches SMU’s commitment to global leadership.”

The institute strategy begins with the understanding that small-scale innovations already exist to solve many problems in poor communities, while others need to be modified to fit specific geographic and cultural needs. Safe, affordable and sustainable housing will top the Institute’s project list, as well as ready access to clean water and sanitation; functional roads and transportation systems, and clean, reliable energy. The institute will create innovative approaches to easing poverty by encouraging markets for its ultra low-cost solutions, based on the principle that sustainable business models are more likely to accelerate global development than traditional approaches.

The institute’s major components will include the following:

  • an easily accessible library of existing technological solutions that are certified and ready for widespread dissemination and use
  • a global database of regional technology gaps that need to be bridged to meet specific needs
  • research and development of new ultra low-cost technologies involving SMU faculty, students and industry partners
  • field testing and scaling of new products to ensure low manufacturing costs, durability, easy maintenance, and minimal impact on the environment
  • assistance to businesses that will manufacture and maintain these technologies

“This will be no easy challenge,” said Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “To make basic technology globally available at a price the poorest of the poor can afford requires a radical rethinking of centuries of engineering practice. How many solutions have remained on the drawing board because they were too costly for communities that need them? How many have failed because they could not be locally repaired and maintained?”

It’s going to take talented, motivated engineers to identify solutions for alleviating poverty, Orsak said, adding that the success of this new institute can have a profound impact on people who struggle just to survive with dignity.

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. The institute’s approach to finding affordable solutions also will include national and international competitions and incentives, particularly targeted to students.

Hunter and Stephanie HuntThe engineering school will begin an international search for a scholar who has broad experience in developing technologies and infrastructure for emerging economies to become the William T. and Gay F. Solomon Endowed Professor in Engineering and Global Development. Institute director Talley will hold the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Professor in Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship.

With three billion people in the world living on $2 a day or less, institute donors Hunter and Stephanie Hunt (left) believe global poverty is one of the most pressing problems of our time. “There has been a great deal of financial and commercial innovation in helping the impoverished, but there has been little technical and engineering innovation; we hope to fill that void,” Stephanie Hunt said. “This new institute will take a creative but pragmatic approach to an immense challenge,” Hunter Hunt added.

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Calendar Highlights: Aug. 25, 2009

'Dreams From My Father' book coverCommunity reading: Faculty, staff members and incoming first-year students will take part in the 2009 Common Reading discussion beginning at 2 p.m. Aug. 25 after the mandatory residence hall meetings. Learn more about the 2009 Common Reading, Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama.

Welcome, class of 2013: Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship Jeffrey W. Talley, founding director of the Lyle School of Engineering‘s Institute for Engineering and Global Development, will give the address in SMU’s 95th annual Opening Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Fall General Faculty Meeting: The first day of class brings the first general faculty meeting of the 2009-10 academic year, at 4 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Hughes-Trigg Theater. The meeting is preceded by a reception at 3 p.m. in the Theater foyer.

Everyday magic: Czech housewife and self-taught artist Anna Zemánková developed a lyrical and highly original style when she took up drawing in 1960, at age 52. A new SMU exhibition pays tribute to her talent – By Magical Means: Drawings by Anna Zemánková will be on display Aug. 31-Oct. 10 in the Pollock Gallery, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Admission is free.

Army Reserve general to chair Environmental & Civil Engineering

Jeffrey Talley with Gen. David PetraeusJeffrey Talley (at right in photo), just selected for his second star (Major General) in the U.S. Army Reserve and lauded for his recent work in the “engineering battle for Baghdad,” is joining SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering as chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering and Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship.

Talley recently completed a year of service as Baghdad Provincial Engineer under Gen. David Petraeus, where he commanded more than 4,000 engineers and soldiers in the 926th Engineer Brigade. Talley is credited with developing a military and policy strategy widely referred to as “engineering the peace” that aims to reduce violence in destabilized communities by rapidly rebuilding infrastructure, schools and hospitals. His work is credited with reducing violence and terrorism in the militia stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, and he was awarded two Bronze Stars – one for his efforts in rebuilding Baghdad, and the other for meritorious achievement in combat during the January planning and execution of security operations for the Baghdad provincial elections.

Solving the community’s most basic problems delivered an important message that supporting the official government of Iraq would result in a better life for Sadr City families, Talley said in December, near the end of his tour of duty. “You are showing them there is another option besides the militia,” Talley said.

Lyle School Dean Geoffrey Orsak said Talley will put flesh and bones on the philosophy Orsak drums into his SMU students – that engineers have both the power and responsibility to change lives.

“My work has really been about service to others,” Talley said. “In the case of Iraq, specifically, it was in recognizing that engineers and scientists play a unique role in providing peace and hope. Within the Lyle School of Engineering we can link scholarship, leadership and service to others locally, nationally and globally. I think that fits really well, not only with the Dean’s vision for the school, but also with the vision of other great leaders in Dallas and the nation.”

“Jeff Talley is simply one of the best and most influential engineers in the country,” Orsak said. “He is a true engineering leader, a great scholar and educator, and a real national hero. We are so pleased that he will be heading the Lyle School of Engineering’s Environmental and Civil Engineering Department. I fully expect that he will accomplish absolutely remarkable things here in Texas and at SMU.”

Talley joins the Lyle School from the University of Notre Dame, where he is associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and geological sciences. He is also visiting scholar and professor at Ireland’s National Centre for Sensor Research at Dublin City University. Talley’s research focuses on the environmental processes and treatment of contaminated surface water, groundwater, soil and sediment. Talley has graduate degrees in religious studies, history and philosophy in addition to engineering. He received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Talley attended Louisiana State University on an ROTC scholarship and was commissioned into the Army Corps of Engineers when he graduated in 1981. He has been a member of the U.S. Army Reserve since 1992 and was awarded his first Bronze Star in 2003 for engineering work in Kuwait and Iraq.

(Above, Jeffrey Talley (at right in photo) talks with Gen. David Petraeus as they walk through Baghdad’s Sadr City in June 2008, when Petraeus was commanding general of the multi-national force in Iraq.)