CEO Tom White Featured Speaker at UIUC Engineering Commencement

Tom White shares his words of wisdom, thought leadership and reflects on his past experiences


January 15, 2105 - Sargent & Lundy CEO Tom White was the featured speaker at the University of Illinois College of Engineering December 2014 commencement. White, an engineering graduate of UIUC, congratulated the new grads assembled at the Urbana-Champaign campus on their hard work and determination that culminated in their engineering degrees and offered his perspective on the engineering profession.

White counseled the new engineers to watch for opportunity to grow their careers, pointing out that “opportunity usually exists in assignments that no one else wants.” He urged them take on the uncomfortable assignments. “Put yourself in situations that may be new and unfamiliar to you. Interact with new people on subjects that may also be new to you. Stretch yourself and expand your capabilities. By doing so, you will become the go-to person for the challenging assignments.”

He also noted that, “You will soon learn that engineers have a unique responsibility: being the fixers and solution finders to issues that present problems throughout the world. You might not be working in a job titled Solver of World’s Problems, or even recognize at first the contribution that your work is making to address these very large issues, but in some way, you will likely be working on solving these problems. Not many professions get to participate in such important work.”

The graduation ceremony and commencement address are online at