Distinguished Seminar: Gretchen McClain

March 16, 2015

G.McClain

The Doors Engineering Can Open – The Broad Career & Exciting Opportunities in Front of You

Friday, March 27, 2015, 3:00 pm

Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Seminar Series
1250 WEB (Warnock Engineering Bldg.)
Reception to follow at 4:00 pm

Gretchen McClain

Director, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Co.
Director, AMETEK Inc.
University of Utah 2015 Founders Award Recipient

Abstract:There’s never been a more exciting time – or a more urgent need – for bold and talented engineering professionals. Looking at life’s challenges through an engineer’s eyes gives you a powerful advantage: you have the analytical thinking expertise and the technological acumen to untangle the most complex problems, as well as the perspective to see the bigger picture. However, achieving the greatest impact requires broader leadership skills on top of a sound engineering foundation. Business and thought leader Gretchen McClain shares her insights on how to become a stand-out leader, including learning how to collaborate effectively, connecting your work to your higher purpose, and staying open to the many different and adventurous paths available to engineers in the 21st Century.

Bio: Gretchen W. McClain is an accomplished business leader with extensive business, developmental, strategic and technical backgrounds from over 25 years of global experience across multiple industries, including CEO of an S&P500 industrial company and government agency leadership. She is currently a Director for two publicly-traded companies, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation and AMETEK Inc. and serves on the compensation and audit committees, respectively. Ms. McClain provides advisory services to several international corporations and foundations.

Previously, Ms. McClain served as the President and CEO of Xylem Inc., an S&P500 company with revenues of $3.8B providing leading global water technologies from October 2011 to September 2013. She joined Xylem as the founding CEO when it was formed and taken public from the spinoff of ITT Corporation.  Ms. McClain joined ITT in September 2005 as the President of the company’s Residential & Commercial Water business. She was named President of ITT Fluid Technology in March 2007 and promoted to Senior Vice President and President of ITT Fluid and Motion Control in December 2008, responsible for ITT’s commercial businesses.

Prior to joining ITT, Ms. McClain served in a number of senior executive positions at Honeywell Aerospace, including Vice President and General Manager of the Business, General Aviation & Helicopters (BGH) Electronics division, and Vice President for Engineering and Technology as well as for Program Management in Honeywell Aerospace’s Engines, Systems & Services division. She joined AlliedSignal in 1999, which later merged with Honeywell.

Earlier, Ms. McClain spent nine years with NASA and served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Development where she played a pivotal leadership role in the successful development and launch of the International Space Station Program and Shuttle/Mir missions as Chief Director of the Space Station, and Deputy Director for Space Flight. She received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for her service.

Currently, Ms. McClain serves as a member of: United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Innovation Advisory Council; the Environment and Water Technologies International Advisory Panel (EWT IAP) that oversees the Program Office headed by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB); and the America’s Water Steering committee at the Columbia Water Center, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.    

McClain graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She received the 2015 University of Utah Founders Award.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.