A talk featuring UNM alumnus Dennis Lester is scheduled for Monday, March 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Institute for Design & Innovation (UAEC B20). The Institute for Design & Innovation is located in the basement of the University Advisement and Enrichment Center (UAEC B20).

Lester has served in a variety of leadership, management, technical, and instructional positions in government, industry, and academia. In August 2014, Lester became a Research Professor at Clemson University and currently serves as the Associate Director for Science and Technology, Watt Family Innovation Center.

The Watt Family Innovation Center is a new facility on the main campus of Clemson University, South Carolina that serves as a key enabler of the institution’s strategic plan to take the university to the next level in research, engagement, its academic core, and in living and work environments for students, faculty, and staff.

The primary mission of the Watt Center is to provide innovation-centric educational experiences through cross-discipline academic and research activities. In addition to hosting classes taught by faculty from various departments across campus, the Watt Center supports research activities that align with Clemson’s strategic focus areas: advanced materials; cyberinfrastructure and big data science; energy, transportation, and advanced manufacturing; human resilience; health innovation; and sustainable environment.

Utilizing high-performance computing, networks, and virtual connectivity, the Center will sustain a presence with partners around the world to accelerate the transition of graduates and their ideas to the marketplace. This talk will provide an overview of the Center’s development, mission, focus areas, and capabilities.

Lester started his professional career in the United States Air Force where led programs that developed leading-edge technologies supporting research, system development, training, testing, and experimentation.

After completing his Air Force career, Lester was employed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Scientific Research Corporation, and Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. He taught courses in teambuilding, project management, strategic management, and instructional use of computer simulation at the University of New Mexico (UNM).

Lester has a BS in Aeronautical Technology from Arizona State University, an MBA from Phillips University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology from UNM.