Leadership @ the Top Series

The Lyle Leadership @ the Top Speaker Series serves to connect influential leaders of industry, government, military, business and not-for-profit organizations with Lyle students and the broader SMU and Dallas communities. Through this series, thought leaders are able to share their journeys, leadership philosophies and best practices that powered their career. This event is sponsored by the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership and co-hosted with the Lyle Student Engineering Joint Council.

Speakers 2020-2021


Spring Semester

"How engineers keep us safe"

Dr. David Daniel, former University of Texas at Dallas president and National Academy of Engineering fellow, will discuss the impact engineers have on citizen safety, health and quality of life. His talk will focus on engineering and systems failures that have resulted in disasters such as levee collapses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Dr. David Daniel
Former University of Texas at Dallas President, 
National Academy of Engineering Fellow

Past Speakers

"Virtual Reality Beyond Gaming: From Ph.D. Student to Entrepreneurship in healthcare"

(Fall 2020) -- Veena Somareddy is the Co-founder at Neuro Rehab VR, a VR healthcare start-up aimed at building virtual/augmented reality therapy exercises for patients with neurological disorders. Her accolades include being recognized as a Top Innovator in North Texas, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas honoree, Digital Leader finalist in Booking.com’s Technology Playmaker Awards, and featured in Forbes. Using her many years of research and development experience in VR and AR she is helping to connect technology and healthcare to greatly enhance patient care and rehabilitation outcomes. She earned a B.S. in Computer Science and a Master’s in Game Design and Development from UT Dallas and was pursuing her Ph.D. before she decided to work on the company full-time.

Veena Somareddy
CEO & Founding Member of Neuro Rehab VR

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"Personal Lessons Learned About Success and Leadership"

(Fall 2019) -- Linda Hart, vice chairman, president and CEO of Hart Group, Inc., a diversified group of companies involved in manufacturing and investments, will address the leadership practices and styles that have contributed to her successful career in business, law and service. She will also discuss lessons learned in paving the way for other women in industry and her personal story highlighting her ascent to upper management. Hart and her husband, Mitch Hart serve as the primary benefactors of Lyle’s Hart Center for Engineering Leadership and The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Linda Hart
Vice Chairman, President & CEO of Hart Group, Inc. 

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