Daryl L. Peterson, an engineer with more than two decades of experience in manufacturing at Deere & Co., has been appointed the first managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Engineering Innovation Hub and professor of the practice in the College of Engineering.
The Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH) is a new 10,000-square-foot facility under construction on the first floor of Cushing-Fitzpatrick Halls of Engineering at Notre Dame. It is anticipated to be operational in summer 2021.
Designed to integrate research, coursework and project-based collaboration, the EIH will prepare Notre Dame engineering students to devise novel solutions to meaningful problems and take products from creative concept to realization. It also will serve as a fabrication and test facility for undergraduate and graduate research and provide a unique resource for local and regional manufacturing industry partners and new startup businesses.
Peterson will oversee the coordination and operational management of the Engineering Innovation Hub’s technology, programs and outreach in support of its dual mission of academic and industry engagement.
He has deep experience in operations, project management and process improvement, having led programs for Deere’s global product lines, managing cross-functional teams charged with improving business processes and reducing product complexity.
Notably, he led the creation of Deere’s Enterprise Digital Capability Lab, aimed at developing engineers as they worked with new technologies in artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, autonomous robotics and lightweight materials. He also created a manufacturing leadership program within the company to further develop the next generation of manufacturing leaders.
“We are delighted to have Daryl join us as managing director of the Engineering Innovation Hub,” said Patricia J. Culligan, the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering. “This facility, and the experiential learning it will support, represents a critical step forward for engineering and industry engagement at Notre Dame. Daryl’s impressive experience in industry and his commitment to the development of both people and products is a great fit for this role.”
“The business of manufacturing is changing at a rapid pace due to the automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices using modern smart technology,” Peterson said. “I am pleased to join the University at such a pivotal time in the field’s evolution. I was particularly attracted to Notre Dame’s commitment to developing the engineering leaders of tomorrow, its support of faculty conducting groundbreaking research, and the opportunity to partner with the region’s considerable manufacturing community. I look forward to working with all committed stakeholders to realize the immense potential of this facility.”
The Engineering Innovation Hub is supported by iNDustry Labs, Notre Dame’s dedicated platform for collaboration with regional industry partners, providing strategic insight, expertise and technical resources to regional businesses seeking to thrive in the digital age of manufacturing. iNDustry Labs is an anchor of the LIFT Network, a set of programs, facilities and expertise poised to unite two of the region’s main economic drivers — its powerful manufacturing base and Notre Dame, a global tier-one research university. Powered by a $42.4 million Lilly Endowment grant awarded in 2019, the effort aims to unlock transformative potential for the regional economy.
“Daryl’s appointment is a major step forward for the mission of iNDustry Labs,” said Tom Fuja, faculty director of iNDustry Labs.
“Having someone with his experience and insights on the team will be a tremendous resource for our regional industry partners. I know I speak for all of the iNDustry Labs faculty affiliates when I say we are looking forward to working with him.”
Prior to his tenure at Deere, Peterson was a manufacturing engineer with Ford Motor Co. He holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago, a master of science in operations management and master of science in manufacturing management from Kettering University, and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Originally published by the College of Engineering on Feb. 8.