From Technical Excellence to Organizational Leadership: Navigating Your Path to Success

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Live Event: Monday, July 13, 2020

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Learn to navigate your own path to success while also building teams and inspiring good decision-making among their ranks. As a respected leader and honored researcher, Jeff Wadsworth will discuss three important aspects of thought leadership: talent recruitment, problem-solving, and decision-making at the top level of management.

When it comes to talent recruitment, serendipitous events dominate our paths forward from an early age. A recognition of these influences on how we became materials scientists can help lead to an appreciation of values that matter during early education. In addition, the ability to solve important issues in academia and industry, based on a materials science education, can lead to future career pathways and leadership opportunities. Wadsworth will illustrate these leadership concepts with real-world examples, ranging from metallurgical problems that almost grounded the Trident Submarine Missiles, to a disastrous change of heat treatment of a high strength steel in a meat packing company, to a specious claim of having discovered the strongest material on earth. Wadsworth will also comment on his own transition from a technical career to leadership of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the largest independent R&D organization in the world, Battelle Memorial Institute.

What You Will Learn

  • Recognize how the paths to success may differ from expectations
  • Visualize how to transition from technical excellence to organizational leadership
  • Gain perspective from top-level management to grasp the importance of broad understanding, recognition of community influences, and the role of politics

About the Instructor

Jeff Wadsworth

Independent Consultant; President and CEO, Battelle Memorial Institute (Retired)

Jeff Wadsworth is an independent consultant and a member of several company boards.

He was president and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute from January 2009 to September 2017, when he retired. Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, executing about $5.5 billion of work annually and employing about 22,500 people.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle counts among its successes innovations in medical technology, telecommunications, environmental waste treatment, homeland security, and transportation. Wadsworth formerly led Battelle’s Global Laboratory Operations business, where he oversaw the management or co-management of six national laboratories of the U.S. Department of Energy (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. He also led the expansion of Battelle’s operations into the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, and India, and the development of partnerships with the private sector in those nations.

Wadsworth was educated at Sheffield University in England, where he studied metallurgy, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1972, a Ph.D. in 1975, a Doctor of Metallurgy degree in 1990 for his published work, and the highest recognition conferred by the university, an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree, in July 2004. Wadsworth came to the United States in 1976 and has worked at Stanford University, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2002, he joined Battelle and served as a member of the White House Transition Planning Office for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. From 2003 to 2007, Wadsworth was director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest multipurpose science laboratory.

Wadsworth has authored or co-authored nearly 300 scientific papers (H=47) and one book, and he has been granted four U.S. patents. His many honors and awards include seven honorary doctorates, two honorary professorships from Chinese universities, the 2013 Acta Materialia Award in Materials and Society, the 2015 National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies, and election to the rank of Fellow of three technical societies. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2011. He serves on the boards of Carpenter Technologies and 3D Systems and was a trustee and former chair of trustees at The Ohio State University.

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