Three engineering alumni to receive honorary doctorates

Juan Ernesto de Bedout
Juan Ernesto de Bedout
Anthony "Tony" Harris
Thomas S. Wilmeth
Thomas S. Wilmeth
Engineering alumni Juan Ernesto de Bedout, Anthony "Tony" Harris and Thomas S. Wilmeth are three of the 10 recipients of honorary doctorate degrees that will be awarded during commencement ceremonies on May 11.

Juan Ernesto de Bedout (BAIE'67, MSIE'68) is the former group president of Latin American Operations, Kimberly-Clark Corp. He has also held leadership roles at VF Corp. and Colombiana de Tabaco. He led the formation of Latin America's first Blue Ocean Strategy Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since retiring as an officer of the corporation in 2011, he has been serving as senior consultant, sitting on the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa leadership board, and as adviser to the newly formed Global Innovation Center in Colombia.

De Bedout is chair of Purdue's Engineering Advisory Council and a member of the Industrial Engineering Advisory Council. He helped launch the Colombia-Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research, promoting mutually beneficial initiatives aligned with Colombia's strategic priorities and Purdue's strengths.

Anthony "Tony" Harris (BSME'75) is president and CEO of Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Co. (CSECO), a manufacturer of contraband, explosives and dirty bomb detection equipment. The company's primary customers include the U.S. State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

He is a founder of the National Society of Black Engineers and currently serves as chair of its national advisory board. Harris is a member of the society's executive leadership council, and he serves on the board of directors of the SFJAZZ Center Foundation and the One Pacific Coast Bank Advisory Board.

Thomas S. Wilmeth (BSEE'35) is chairman of Scot Industries and a lifelong entrepreneur. He has been recognized by Purdue for his understanding and appreciation for the need to use published research outside of academe to advance industrial methods and to create new engineering processes and technological applications.

In 1949, Wilmeth and his younger brother, Harvey, started Scot Industries Inc., in Milwaukee. Over the past 45 years, Wilmeth and his son, Steven, have built an international business with 11 plants. He has been a longtime supporter through his philanthropy of the goals of the Purdue University Libraries. He remains chairman of Scot Industries at age 99.