John F. Hesselberth
For his contributions as a technical innovator and manager, the Purdue University Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering alumnus Award to John F. Hesselberth.
Director, Corporate Research and Development Planning Division
E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company
BS '62, MS '64, Chemical Engineering
From his Purdue years to present
After completing his master`s degree, Dr. Hesselberth served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps before returning to graduate school, this time at the University of Cincinnati. He received his PhD in 1968, and joined Du Pont as a research engineer in the company's Textile Fibers Department. Over the years Dr. Hesselberth moved through successive research and development positions at Du Pont, becoming, in 1982, director of the firm's Pioneering Research Laboratory, where he managed 90 professional scientists and a support staff of over 150. In 1985 he was named technical director for the Carpet Fibers Division, and in 1988 was appointed to his current position. As director of Corporate Research and Development Planning, Dr. Hesselberth reports to Du Pont's corporate senior vice president for Technology, and oversees the planning and decision issues regarding the company's $1.3 billing research and development budget.
His advice to the graduating engineer:
"Make sure you know the fundamentals, and learn to communicate the results of your work. If you can't effectively tell others what you're doing and what you've done, you're going to have problems out there."