Dean's Lecture Series

The Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science Dean’s Lecture Series brings STEM innovators and thought leaders together with students and faculty to share wisdom, inspire discovery, and nurture an entrepreneurial spirit to help build a prominent school of engineering and science. 

2022 Lecture

William McGann, Ph.D.William McGann, Ph.D.Transforming State-of-the-Art Science into Technologies for Global Applications

William McGann, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Quantum Computing Inc.

This lecture explores the 30-year history of innovations at the intersection of physics and chemistry that enabled the development of ultrasensitive detection applications and demonstrates how the underlying use of multi-disciplinary scientific principles draws strong parallels across the diverse areas of specialization. The lecture also touches on the successes in commercial applications and immersion into a learning-based culture of innovations, and how personal commitment and intellectual curiosity can drive small teams and individuals to have a dramatic impact on transforming the world.


About the Speaker:

Dr. Bill McGann currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) - a new, innovative quantum solutions company located in Leesburg, Virginia and Hoboken, New Jersey, publicly traded on NASDAQ as QUBT.

Dr. McGann has a long track record and deep domain expertise in numerous areas of technology development and has held many professional roles since 1990. Most recently, Dr. McGann served as the CTO at Leidos Security and Detection, where he led a 230-person team of scientists and engineers focused on the design and development of state-of-the-art security detection systems for aviation, ports, borders and commercial infrastructure markets. Other notable roles include CTO at L3Harris Technologies - Security and Detection Systems, Vice President of Engineering at UTC Global Fire and Security business, and CTO at GE Security.

Dr. McGann's business development focus is strengthened by an underlying passion for turning credible science into real-world applications. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Connecticut at Storrs (1985) where he studied the molecular structure and dynamics of excited-state energy transfer in photosynthesis using optical spectroscopy and magnetic resonance methods. Dr. McGann has authored over 70 research proposals to the U.S. government, numerous publications, and 23 patents in the areas of nuclear, chemical and biological detection technologies.


Past Speakers

2021 Dean's Lecture Series:

BioEngineering of Human Tissues

Joe Yaccarino '88

President and CEO, MTF Biologics


2020 Dean's Lecture Series:

Fighting COVID-19 with Innovation—A Race Against Time

Pam Cheng '92 M.Eng. '95

Executive Vice President for Global Operations and Information Technology, AstraZeneca

Watch the recording >


2019 Dean's Lecture Series:

Breaking Human Interaction Barriers – AI, HoloLens and Beyond

Dr. Xuedong Huang

Chief Speech Scientist, Technical Fellow in Cloud and AI Lead of Speech and Language Group, Microsoft


2018 Dean's Lecture Series:

Engineering to Benefit Humanity

Dr. Robert E. Fischell

Physicist and Inventor