Keynote Speaker

Dr. Richard C. Benson

Dr. Richard C. Benson is the fifth president of The University of Texas at Dallas and holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Benson and his wife, Leslie, moved to Dallas in 2016 from Blacksburg, Virginia, where he had served as dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering. At Virginia Tech, Benson oversaw record growth in the school from 2005 to 2016. Also, the College of Engineering climbed to its highest-ever ranking in the National Science Foundation’s report on engineering schools’ research expenditures.
Prior to beginning an academic career, Benson worked for the Xerox Corporation as a technical specialist and project manager. His career in academe began at the University of Rochester where he eventually became chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and continued with leadership positions at Penn State University and Virginia Tech.
Benson earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree in aerospace and mechanical science from Princeton University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Benson’s teaching interests are in the fields of structural mechanics, design and applied mathematics. He has received three significant honors from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has held editorial positions with the ASME Press, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics and Applied Mechanics Reviews.