Nov. 23, 2010
John W. Splude received an Honorary Doctor of Business and Economics during Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Fall Commencement on Nov. 20. Dr. Splude served as CEO and president of HK Systems from 1993 – 2001, and then as executive chairman. HK Systems (New Berlin, Wis.) is a leading supplier of logistics automation solutions, systems and service. He led the transformation of HK Systems from a small division of Harnischfeger Industries to the leading provider of synchronized material flow solutions, with $250 million in annual revenue. HK Systems was acquired by Luxembourg-based Dematic Group in September 2010. Splude is currently senior advisor and board member of Dematic.
During the commencement, 56 undergraduate and 18 graduate students in engineering majors, the Rader School of Business and the School of Nursing received their diplomas. They join the ranks of more than 19,000 alumni worldwide. Dr. Splude delivered the keynote address and told MSOE’s newest alumni to stretch beyond their degree area, to appreciate and learn from their mistakes, and to value relationships with mentors. He also encouraged them to become mentors in their fields and pass on their knowledge and experience.
Splude began as CEO of Harnischfeger Engineers Inc. (HEI) in 1987 and led the management buyout of HEI in 1993 to create HK Systems. Earlier in his career, Splude held various positions in the Harnischfeger organization including vice president of Harnischfeger Industries’ Industrial Technology Group and treasurer and vice president of Harnischfeger Credit Corp.
Splude received a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He also graduated from the Advanced Management Program of Harvard University and is a Certified Public Accountant in Wisconsin. Splude serves on the Boards of Directors for U.S. Bank, Ladish Co., Superior Die Cast and Ministry of Health Care. In addition, he has served on MSOE’s Board of Regents since 1995 and is chairman of the MSOE Audit and Finance Committee.
MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, architectural engineering and building construction, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.