Endowed award established for Systems M.Eng. students

By: Patrick Gillespie

An endowed fund to help Master of Engineering students has been established thanks to the generosity of Cornell Engineering alumnus Jeff Loren ’75.

The Jeff Loren ’75 Fund will provide financial assistance to graduate students enrolled at Cornell University with preference being given to M.Eng students in the Systems Engineering Program in the College of Engineering. The first graduate student will be named this fall.

“Systems engineers and systems thinkers have essential roles in shaping the future—the future of our country, the future of the global community, and the future of the entire planet,” Jeff said. “And it’s probably not too much of a stretch to extend ‘shaping’ to the future of the entire universe as well.  

“It’s abundantly clear that Cornell’s Systems M.Eng. students are driven to cultivate, hone and mature their systems engineering and systems thinking skills,” he continued. “They apply vision, inspiration, focus, and leadership in addressing both known and emerging real-world issues.”

Jeff added, “While my Cornell experiences—both in the College of Engineering and across the university, both on campus and during later involvement with the engineering community and other alumni groups—were incredibly rewarding, I readily admit that much of that sentiment took time to develop. It’s difficult to adequately convey my appreciation and gratitude, but I also readily acknowledge that I’m looking forward to learning about the dozens—if not hundreds—of valuable contributions and creative solutions that these motivated and talented young people who benefit from this gift will deliver.”

Jeff, who earned his bachelor of science in the Engineering College Progam along with an Air Force ROTC commission in 1975, has been an active member of the Cornell Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA) and its predecessors—the Cornell Society of Engineers and the Engineering Alumni Council—since 1983. The first phase of his professional career spanned over 21 years in systems engineering and flight test engineering at Boeing, where he worked on both commercial and military aircraft programs. He then spent four years on near-full-time active reserve duty with the U.S. Air Force, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from the Headquarters USAF Engineering and Technical Management Division at the Pentagon in July 2003. He remained in essentially the same job as a support contractor for almost nine years, establishing himself as a recognized thought leader and subject matter expert in preacquisition technical planning.

Since 2012, Jeff has supported SAIC’s National Security & Space Sector and predecessor organizations in developing, maturing, and advocating big-picture perspectives and approaches for “systems thinking”—the intersections of systems engineering, technical project and program management, and key focus areas of both philosophy and practice within each. He provides strategic alignment of solutions with corporate and client goals and serves as a resource for technical and professional mentorship guidance for junior and mid-career Systems Engineering staff.

Jeff has published 16 technical papers, presented guest lectures on development planning in Air Force Institute of Technology graduate-level and continuing education courses, and delivered numerous Systems Engineering conference briefings and tutorial sessions. 


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