Alumnus Dan Heller featured at ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series

October 10, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Sept. 25, Penn State students and faculty filled the Gursahaney Family E-Knowledge Commons in the Reber Building on the University Park campus to gain valuable insight on how to have a successful career in engineering from Dan Heller, vice president of Engineering & Technology, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS).

Throughout his presentation, Heller shared many important takeaways he learned throughout his 31-year engineering career at Lockheed Martin that helped shape his success.

First and foremost, he encouraged students to find their passion.

“I love being an engineer. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to be,” said Heller. “If you love engineering and you’re working in an industry you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to power through the times when you get frustrated.”

Other important advice he shared is to commit to continuous learning, have a work-life balance, and master your communication skills, among many others.

“In the end, the governor of your career that will have the biggest impact on how far you go will be how good of a communicator you are,” said Heller. “Brevity, clarity, and being able to explain complex issues in a short period of time is an incredibly valuable skill.”

Heller received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Penn State and an MBA from Pepperdine University. In his current role, Heller is the principal technical leader for the RMS business area and its nearly 14,000 engineers and scientists.

He previously served as vice president of the Sustainability Technologies line of business for the Mission Systems and Training business area; vice president of Nuclear Systems and Solutions for the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business area; and vice president and general manager of the MFC Archbald site.

Heller ended his presentation by saying ethics matter.

“How you treat people is really important, especially how you treat people that can’t do anything for you,” he said. “Treat them with the same level of respect that you would treat your boss. Trust me; people pay attention to how you treat others.”

Priya Baboo, director of industry, innovation and development in the Penn State College of Engineering, and event organizer, said, “Dan’s talk was a huge hit with students. The fact that students asked questions not only during the talk but also stayed back after the event to follow up individually speaks to how well Dan engaged and connected with them. Several students complimented his talk and appreciated that he shared his career lessons with them.”

The next installment of the ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series features Stanley J. Kocon, president and chief executive officer of Voith Hydro Inc., from noon to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23, in the Reber Building’s E-Knowledge Commons. Click here to register.

Last Updated October 11, 2018