Schierholz '83, Yale 87

ND Launches Technology, Engineering, & Design (T/E/D)

ND’s new Signature Program in Technology, Engineering, Design (T/E/D)  was custom-designed by our faculty alongside Fortune 500 engineers and program managers with over 50+ years of collective experience.  The program spans four categories: Engineering Basics, Elective Skills, Specialized Engineering, and Capstone Project. Students learn the fundamentals of Engineering and Design and then study the major engineering disciplines of electrical, mechanical, software, and manufacturing. The Signature T/E/D program culminates with a senior year Capstone Project where student teams develop a new product through the life-cycle of a complete engineering design project. In the process, students manage not only technical customer requirements, but also a material budget and project schedule, emulating real-world engineering development programs.  Notre Dame’s T/E/D program aims to position our students to be leaders in a growing professional field.

Adam Schierholz ‘83, Yale ‘87

Adam Schierholz ‘83, Yale ‘87

Sikorsky’s Regional Executive for Latin America, Adam Schierholz ‘83 returned to campus in June to talk about his career, his studies at Yale in engineering, his rise in international business and the many lessons from ND that ring true today.

“For the last 25 years, I’ve worked in international business.  I didn’t leave ND aiming to go into international business. I went to Yale and studied engineering.  Ultimately, I fell into the business side of the engineering world. You evolve and get to the road you were meant to be on eventually.  For some it happens sooner, for others, later. Looking back, ND was the starting block for me. It’s like the block that sprinters lock their feet into at the start of a race.  For me, the starting blocks came from my time at ND.

One of the many challenges I see in the workplace today is trying to reach consensus on complex issues and dealing with an amalgam of people with varying ideas on where we need to go and how to get there.  This is particularly difficult in global settings where international customers might communicate or operate differently due to culture.

Much of my work is building relationships with people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and parts of the world.  I spent time in Spain and loved it. It was the best business and personal time of my life. It opened up my perspective.  All of this is consistent with ND values and experience: to open your views of the world, and go after things that are different and rewarding.

When I think about it, there are a number of lasting lessons from my ND experience that still ring true today.  I often refer to the words of Brother Francis Feeley, CSC, my Spanish teacher junior year, who reminded us “It’s good to be a great man; it’s great to be a good man.”   The work I’ve done to build a strong team at work stems from lessons I learned from Coach Tom Marcucci ‘66 He wasn’t afraid to reprimand forcefully but he also wasn’t afraid to share praise.  I have tried to carry that on in what I do. I correct people who work for me when they do something wrong and I have ample praise for them when they get it right. And then there’s a talk Brother George Schmitz, CSC ‘65 gave at our Peer Counseling retreat about shoes.  “Polished oxfords, work boots, docksiders...what do shoes say about a person?” He challenged us to look beyond the surface to see the person in the shoes. That’s advice that still holds true today.

ND is a special place.  It’s different. They ask more of you than other schools.  You’re asked to be a person of higher character. If you accept the challenge, it will serve you well the rest of your life.

I was especially lucky to have attended ND.  I’m the youngest of 5. And while we were taught right from wrong at home - and to know the difference between the two -  that message was reinforced each school day. There is a lot of that missing out there in the world. It’s pretty simple stuff and ND does it extremely well.”