Neil Schmitt

Alex Diffey


Neil Schmitt

BSEE '63, MSEE '64

Dean Emeritus

University of Arkansas College of Engineering

Neil Schmitt began his career with service in the military, then worked at IBM as a system engineer. He also worked for Texas Instruments, developing military radar systems. Neil was hired as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the U of A in 1970. He also spent time at Baylor College of Medicine as a postdoc in cardiovascular systems in 1971. After serving in several faculty and administrative positions in the college, Neil was named dean in 1983, and served in that position until 1996. He also served as interim dean from 2001-2002. As dean, Neil led the college through a paradigm shift, as its focus changed from teaching alone to teaching and research. Engineering research funding increased over a hundredfold during this time, and Neil started and supervised the Genesis Technology Center, which was recognized as the premier technology incubator in the United States. In addition, the College broke campus records for fundraising and established a new model for donor relations. Neil also oversaw the design and construction of the Bell Engineering Center, and he led the transformation of an abandoned hosiery factory into the current Engineering Research Center.