Zeien Lecture Series


In addition to the formal courses, once or twice a year, a formal, evening lecture of the Zeien Lectures Series is presented. This program is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Alfred Zeien, Webb class of 1952.

All videos are available on the Webb Institute Vimeo Channel.

Also, all students attend the Monday Lecture Series, these lectures are given by speakers on a wide variety of topics-some technical, but many on quality of life, historical, or current events topics.

About Dr. Alfred Zeien

ZeienDr. Zeien is a 1952 graduate of Webb Institute of Naval Architecture. After attending the Master’s program at Harvard Business School he joined General Dynamics and rose to Operations Manager of the General Dynamics Shipyard in Quincy, MA. He left the marine field to begin a singularly successful career with The Gillette Company.

Alfred M. Zeien joined The Gillette Company, an international consumer products company, in 1968. He held various positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer and served as Chairman of the Board, from February 1991 to April 1999. During his tenure Gillette acquired Duracell and introduced the Mach 3 razor and increased its market capitalization ten-fold. Diverse institutions and companies benefited from his managerial wisdom through his service on their boards.

Webb was proud to award Alfred M. Zeien an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1997.

Dr. Zeien endowed the Zeien Lecture Series in 2000. The purpose of the lecture series is to enhance student life by bringing in speakers on a wide variety of topics. Then, in 2011, through an endowed gift, Dr. and Mrs. Zeien created the Alfred M. Zeien Student Scholarship. The proceeds from the Zeien endowment offset the academic cost (tuition) associated with each year of the designated student’s education until he or she graduates.

In 2013, The Webb Alumni Association presented Dr. Alfred Zeien with the forty-eighth William Selkirk Owen Award. The William Selkirk Owen Award the Alumni Association’s highest honor presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement and service to the profession and his/her Alma Mater.

Upcoming Zeien Lectures

Next Zeien Lecture to be announced.

Dr. George W. Hart

“Finding Beauty in Mathematics”

Professor at Stony Brook University and Co-Founder of the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City 

Zeien Lecture - Dr. George Hart

Chris Wiernicki

Chairman, President, & CEO of ABS

Trustee of Webb Institute

Chris Wiernicki

May 18th, 2016

Webb trustee Chris Wiernicki will present the 21st Zeien lecture on May 1th in the Henry Auditorium at Webb Institute.

War in the Shadow of AuschwitzChris’ father, John Wiernicki, a Polish resistance fighter captured by the Nazis, was incarcerated in the Auschwitz concentration camp and later Buchenwald.  While on a forced march to yet another camp during the latter days of the war, he escaped and was rescued by the advancing American troops.  He later documented his experiences through a series of watercolor paintings and in a personal narrative, “Shadow of Auschwitz, Memoirs of a Polish Resistance Fighter and Survivor of Death Camps”. This book is available on Amazon.

At this Zeien Lecture, Chris will present some of his father’s watercolors and give personal insights into this extraordinary story.

Dr. Bruce Parker

Former Chief Scientist for the National Ocean Service at NOAA

Dr Bruce Parker

May 5th, 2016 – “Predicting Coastal and Marine Disasters”

World-recognized expert in oceangraphic subjects, Dr. Bruce Parker will present the 20th Zeien lecture on May 5th in the Henry Auditorium at Webb Institute.

Dr. Parker is a visiting professor at the Center of Maritime Systems, Stevens Institute of Technology, and the former Chief Scientist for the National Ocean Service at NOAA. He holds a PhD in Physical Oceanography from the Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Physical Oceanography from MIT, and a BS/BA in Biology/Physics from Brown University.

The lecture is based on Dr. Parker’s book: The Power of the Sea – tsunamis, storm surges, rogue waves and our quest to predict disasters.  It interweaves compelling stories of marine disasters with fascinating stories of how scientists very slowly learned how to predict them.  From ancient mankind’s strange ideas about the sea to our latest technological advances using satellites and computer models, the talk describes our growing knowledge of the ocean and its impact on our lives.  From the tides (which are very predictable) to deadly storm surges (which we can now predict accurately) to huge rogue waves (which we are on the verge being able to predict) to tsunamis (which are still unpredictable), the talk depicts the drama of the sea and the dedication of scientists throughout the centuries.

Dr. David Porter

Musician 

The Well-Tampered Clavier: Play-Musical and Otherwise

David PorterOctober 28th, 2015

The Alfred M. Zeien Lecture Series presented Dr. David Porter: The Well-Tampered Clavier: Play-Musical and Otherwise on October 28th, 2015.  Dr. David Porter performed twentieth-century piano music by Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, and John Cage. Many thanks to Professor Richard Harris, who organized this event. Read more.

View the brochure.

Congressman Steven Israel

U.S. Representative of N.Y.’s 3rd Congressional District

“National Intelligence Council Report on Global Trends”

Steven Isreal

Mike Petters

President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries

Mike Petters

G. Bruce Knecht

Author and former senior writer and foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal

“Grand Ambition”

G. Bruce Knecht

Dr. Stephen M. Payne

Vice President/Chief Naval Architect (Ret.)
Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding Southampton

“The Genesis of a Queen: Queen Mary 2”

Stephen Payne