September 30, 2015 at 12:15pm

Technology and Innovation in the Mining Industry

Millikin University's Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, a signature program of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship, will continue its 2015-16 Speaker Series on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, with keynote speaker Jim Hawkins, director of mining technology enabled solutions at Caterpillar Inc.

The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Lower Richards Treat University Center on Millikin's campus; the event is free and open to the public.

During his presentation entitled "Technology and Innovation in the Mining Industry," Jim Hawkins will discuss Caterpillar's development and commercialization of technology that improves the safety, productivity and efficiency of a mine site. This includes applying sensor technology, advanced robotics and data analytics to solve mining customer's biggest problems.

Hawkins studied mechanical engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and immediately upon graduation, drove to Peoria, Ill., to begin a training program for newly hired engineers at the company's Technical Center. During a career that has spanned 29 years, Hawkins has held leadership positions in product design, new product development, sales and marketing, dealer administration and product management. He has worked for Caterpillar in Belgium, Switzerland, France and has traveled the world in support of Caterpillar customers. 


Millikin's Science Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, sponsored by Busey, focuses on science entrepreneurship and how an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship can spark job creation and societal well-being. Throughout the academic year, executives from science ventures discuss particular aspects of their business. In addition, business leaders discuss broader topics of interest.

Future dates and speakers are as follows:

• Tuesday, Nov. 10: Speaker: Van Dukeman, First Busey Corporation, President and Chief Executive Officer

• Thursday, Dec. 3: Speaker: Tony Caccomo, National Foodworks Services LLC

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has received or been pledged funding from 300 Below Inc., Andreas Foundation through the Community Foundation of Macon County, Brechnitz Group of Raymond James, Busey, Caterpillar Decatur, Coleman Foundation, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Millikin University, Parke Warehouses, St. Mary's Hospital, Tate & Lyle, Wild Bird Feeding Industry, Zevacor Molecular, a private foundation, and anonymous donors to develop the 2015-16 Speaker Series and other institute programming.

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship connects Millikin University, its students, and the greater community to opportunities for personal, professional and organizational advancement through science entrepreneurship. The institute was founded by Dr. David Horn, professor of biology, Dr. George Bennett, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Casey Watson, associate professor of physics.

Busey is the title sponsor of Millikin University's Institute for Science Entrepreneurship 2015-16 Speaker Series. First Busey Corporation (Nasdaq: BUSE) is a $3.9 billion financial holding company headquartered in Champaign, Ill. Busey Bank, First Busey Corporation's wholly-owned bank subsidiary, is also headquartered in Champaign, Ill., and has 28 banking centers serving Illinois, a banking center in Indianapolis, Ind., and seven banking centers serving southwest Florida. For more information, visit

For more information on the speaker series or the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, call 217.424.6392 or visit