P.C. Rossin College of
Engineering and Applied Science

This lecture series is endowed in the name of the late Spencer C. Schantz, who graduated from Lehigh in 1955 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Following progressive responsibilities with several electrical manufacturing companies, in 1969 he founded U.S. Controls Corporation and became its first CEO and President.

The Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series was established by his wife Jerelyn as a valuable educational experience for faculty, students and friends of Lehigh’s Industrial and Systems Engineering department.

Spencer C. Schantz Public Lecture

Title: Engineering the 21st Century Stock Exchange
Speaker: Stacey Cunningham '96, NYSE Group
Time & Location:
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Neville Auditorium

Stacey Cunningham (Lehigh ISE ’96), the 67th President of the New York Stock Exchange, began her career as a summer intern on the floor of the NYSE while still at Lehigh, and began working there full time as a trading floor clerk immediately after graduating. She advanced through a progression of roles, eventually earning membership on the Exchange with Bank of America, where she held a seat on the floor for eight years. She returned to the NYSE in a management capacity in 2011, eventually becoming its chief operating officer in 2015 and president in 2018.

During her more than a quarter century in the cradle of American capitalism, from the trading post to the corner office, Cunningham has watched and participated as the modern equity marketplace has evolved, from a period where the major exchanges controlled most of the trading market share to today, where billions of shares change hands each day across 13 exchanges and more than 50 alternative trading systems around the world. Knitting together the modern marketplace, where investors can trade at the best possible price throughout the day, is a monumental feat of human judgement mixed with cutting edge technology. In her Spencer C. Shantz Lecture at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Lehigh University, Cunningham will trace the development and engineering of the 21st Century Exchange, from recovery after 9/11 to the reforms put in place before and after the global financial crisis, to today, where exchanges, trading firms, and regulators must work together, despite competitive pressures and differing philosophies, to strengthen and streamline the modem marketplace for the decades to come.

Bio sketch

Stacey Cunningham is the President of the NYSE Group which includes the New York Stock Exchange and a diverse range of equity and equity options exchanges, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE). She is the 67th President and the first woman to lead the NYSE Group in its 226 year history. 

Cunningham is a respected equities industry veteran having held senior positions in global exchanges throughout her career. Most recently, she was the NYSE Chief Operating Officer where she was responsible for NYSE’s three equity markets and two options markets. In this capacity she led the company’s strategy for its equities, equity derivatives and exchange-traded funds businesses. She also spearheaded the roll-out of NYSE’s state-of-the-art trading platform NYSE Pillar, one of the most ambitious technology programs ever completed by a global exchange.

Prior to serving as COO, Cunningham was President of NYSE Governance Services, a provider of governance, compliance, and education solutions for companies and their boards. Cunningham also served as Head of Sales & Relationship Management at NYSE, where she managed the sales team for U.S. cash equities and options markets. Before joining NYSE, Cunningham held several senior positions at Nasdaq.

Cunningham began her career on the NYSE trading floor where she served as a specialist.

Cunningham earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.


Spencer C. Schantz Lecture (Technical Talk)

Title: Risk and Reliability in Optimization Under Uncertainty
Speaker: R. Tyrell Rockafellar
Time & Location:
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Mohler Lab, Room 453

Problems of optimization are concerned with making decisions "optimally". However, in many situations in management, finance and engineering, decisions have to be made without knowing fully how they will play out in the future.  When the future is modeled probabilistically, this leads to stochastic optimization, yet the formulation of objectives and constraints can be far from obvious. A future cost or hazard variable may be a random variable which a present decision can influence to some extent, but maybe only in shaping its distribution in a limited way.  For instance, it may be desirable to keep a hazard below a particular threshold, like building a bridge to resist earthquakes and floods, and yet it may be impossible or too expensive to guarantee that the threshold will never be breached.

One needs to have a standard according to which a cost or hazard is "adequately" below the desired threshold in line with its probability distribution.  That is the role for so-called "measures of risk," which started to be developed for purposes like assessing the solvency of banks but now are being utilized much more widely.  Measures of risk also offer fresh ways of dealing with reliability constraints, such as have traditionally been imposed in engineering in terms of bounds on the probability of failure of various manufactured components.  Probability of failure has troublesome mathematical behavior in an optimization environment. Now, though, there is a substitute, called buffered probability of failure, which makes better sense and is much easier to work with computationally.

Bio sketch

Ralph Tyrrell (Terry) Rockafellar has long been associated with the the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, but he has also contributed in recent years as Adjunct Research Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and as Honorary Professor of the Department of Applied Mathematics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  

His interests span from convex and variational analysis to problems of optimization and equilibrium, especially nowadays applications in finance, engineering and economics involving risk and reliability, along with schemes of problem decomposition on convex and nonconvex programming.

In addition to being a winner of the Dantzig Prize given jointly by SIAM and the Mathematical Programming Society (1983), Prof. Rockafellar has gained international recognition for his work through honorary doctorates bestowed by universities in a number of countries.  INFORMS awarded him and Roger Wets the 1997 Lancaster Prize for their book Variational Analysis, and in 1999 he was further honored by INFORMS with John von Neumann Theory Prize for his fundamental contributions to the methodology of optimization. He has authored over 250 publications, including one of the all-time most highly cited books in mathematics, Convex Analysis.


Past Schantz Lectures:

Mikell Groover

Professor Emeritus, Lehigh University

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall

“The Evolution of Lehigh University’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department” (Public)


William J. Cook

University of Waterloo

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sinclair Laboratory Auditorium

“In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation” (Public)

William J. Cook

University of Waterloo

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mohler Lab, Room 453

“Guiding the Cutting-Plane Method” (Technical)


Sunil A. Misser '88G

CEO, Accountability

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sinclair Auditorium

“Responsible Business – Rebuilding Trust and Creating Value” (Public)


Alain Haurie

Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mohler Lab, Room 453

“Modeling Energy Transition to Sustainability in a Smart Grid/Smart City Environment” (Technical)


Richard R. Verma '90

U.S. Ambassador to India

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Neville Hall, Room 001

“Technology, Innovation, and American Diplomacy in the 21st Century” (Public)


Dr. Ronald G. Askin '75

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mohler Lab, Room 451

"Industrial Engineering: Key Principles and Paradigms Developed to Date and the Opportunities and Challenges for the Future" (Technical)


Dr. Robert Bixby

Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University and visiting Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Universitat Erlangen

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sinclair Auditorium

“Computational Progress in Linear and Mixed Integer Programming” (Public)


Dr. Radhika Kulkarni

Vice President of Advanced Analytics R&D at SAS Institute Inc

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sinclair Auditorium

"Succeeding with Business Analytics - Key Challenges" (Public)

"Big Data and Big Analytics - Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Innovation" (Technical)


Brenda Dietrich

IBM Fellow and VP, IBM Watson Group

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lewis Laboratory, Room 270

"Cognitive Computing: Behind and Beyond Jeopardy!" (Public)

"Business Analytics: Making Operations Research Ubiquitous" (Technical)


Ralph E. Gomory

Research Professor, New York University

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sinclair Auditorium

"New Goals for American Corporations" (Public)

"Problems Create Mathematics" (Technical)


Arthur F. Veinott Jr. ’56

Professor Emeritus of Operations Research, Stanford University

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Neville Auditorium 001

"Optimal and Near Optimal Supply Policy for Deterministic Multiperiod Supply Networks" (Public)

"Polytime Computation of Strong and n-Present-Value Optimal Policies in Markov Decision Chains" (Technical)


Leon F. McGinnis, Ph.D.

Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sinclair Auditorium

"Industrial Engineering - Quo Vadis? One Man’s Idiosyncratic View of His Profession" (Public)

"Model Based Industrial Engineering" (Technical)


Irwin Young ’50

DuArt Films Laboratories

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sinclair Auditorium

"How an Engineering Education Affected My Career" (Public)


Dr. Stephen P. Boyd

Stanford University

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center

"The Role of Embedded Optimization in Smart Systems and Products" (Public)

"Real-Time Embedded Convex Optimization" (Technical)


Dr. John T. Betts

Boeing Company

Friday, April 16, 2010

Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center

"What Does a Rocket Scientist Really Do?" (Public)

"Algorithmic Choices When Solving an Optimal Control Problem" (Technical)


Dr. Cynthia Barnhart

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center

“Unraveling the Mysteries of the Airline Industry"