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Carpenter honored by Kern Family Foundation

Release Date: January 17, 2014

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Don Carpenter

Professor Don Carpenter of the Department of Civil Engineering at Lawrence Technological University has been named the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Member by the Kern Family Foundation (KFF) of Waukesha, WI.


In keeping with the vision of its founders, Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern, the Kern Family Foundation (KFF) seeks to enrich the lives of others by promoting entrepreneurially minded engineering talent, in addition to educational excellence and strong pastoral leadership.


Lawrence Tech is a member of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) for universities and has received five grants from the Kern Family Foundation for educational initiatives. Carpenter has been the primary investigator or co-investigator on all the grants that LTU has received from Kern.

In 2009, Lawrence Tech won a five-year, $1.1 million KFF grant to further integrate the entrepreneurial mindset in the education of undergraduate engineering students. The program is based on the premise that LTU graduates who develop an entrepreneurial approach to engineering will have more career opportunities, either as leaders of new companies or enterprises, or as managers in large organizations. The KFF program is designed to change the culture of both the faculty and university leadership in order to transform the educational experience for engineering students at LTU.

Carpenter has been a member of the leadership team that has implemented this multi-year program. He has been an advisor/mentor to other faculty and a workshop facilitator. He provides assessment and assists with grant reporting.


Carpenter is the leader of the Dynamic Compass Network created by another Kern grant, which provides increased networking and collaboration for faculty and students for five members of KEEN – Boston University, Kettering University, Saint Louis University, Gonzaga University, and LTU.

In January, Carpenter and Associate Professor Andy Gerhart traveled to Brazil to provide training for KFF programs.

Go to ltu.edu/entrepreneurship for more information on the Kern projects and the KEEN program. Carpenter describes KFF-funded programs at LTU in the video on the page.