Voith president and CEO, aerospace alumnus inspires engineering students

Stanley Kocon speaks to a crowd of Penn State engineering students and faculty during the College of Engineering's ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series on October 23, 2018.   Credit: Kate Myers / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Stanley Kocon, president and CEO of Voith Hydro Inc., North America, visited Penn State University Park on Oct. 23 to spend a day with engineering faculty and students as part of the College of Engineering’s ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series.

The ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series was created to not only give engineering students and faculty a firsthand opportunity to hear from successful executives in the industry, but to also create awareness in the industry for Penn State’s wealth of expertise in areas of interest to them.

“Prior to the speaking engagement, the corporate executive tours labs and meets with key faculty of interest, and thereby develops a good understanding of how Penn State can help advance their research and technological development,” said Priya Baboo, director of industry, innovation and development for the College of Engineering.

Kocon toured the Center for Innovative Materials Processing Through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), the Additive Manufacturing Lab and the Factory for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) Lab.

His ExecutiveXcellence talk began with a video on hydropower in the digital age, and covered various topics including the potential for hydropower in North America. He ended the event by sharing his experiences with the company and offered some career advice for the future engineers in attendance.  

“The more you prepare yourself and dominate what you’re doing now, the more the opportunities will open up in front of you like you’ve never imagined,” Kocon said. “You’ll go through ups and downs in your career but never give up, stay focused, make the most of the motivation you get from those around you, and use it to push you forward.”

After his talk, Kocon presented certificates to the first group of students awarded with a Voith Women in Engineering scholarship — annual $25,000 scholarships created by Voith and given to Department of Mechanical Engineering students who live near the company’s York County facilities and are enrolled in Penn State College of Engineering’s Women in Engineering Program.

Kocon earned both bachelor and master degrees in aerospace engineering from Penn State. He joined Voith in 1988 as a hydraulic engineer and has since held numerous technical and commercial positions within the company both in the United States and abroad.

Industry executives interested in being a part of the College of Engineering’s ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series are encouraged to email Baboo at

Last Updated November 05, 2018