Lunch & Learn: Manufacturing Technology (MTI) and Kevin O'Keeffe (ESTEEM '15)

Author: Kunigunda Szentes

Kunigunda SzentesKunigunda Szentes

ESTEEM students are able to benefit from the program's highly-successful weekly Lunch & Learn sessions.  Last week they welcomed two successful Notre Dame alumni: Dan Adams and Kevin O’Keeffe.


Dan received his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame; he is now the CEO of Manufacturing Technology (MTI). He has returned to his alma mater to engage students in the area of technology in which he is so passionate about.

MTI is a global leader company in joining and welding solutions, providing services for customers in many different industries. Dan introduced students to the main pillars of the company's core values: gathering good people, dealing with high-end technology and understanding completely the customer’s needs in order to provide the best value. He engaged his audience by capturing the essence of entrepreneurship in the following way:

You have to follow what you are passionate about, and learn what you need to achieve that goal. The impact of what you have built, will be more rewarding than any compensation. Innovation doesn’t happen if you are not asking the ‘what if?’

Dan had a good experience working with ESTEEM students from the class of 2017 as the students his company sponsored had great success with mapping a whole new market for the company's current solutions.


The second guest speaker, Kevin O’Keeffe, graduated from ESTEEM in 2015. At the Lunch & Learn, he represented Slipstream, a company pursuing innovation in energy capture. He is currently working on a project called Maxx Start, and if his work is successful, the product will become the “heart” of electric cars. Looking back to his time spent in the ESTEEM program, he highlighted the importance of the Lunch & Learn sessions before the football games. He said that he found these events energizing and engaging in many ways, and that he learned a lot about topics from running successful venture capitalist firms to the startup ecosystem. He strongly endorsed the attending students to start businesses, since investors are mainly interested in investing in people, and ESTEEM students are often a perfect fit for the kind of leader these investors want.

After both presentations, Dan and Kevin were open to answering students’ questions.  Through this great engagement, everyone took home the message of the importance of passion and the fresh perspective of young entrepreneurs.