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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Engineering Award Recipients

Entrepreneurial Award



Dan grew up in Dumbarton, Scotland, where he was trained as a tool and die maker. When his employer relocated to Glasgow, Dan opted to move to Chicago, where he found a job as a tool and die designer, then progressed into machine design.

Recognizing the value of a degree and encouraged by a friend from Marquette, he enrolled at the age of 26. “My friends joke that my Marquette experience was the Americanization of Danny Casey to become Dan Casey, engineer,” he says.

That transformational experience proved extraordinarily fruitful. Three years after graduation, Dan started a company to design packaging machinery. Today, that company — Sterling Engineering Inc. — logs more than $40 million in sales, serves more than 250 customers, has more than 500 employees working nationally and internationally, and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as among the United States’ fastest-growing companies in 2012.  

Engineering ingenuity is only part of Dan’s formula for success. Sterling was one of the earliest companies to offer competitive pay and comprehensive benefits to contract and full‑time employees to attract and retain top talent. Treating employees well has long been among Dan and his company’s guiding principles, as is respect for clients and commitment to quality.

“Marquette has been very important to my success,” says Dan. “The values embedded in Jesuit education gave me a great foundation to grow my career in engineering and grow my business in an ethical manner that served both our clients and employees. That has been very rewarding.”   

Get to Know: Daniel Casey

Hometown:  Dumbarton, Scotland

Favorite quote: “Do not trust a man who never cries.”  Hubert Humphrey

Someone past or present he’d like to have dinner with: Robert Burns

In grade school Dan wanted to be a shipbuilding draughtsman.

Most influential in Dan’s life:  His father, who taught him empathy and common sense.