Alumni National Awards

Opus College of Engineering
Award Recipient


Photo of John HartnettJohn R. Hartnett, Eng '82
Arlington Heights, Ill.

John Hartnett may have moved from engineering to business management early in his career, but he still considers the lessons he learned as an engineering student “invaluable.”

The executive vice president of Illinois Tool Works Inc. manages ITW’s global welding segment. In fact, he has held several managerial and executive positions over his impressive 39-year stint at the company.

But as much as John enjoys managing, nothing compares to working with customers to pinpoint their problems and develop an innovative product that makes them more productive and successful — something he first experienced at Marquette.

“The engineering education was excellent, but what really helped me throughout my career were the values that were instilled in me from my Marquette experience,” he says. “The Marquette experience taught me how to lead by requesting and respecting the inputs and contributions of others.”

ITW has created an ongoing collaboration with Marquette, no doubt thanks to John’s connections. The company is involved with research projects at the university, it donated equipment to the school’s welding engineering lab and it continually works with students. “Our business constantly hires Marquette grads because they are humble, hardworking and have great values.” The partnership isn’t just about work, though. ITW has also sponsored Marquette’s Homecoming 5K for the past three years.

Outside of ITW, John serves on the board of directors of HNI Corporation, a manufacturer of office furniture and hearth equipment, and on the board of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a transitional research and rehabilitation hospital in Chicago.

Fun Fact: John met his wife, Barbara (Cole), Nurs ’82, during their sophomore year at Marquette.