WPI has established the Paul R. Beswick Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship through the generosity of successful entrepreneur Paul R. Beswick, Class of 1957, and his wife, Siang Kiang (S.K.). Beswick. The professorship will enable the university to recognize a world-class scholar and educator.
WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) today announced the establishment of the Paul R. Beswick Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an endowed professorship created through the generosity of successful entrepreneur Paul R. Beswick, Class of 1957, and his wife, Siang Kiang (S.K.). Beswick. The professorship will enable the university to recognize a world-class scholar and educator for its Department of Management and Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
"This new professorship will play a pivotal role in the university's quest to more fully embrace entrepreneurship as part of its mission," said WPI President Dennis D. Berkey. "WPI has a long and distinguished history of fostering creativity and innovation, and many of our students and alumni already engage in entrepreneurial activities. We want to make sure they have the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. Just as important, we want to instill in all of our students the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that is so important in our modern, technology-driven world. We are deeply grateful to the Beswicks for helping to make this possible."
After receiving a B.S. in mechanical engineering from WPI, Paul Beswick worked for several years in the aerospace industry. As an engineer at ITEK in Lexington, Mass., he helped develop ultra-top-secret surveillance cameras for satellites just as the Cuban missile crisis highlighted the need for such reconnaissance systems. "That's when I fully realized my innovative and creative talents," he says.
He left ITEK in 1963 to found Beswick Engineering Inc., a small engineering consulting firm in Beverly, Mass. His experience as a consultant led him to identify a need for miniature pneumatic devices, such as regulating valves and fittings. He decided to try to meet that need, and his company became the first to make miniature fluid-power products with O-rings for the static seals. Over the years, Beswick has developed more than 50 products based on proprietary designs and earned more than a dozen patents.
At the same time, his company has grown to serve more than 1,000 high- and medium-tech customers worldwide in industries as diverse as aerospace, biotechnology, bomb detection, computer chip manufacturing, fuel cells, medical electronics, and robotics. It has also employed a number of WPI gradates (the current staff of nearly 50 includes five alumni). Today, Beswick Engineering, now headquartered in Greenland, N.H., with a branch office in Singapore, is recognized as a leader in the miniature fluid power industry. The company received Product Design & Development magazine's Engineering Silver Award and was a runner up in Design News magazine's Golden Mousetrap Awards for its PRD2 pressure regulator.
In 2003, Beswick's entrepreneurial accomplishments were recognized during a meeting of the Northern New England Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). His generosity to his alma mater was recognized in 2006, when he and S.K. were the honored guests at the annual recognition dinner for the Presidential Founders, a society of donors whose lifetime giving to WPI equals or exceeds John Boynton's founding gift of $100,000.
Beswick is as a trustee and member of the executive committee of Berwick Academy, an independent school in South Berwick, Maine. Since 1997, he has been a member of the advisory board for WPI's entrepreneurial programs, now called the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). Beswick has also served as a guest entrepreneur for a number of CEI programs.
The Collaborative, a university-wide center for entrepreneurship and innovation activity, was established to capitalize upon the synergy between WPI's many entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives and extend the benefits to a larger community. Its serves WPI students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the external business community, through a wide range of programs that nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation on WPI's campus and accelerate knowledge and action in the transfer of technology.
Current programs include undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, the WPI Dinner with Entrepreneurs Series, the CEI@WPI ALL-OUT Business Plan Challenge, the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards, the Strage Innovation Awards, the Kalenian Award for Technology Commercialization, the WPI Venture Forum, and many programs and workshops. It is also the sponsor of a new student-created organization, Genius! In 2005, WPI placed among the nation’s top 10 entrepreneurship programs in a ranking by Entrepreneur.com.