Susan Story, ’81 industrial engineering and president and CEO of American Water Works, and Walt Woltosz, ’69 aerospace engineering and founder of Words+ and Simulations Plus, were speakers this year during the spring and fall graduation ceremonies, respectively.
Story has served as CEO of American Water Works – the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company – since 2014. She spent 31 years at Southern Company, where she served as CEO of Southern Company Services and president and CEO of Gulf Power Company. She serves as the independent lead director for Raymond James Financial and is on the Dominion Energy board of directors. She also serves on the Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Advisors.
Woltosz managed the development of innovative simulation and modeling software for key space and military systems early in his career. Since 1981, Words+, Inc., – a firm he and his wife, Ginger, founded – has been a leader in creating state-of-the-art products that “unlock the person” by providing the highest quality communication and computer access tools available – products that have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute. When world-renowned astrophysicist Sir Stephen Hawking’s ability to communicate was compromised by ALS, it was Woltosz’s Equalizer and EZ Keys programs that allowed Hawking to communicate his groundbreaking work. In 1996, Woltosz founded Simulations Plus and turned his inventor’s eye to developing simulation and modeling software for drug discovery and development. Today, Simulations Plus products are used by more than 200 pharmaceutical firms, including the world’s top 25, helping to analyze new products and saving millions of dollars in research and development costs.