ELMHURST, IL – May 20, 2013 – Daniel Casey, Founder of Sterling Engineering, was honored with the 2013 Entrepreneurial Award from Marquette University’s College of Engineering and the Marquette University Alumni Association. The ceremony was held on Friday, April 26, 2013. At this annual event each college recognizes the contributions of its alumni and presents awards to those demonstrating exceptional achievement.

Dan Casey Honored with Entrepreneurial Award from Marquette University

 Casey grew up in Dumbarton, Scotland, where he was trained as a tool and die maker. When his employer relocated to Glasgow, Scotland, Casey moved to Chicago, where he worked as a tool and die designer, and then progressed into machine design. 

Recognizing the value of a degree and encouraged by a friend who was attending Marquette, he enrolled at the age of 26. Years later, Casey reflected on his decision to attend Marquette University saying, “On the final day that admissions were accepted, my friend phoned me from Milwaukee to say that he had checked and saw that I had not applied. I acknowledged that I had not, but wished that I had. He offered to fill out an application in my name and to put up the $10 fee if I promised to pay him back. I agreed. Now I often wonder what direction my life would have taken had my friend not taken that initiative on my behalf. What a wonderful act of generosity that was. He was my mentor and for that I am most grateful. If there is any advice I can offer, I encourage young people to recognize who your mentors are. If you don’t have one or more I suggest you make that a priority.“ 

A few years after graduating from Marquette University in 1966, Casey along with Donald Smith and Steve Kozlowski founded Sterling Engineering. In the early days, Sterling focused on designing high speed packaging machinery. Today, the company provides a full range of engineering services, from technical staffing to project management for companies in the Pharmaceutical, Food, Manufacturing, Transportation, Automation and Energy sectors. Last year, Sterling successfully recruited over 1000 people with a diverse range of skill sets and experience to work directly with more than 250 clients on a direct hire or contract basis. With clients ranging in size from Fortune 500 to start-up companies, in industry sectors from Biotech to Alternative Energy we have strong brand recognition for quality and service in the Midwest. Sterling’s annual revenue has grown to $40 million, with more than 500 employees working on assignments domestically and internationally. Recently, Sterling was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States.

“Sterling differentiated itself by offering a more robust benefit package that attracted top talent and provided a better service to our clients. We not only paid people well, but we also provided a benefits package that included heath insurance, matching 401K and escalating holidays + vacation time based on service. Treating employees well has long been a part of the company’s guiding principles, as well as respect for clients and commitment to quality. This has become more challenging in recent years, particularly in engineering and manufacturing with the push to lower costs and control labor rates but we continue to be committed to this principle as we feel it serves both our employees and our clients best in the long term.” 

Casey noted that the engineering profession has changed over the years and companies are facing challenges to attract a new generation of qualified engineers. “Our greatest difficulty today is finding qualified talent. We presently have over 500 employees and could double that number with the number of opportunities we have, many on an exclusive basis with clients in the Milwaukee and Chicago markets alone. Young, talented people are not choosing Engineering as their # 1 career choice. Many are enrolling in the Arts or pursuing careers in Finance or Law. I think we, as a profession and a society, need to do a better job promoting the value of a career in engineering. Many people here tonight can still play a part through organizations such as FIRST who do a good job of fostering practical hands on experience and they need our support. Of the 21 female CEO’s who run Fortune 500 companies, two-thirds of them have an undergraduate degree in engineering or science – a clear case for the long term value of a STEM education.” 

In closing, Casey thanked the college for the award and also thanked the former and current employees and clients who helped Sterling Engineering grow to the success it is today and receive this distinguished recognition. 

The College of Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony was part of Marquette University’s Alumni Awards that took place on April 25-27, 2013. Each college recognizes the contributions of its alumni and presents awards to those demonstrating exceptional achievement. Marquette University also presented awards to:

  • Thomas G. Searle, Managing Director at CH2M HILL Canada, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
  • Michael J. Harsh, VP and CTO at GE Healthcare, Professional Achievement Award
  • Lawrence V. Jacques, EVP at Sargent & Lundy, Service Award
  • Katherine Litkowiec Medalle, Program Manager at Northrup Gruman, Young Alumna of the Year award.

For more information about the Marquette University Alumni Awards, please visit: http://www.marquette.edu/alumni/awards/

For more information about Dan Casey’s award, please visit: http://www.marquette.edu/alumni/awards-2013/recipients_engineering.php


About Sterling Engineering
Sterling Engineering provides high-quality engineering recruitment and engineering project services to 250+ clients throughout the Midwest. With offices in the Chicago and Milwaukee regions, Sterling employs over 500 people and generates $40 Million in annual revenue.

We combine an engineering focused consultative approach to help business achieve results. Because of our niche expertise, we bring an unparalleled ability to design workforce solutions that match talent with opportunity by assessing, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients.

Sterling’s recruitment services include providing the full range of technical talent for our clients; contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities. Sterling Engineering’s project services division provides machine design, product design and process design services using a fixed bid or time and materials approach. Our engineering teams are made up of multi-disciplined engineers, designers and detailers. 

At the heart of Sterling are the employees behind us. Sterling is able to attract and retain the best engineering talent by providing interesting work, an unparalleled benefits program and promoting a culture of respect.

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