Benedict Schwegler Jr., Ph.D.,M.ASCE Chief Scientist, Walt Disney Imagineering, Research & Development, Inc.
Dr. Benedict Schwegler is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Research & Development. Ben created and manages the Simulation-based Design Group., The overall goal of this team is to improve Disney's ability to simulate, predict, and manage the project delivery process. His team develops new software tools like 4D Simulation as well as formal information models to enable integration of a wide variety of design, construction, and operational data for all capital facility projects of The Walt Disney Company (especially theme parks and resorts).
In addition to the simulation-based design project, Dr. Schwegler’s group has developed autonomous agent simulations; Integrated Infrastructure models resulting in the most energy efficient theme park and resort design ever built; novel water treatment technologies enabling the first closed-loop control of wastewater treatment plants, and next generation fireworks. He has been involved in nearly all of Walt Disney Imagineering’s construction projects over the past 19 years.
He is the recipient of the 2002 Henry R. Michel Award from the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE), Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation (CEFI), and was awarded the Orange County (California) Engineering Council’s Outstanding Project Management Award for 2001. As well as being an active member of CEFI's Board of Directors, Dr. Schwegler was co-chair of CERF's ad-hoc working group on the integration of Information Technology (IT) into the construction industry, and former National Chairman of CERF's Environmental Technology Evaluation Center (EvTEC). Ben is also a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Technical Divisions Advisory Board and a Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, where he has helped create the first university course on Sustainable Engineering.
He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee, a Master's from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles. In his spare time, Dr. Schwegler is on the Board of Directors of the Long Beach City College Science and Math Associates and volunteers for the Long Beach Polytechnic High School's Grammy Award-winning jazz music program. He stays healthy racing high-performance small sailboats and road bikes.