Hill named 2011 mechanical engineering technology distinguished alumnus

James Hill, Vice President for Strategic Solutions, The Hill Group

  • BS ’95, Purdue University
  • MBA ‘03, Purdue University

Whether it was learning from his grandfather’s life and business examples or “being born into a family of Boilermakers,” James Hill has benefitted from the influence of those closest to him. Hill joined the family business, The Hill Group, as a project engineer after earning his bachelor’s degree. In 2003, he earned his MBA, moving him up to senior project engineer. Two years later, he assumed his current position: vice president for strategic solutions. The company takes pride in its ability to introduce useful technological innovations into its standard operating procedures. It was the first in Chicago to introduce automated machinery in its shops and the first to use computer aided drafting as a normal part of its processes. Most recently, Hill has been utilizing building information modeling to provide safer environments, increase production, and ensure better quality installations. As an early proponent of energy efficient mechanical systems, Hill has helped customers understand the value of systems over the life of a building compared to simple upfront costs. Hill regularly returns to the College of Technology with other team members to share their knowledge and experiences during guest lectures in the departments of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Building Construction Management. He is a member of the Hebron Academy board of trustees and is on the career development committee for the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is an avid fan of Purdue and Chicago sports as well as golfing and hunting. Hill and his fiancé, Lisa Panzeca, reside in Chicago, Ill.