Co-founder of Google Earth to speak at Pittsburg State

Brian McClendon, co-founder of the startup which became Google Earth who famously made his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, the center point of the Google Earth Globe, will share his experiences and expertise Friday with students in Pittsburg State’s Engineering Technology program.

Brian McClendon, former Google Vice President of Engineering, will present an open lecture on engineering and the importance of STEAM education at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at Pittsburg State.


He’ll present his special lecture to campus and the community at 10 a.m. in the Overman Student Center.


McClendon, a former vice president of engineering at Google, built the teams and programs behind Google Earth, Google Maps, Streetview, and Ground Truth, which revolutionized both mapping and the application of satellite and aerial imagery. He developed a world-class mapping program for Uber, enabling it to operate and compete more efficiently in the here and now, while simultaneously preparing for the coming dawn of autonomous driving.


McClendon is now a University of Kansas Research Professor.


Greg Murray, chair of Pittsburg State’s Engineering Technology department, noted that students in his program are taught to think around problems to find solutions that aren’t readily apparent — one of the reasons the program’s graduates enjoy a nearly 100 percent placement rate. It made sense for them to learn about innovative thinking from the man who developed the technology that is ushering in the age of autonomous driving.


McClendon’s lecture will focus on technology, digital mapping, entrepreneurship, innovation and the value of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) learning in today’s world.


“We’re excited to have someone with Brian’s technical and business experience on our campus,” Murray said. “Entrepreneurship can be a scary topic for some people because it can seem almost overwhelming. Hearing directly from an entrepreneur who’s been a part of one of the largest companies in the world helps ease your fears. We’re excited to have him speak with our students.”