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Four-star general to speak about the Air Force Materiel Command

Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles will speak about the mission of the Air Force Materiel Command and the Command's support to the Iraqi war at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in the lecture hall of Thomas and Brown Hall, Room 104, at New Mexico State University.

Gen. Lester L. Lyles, a 1969 NMSU alumnus, will speak about the mission of the Air Force Materiel Command and the Command support to the Iraqi war at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Thomas and Brown lecture hall, Room 104, at New Mexico State University. (Courtesy photo)

Lyles, a four-star general, will also receive an honorary doctorate during a commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. the same day in the Pan American Center.

A 1969 graduate of NMSU, Lyles oversees the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which conducts research, development, test and evaluation, and provides acquisition management services and logistics support to support Air Force weapons systems.

"He brings a lot of experience and will speak from a position of immense importance," said Gary Geyer, an adjunct instructor for the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NMSU.

The event is part of the NMSU/General Dynamics Distinguished Speaker Program, a program that is designed to increase NMSU's participation in government and civil space programs and to let engineering students learn of opportunities in the field of space systems engineering. The program has been in place since 2001.

Lyles entered the Air Force in 1968 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at Howard University. He served as avionics division chief in the F-16 Systems Programming Office in Wright-Patterson AFB at Ohio, as vice commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB in Utah and as the commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB in California.

Lyles was named the 2003 Black Engineer of the Year for Lifetime Achievement by the Council of Engineering Deans. The industrial-academic consortium said it chose Lyles because of his career progression and contributions he has made at each level. He received his award Feb. 15 in Baltimore from the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Lockheed Martin Corp., Daimler Chrysler Corp. and the U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

Lyles received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1968 from Howard University and a master's degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering in 1969 from New Mexico State University under the Air Force Institute of Technology's graduate program.

He attended the Defense Systems Management College in Fort Belvoir, Va., the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., and the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s.