Gillespie started his career in 1966 as a staff engineer with the Bendix Corporation, which later was acquired by Honeywell. He retired in 2006 as the Quality Assurance Manager of Honeywell’s Kansas City facility.
Gillespie is one of the world’s foremost experts on burrs – the jagged edges that form when materials are drilled or grinded. They can lead to a host of manufacturing problems including material fatigue, failure and explosions. His early research on burr formation and deburring literally created the field of deburring technology and added the first formal understanding of this complex problem. He’s published 24 books and written more than 200 articles on burr technology – more research on the topic than any other person in the world.
He’s also provided valuable guidance to KU, serving on the Department of Mechanical Engineering advisory board for nearly 30 years. His dedication over the years earned him the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. He has five adult children and 14 grandchildren. He married Karen Thomas Trevis in October 2011. They live in Derby, Kan.