CEAS Alum and Biomet Founder Dane A. Miller Passes Away at Age 69

Dane A. Miller, UC Engineering alum and one of four founders of Indiana-based medical device manufacturer Biomet, Inc., passed away on February 10, 2015 at age 69.

Dane Miller

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of one of our most revered alums, Dr. Dane A. Miller. Dane was a truly impressive individual who was a well-respected, selfless leader in both the industry and the community. He will be remembered as a talented innovationist and brilliant engineer with a passion for engineering and education,” says UC College of Engineering and Applied Dean Teik C. Lim.

Dr. Miller was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio on February 7, 1946. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise; his two daughters, Kimberly VanSessen and Stephany Mullen; four grandchildren; two brothers, Grant and Neal Miller; and one sister, Julia Kussmaul.

Dr. Miller received his BS in Mechanical Materials Science Engineering from General Motors Institute in 1969. He then earned his Masters and PhD in Material Science-Biomedical Engineering from UC CEAS in 1971 and 1974, respectively. Dr. Miller co-founded Biomet, Inc. in 1977, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from its inception until March 2006, when he retired. He continued to serve on the Board of Directors of Biomet thereafter.

"Dane Miller was a true pioneer both in regard to the development of new technologies and in the management and development of Biomet's unique work environment and culture," wrote current Biomet President and CEO Jeff Binder. "Under his leadership, Biomet grew from a company with $17,000 in revenues in 1978, our first full year of operation, to one with greater than $2 billion in sales in 2006.

Dr. Miller had garnered a wide range of accomplishments including being named Entrepreneur of the Year (1989), being awarded the Small Business Administration National Entrepreneurial Success Award by President George Bush (1991), creating several new joint replacement systems, and servicing over one million patients annually.  

As a distinguished member of the UC-CEAS College Advisory Council, Dr. Miller had always shown a deep appreciation and strong support for the college. The Miller Laboratory (Engineering Research Center 881) and the Dane A. and Mary Louise Miller Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering are both dedicated through the generosity of Dr. Miller and his wife.

Dr. and Mrs. Miller also established the Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller Foundation in order to provide financial assistance to various charitable organizations, in addition to educational scholarships.

UC CEAS Dean Lim reflects, “Dane’s profound contributions to the biomedical field are unquestioned and reflected in his outstanding reputation and numerous awards and honors. His legacy will live on through his work and his generous donations to the University and the community. Dane was a kind-hearted man, a dedicated mentor, and a natural born leader—he will be deeply missed by all the people whose lives he touched.”