Robert Ballard is an oceanographer who found the Titanic. (Photo by Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Exactly 106 years from the day the Titanic set sail, the man who found its wreckage will visit Missouri State University. The Sprinfield News Leader reports Robert Ballard will serve as the Public Affairs Conference opening keynote speaker at 7:30 tonight at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Ballard has tracked down many significant shipwrecks. The list includes the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. He discovered the Titanic in 1985.

Ballard – who’s appeared in several National Geographic TV programs – has a doctorate of philosophy in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.

Tonight’s event in Springfield is free and open to the public.