It was a standing ovation for Tina Lewis last week at the annual induction of the UConn School of Engineering’s Academy of Distinguished Engineers and Hall of Fame.
One of seven engineers being inducted last week, Ms. Lewis was one of the first two women to receive degrees from the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering. This year marks the 60th anniversary of her graduation. While introducing Lewis, Associate Dean Dr. Mei Wei, talked of Ms. Lewis’ determination to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering despite a high school teacher’s warning that engineering wasn’t the right field for a young woman. Persistence paid off for her, and she received her degree in 1955.
“We and generations of women engineers who followed her, appreciate her determination,” Wei said.
After graduation, she went to work for United Aircraft in Podunk for two years, where she designed test equipment, consulted with the technicians and made sure that the equipment was being built correctly. She then went to work at Cardinal Control Co., an electrical and electromechanical products manufacturing company. There, she made drawings and helped design relays and Electro-Mechanical safety equipment. She also supervised the office, checked the production line and ordered all the parts with delivery times. After her husband, Blaine Lewis, bought half ownership of the company in 1957, the company was moved to Kensington, and Ms. Lewis designed its new building. She now lives in Glastonbury.
The ceremony was held at UConn’s Alumni House, and kicked off with an a cappella musical performance by the Conn-Men. The other inductees are:
Peter Blume, who graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from UConn in 1989, is the President and founder of Bloomy Controls, Inc., an industry leader in automated test, data acquisition and control systems. Leading the company for more than 22 years, Peter has grown Bloomy from a regional services company to a provider of products and platforms that have helped hundreds of high-tech manufacturers transition products from prototype to production.
Rohan Freeman, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UConn in 1995, is President at Freeman Companies, LLC, a full service engineering and surveying firm in Hartford, CT. His projects are familiar to anyone who has driven around Connecticut, and include major renovations of Weaver High School in Hartford. Rohan, who grew up in Jamaica, has set up a scholarship at UConn to help others pursue and rise up to their own personal challenges.
Bernard (Bernie) Gracy
Bernard (Bernie) Gracy, who graduated from UConn in 1985 is Senior Vice President Global Product at Cimpress, N.V. in Lexington Massachusetts. Before coming to Cimpress March this year, Bernie served as Vice President of Strategy for Pitney Bowes’ Digital Commerce Solutions. There, he was responsible for global growth strategy of Pitney Bowes’ software business, and led the strategy behind Pitney Bowes’ Inlet Digital joint venture
Jerry L. Prince
Jerry L. Prince, who graduated from UConn in 1979, is the William B. Kouwenhoven Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University. Jerry has commercialized several of his inventions, including many with Diagnosoft, Inc., the company he co-founded. The medical community has benefitted greatly from his research.
Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad is a Vice President at Comcast. She has been instrumental in forging partnerships between Comcast and the University of Connecticut. These efforts include the establishment of the Center for Hardware Assurance, Security, and Engineering (also known as CHASE ), and CSI, the Comcast Center of Excellence for Security Innovation. At Comcast, she is responsible for overall governance, technology risk and compliance as it relates to information and infrastructure strategy
Jean T. Scire
Jean T. Scire, a 1984 UConn engineering alum, is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Philips Healthcare. Jean, a member of Women in Technology and Information and the Society of Women Engineers, has a very impressive track record of creating opportunities for women striving for leadership roles in technology. At Philips Healthcare, she is the leader of the IT organization supporting the Healthcare business groups enabling business transformation across 17 markets for 37,000 employees, with an annual revenue of $10 billion.
(Photos by Chris LaRosa/UConn)