Voices of Engineering

Aiken Engineering Week Voices of Engineering #UVMSTEM


UVM Aiken Engineering Week that showcases a diversity of voices in engineering with daily posts that highlight local and global engineers that have made a significant impact on our community


Hedy Lamarr

Story: Hedy Lamar has a great story, not only was she a renowned actress but she was an inventor and was even inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. During World War II, Lamar developed a radio guidance system for torpedoes. This system lived on to have quite a fruitful legacy. This same spread-spectrum technique was later used to create early versions of Wi-Fi and is incorporated into Bluetooth technology. So next time you browse the internet wirelessly or listen to music on your wireless headphones you can thank Hedy Lamar!

Ursula Burns

Story: Ursula Burns is a mechanical engineer but also a powerhouse in technology and business. She has held positions as CEO of VEON, CEO of Xerox and serves on the board of directors for Uber. Burns was one of the first black women to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and the first woman to succeed another as head of a Fortune 500 company. Not only is Burns a tech leader but she also dedicates her time to help others find pathways into STEM. In 2009, President Obama appointed her to help lead the White House National STEM program.

Claude Shannon

Story: Some people call Claude Shannon the father of information theory. He was an American mathematician, electronic engineer, geneticist, and expert tinkerer. Shannon invented the framework for packaging and transmitting electronic data and invented a clever way of testing circuit designs mathematically. These inventions are very important and used daily to better design and understand computer hardware and software, telephone networks, and other complex systems. Shannon was known to be quite the trickster and was remembered as riding the hallways of Bell Laboratories on a unicycle while juggling!

Sylvia Acevedo

Story: Sylvia Acevedo is a world famous engineer, businesswoman, and executive. But one of her most amazing contributions to STEM has been through her role as CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. Forbes magazine named her one of the “America’s Top 50 Women In Tech.” She trained as an industrial and systems engineer and worked at NASA and was involved in Voyager 2’s flyby of Jupiter! As CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA she has introduced many great STEM initiatives, including a series of new badges in robotics, coding, engineering, and cybersecurity.

Ellen Ochoa

Story: Ellen Ochoa is an engineer, a veteran astronaut, and the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC).  Ochoa served as a research engineer at Ames Research Center and later she became JSC’s first Hispanic director, and its second female director. Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space in 1993. This legacy continued and she went to space four more times logging nearly 1,000 hours in orbit!

Nikola Tesla

Story: Nikola Tesla is one of the most well-known inventors of all time. He is a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and tinkerer extraordinaire. His inventions are known to be a bit before their time. Tesla invented many wonderful things, including the radio, the Tesla Coil, rotating magnetic field, and the AC Motor. These inventions lead to huge advances in electricity, energy and many other fields of engineering. In total, Tesla held about 300 patents to his name!