Beyster Fellows in SFO
On behalf of the Beyster Family and Foundation for Enterprise Development, we are pleased to make final postings in the coming months on Dr. Beyster’s blog. We are excited about kicking off April with a tribute to Bob Beyster and SAIC.

On April 3, 2017, the University of Michigan dedicated its newly renovated Nuclear Engineering Laboratory (NEL). Work to renovate the decommissioned Ford Nuclear Reactor facility began in 2015, and was made possible in large part by a $5 million gift by Bob and Betty Beyster. According to Ronald Gilgenbach, chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, “The laboratories in this building will provide the world’s finest university facilities for research in the fields of nuclear measurements for nonproliferation, thermal hydraulics for nuclear reactor safety and advanced radiation detector development.”

The week included the dedication of the NEL and visits by the Beyster family to three engineering buildings. Each of these buildings unveiled displays associated with Dr. Beyster—who earned his BSE, MS, and PhD at the University of Michigan—and SAIC, the company he founded in 1969. The displays include items from Dr. Beyster’s education and career, such as the Underwood typewriter that he used both as a student and many years later in his career, prototype light detectors—digicons—designed by his team which eventually became part of the Hubble Telescope (a digicon is also part of an assembly display at the Smithsonian Museum), and Dr. Beyster’s National Academy of Engineering medal and certificate.

Attending the NEL event and display unveilings were Betty Beyster, Mary Ann Beyster, Jim Beyster, and Lan Beyster. Mindy Pawinski and Bianca Helm worked closely with the University of Michigan School of Engineering on the project, but were unable to attend.

While in Ann Arbor, the group also visited the Henry Ford Museum, and met with Beyster Fellows. An additional meeting with Beyster Fellows took place in San Francisco as pictured in the above photo.

On April 5, 2017, Mary Ann Beyster also participated in a Center for Entrepreneurship conference titled, Women, Entrepreneurship, and Social Change. The conference brought together female trailblazers, pioneers, change makers, and students to showcase the largely untapped and underestimated potential that women have as leaders, entrepreneurs, and a force for social change. Mary Ann screened the trailer for her film, We the Owners, to open her discussion on Employee Ownership being a part of the solution for addressing Income Inequality.

If in Ann Arbor, we encourage you to see the displays and visit University of Michigan’s Nuclear Engineering Lab, the Bob and Betty Beyster Building, and the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering department.

4 Responses to “An April Tribute to Bob Beyster and SAIC”

  1. 1 George Gamota

    This brings back memories when I was at Michigan during the early 80′s and a consultant to SAIC. While in La Jolla, Bob and I discussed a gift to Bob’s alma mater. At that time he felt he could not single out one institution just yet since many would come calling, but he promised me that he has the University of Michigan close to his heart and would do something special. Over the years he has done much and I was proud to be working for another Michigander. GO BLUE

  2. 2 Paul Kouris

    Bob and Betty’s generosity continues to contribute to the advancement of science and the betterment of mankind.

  3. 3 Doug Scott

    Am pleased to see Bob’s legacy continue. He had an incredibly positive impact on science and business with his innovative ideas. He was an unselfish leader who was motivated by his fascination with cutting edge research and technologies and building a truly great company, SAIC. Many thousands of us have been immeasurably benefited from working with him. Thank you Bob! Thank you Betty and MA for continuing his legacy!

  4. 4 Martin Fricke

    Bob first hired me to work for him at General Atomics in San Diego when I was doing a post-doc at U. Mich. Then, after he formed SAI (as it was called then), he rehired me (Employee No. 254). I left SAIC not long before Bob retired.
    I am deeply indebted to Dr. Beyster for his unique management style that continually motivated all of us to be the very best at what we did. That experience has served me well throughout my life.

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