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.