ECE Florida is pleased to announce that Associate Professor Greg Stitt is the recipient of a Ruth and Joel Spira Excellence in Teaching Award. This honor was first revealed at the IEEE Spring Banquet last month, with Joel & Ruth’s daughter, Dr. Susan Hakkarainen, in attendance.
Ruth and Joel Spira founded Lutron Electronics in 1961, two years after Joel invented the solid state dimmer switch. The Excellence in Teaching award is given to an individual who excels in teaching and inspiring students and has made significant contributions to the field of education. While Joel passed away in 2015, their daughter, Dr. Susan Hakkarainen, is now the Chairman and CEO of the company. The award was presented by Mikko Hakkarainen, Director of Engineering for Lutron.
Joel Spira was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 1994 “For integrating semiconductor technology to lighting products, creating an internationally competitive company, and for continuing work with engineering education.”
From the National Academies Press obituary :
Joel S. Spira, a prodigious innovator who changed the way we illuminate our homes by inventing the first solid state electronic dimmer, and founded and built Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. into a global company selling a wide array of lighting controls, passed away at his home on April 8, 2015, at age 88.
Spira, who was chairman, founder, and director of research, started Lutron in 1961 with his wife Ruth in a spare bedroom of their apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He used his extraordinary talent for tinkering, engineering, and business to transform the small firm into a highly respected worldwide brand.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Stitt for his receipt of this honor.