IEEE-USA in Action

Spotlight On: 2010 IEEE-USA President Evelyn Hirt

By Georgia Stelluto

Q: Tell us a little about you and your family, Evelyn.
A: I was born and raised in the inner city of Detroit as the youngest of five children.  I was the only one in my family to go to college and one of only a very few females to graduate with an engineering degree from my university by the mid-70s.  Driven by the economy and the fluctuating job market; I’ve lived in a variety of locations across the U.S.  I have two grown children who work as a high school history teacher and an electrical engineer.  My three grandchildren range in age from 12 to 3.

Q: What is your greatest hope for your year as IEEE-USA President in 2010?
A:  That I will have advanced the viability and recognition of the contributions of the profession in general and specifically engineers and computer professionals.

Q: What misconceptions do you think people have about engineers?
A: That we are technical all the time and have limited to no social skills.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A:  Making a difference so that the world is better when I’ve left then when I arrived.

Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: That I’ll never find the time to follow up on an idea I have for some systems engineering research.

Q: What living person do you admire most, and why?
A: One of the semi-retired engineers at work who has been a practicing engineer for over 60 years and was instrumental in enabling ultrasound technology to move from a scientific curiosity to a key tool for ensuring product quality and safety in industrial products and as an every-day medical diagnostic tool.  My admiration stems from the fact that he achieved his great success with only a bachelors degree in electrical engineering while nurturing a strong family life; raising wonderful and successful children, and staying grounded in the realities and joys of everyday life.


Q:  Tell us about your favorite hobbies or pastimes.
A: My favorite hobby is breeding and showing Basenji dogs in Canada and the U.S.  Unfortunately, this has been on hold the last few years due to my IEEE duties.

I have however been able to find time to due some genealogy research that has help me better understand the transitions my family name has experienced over the years.

Q: What is your favorite journey?
A: Learning across a diverse range of subjects.

Q: What is your most distinctive characteristic?
A: I’m frequently told that I excel at “connecting the dots”.

Q: Share your motto with us, Evelyn.
A: Living well is the best revenge.

Georgia C. Stelluto is Editor-in-Chief of IEEE-USA IN ACTION; IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager’ the program manager for IEEE-USA E-Books; and the Staff Manager for IEEE-USA’s Communications Committee and the IEEE-USA E-Books Editorial Board.  She can be contacted at


Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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