Eddy Hartenstein addressed several topics in a wide-ranging interview with the university’s Public Affairs office. Among them:
What do you remember about your time on campus?
It was a commuter campus back then, but even then it was hugely multicultural. It opened everyone’s eyes that engineering is a universal language that transcended geopolitical borders, because we had a huge number of foreign students. It was a great exposure to different cultures.
What about the presence of women in engineering when you were a student?
That has really changed generationally. In aerospace engineering I think there was maybe one woman that I knew of. It was a rarity.
President Ortiz has announced that he’s going to retire at the end of the calendar year. What advice would you offer the incoming president if he or she sought your opinion about how to hit the ground running?
Before you throw your hat in the ring, make sure you really understand what makes Cal Poly Pomona work, and learn why it has the reputation it has. Once you do get the job, treat it as a privilege and understand its heritage. Understand where it’s been and what it’s evolved to today. Give the faculty and the support organizations the tools, equipment and resources that they need. That’s your job.
What advice would you impart to the new graduates?
Realize that as good as everything is and was at Cal Poly Pomona, the most important thing you can do when you step into the work environment in your first day on the new job is do about 80 percent listening and 20 percent talking. Just as the performer will always admonish other performers or cast members, know your audience.
Eddy Hartenstein has earned many accolades over his career. Among them:
* Induction in the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering Hall of Fame
* Induction in the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame
* Induction in the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame
* Induction in the Society of Satellite Professionals International Hall of Fame
* A lifetime achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
* Three Emmys for DirecTV’s contributions to digital broadcast satellite technology
* Induction in the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor an engineer can receive