Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Edward F. Staiano
Class of 1958 and 1960
2008 Award Recipient


Congratulations, Edward F. Staiano.

You attended Bucknell University as a member of the Class of 1958, graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree. You continued your studies at Bucknell and completed the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree in 1960. You also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1967 at the University of New Mexico.

Since graduation you have distinguished yourself professionally and have provided noteworthy contributions to Bucknell University and the College of Engineering through service of more than 10 years as a professor at Bucknell University followed by subsequent service on the Board of Trustees, the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association, and in numerous other volunteer roles within the University.

Your career began as a professor in the College of Engineering at Bucknell University in 1960. During your first year you offered a course in FORTRAN programming for students from Bucknell University, Lycoming College, and Susquehanna University. From 1964 through 1973 you served as director of the Freas-Rooke Computer Center. During your tenure at Bucknell, you founded a chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery and oversaw the installation of the Xerox mainframe computer which became the University's primary computing platform for a decade. Ahead of your time, you realized the applications for computers in all parts of Bucknell, and you were largely responsible for the drive to make the Computer Center a facility of university-wide application.

You left Bucknell in 1974 to begin a career with Motorola where you served as executive vice president, president and general manager until 1996. The Washington Post reported that, under your leadership, the cellular division grew to become Motorola's largest business.

In 1996 you joined Iridium LCCC as its director, and from 1997 to 1999 you served as vice chairman of the Board and chief executive officer of Iridium World Communications where you completed the funding to bring Iridium into commercial operation with the deployment of more than 80 satellites placed in orbit with rockets supplied by Russia, China, and the United States. You work in venture capital through The Sorrento Group, a company you founded in 1999. The Sorrento Group has funded 15 companies including a start-up telephone company in Italy.

The length and depth of your commitment to Bucknell has been extraordinary through your many service roles at the University. As a member of the Board of Trustees you have served on the Educational Policy, Finance, University Relations, Greek Affairs, Investment and Long-range Planning committees. In 1999 you received the Achievement in a Chosen Profession award from the Bucknell Alumni Association.

Your accomplishments, service, and dedication to your profession, to society, and to Bucknell University have earned you the respect and gratitude of Bucknell University's engineering alumni.

It is therefore with the highest regard and warmest affection that on October 25, 2008, the Bucknell University College of Engineering and the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association present to Edward F. Staiano, Class of 1958 and 1960, the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award.