2021 Hall of Fame Inductees Honored for Contributions to Profession and Alma Mater
June 15, 2021 - The Samueli School of Engineering has inducted three engineering alumni into the 2021 Hall of Fame. Interim Dean Michael Green announced and inducted each of this year’s honorees virtually in May.
Ed Hernandez ‘91, Johnny Lincoln ’04 (M.S.), ’07 (Ph.D.) and Ramin Massoumi ‘94 are now part of the group of exceptional engineering graduates who have been recognized for making a significant impact in their profession or for bringing distinction to engineering and their alma mater. Fifty-five people have now been named to the engineering alumni Hall of Fame since it was established in 2015 to coincide with UC Irvine’s 50th anniversary.
Green called each honoree via video conference to congratulate them and present them with the award. Although it wasn’t the traditional in-person big-event celebration as in years past, the personal one-on-one virtual exchange provided each honoree the opportunity to express their excitement and appreciation for the acknowledgement of their work. It also allowed recipients to share a few memories of their time as an Anteater and offer insights on their relationship with their alma mater and profession.
“I was proud to induct each of these engineers into the school’s alumni Hall of Fame,” said Green. “Each is deserving of this honor as they are all contributing to making the world better in some way. Ed is educating the next generation of STEM learners, Johnny is developing sustainable materials, and Ramin is improving our transportation and agriculture operations. And they are all giving back to their alma mater.”
B.S. 1991 – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hernandez is a first-generation college graduate who is using his experiences to help a new generation of college hopefuls achieve their goals. He spent 13 years in the semiconductor industry before becoming an educator. As an engineering teacher and director of the Tustin High School T-Tech Academy of Technology & Engineering, Hernandez inspires engineering students who attend amazing schools each year – including UCI.
According to Grant Litfin, assistant superintendent of the Tustin Unified School District, “Ed not only has used his electrical engineering and computer science degree from UCI to contribute professionally to the field, but he has also taken direct action to impact engineering and the world in the strongest way possible. He teaches and motivates students to be engineers on a grand scale. He has undoubtedly made a ripple-effect that has changed hundreds of lives for the better.”
In the 16 years since becoming a teacher, Hernandez has been recognized with numerous awards, including Tustin High School's Teacher of the Year, Orange County's Engineering Teacher of the Year, OC Parenting Magazine's High School Teacher of the Year and California's Career Technical Education Teacher of the Year.
M.S. 2004 – Engineering, Ph.D. 2007 – Materials Science and Engineering
Lincoln is founder, president and CEO of Axiom Materials, Inc., an aerospace materials business known for its specialization in advanced composites.
Lincoln is a hands-on leader who specializes in building and developing organizations and engineering processes. He founded Axiom Materials in 2009 and under his leadership it grew quickly. Ten years later, he sold the company to Kordsa for $181 million, merging leading international businesses in advanced materials.
Through his Lincoln Dynamic Foundation, he made a generous gift to the Samueli School to establish the World Institute for Sustainable Development of Materials. Called WISDOM, the institute will guide development and adoption of sustainable materials through interdisciplinary collaboration with professionals in the fields of business, chemistry, materials engineering and public health.
“Johnny Lincoln’s commitment to a better world is refreshing and inspiring, especially during these challenging social and economic times,” said Julie Schoenung, professor and chair of the UCI Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “We are very excited about this opportunity to work with Johnny in this effort to leverage UCI’s leadership in providing data-driven guidance to push the frontiers of sustainable development of materials.”
When asked about a favorite professor, Lincoln recalled the consistent support he received from his adviser Jim Earthman, professor of materials science and engineering. “He told me what I needed to know and made me work for what I wanted to know. If I was struggling, he calmed, encouraged and protected me. It built a lot of trust. It’s an approach I use as a mentor today with colleagues. I’m very grateful for his wonderful guidance.”
B.S. 1994 – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massoumi is senior vice president and general manager for transportation systems at Iteris, a world leader in applied informatics that turns big data into smart insights for transportation and agriculture.
He began his career as a transportation engineer and has advised local, regional and state governments around the country about ways to improve mobility across all modes of transportation. He had early involvement in UCI’s Institute of Transportation Studies and is a member of the UC-wide Institute of Transportation Studies Board of Advisors. For many years, he has been an industry lecturer and mentor at UCI, and he sits on the school’s Engineering Leadership Council.
Massoumi is a steadfast advocate of UCI to elected state and federal legislative leaders. “Ramin has taken time to travel to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to promote policy positions and gain support of resources beneficial to the campus community,” said P. Alberto Sandoval, senior director of UCI Community and Government Relations. “His letters to legislators remind them of UCI’s economic and public impact in Orange County.”
“It’s a true honor to be recognized by an organization that has such a large impact on the county, state and the nation,” said Massoumi. When asked about his favorite memory of being at the university, he said, “Well, I have to say that my fondest memory is meeting my future spouse!”
The 2021 Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated in person once on-campus events resume.
– Lori Brandt