Member Grade: Member
As a valued IEEE member since 2009, Robert Heider brings extensive industry expertise to the engineering field based on his over 50 years of experience as a process control engineer with emphasis on the design of advanced process controls and process development with such organizations as Monsanto, Emerson, and Confluence Solar. But he’ll also be opening new doors for both future engineers and industry advancements since naming the IEEE Foundation as the sole beneficiary of his trust — a generous gift to be distributed over a 10-year period through which Heider will support the awarding of scholarships to worthy undergraduate electrical engineering students attending ABET-accredited institutions in the U.S.
“I believe in upward mobility for young people and think that engineering is a path for this,” shared Heider, a former professor at Washington University in St. Louis who enjoys operating amateur radios in his spare time. “There are many young people who have the drive and curiosity to complete an engineering degree and be good engineers, but perhaps lack the advantage of a good primary education or the right home life to develop and motivate them. It’s important for us to develop future engineers, in particular EE,” he said, “and I want to see young people succeed.”
A longtime philanthropist, Heider currently supports two scholarships, one at Washington University, and the second for the joint Washington University, University of Missouri – St. Louis joint engineering program, has previously donated to IEEE Foundation programs designed to get teens interested in engineering, and now takes great pride in gifting 100% of the residuary from his trust to the IEEE Foundation.
“I want to make sure that my estate goes directly to students in need,” said Heider, whose confidence in partnering with IEEE is based on his own personal experience with the organization as well as its positive rating on Charity Navigator. “If I donate it to an academic institution, it continues to build their endowment, and in many cases those funds are too large and not accessible to students who could truly benefit from them.”
Ultimately, said Heider, a new member of the Goldsmith Legacy League, IEEE’s elite legacy giving recognition group, “I trust the IEEE Foundation to ensure that what I leave goes to scholarships for deserving students.”