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 Black Makers Month: Don Stanford

Don Stanford.

BlackMakerMonth_BadgeMost people take for granted so much of the technology around us. One man who doesn’t is my neighbor and fellow Brown University faculty member Don Stanford. He is the genius that helped transform a small lottery machine builder into the world’s leading lottery machine manufacturer. No small task, considering how much money is transacted through these devices and considering how totally critical it is that they work all the time and maintain very secure transactions. What happens when a machine goes down? Well, GTECH would pay the owner of the machine for all the lost revenue until the machine is fixed! Just think about this for a second. What if Microsoft or ATT paid you every time your computer crashed or a call was dropped. I bet that would cause a transformational reliability improvement in Microsoft or ATT’s products!!

Don’s bio is pretty interesting. I like the fact that he spends a lot of time vacationing in the US Virgin Islands. Definitely a nice reward for being a great engineer!

Donald L. Stanford is a founding member of GTECH and currently serves as its Chief Technology Officer and Technology Fellow.

Don began working for GTECH’s founders in 1979 as Manager of Software Development. Over 30 years, he has held every technical leadership position, including Vice President of Advanced Development and Chief Technology Officer. Stanford guided the growth of GTECH’s technology organization from a software staff of four in 1979 to its current worldwide deployment of over 1000 technology professionals. From 1986 until 1989 Don served on the GTECH Corporation Board. Under Don’s leadership GTECH advanced the state of the art in both transaction processing and wireless communications which enabled it to dominate its industry worldwide and install systems on 6 continents. Stanford earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 1972 and a Master’s in Computer Science/Applied Mathematics in 1977 from Brown University. Don serves on several boards including Times Squared Academy Charter School, Spectra Systems and the Business Innovation Factory. Don is a member of the R.I. Science and Technology Advisory Council.

In 2001 Don was appointed Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brown University and has been teaching undergraduates since 2002. He is also an Adjunct in the School of Engineering and and is an instructor in the Program in Innovation, Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME). He serves on the Brown advisory councils to the President and the School of Engineering.

In 1999 Don received the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement. In 1999 he also received the Honorable Thurgood Marshall award for community service from the NAACP. In 2002 he received the Brown Graduate School’s Distinguished Graduate award and the R.I. Professional Engineer’s award for Community Service.

Kipp Bradford

Kipp Bradford is a technology consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer in Engineering at Brown University, where he teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. Kipp is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Make Magazine.


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