The Dean's Award for Engineering Achievement is given this year to Mr. Henry Stone (UB BS Mechanical Engineering 1949). Each year the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences gives this, its highest honor, to a person who has made an exceptional contribution to the practice of engineering or has had an exceptional professional career. Mr. Stone has certainly met these criteria. He has succeeded at a major U.S. corporation, General Electric, and has had extensive impact on our country’s nuclear energy and electrical power programs.
Mr. Stone immigrated to the United States with his parents from Germany in the pre-WWII era. He completed his American high school education at night, while working, and went on to serve as a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the South Pacific during WWII. He then returned to Buffalo and enrolled in what was then called the University of Buffalo under the GI Bill.
About a month before commencement, the university told Mr. Stone that he could not graduate because he did not meet the plane geometry requirement for entry. He had already accepted an offer from GE to work as an entrance level engineer when he received this news. By then, he had completed all required higher-level university math courses with distinction, including advanced geometry. He had to convince administrators that he qualified, having completed high school plane geometry requirements in his native Germany. He began his employment with the General Electric Company in Lynn, MA and moved there immediately after completing his course work here. He failed to attend his graduation due to distance and his work duties. While students and professors knew him during his years at UB Engineering as a fine student, his parents were both surprised and pleased to learn, when they attended his graduation to accept his diploma, that Mr. Stone graduated summa cum laude.
After a stay with GE in Lynn, MA, Mr. Stone was transferred to Schenectady, NY where he first worked a few months on the engineering test program. In 1950, he started permanent employment in the new, GE affiliate Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) in Niskayuna, NY. This pre-eminent organization designed, built and tested nuclear power plants for the U.S. Navy and operated prototype plants and trained Navy personnel. Rising through the ranks, Mr. Stone was appointed KAPL General Manager in 1968.
In 1974, Mr. Stone began work as the Engineering Manager in GE’s San Jose commercial reactor operation. Projects focused on boiling water reactors for U.S. and international electric utilities. During his stay at GE-San Jose, Mr. Stone was elevated to a GE Vice President. He retired from GE in 1987 after an exemplary 38-year career.
Among the famous people Mr. Stone had the pleasure of meeting through GE were Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, U.S. Navy, the “Father of the Nuclear Navy” and Mr. Jack Welch, current Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric.
Mr. Stone received a master’s degree in engineering from Union College in 1955. He is a member of the national engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi, the American Nuclear Society and a member and fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Mr. Stone holds professional engineering licenses in New York and California. He was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in 1981.
Mr. Stone has busied himself professionally after retirement by consulting with various utilities and U.S. Department of Energy facilities. He continues to lend his expertise today to electric power utilities and is working mainly with commercial nuclear power plants.
Through the years, Mr. Stone has remained a loyal alumnus. He has given the School a gift to benefit an engineering student who is a minority student or an immigrant like himself. Of his School, he says, “As part of one of its first graduating classes in engineering, it just makes me feel good to see that UB is growing, and so proud that the engineering school is becoming nationally recognized.”
Mr. Stone resides with his wife of 53-years, Mrs. Joan Stone, in San Jose, CA. They have four children and four grandchildren.
Today, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is proud to recognize its outstanding alumnus Mr. Henry Stone with this year's Dean's Award.