Boston University Trustee and College of Engineering Leadership Advisory Board Chair Richard D. Reidy (SMG’82), CEO of Progress Software, and his wife Minda G. Reidy (SMG’82, GSM’84), an educator at Andover High School, have established the Reidy Family Career Development Professorship at Boston University.
The professorship will provide a salary, benefits and scholarly research support for a junior faculty member for a three-year term, with the recipient alternating between the College of Engineering and the School of Management.
“BU has always been an entrepreneurial institution, and we think the Career Development program is an innovative idea for getting young and talented faculty the resources they need for advanced scholarship, research and teaching,” said Richard Reidy. “As a result, BU will attract and retain the best faculty in the earlier parts of their careers who ultimately help BU not only by their scholarship and teaching, but also by their ability to attract the best students.”
Illustrating the point is Assistant Professor Douglas Densmore (ECE), who was named the first Reidy Family Career Development Professor during the 2010-2011 academic year.
“The Reidy Professorship validated my decision to come to BU and gave me a jumpstart right off the bat,” said Densmore, who joined the College of Engineering faculty in the fall of 2010 after serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center in Emeryville, California. “It has added a level of visibility to my research and provided funds for research equipment which my lab needs to experimentally verify my synthetic biology computational tools.”
Densmore, who earned a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 2007, has developed widely-used tools for the specification, design and assembly of synthetic biological systems. In addition to his regular teaching responsibilities, he directs a laboratory focused on integrating design automation research, and co-leads a team of students from Boston University and Wellesley College in the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, the premiere undergraduate synthetic biology competition.
Densmore embodies the Reidys’ decades-long dedication to high technology and educational innovation. Since graduating from BU, Richard has advanced business enterprise software—initially as a database systems software developer and architect at Computervision Corporation and Telesis Systems, and more recently as CEO of DataDirect Technologies and Progress Software. Minda developed enterprise software for more than 20 years before becoming a mathematics teacher at Andover High School in 2003, where she started the school’s first robotics club and is teaching an engineering course that she personally developed this fall.
“We both believe that the future of the US, and frankly the world, requires investment in education for the sciences, mathematics and engineering,” said Richard Reidy. “We’ve set a course for contributing in any way we can, at all levels, and this scholarship is part of that endeavor.”