2009 Alumni Innovator
Russell Strong is the inaugural winner of the Outstanding Alumni Innovator Award, which will be presented at the Innovation Awards held in Moscow on Nov. 6.
In addition, Strong will give a presentation entitled “Mining for Innovation” at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, in the Student Union Building’s Gold Room. The talk will be immediately followed by a reception recognizing innovative faculty, staff and students at 3:00 p.m. in the Appaloosa Lounge.
Strong graduated from the University of Idaho in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural and mechanical engineering. He since has worked as head of New Holland's Research and Development for combines, created the worldwide styling for the merged Ford, New Holland and FIAT tractor lines, and started his own company, Integrated Vision, Inc. Currently, he is revolutionizing the world of the military foot soldier by developing a 3,000 pound carrier of a 2,000 pound payload that provides new opportunities and agility in military applications.
"I don't have the technical training of an industrial design school, but I have the hands-on mentoring from people who are very good in that field, and also hands-on work in shops. One of the benefits of the University of Idaho was that I worked in their engineering shop in the summer. It gave me a lot of hands-on experience in what you can make happen with your own two hands.
From my background with my classes in Idaho, and the background of my studies, it was great preparation to launch my career and it has given me the tools to spin off into this new direction because I had such a solid foundation."