Exhibition Puts Spotlight on the Cuban Engineer

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CHC Chair María Estorino Dooling, Helena Solo-Gabriele (UM College of Engineering), Pete Martínez (ACE), Delfín Molins (CAACE), Victor Pujals (President of CAACE), Dean Amir Mirmiran (FIU College of Engineering and Computing), Amigos Chair Aldo Leiva.

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

It’s all about innovation this summer at the University of Miami Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC), where the exhibition “Honoring the Cuban Engineer” is now on view. The exhibition, organized with the Association of Cuban Engineers (ACE) and the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers (CAACE), highlights works of Cuban engineers that have broken new ground in Cuba and in the United States.

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The exhibition highlights works of Cuban engineers that have broken new ground in Cuba and in the United States.

Featuring historical resources from CHC and materials lent from its partnering organizations, “Honoring the Cuban Engineer” highlights some of the wonders of Cuban engineering, from early water systems such as the 1938 Dam of Charco Mono, to IBM’s first personal computer, which was released in 1981 with the support of fifty Cuban-American engineers.

More than one hundred community members attended the exhibition’s June 28 opening reception, where they heard from leading engineering professionals and scholars, including Pete Martínez, incoming president of ACE, Delfin Molins of CAACE, Helena Solo-Gabriele of UM’s College of Engineering, and José Mitrani of FIU’s College of Engineering.

“We’re here to honor the Cuban engineer of yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” said Pete Martínez, from the podium at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. “But we pay special homage to those that made the transition from Cuba to the United States leaving everything except their values, their commitment, and their education.”

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Pete Martínez, María Estorino Dooling, Agustin Recio (UM College of Engineering), Helena Solo-Gabriele, Gonzalo Sanchez (ACE).

CHC Chair Maria R. Estorino noted how fitting it was for the Collection to host an event like this one to honor the Cuban engineer, alluding to Roberto C. Goizueta, the namesake of CHC’s home and the foundation that has provided support for many of the Collection’s initiatives. “Mr. Goizueta is known for his business leadership and acumen as CEO of the Coca-Cola Company from 1981 until his death in 1997, but he began his career in the technical department of the Coca-Cola Company in Cuba as a chemical engineer,” said Estorino.

Support for the event was provided by the Association of Cuban Engineers, Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers, UM’s College of Engineering, FIU’s College of Engineering, and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection. The open bar at the event was provided courtesy of Bacardi. “Honoring the Cuban Engineer” will run through December.

Photos by Andrew Innerarity.

Pete Martínez from the Association of Cuban Engineers

Pete Martínez from the Association of Cuban Engineers.