May 7, 2013
4 to 7 p.m.
Beckman Center
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
4 to 7 p.m.
Beckman Center
100 Academy, Irvine, CA 92617

Pete Balsells
UCI Samueli School of Engineering
Award Recipient

Ted & Janice Smith
UCI Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences
Award Recipients

About Pete Balsells

Pete Balsells was born in Catalonia, Spain, in 1928. He lost his father at a young age and overcame great hardship while growing up during the oppressive Franco regime. When he turned 18, his aunt provided him with a unique opportunity to pursue an engineering education in the United States. He arrived with limited proficiency in English and worked his way through school as a part-time tool and die maker. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. While attending college, he met his future wife, Joan Charlotte Bartheld, one of only two women in the School of Engineering.

Balsells is a prolific inventor and successful businessman who first made his name through the development of the spring-energized seal. This innovation, which combined polytetraflourine (Teflon) with a unique spring to provide a uniform sealing force, was first employed in cryogenic applications on the Atlas Missile program. He holds more than 120 patents worldwide and is founder and chairman of Bal Seal Engineering. Many of his inventions are used in the medical field where their applications prolong and improve the quality of life for people.

A true believer in education, Balsells endowed the Balsells-Generalitat Fellowship program in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering in 1995. Since then, nearly 100 of the most talented young engineers and scientists from Catalonia have come to UCI to pursue graduate studies and conduct research in engineering.


About Ted Smith

Ted Smith has been Chairman and CEO of the MIND Research Institute since 2005. In addition to neuroscience and education research, MIND Research Institute develops markets and supports math instructional software.

Previously he was chairman and CEO, then director of FileNet Corporation, which was acquired by IBM in 2006. Prior to founding FileNet in 1982, Mr. Smith was president and chief executive officer of Basic Four Corporation, a small business computer manufacturer, from 1975 to 1981. During this time, he was also a director of Basic Four's parent corporation, MAI. Before joining Basic Four, he served as executive vice president and a director of Sycor, Inc., the first manufacturer of intelligent terminals.

The Institute of American Entrepreneurs named Mr. Smith Entrepreneur of the Year for Southern California in 1987. He is a former chair of the UC Irvine Foundation and has been chairman of the Chief Executive Roundtable at UCI.

Mr. Smith and his wife, Janice, established the Ted and Janice Smith Family Foundation Dean's Chair at the UCI Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences in 2001. He has chaired the Bren School's Leadership Council and is a member of the UCI School of Education's Leadership Council.

Mr. Smith has a bachelor of science in engineering from the University of Maryland and did graduate work in computer science and business at UCLA. He was cited as engineering alumnus of the year in 1991 by University of Maryland and received the UCI Medal in 2002.


About Janice Frey Smith

A graduate of Kansas State University, Janice Frey Smith taught elementary school and was a flight attendant for Trans World Airlines in her early career.

She was a docent at Bowers Museum for 12 years and won the docent of the year award in 1981. She was on the board of directors of Bowers Museum for 23 years serving as vice chairman and secretary, as well as chair of several committees. She is a former president of Assistance League of Santa Ana, John Wayne Airport Arts Commission, and Crescendo Chapter of the Performing Arts Center.

Mrs. Smith has been on the board of Pacific Symphony for 15 years and served as president of the Pacific Symphony League for four years. She won the Pacific Symphony “Hats Off” award for outstanding leadership in 2002 and again in 2009. She has been a member of the UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts Board of Councilors for many years and co-chaired the dedication celebration for the Claire Trevor Theater. She and her husband, Ted, co-chaired the UCI Medal Awards Dinner in 2000; she won the Medal in 2005.

Mrs. Smith was the winner of the Athena Award for “Woman of the Year” in 1996 and the Red Cross Clara Barton Spectrum award in 1998.