Remembrance of Neil Mizen (May 21, 1932-April 6, 2021)
April 14, 2021
Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words about my father. I would like to share a little bit about his background and how it affected me.
As many of you know my father was an engineer. He was always interested in how things work and how to improve them. He could talk for hours about something as simple or should I say not so simple as an automotive transmission.
He also had an open mind toward new opportunities. He managed apartment buildings, started a construction company, started a steel company, was involved in international trade, and most recently started a micromachining company, Atometrics, to manufacture highly accurate milling machines.
When I was considering career opportunities, I always knew I would be involved in science and technology. As an engineer, my father was quite adamant. He wanted me to enter medicine, but when I got to college, I realized there were opportunities in science outside of medicine. I received a Doctorate in Organic Chemistry from M.I.T.
After graduate school, I started work at 3M developing heat processed color films for computer graphics and medical applications. The product was a great success but unfortunately the business I was working in had no follow-up product and my position was eliminated. I moved on to Creative Memories as Director of Technology and was able to develop a digital business to help the company transition to the new world of digital photography. Creative Memories eventually ran into financial trouble, declaring bankruptcy twice.
I found a position with HID Global, and here’s where the influence of my father comes full circle. The position I applied for was as Principal Advanced Research Engineer. I wasn’t worried since I had a father who was an engineer, so without an engineering degree, I became an engineer responsible for developing new printers for IDs, credit cards and driver licenses. This is where I am now.
Today, I would like to thank my father for helping me develop an interest in science and technology, as well as for the flexibility to approach new opportunities as they became available. I would also like to let him know that despite my best effort to pursue other careers, I did become an engineer.