Degree: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
College/School: College of Engineering & Computing
Lisa Richardson started working straight out of high school running blueprints for an electronics company. She rose to electromechanical designer, working on CAD software.
The mother of four opted to stay at home after having her third child. But she never stopped learning. Lisa taught herself programming and web development, and when her youngest child started elementary school, she went to Miami Dade College and earned her associate degree in computer engineering.
Upon graduation, Lisa transferred to FIU and began working at FIU’s High Performance Database Research Center under Professor Naphtali Rishe. They were collaborating with a startup called Altametry, producers of SmartBalloon products for aerial imagery and data collection for businesses and government. She helped the company capture images of construction projects at FIU and also the entire city of Sweetwater so they would have low-altitude imagery. This information could help city officials identify potential hazards during hurricanes.
The research project turned into a job with Altametry. At times, Lisa felt like giving up because it was hard going to school and raising four kids, but she remembered how she would tell her oldest who was pursuing a Ph.D. to stick with it. She realized she had to set an example. After graduation, Lisa is hoping to get more into programming and continues to write code and build projects on her own. Already with Altametry for five years, she plans to stay with them after graduation and help grow the company.
By Millie Acebal
Senior Account Manager, College of Engineering & Computing