Vivian A. Carr

Vivian A. Carr
Death date
IEEE Millenium Medal, IEEE Centennial Medal


Vivian “Fifi” Alling Carr was born in Orange, New Jersey on 22 November 1925, and graduated from Columbia High School, which served South Orange and Maplewood, N.J, in 1943. She lived at 9 William St. in Maplewood, N.J. and was a member of the Sophomore Dramatic Club (soph. year); the Commercial Club (sophomore and junior); the Junior Night Scenery Painting Committee; and the Girls’ Athletic Association (sophomore, junior, and senior.), the school's largest club.

Carr had a long and storied career in the telecommunications industry at Bell Telephone Labs and its successor, American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (AT&T). At Bell Labs she served as Technical Assistant, 1943-1952 and Personnel Recruiter, 1953-1954 at Bell Telephone Labs Inc. (NY). Beginning in 1954, she continued her climb up the corporate ladder at American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (NY), holding a variety of posts, including: Engineering Assistant, 1954-1958; Assistant Engineer, 1958-1966; Government Division Administrative Assistant, 1966-1968; Engineering Associate, 1968-1973; Corporate Planning Division Supervisor, 1974-1976; Rate & Planning Division Supervisor, 1976 -1980; and Planning Division District Manager from 1980 until retirement.

Carr was elected a Member of IEEE in 1966 and an IEEE Senior Member in 1983. She was active the IEEE New York Section as well as IEEE technical societies (IEEE Communications Society, Technology Management Council) and councils. Her IEEE activities include: IEEE New York Section, Chair and Senior Member the IEEE, 1975-1976; IEEE N.Y. Section Chair, 1976; Communications Society Board of Governors, 1977 and 1979; IEEE Engineering Management Society, Finance Chair, 1994 and 1997; 25 Year IEEE Communications Society Member, 1998; IEEE Engineering Management Society, Treasurer, 1998; and Division VI Rep to TAB Finance Advisory Committee 1985 and 1989.

Carr's IEEE awards include: IEEE Region 1 Award – Furthering the Objective of the IEEE, 1974; 1979, IEEE Communications Society Award – Furthering the Objectives of the IEEE, 1979; 1984, IEEE Centennial Medal; 1986 IEEE Region 1 Award for Significant Contributions to the Institute, Section, Region; and 2000, IEEE Millenium Medal.

In 1973, she received a certificate in Engineering Economics from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and in 1981, she received an honorary degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Citation Honoring Vivian Alling Carr read by President Kenneth C. Rogers at the Stevens Institute of Technology Convocation on 2 September 1981 read as follows:

"Vivian Alling Carr. District Manager of the Fundamental Planning Division of the Tariffs and Costs Department of American Telephone and Telegraphy Company.

Talented and versatile, Mrs. Carr has excelled in numerous positions of corporate responsibility with the Bell System, ranging from engineering to cost accounting, planning and management. Her awareness of environmental concerns and her understanding of the effects and implications of machines on people have been important elements in her successful career.

Mrs. Carr's responsibilities at AT&T have demanded diverse skills, which she applied in the Transmission, Government Communications and Switching Divisions, and the Executive, and Tariffs and Costs Departments. Among her assignments have been judging the impact of new technology on the utility's system, business and service as well as analyzing, evaluating and administrating basic tariff policies.

All these accomplishments have been achieved by Mrs. Carr without the formality of a college degree. Her preparation for corporate challenges, however, was assisted by Stevens through the Institute's War Industries Training School, where she studied in 1943, and by Iowa State University, where she participated in more recent years in graduate courses in engineering economics. Yet, Vivian Carr remains essentially self-educated.

Her election as a member and subsequently as a fellow in the Radio Club of America were firsts for a woman, as where her memberships in the Engineers' Club of New York and in the New York Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, for all three of which she has served as chairman or board member. She is an enthusiastic and active member of the Stevens National Development Council for the Technology for Tomorrow program and has participated in our Women in Engineering program as a speaker and fund raiser.

By all measures, Vivian Carr is an accomplished engineer, whom we at Stevens are delighted to honor. I ask you, sir, to confer upon Vivian Alling Carr the baccalaureate degree of MECHANICAL ENGINEER, HONORIS CAUSA."

Carr received the 1982 President’s Award from Club President Fred Link. She received the award for “Unselfish Dedication to the Support of the Radio Club of America.”  At the time, she was a District Manager in the Fundamental Planning Division of the Tariff and Costs Department of AT&T in New York City and “has been active in a number of engineering and executive positions at AT&T, and in organizational activity in engineering organizations.

In 2014, the Radio Club of America (RCA) created the Vivian A. Carr Award and presented it as a tribute to her.  The award was presented “In recognition of substantial contributions made by a woman in wireless communications.”  Carr's forty-year career in the electronic and telecommunications industry has left a legacy and continues as an inspiration for women in technology. RCA created the Vivian Carr award in 2014 to recognize women who have contributed significantly to the wireless industry.

Carr died at the age of 92 at her home in Long Branch, New Jersey on 29 April 2018. She was predeceased by her husband John William Carr in 2002, and by her parents, Pierre Laclare Alling and Katherine Vivian Haskard Alling. Her obituary listed her interests as animal rights, gardening, and bridge, and noted that she was a member of the Long Branch Woman’s Club as well as the Deal Golf and Country Club.

Professional Activities and Awards include:

1966, IEEE member

1972, Member Engineer’s Club of New York

1973, RCA Member (invited by Fred Link to become the Radio Club of America's First Female Member)

1973, Iowa State University – Certificate Special Program in Engineering Economics of Public Utilities

1973-1974, RCA, Finance Chair of U.S. Activities Committee

1974, IEEE Region 1 Award – Furthering the Objective of the IEEE

1974/75, First Female Member and Board of Directors of the New York Engineers Club

1975, RCA Fellow

1975-1976, IEEE New York Section, Chair and Senior Member

1976, RCA Membership Chair, 1976, 1996

1976, IEEE N.Y. Section Chair

1979, IEEE Communications Society Award – Furthering the Objectives of the IEEE

1981, B.S. Mechanical Engineering Honoris Causa – Stevens Institute of Technology

1982, RCA President’s Award (Fred Link) (received again in 1999)

1982, Supported AT&T in U.S. vs AT&T (there was a nice letter of thanks)

1983, IEEE Senior Member

1984, IEEE Centennial Medal

1986-1987, IEEE Engineering Society, President (verify)

1986 IEEE Region 1 Award for Significant Contributions to the Institute, Section, Region & Sociality

1994/1997, IEEE Engineering Management Society, Finance Chair

1998, 25 Year IEEE Communications Society Member

1998, IEEE Engineering Management Society, Treasurer

1999, RCA President's Award

1999, RCA President’s Citation

2000, IEEE Millenium Medal

2011, RCA President

2014, RCA Vivian A. Carr Award (the first time it was awarded)

  • Membership & Transfer Committee 1968/70;
  • Div VI Rep to TAB Finance Advisory Committee 1985/89;
  • Comm Society Board of Governors 1977/79;