2012 Hall of Fame
Phillip S. Monteith
Monteith is a native of Jamaica where he graduated from Calabar High School in Kingston in 1956. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Monteith listened to a church program broadcast on Jamaican radio from Fort Wayne, Ind., of all places. After graduating from high school, he began working for the survey department in Kingston.
One day, Monteith came across an advertisement for an engineering program at a college in Fort Wayne. Through his familiarity with the city via the church radio broadcast, he decided to make arrangements to continue his education at this small college known as Indiana Institute of Technology in the year 1959.
His days at Tech were full of many memorable experiences, including putting on a concert of Jamaican songs at the downtown YMCA in which he sang many Harry Belafonte tunes. He also worked at a downtown hotel that is no longer in operation. The Hotel Keenan stood 13 stories tall on the southwest corner of Harrison Street and Washington Boulevard and was one of the largest buildings in Fort Wayne. His job at the hotel was Monteith’s main means of support for attending classes. Another highlight from his days at Tech was helping other students as a tutor in chemical engineering.
Monteith sings the praises of Indiana Tech and its professors for being so real-world oriented. Having many opportunities to actually put the theories being taught into practice greatly enhanced his educational experience. He said that he is forever thankful for what Indiana Tech afforded him in his life and would like to see the university continue to grow.
After graduating from Indiana Tech in 1962, Monteith moved to Lancaster, Penn., where he began his career as an engineering trainee at RCA. There he used electron ballistics to improve the performance of image orthicons and vidicons for use in early video cameras. After his time at RCA, Monteith worked for more than seven years at Remington Shaver as a product development engineer designing and developing electric shavers, hair dryers, and food appliances. He then spent the next two years at Ford Motor Co. as a product development engineer. At Ford his responsibilities included determining the viability of pre-production vehicles based on emission and fuel mileage prior. Monteith finished out the first phase of his working career serving 23 years as principal engineer for EG & G Rotron, where he developed power electronic drives and brushless D.C. motors. In fact, Monteith was recognized for establishing the brushless D.C. motor product line for EG & G Rotron.
Monteith’s second “career” stems from back in 1963 when he was working at RCA. A friend and co-worker took him to New York for his first drag race. One experience was all it took for Monteith to become hooked on racing. Soon after this first race as a spectator, he moved from fan to driver, racing competitively from 1963 to 1996 in the Super Stock division of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He won the Long Island Super Stock National in 1969 and the York US 30 Raceway Super Stock National in 1971. Monteith loves the challenge of racing, and he likes the fact that his hobby is separate from his career in electrical engineering. He does, however, use many mechanical engineering skills to make adjustments to his car.
Longtime family friend Peter Biondo took over the driving duties in 1996 while Monteith continues as crew chief, chief mechanic, vehicle transporter, and partner in Biondo Racing. Both Monteith and his driver are well-known in the drag racing community, and Biondo credits the success in racing to Monteith’s skills and passion. Biondo and Monteith have won four Super Stock national championships together.
During racing season, Monteith’s car runs about 20 races from February through November. His favorite place to race is at the track in Indianapolis.
Monteith is truly an accomplished engineer and an outstanding national drag racing champion. Indiana Tech and the Warrior community are privileged to have Phillip Monteith as a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame.