January 21, 2022

What the Technion Gave Us: A Chance to Return the Favor

Mauro Wjuniski knows firsthand what a Technion education can do. He was a kibbutznik with no income when he decided to study at the university. He was accepted into the Technion, landed a scholarship, and graduated in 1975 with a degree in electrical engineering.

“Today, I am an investor in high-tech companies in Israel and the U.S., and I started from zero,” said Mauro, explaining why he is passionate about supporting his alma mater.

The 71-year-old lives in Aventura, Fla., where his wife Raquel’s watercolors adorn the walls of their home. The couple funds Technion student fellowships and First Steps, a faculty recruitment program. Their desire to give back extends beyond financial support: Mr. Wjuniski chairs the American Technion Society (ATS) Miami Leadership Council and is a member of the Technion Board of Governors and the ATS National Board of Directors. Mrs. Wjuniski, a retired nurse as well as an artist, hosts ATS meetings at their home. They have participated in several ATS trips to the Technion presences in Haifa, China, and New York.

“Alumni know that the Technion diploma is the best in the world,” he said. “I think we have to give back what the Technion gave to us.”
Mr. Wjuniski was raised in Brazil, the son of a salesman and a secretary. His parents were Zionists, so he always longed to see Israel. The Technion, he said, changed his life.

“In the technological field, you have to keep learning and be up-to-date at all times. The Technion taught me how to study,” he said. “It gave me the technological basis and capability to learn new things.”

After graduation, Mr. Wjuniski worked for Israel’s Elscint Ltd., which specializes in diagnostic imaging, and helped bring the first CAT scan to Israel. Two years later, he returned to Brazil, where he opened a subsidiary, and eventually became president of Elscint’s Latin American division. He headed two companies in Brazil before moving to the United States in 2004 to start his own company, Alma Lasers North America.

In 2014, prompted by a friend, he attended a Technion event. It sparked an interest he didn’t realize he had — supporting his alma mater. One of the first things he did was sponsor a graduate student’s education, remembering how a scholarship had helped him earn his Technion
undergraduate degree. Soon he was giving financially, attending meetings, and reaching out to other graduates in the Miami area. He was hooked.

The ‘Start-Up Nation’ was inspired by the Technion. Israel’s economy was leveraged by Technion alumni and their inventions.

One of his favorite projects is the Helen Diller Center for Quantum Science, Matter and Engineering. “The Technion has to stay on the cutting edge of science and technology,” he said. And with supporters like the Wjuniskis, it will.