ECE Council

The ECE Council (ECEC) is a prestigous group of alumni and friends of the department who are committed to ECE's goal of being a national and global nexus of positive, transformational change across all industries. The ECEC provides guidance and help with key priorities, including alumni engagement, industry engagement, development, diversity, entrepreneurship, education innovation, and future initiatives. The Council meets bi-annually to discuss issues and areas of opportunities for ECE at Michigan.

syed ali   Syed Ali  (MSE EE '81; also BSE EE from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India)

Chairman, CEO & Founder, Cavium Inc.

Founded by Syed Ali in 2000, Cavium is a worldwide company specializing in highly integrated CPUs for a wide range of applications in enterprise, data aenter and wired and wireless service provider applications. Cavium, listed as CAVM on NASDAQ, is one of the fastest growing US semiconductor companies with >30% in compound annual growth rate since its IPO in 2007. From 1998 to 2000, he was VP of Marketing and Sales at Malleable Technologies, a communication chip company of which he was a founding management team member. Malleable Tech was acquired by PMC Sierra in 2000. From 1994 to 1998, Ali was an Executive Director at Samsung Electronics where he started the flash memory and CPU businesses and put together the business plans that drove sales in each line to over a $100M in less than two years. Prior to that, he had various positions at Wafer Scale Integration, a division of SGS-Thompson, Tandem Computer, and American Microsystems.

rick bolander   Frederick (Rick) Bolander (BSE MSE EE '83 '85; also MBA from Harvard University)

Co-founder and General Partner, eLab Ventures

Rick Bolander co-founded eLab Ventures in 2012 and co-founded Gabriel Venture Partners in 1999.  He has been involved in more than 50 venture investments, and led over $100M in early-stage financings in the areas of communications, applications and Internet/ mobile services, including AccessLine Communications (acquired by Telanetix), Chegg (IPO), Concord Communications (IPO and acquired by CA), Exodus Communications (IPO), IPWireless (acquired by NextWave), Tut Systems (IPO), Neopath (acquired by Cisco Systems), Netscaler (acquired by Citrix Systems) and Persistent Systems (IPO). Currently he is an investor and board member of Mobileforce and Kajeet.  Prior to co-founding eLab Ventures and Gabriel Venture Partners, he was a partner with Chicago-based Apex Venture Partners. He founded Blue Sky Ventures, a Chicago-based, residential real estate investment firm in 1988. He spent seven years at AT&T working in various operating areas, including marketing, sales and operations.  He began his career working as an engineer for Chevron Oil in the Systems, Planning and Development Department prior to teaching computer architecture at the University of Michigan.

Todd Coleman   Todd Coleman (BSE EE and CE '00; also MS and PhD EE from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

Associate Professor, Bioengineering, University of California - San Diego (UCSD)

Todd Coleman completed his postdoctoral studies at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital in neuroscience. From 2006-2011, he was an Assistant Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering as well as Neuroscience at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. At UCSD, Coleman directs the Neural Interaction Laboratory and co-directs the Center for Perinatal Health within the Institute of Engineering and Medicine. His research on the use of flexible and miniaturized electronics for human health monitoring has been featured on CNN, BBC, and the New York Times. Coleman is a co-inventor on over 10 patents pending and has spun out technologies from his university inventions into the private sector. He is an evaluator of technologies and funding opportunities for the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Coleman was selected as the San Diego County Engineering Council’s “Engineer of the Year” Award in 2014, and was featured as a TEDMED speaker in 2015.    

charlotte decker   Charlotte Decker (BSE MSE CE ’85 ’86; MBA ’91)

CIO, UAW, Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

Prior to Decker’s position at Data Consulting Group, she was the Vice President and CTO of The Auto Club Group, the second largest AAA club in North America (2008-2014). Decker was previously the Director of Global Computing for General Motors from 2004-2007. She spent 3 years as the Vice President of Application Development and Support at Borders Group, and served on the Board of Directors for the Border Foundation. She also worked for 13 years at Ford Motor Company, where she served as Manager of Infrastructure Implementation. Since 2010, Decker has served on the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) Foundation.

karen fireman   Karen Fireman (BSE CE ’80; MBA ’85)

Former Economic Analysis and Industrial Base Team Lead, Naval Sea Systems Command

Karen Fireman has spent 4 years with the Naval Sea Systems Command. Prior to this role, she was the Chief Technology Officer and Deputy to the Vice President for Training Division and Technology Manager at ManTech SMA. She has also been the chief compliance leader at Freddie Mac and Columbia Partners Investment Management. Fireman has an extensive background in investment management, including 6 years at United States Fidelity & Guaranty.

Rhonda Franklin   Rhonda Franklin (MSE Ph.D. EE ‘90 ‘95)

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota (UMN)

Rhonda Franklin is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She teaches applied electromagnetics and her research focuses on developing design techniques for high speed electronic integrated circuit integration, integrated packaging, miniaturization, and novel material characterization for RF applications in communication systems and bio/nano-medicine. She has co-authored over 75 refereed conferences and journals papers. She completed her PhD and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan. In 1996, she joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant professor. In 1998, she joined Minnesota in the same role. She is a 1999 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awardee for the National Science Foundation and an invited participant to the National Academy of Engineering - Frontiers of Engineering programs in the US (1999) and Germany (2003, 2006). She is an active member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society in microwave education, conference planning and technical sessions.

K. Cyrus Hadavi   K. Cyrus Hadavi (PhD EE ‘83; Also BS MS EE ’73 ’75 U. of Birmingham, UK & U. of Southampton, UK; MS Industrial Management, ’76, U. of Birmingham, UK)

Founder & CEO, Adexa, Inc.

Cyrus Hadavi is currently CEO of Adexa, a leading global supply chain planning company, he founded in 1994. Prior to Adexa he was one of the original team members at i2 technologies, now part of JDA. Before joining i2, as a research scientist at Siemens R&D Labs in Princeton NJ, he was amongst the first pioneers of application of Artificial Intelligence to planning problems. His innovative research resulted in implementation of the first generation of planning solutions in a number of Siemens facilities in Europe. Hadavi has shared his expertise to improve the supply chain of many Fortune 1000 companies, including Black & Decker, Solectron, Northrop-Grumman, Philips, and Toshiba. Hadavi has served as an Adjunct Professor of Operations Management at Columbia University, and performed joint research with a number of faculty members at Columbia University, Wharton School of Management, Clemson University and Max Planck institute in Germany. In addition to patents, he has numerous publications in the area of decision sciences and supply chain planning. Hadavi was the recipient of Deloitte and Touche Entrepreneur of the Year as well as D&T’s top 5 fastest growing companies in California. He has served on the board of a number of high tech companies in addition to the Board of Governors of Willows Community School and AYSO Region 69.

Katherine Herrick   Katherine Herrick (BSE MSE Ph.D EE ‘93 ‘95 ‘00)

Senior Fellow, Raytheon Missile Systems

Katherine Herrick is Senior Fellow and a Chief Engineer at Raytheon Company. Before joining Raytheon in 2001, she earned her B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Some of Herrick’s key awards include 2008 Outstanding Young Engineer Award of the IEEE MTT-S, 2008 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering, and 2007 Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems President’s Award. Herrick is a Senior Member of IEEE, has published over 50 technical papers, and holds several patents in the areas of antennas, RF MEMS packaging, and microwave circuits.

Zachary Lemnios   Zachary Lemnios (BSE EE ‘76)

Vice President, Physical Sciences and Government Programs, IBM

Zachary Lemnios leads Physical Sciences and Government Programs, globally across IBM Research, which includes strategic initiatives such as quantum computing, neuromorphic devices and architectures, molecular imaging, silicon nanophotonics, and magnetic memory technology. He previously served as VP Research Strategy and Worldwide Operations. Prior to joining IBM, Lemnios served three terms in high level civilian leadership in the Department of Defense with detailed and extended interactions across the whole of US government and with leaders across US allied nations. Lemnios was confirmed as The Honorable Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research & Engineering) by the United States Senate. In this position, Lemnios was the Chief Technology Officer for Department of Defense and shaped the Department’s technical strategy to support the President’s national security objectives and the Secretary’s priorities. He launched Department and international initiatives in large data analytics, decision support, engineering education, electronic warfare, cyber, autonomy, advanced propulsion, hypersonics, and rail gun concepts as future capabilities for the nation. Lemnios also served as the Chief Technology Officer of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He has authored over 40 papers, holds 4 patents in advanced GaAs device and MMIC technology and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

ed maier   Edward Maier (BSE ME ’77; also MBA from University of Chicago)

President and CEO, GW Lisk Co., Inc.

Ed Maier joined GW Lisk in 2014. This worldwide company designs and manufactures custom solenoids, solenoid valves, LVDTs, and flame arrestors. Prior to GW Lisk, he was Vice President of Technical Operations for the RF Communications Division at Harris Corporation, where he worked for nine years. He also had a 21-year career with Emerson Electric Company.

babak parviz   Babak Parviz (MSE PhD EE ’97 ’01; MS Physics ’01; also BS EE from Sharif University of Technology; BA in Literature from University of Washington, and Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard)

Vice President, Amazon

Babak Parviz is the creator of Google Glass. Prior to his current role at Amazon, Parviz founded, built, and led the Glass team at Google from 2010 to 2013. He is also the co-founder of the Google Smart Contact Lens effort (made public in 2014). He has received numerous recognitions and awards including: MIT Technology Review 35, NSF Career Award, Time magazine’s best invention of the year (2008 and 2012), and Your Health Top 10 Medical advance of the year. In 2012, he was selected by Ad Age as one of the 50 most creative people in the United States. Parviz is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington.

Isaac Porche   Isaac Porche (PhD EE:S '98)

Director, Acquisition and Development Program, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, RAND Corporation

Dr. Porche is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation, where he currently serves as the Director of the Acquisition and Development Program in the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC). As a program director, he overseas a wide range of projects supporting the Department of Homeland Security and its components.

He has led research projects for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. At the Institute of Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Porche serves as an adjunct instructor, where he teaches a graduate class titled “Policy and Technology of Cyberwar.”

He has authored numerous RAND publications, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. He is also a frequent contributor of op-eds and commentary for news outlets on military and science topics and has been quoted in other media outlets including National Public Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Baltimore Sun. He is the author of the forthcoming book Cyberwarfare 101: Technology, Tactics, and Techniques for Information-age Conflict (Artech House, 2019).

Jordi Ribas   Jordi Ribas (Ph.D. EE:S ’96; also MSE EE from UC Irvine; Enginyer Tècnic de Telecomunicacions from Escola d’Enginyeria La Salle, Barcelona.)

Corporate Vice President, AI Products, Microsoft

Jordi Ribas has been working in search and AI technology since 2008 and currently leads the AI Products organization at Microsoft which includes the product teams responsible for Bing and Cortana. During 2000-2008, Ribas led engineering and business teams in the US and Japan that delivered digital media algorithms and software for Windows Media, Xbox and CE products. Before joining Microsoft, he worked in the digital video department at Sharp Laboratories of America and also worked as a computer vision researcher in NTT, Japan. Ribas has published 25 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, 20 granted U.S. patents and multiple standards contributions in MPEG-4 and H.264. He received the Young Investigator Award in IEEE VCIP for his work on video compression.

Mitchell Rohde   Mitchell Rohde (BSE MSE EE ’94 ’96; MSE PhD BME '97, '00)

CEO & Co-founder, Quantum Signal LLC

Mitchell Rohde co-founded Quantum Signal following his graduation from the University of Michigan in 1999. Since that time, he has grown the company from a tiny startup into a powerful engineering research and development organization, building solutions that are in use across many fields and around the world. Rohde has extensive expertise in integrating complex hardware and software systems, and has designed, built, and tested such diverse devices as biomedical instruments, autonomous vehicles, forensic appliances, surveillance systems, and more.  Over the past twenty years he has spearheaded and directed dozens of advanced research and development projects and product development efforts for clients in the public and private sectors. Rohde has specific expertise in signal and image processing, robotics, real-time instrumentation, neural interfaces, and measurement systems, and has a wide variety of patents and publications. He also is an avid collector and restorer of arcade games, with over 150 pieces in his unique collection. Rohde is a member of Sigma Xi, NDIA, AUSA, IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi.

meera sampath   Meera Sampath (PhD EE:S ’95; also a BE from Anna University and a M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology)

Vice President for Innovation and Business Transformation, Xerox

Meera Sampath joined Xerox in 1996, and has held several strategic leadership positions at the company. In 2009, she became the first director of Xerox’s Research Innovation Hub in India where she was responsible for overseeing its creation as well as guiding its research agenda and establishing Open Innovation partnerships. She is a leader in defining Xerox Innovation Group’s expansion strategy in emerging markets. Meera’s dissertation helped launch a new area of research – the diagnosis of discrete event systems. She is an Associate Editor for the Springer Journal of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems.

navin shenoy   Navin Shenoy (BSE EE ’95; also attended Stanford Executive Program)

Vice President, PC Client Group, and General Manager, Mobile Client Platform Division, Intel Corporation

Navin Shenoy joined Intel in 1995. As vice president of the PC Client Group and general manager of the Mobile Client Platform Division, he is responsible for managing the P&L, leading the strategy/product development for Intel's notebook product line including Ultrabook™ devices, 2-in-1's and Intel® Core™ processor-based tablets. Prior to assuming his current role, he was the general manager for Intel Corporation in Asia-Pacific where he was responsible for all sales, marketing and enabling of Intel products in the region, excluding Japan and China. Shenoy was also the technical assistant to Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO for 3 years. In this role he assisted Otellini in the development and implementation of Intel’s long-term corporate strategy and the daily management of Intel’s global business.

Vik Verma  

Vik Verma (MSE EE '89)

CEO, 8x8, Inc.

Vik Verma joined 8x8, Inc. as CEO in 2013. He had previously served as a board member of the company. Verma focuses on revolutionizing enterprise communications, with 8x8’s cloud unified communications and contact center technology. Prior to 8x8, Verma was with Savi Technology, a startup company he joined in 1990. He rose to become VP of Engineering and then COO. After Savi was sold to Texas Instruments, he became CEO, and oversaw its sale to Lockheed Martin. As President of Strategic Venture Development at Lockheed, he focused on turning the company’s military technologies and programs into global commercial ventures ranging from seabed mining to nanomaterials. In 2003, he was named one of 40 "Technology Pioneers" by the World Economic Forum.

dawson yee   Dawson Yee (MSE EE ’87; also a BASc EE from Univ. of British Columbia)

Principal H/W System Architect & Engineer, Devices and Studios group, Microsoft

Dawson Yee was the Hardware Systems Architect and Engineer for both Xbox 360 Kinect and Xbox One Kinect. The first Kinect for Xbox 360 became the best-selling product in consumer electronics history. He joined Microsoft in 1998, working on projects such as Microsoft Surface (aka Interactive Table) before becoming Director of Devices for Microsoft’s Unified Communications Group, and joined the Xbox team in 2008.  He is now working on new projects and incubating new ideas. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was at Intel for 10 years working on Mobile systems, Xeon processor, Intel Architecture Labs, Server systems, Desktop systems.   He started at Intel as the motherboard design engineer for an 80386SX-16 MHz system. Yee is author of more than 80 granted and pending patents.

Past Council Members

nancy gioia   Nancy Gioia (BSE EE ’82; also, MS from Stanford University)

Director of Global Connectivity (Retired), Ford Motor Company

Nancy Gioia recently retired from FORD Motor Company after a 33-year career with the organization. In her most recent role as Director of Global Connectivity, she directed strategy and planning for the company’s efforts on connectivity, product electrical and user interface. She was responsible for corporate and portfolio strategy, product strategy and planning, and partnerships with service providers and government. Prior to this, Gioia was Ford’s director of Global Electrification, leading all elements of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle strategy and planning. Between 2005 and 2009, she led the Sustainable Mobility Technology and Hybrid Vehicle Programs for North America. In July 2001, she received the All Star Award from Automotive News. She was named one of the “100 Leading Women in the Auto Industry” by Automotive News in 2005 and 2010. Nancy is a board member of the Brady Corporation and Inforum.

nino masnari   Nino Masnari (BSE MSE PhD EE ‘58, ‘59, ’64)

Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University

Nino Masnari was a professor at the University of Michigan for ten years and served as Director of the Electron Physics Lab before joining North Carolina State University in 1979. He served as Department Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for seven years and Dean of the College of Engineering for ten years. He initiated the Centennial Campus project during his leadership as Dean. He was also the founding director of the NSF Engineering Research Center on Advanced Electronic Materials Processing and the SEMATECH Center of Excellence on Advanced Single Wafer Processing.

david tarver   David Tarver (BSE MSE EE ’75 ’76)

Founder, Telecom Analysis Systems. CEO of eBuktu Media LLC.

David Tarver joined AT&T Bell Labs after receiving his master’s degree in 1976. He left in 1983 to start Telecom Analysis Systems (TAS) with two colleagues. In 1995, he engineered the sale of TAS to Bowthorpe (now Spirent) plc for $30M, and then spearheaded development of a new business within Spirent until 1999. In 2001, David founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative in New Jersey to improve the academic performance of local children. He launched eBuktu, a multimedia publishing and information exchange company in 2011. He authored the autobiographical book, Proving Ground in 2012, and currently serves as a lecturer in U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship.