Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EECS Alumni > Alumni Updates > 1970s

Alumni Updates: 1970–1979

Mark Abel

Mark Abel (BSE EE ‘79) Mark Abel is the Associate General Manager of Software Services and Director of Pathfinding at Intel. In his over 20 years at Intel, Mr. Abel's teams have won or shared Intel's highest honor, the Intel Achievement Award, seven times for the creation of new technologies and new businesses for Intel, including the invention and delivery of technologies that have shipped in over a billion PCs. Before joining Intel in 1991, Mr. Abel held research and leadership positions with Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, US West Advanced Technologies, and Siemens. He is the author/co-author of over 20 journal and conference papers including several frequently cited works in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work literature. As Intel's executive sponsor for U-M since the mid-1990s, Mr. Abel has been an active sponsor and advisor to the University, the College of Engineering, the EECS department and many U-M professors and students. He has served as an early and ongoing member of the EECS Alumni Association board, as an advisor to successful U-M startup Arbor Networks, Inc., as a member of the School of Information Advisory Board and as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Committee. [EECS News 2012]

Quick Links (* indicates extended article or video)

Mark Abel ('79)
Mark S. Arams
* Jim Benya (‘73)
Richard L. Bollinger (‘76)
Jack Bonn (’76, ‘77)
Robert W. Bossemeyer (‘78)
John Seely Brown (’64, ’72)
Randal E. Bryant (’73)
Richard A. Davidson (‘70)
David J. DeWitt (’71, ’76)
Kathryn M. [Walsh] Dombrowski (‘79)
* Fred Gibbons ('72)
F.G. Gray (‘71)
* George Haley ('70)
Robert Isackson (‘78)
* Bill Joy ('75)
* Gloria Jeff ('74)
Suzanne M. [De Smet] Kelly (‘75)
Andrew Linnell (’72, ‘73)
David G. Messerschmitt (’68, ’72)
Floyd Miller (‘78)
Bruce W. Sanderson (’74, ‘76)
John Sanguinetti (’70, ‘77)
* Robert D. Scott ('75)
John P. Shen (‘73)
Michael Stonebraker (’66, ‘71)
* Benjamin J. Stoppe Jr. (‘79)
* W. David Tarver ('75, '76)
Robert J. Trew (’69, ’75)
* Neal B. Vance (‘71)
Jack L. Walker (’67, ’74)



Mark S. Arams

Mark S. Arams (BSE EE ‘78) is a Product Engineer for National Semiconductor Corp. (NSC) in Silicon Valley. His group specializes in chips that power portable products such as cell phones. He has worked for NSC for 25 years, 15 of them as a Process Engineer. Some of this time was spent working in a group that helped various fabs within the company improve their wafer sort yields. Mark has fond memories of Ann Arbor, and just started to return for regular visits with his Dad who also graduated from U-M (see Frank Arams '47). Mark says, “Ann Arbor has changed since I graduated in 1978, but it is great to walk around town and reminisce. Alice Lloyd Hall still has the same feel. Of course, going to a football game is always required when I visit.” [EECS News Fall/Winter 2005]


Jim Benya

Jim Benya

Jim Benya (BSE CS/EE ‘73) devoted his career to architectural lighting design, and was recently recognized as a Fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers. His work is best known for creating appealing lighting environments that provide the minimum amount of light necessary with the lowest energy expenditure. While he took to the artistic side of lighting naturally, the Arab oil embargo and subsequent concerns over escalating energy use have made his technical and engineering approach highly marketable. After moving to San Francisco in 1984, he became an independent designer and consultant to architects, interior designers, and building owners, and expanded his work to incorporate more natural lighting with his own vision for an overall lighting scheme. Benya primarily designs lighting for commercial, institutional and industrial projects, although he also includes in his portfolio a number of residences ranging from Habitat for Humanity to well-known clients like Clint Eastwood and Larry Ellison. Benya sold his San Francisco based firm, Luminae, in 1995 so that he could take a more hands-on approach to lighting design. He has since designed the lighting for new buildings at Dartmouth College, MIT, and the University of Oregon, and has developed lighting standards for Yosemite National Park. See an article about Jim in the February 2006 issue of Spectrum at: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb06/2832. [EECS News Fall/Winter 2006]

Richard L. Bollinger

Richard L. Bollinger

Richard L. Bollinger (MSE CICE ‘76) and his wife, Beth, visited Europe last fall to see their daughter, Libbie, who was studying for the term in Grenoble, France. They also visited friends in Paris, Germany, and Switzerland. He helps organize and supervise first aid at UM sporting events with American Red Cross F.A.S.T. teams and Huron Valley Ambulance. He belongs to the W. Edwards Deming Institute, whose ultimate aim is to “advance commerce, prosperity and peace,” and plans to start a talk radio show this year on WAAM.

Richard is currently under contract to General Motors in Detroit as a Project Manager over a global IT project. See his website: www.menloparkassociates.com. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2005]

Jack Bonn

Jack Bonn (BSE CE ‘76; MSE CICE ‘77) has been an independent consultant since 1979. He has worked on everything from radars to sonars to bottle-making machines. He has recently become involved in the production of liquid handling equipment in support of drug discovery and genomic/proteomic research. He has been married since 1977 and has two children. [EECS News 2003]

Robert W. Bossemeyer

Robert W. Bossemeyer (MSE EE ‘78) writes, “In 2000, after almost 19 years in applied research at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Ameritech Science and Technology, I started my own consulting business, Speech Technology Applied Research, Inc., in St. Charles, IL.” He provides consulting services in text-to-speech and speaker verification technologies. He also is speech biometrics team leader for Quantum Signal, LLC, an Ann Arbor company co-founded by Professor William Williams and Dr. Mitch Rohde, a UM Bioengineering Program graduate. “It’s nice to be working with Bill again; he was my thesis advisor (and men-tor) when I was an undergraduate and graduate student during the 1970s.” [EECS News 2003]

John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown (MS Math ’64; PhD CCS ’72; ScD hon. '05) revolutionized the vision and application of technology's role in society, recognizing early on that computers offered new means of human expression and interaction. His research has spanned organizational learning, complex adaptive systems, ubiquitous computing, and digital culture. During the 1980's, he was an influential director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and later chief scientist at Xerox Corp. He was one of the first to hire research anthropologists and sociologists to explore how technology transforms the workplace and social life more broadly. Among numerous other publications, he co-authored the classic work, The Social Life of Information. He is currently co-chairman of the Center for Edge Innovatino at Deloitte. Dr. Brown is a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a member of the National Academy of Education. Brown received the College of Engineering Alumni Society Medal in 2008. [EECS News 2009]

Randal E. Bryant

Randal E. Bryant

Randal E. Bryant (BS Applied Math ’73) is Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has conducted pioneering research on methods for verifying digital hardware, and more recently, software as well. He authored a groundbreaking paper on symbolic Boolean manipulation, and the popular textbook Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective, used in more than 130 universities worldwide. Dr. Bryant is a fellow of IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Bryant received the CSE Alumni Merit Award in 2008. [EECS News 2009]

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson (BSE EE ‘70) tells us, “I seem to be involved with startup companies late in my career. I started at Motorola and moved on to smaller companies that used minicomputers and microprocessors in their electronic products. I consulted in radio frequency and computer engineering before consulting in software engineering for about 20 years. My attempt at entrepreneurialship produced a success that licensed its patents to all of the cable TV and satellite TV digital decoder manufacturers. I am currently with mVerify Corporation in Chicago, another startup that has a government grant to develop model based software testing tools for the wireless industry. I am helping a former partner launch a business to deliver eBooks to the school systems and replace traditional textbooks. I think about retirement, but there are so many interesting technical challenges out there in new businesses that I cannot let myself stop working.” [EECS News Spring/Summer 2005]

Davidson received the 2004 American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Herb S. Brier (W9AD) Instructor of the Year Award. Davidson has taught license classes to those wanting to receive their Amateur Radio license since 1994, while being education director and ham class instructor for the North Shore Radio Club. He was active in the U-M ham radio club, W8UM, during his years as a student. He tells us, “I still have a QSL card in my collection that I saved from the times when we operated the station on the top floor of the East Engineering Building.” [EECS News Spring/Summer 2006]

David J. DeWitt

David J. DeWitt

David J. DeWitt (MSE PhD CICE ’71 ’76) is John P. Morgridge Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prof. DeWitt conducts research in the area of database system design. He has done seminal work in information mining, and was co-inventor of the “Wisconsin Benchmark,” now used as a standard test for relational database systems. His current projects include the Niagara query engine, used for retrieving, querying, and monitoring XML data, and Paradise. Paradise is a database system that enables users to query, browse and manipulate massive geographic information data sets, and in particular is aimed at handling GIS (Geographic Information Systems) types of applications.

He was chair of his department 1999-2004, is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the ACM SIGMOD Innovations Award for his contributions to the database systems field in 1995. DeWitt also received the CSE Alumni Merit Award in 2004. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2005]

Kathryn M. [Walsh] Dombrowski

Kathryn M. [Walsh] Dombrowski (BSE EE ‘79) has worked for Ford Motor Company for more than 20 years in a variety of positions, including systems engineering, engineering supervision, project management, and business planning. She received an MBA in 1987, and is a professional engineer. She is married with 4 children. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2004]

Fred Gibbons

Fred Gibbons

Fred Gibbons (BSE Science Eng '72; MSE CICE '72) is founder and CEO of Venture-Concept, a high-tech venture capital firm. In 1981, Gibbons started his first company, Software Publishing Corporation, which produced classic productivity software for first-time users. He got the idea after being approached by Steve Jobs who asked him to do the market-requirement planning for the Apple I computer. Gibbons also invented a new category (presentation graphics) and a hugely successful product, Harvard Graphics. Starting with one employee—himself—and zero revenues, Gibbons achieved $50 million in revenue by 1985, and $150 million in 1990. The company was sold in 1994, after which Gibbons (who also holds a Harvard MBA) began teaching a business management course for engineers at Stanford University where he has helped hundreds of students launch successful businesses. Some of his successful student businesses include Yahoo! Inc. and ActivePhoto, an application which allows insurance agents to send on-scene damage photos directly into an easily retrievable web storage instead of a cumbersome paper-filing system. For significant contributions to academia and business, Gibbons received the EECS Alumni Society Merit Award in 2000.

Article from Michigan Engineer, Fall/Winter 2002

F.G. Gray

F.G. Gray (PhD CICE ‘71) will retire on June 1, 2003, after 32 years of service to Virginia Tech. [EECS News 2003]

Fred Gibbons

George Haley

George Haley (BSE EE '70) is a partner with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he focuses on the development and financing for high-profile multimillion-dollar projects.

George Haley - Proof that Simple is Best[Article from Michigan Engineer Spring 2012]

Robert Isackson

Robert Isackson (BSE EE ‘78) graduated from UM Law School in 1982; moved to New York to practice patent law at Fish & Neave; joined the Davis Hoxie patent boutique in 1991 and made partner; helped merge Davis Hoxie into Orrick in 1995; and is now head of the New York IP group. His legal practice is mostly patent litigation for Fortune 100 companies in a wide variety of technologies including medical devices, genetically modified DNA in crop biotechnology, software, pharmaceuticals, and computer-controlled deep fat fryers, to name a few. He has been married since 1984; has one daughter, born 1989, and one son, born 1993; and resides in Tenafly, NJ. [EECS News 2003]

Bill Joy

Bill Joy

Bill Joy (BSE CE '75, D.Eng. hon. '04) - Part of the magic of this digital age has been the ability to connect a number of computers in a network and share information. The first Internet—a vast web of computers—was clumsy and limited until 1984, when the University of California at Berkeley released a new version of UNIX (4.2BSD) that included a complete implementation of the TCP/IP networking protocols—conventions that became the backbone of the modern Internet. Bill Joy designed that new version of UNIX. He went on to co-found Sun Microsystems where, years later in 1995, he unveiled Java, another programming language of his design. Java harnesses the power of the Internet and plays a major role in bringing the Web to life—the program has been integral to the development of Internet business. Joy has 44 patents issued or in progress, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Computer Museum Industry Hall of Fame. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Joy received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award for Innovation in 1999 and the PC Magazine 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award. Fortune magazine has called him the "Edison of the Internet." He received the College's Alumni Society Medal—its highest honor—in 2000. [The Promise of Green Technologies: 2009 Goff Smith Lecture Video]

Gloria Jeff

Gloria Jef
Gloria Jeff (BSE CE '74, MSE '76, MUP '76) is a principal consultant for a Washington, D.C. transportation company. She has extensive experience in the transportation industry - she was the director of the Michigan Dept. of Transportation for over three years before the move to D.C. Under her leadership, MDOT hammered out a unique road-maintenance agreement, doubled the State's investment in the maintenance and repair of local bridges, and positioned Michigan as a compassionate contributor in the effort to help evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita - to name just several of her many achievements.

Read more about Gloria's work with MDOT.

Suzanne M. Kelly

Suzanne M. [De Smet] Kelly

Suzanne M. [De Smet] Kelly (BS CCS ‘75) has been working at Sandia National Laboratories since 1980, after receiving her MAS in computer science from Boston University. She is a distinguished member of technical staff and specializes in system software for massively parallel high performance computing systems. She currently leads the software team for the second fastest computer in the world, Red Storm (see http://www.top500.org/lists/2006/11). This computer integrates 13,728 commodity AMD processors, over 41 terabytes of memory, and a custom, high performance 3-D mesh network interconnect. Using messaging passing algorithms (MPI), a single application, running on the 12,920 compute processors, can cooperate to solve or simulate a scientific problem. The ability to distribute and scale a problem across thousands of nodes requires some specialized system software. A hallmark of the system software on Red Storm is its light weight kernel operating system, Catamount. Catamount functionality is limited to the minimum set to support scientific applications. Suzanne let us know that she is grateful for how her U-M CS degree helped her with her career. Kelly is pictured here with the Red Storm Computer. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2007]

Andrew Linnell

Andrew Linnell (BSE MSE CICE ‘72 ‘73) works for EMC in Hopkinton, MA as a Technical Consultant. Prior to this he was CTO of an Austin, TX startup, OmegaBand. His empty nest, created when his third child graduated from college in 2006, has been refilled. Andrew remarried in 2006 and now has two exchange students and a mother-in-law living in his happy home in Hudson, MA. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2007]

David G. Messerschmitt

David G. Messerschmitt

David G. Messerschmitt (MS ’68; PhD CICE ’72) is an Emeritus Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at U-C, Berkeley, where he also served as Department Chair. He is a renowned researcher in the field of telecommunications, and author of several textbooks in the areas of networking, digital communications, and software. He is an IEEE Fellow and member of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Messerschmitt received the College of Engineering Alumni Society Merit Award for EECS in 1994, and has served on the EECS National Advisory Committee. Messerschmitt received the EECS Alumni Merit Award in 1994. [EECS News 2009]

Floyd Miller Studio

Floyd Miller

Floyd Miller (BSE EE ‘78) works for Woodward McCoach, Inc., an electronic and software development firm in PA. He specializes in electronic and computer circuit design, and device driver and software API design for communications equipment. He is working with some of the people he started with in 1979, and stated, “when you enjoy your work and the people you work with, why tempt fate.” Miller is an alumnus of the student radio station WCBN-FM and Eclipse Jazz, a student run organization that produced and promoted Jazz concerts. These days, Miller spends some spare time tinkering in his own music studio (pictured left). You can hear his original music (and view his wife’s artwork) at: www.studiodust.com. [EECS News Fall/Winter 2005]

Bruce W. Sanderson

Bruce W. Sanderson

Bruce W. Sanderson (BSE MSE EE ‘74 ‘76) is retiring from Ford Motor Company after 30+ years’ work in the Dearborn Engineering and Corporate data centers. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2007]

John Sanguinetti

John Sanguinetti

John Sanguinetti (BS Applied Math ’70; PhD CCS ‘77) is co-founder and CTO of Forte Design Systems. Sanguinetti has been a pioneer in the field of computer science, particularly in the areas of computer architecture, performance analysis, and design verification. Upon receiving his PhD from U-M in 1977, he began working for a succession of computer manufacturers as a performance analyst, computer architect, and design verification engineer. After working for DEC, Amdahl, ELXSI, Ardent, and NeXT, he founded Chronologic Simulation in 1991 and was President until 1995. He was the principal architect of VCS, the Verilog Compiled Simulator, which greatly contributed to a resurgence in the use of Verilog in the design community. VCS is still the leading simulator for electronic design. Dr. Sanguinetti served on the Open Verilog International Board of Directors from 1992 to 1995, and was a major contributor to the working group, which drafted the specification for the IEEE 1364 Verilog standard.

In 1998, Sanguinetti co-founded CynApps, now Forte Design Systems, to produce high-level synthesis technology for electronic design. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer of the company. Dr. Sanguinetti has been active as an angel investor in the Electronic Design Automation community, and serves on the Board of Directors of several Electronic Design Automation companies. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of the Myeloma Research Fund as well as the Peninsula Symphony, where he has served as principal trombone for 20 years. John plays trombone in the U-M Homecoming Band when he is in town. John reflected on his days at Michigan, and his plunge into the world of Silicon Valley: “A dominant theme of my experience at U-M was the pursuit of excellence. I first encountered this in the Marching Band under Dr. Revelli, and then at the Computing Center. Embracing this attitude changes one’s life. I had to stretch myself to keep up in that environment. There were symbols of excellence throughout the university then, as there still are. Bo Schembechler was one of the more visible ones. Dr. Revelli was another. Michigan football represented the pursuit of excellence, and you could measure it on the scoreboard. The Marching Band did, too, and you could hear it on the field. Leaders and Best is not just an empty slogan. When I moved to Silicon Valley in 1982, it was a hotbed of entrepreneurship. Those who started companies and got rich were celebrated and admired for creating products and businesses, and measured by the IPO numbers. In a very real sense, the stock listings were the scoreboard. I had the self-confidence that I could fit in to that world, though it took me a long time to come up with an idea that was good enough for me to take the plunge. In the end, self-confidence, ambition, and the intellectual foundation to make a reasonable judgment about what to do and how to do it will allow you to make an impact on the world. I got all those things at Michigan.” Sanguinetti received the CSE Alumni Merit Award in 2005. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2006]

Robert D. Scott

Robert D. Scott

Robert D. Scott (BSE CE '75) began a career with Procter & Gamble that spanned nearly 30 years and the globe. Scott's first job as a systems analyst in P&G's engineering division served as the stepping stone to a dozen other positions of increasing scope, responsibility and opportunity. He worked in virtually every business area within P&G, implementing information systems and integrating new business units. Scott has also overseen the global consolidation of the company's computing and communications infrastructure, spending nearly 60 to 70 percent of his traveling to Latin America, Europe and Asia. Scott chairs the board of Cincinnati CyberVillage, a non-profit corporation he co-founded to narrow the digital divide, and holds leadership positions with several other regional and national organizations. Now that he has experienced success, he reaches out to help others and is actively involved with MEPO, the Minority Engineering Program Office, and the Business School's Information Systems Executive Forum. Scott received the College of Engineering Alumni Society Distinguished Service Award in 2006. [Article in the Michigan Engineer Fall/WInter 2002]

John P. Shen

John P. Shen

John P. Shen (BSE EE ‘73) directs the Microarchitecture Research Lab at Intel with researchers located in Hillsboro, OR, Santa Clara, CA, and Austin TX. After receiving his U-M degree, he earned the MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. He spent several years in the aerospace industry, and, until spring of 2000, was on the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University where he headed the Carnegie Mellon Microarchitecture Research Team (CMuART). John has published over 100 research papers in the areas of VLSI Design and Test; Fault Tolerant Computing; Computer Performance Evaluation; Instruction Level Parallelism; Superscalar Processor Design; Speculative and High-frequency Micro-architectures; and Thread-Level Speculation. He has just published a book called Modern Processor Design: Fundamentals of Superscalar Processors with McGraw-Hill. [EECS News Fall/Winter 2005]

Michael Stonebraker

Michael Stonebraker (MSE EE ’66; PhD CICE ‘71) is world renowned in the area of relational database research and technology. “Shortly after graduating from Michigan,” reflects Prof. Jagadish, “Mike Stonebraker built two of the earliest relational databases, Ingres and System R. These two systems are the progenitors of a billion dollar industry, and commercial databases today are still quite similar in their basic structure to these first systems.”

Stonebraker joined the Computer Science faculty at the University of California at Berkeley upon graduating from U-M. Based on his research on databases, he founded INGRES Corp., which was later sold to Computer Associates. Dr. Stonebraker improved on the database model of INGRES with POSTGRES (post-ingres), and went on to form the company Illustra Information Technologies, based on this new technology. Illustra was purchased by Informix, who used Stonebraker’s code as the basis of their product. Stonebraker also founded Cohera Corporation. He was awarded the ACM System Software Award in 1992 for his work on INGRES, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Stonebraker retired from UC Berkeley in 2000, and currently teaches at MIT as an adjunct professor.

Stonebraker said, “Computer science is among the most intellectually stimulating, fast-moving, complicated areas. I think it’s ground zero right now. I think we will look back in 20 years to right now as the golden age of computer science because the Web is just completely changing everything. It’s a really exciting time to be contributing to the field.” Stonebraker received the CSE Alumni Merit Award in 2003. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2004]

Benjamin J. Stoppe Jr.

Benjamin J. Stoppe, Jr.

Benjamin J. Stoppe, Jr. (MSE EE ‘79) came to study at the department while a member of the Coast Guard. He knew several friends who studied here, and heard good things. He studied hard, going to school year round to get his specially-molded degree, which combined electrical engineering and math courses. A favorite outlet was the football games, back when Bo Schembechler was fighting Woody Hayes at Ohio State. Ben performed many search and rescue missions for the Coast Guard, including one “tour” transporting premature infants to better medical facilities. He retired from the Coast Guard at the age of 44, but went right back to work, this time in the field of Information Technology. He currently works for MITRE, a not-for-profit company that works for the public good. He works in the Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development (CAASD), which primarily works for the FAA to improve the air traffic system.

Ben has been the treasurer of the M Club of Washington DC for the past seven years, and has returned to attend the leadership classes sponsored by the UM Alumni Society. Photo courtesy of Regina Hansen, MITRE Corporation. [EECS Profile] [EECS News Spring/Summer 2004]

Neal B. Vance

W. David Tarver

W. David Tarver (BSE MSE EE '75, '76) was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He received bachelor’s (1975) and master’s (1976) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, then went to work for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. Tarver left Bell Labs in 1983 to start Telecom Analysis Systems (TAS) in his basement with colleagues Steve Moore and Charles Simmons. In 1995, he engineered the sale of TAS to Bowthorpe (now Spirent) plc for $30 million.

From 1996-99, Tarver spearheaded development of a Spirent telecommunications test equipment business that had sales of over $250 million and a market value in excess of $2 billion. He left Spirent as president of the telecom equipment business unit at the end of 1999 to pursue community service and family interests. In 2001, Tarver founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative (Red Bank, New Jersey). The community-based not-for-profit catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for Red Bank children. He has also served on the National Advisory Committee for the University of Michigan (U-M) College of Engineering, the U-M Alumni Association board of directors, the Red Bank (NJ) Board of Education, the National Commission on NAEP 12 Grade Assessment and Reporting, and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. In 2007, he returned to Michigan, where he resides with wife Kishna Sharif Tarver and daughter Nadiyah Louise. Proving Ground is his first book.

Read the article: W. David Tarver - Building a Successful International Company was his Proving Ground

Video of his talk at the Center for Entrepreneurship

Robert J. Trew

Robert J. Trew (MSE PhD EE ’69 ’75) is an Alton and Mildred Lancaster Distinguished Professor and the Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Trew has led a varied and distinguished life as a professor, administrator, and public servant. As a member of the faculty at NCSU, his research was in the areas of semiconductors and microwave computer-aided design. He holds four patents, and has received numerous awards in his field, including the Harry Diamond Memorial Award “for his technical contributions to the theory and design of microwave power devices using wide bandgap semiconductors, and leadership in managing DoD’s (U.S. Department of Defense) basic research program.” Dr. Trew served from 1997-2001 as Director of Research for the Department of Defense, overseeing a $1.3 billion annual budget. Before this, he spent five years as a Program Manager in the Electronics Division for the U.S. Army Research Office.

Trew says, “I remember my days in Ann Arbor with great fondness. I worked with a great group of students and we had some very nice times. In those days IMPATT and Gunn devices were the hot devices for research and there were opportunities in both device modeling and fabrication and testing. I did a little of both. The TRAPATT diode turned out to be a very good educational tool and was ideal for learning about various physical electronic and circuit phenomena affecting solid state device operation. The knowledge later proved invaluable. Life in Ann Arbor wasn’t all work, and I fondly recall football Saturdays (I was in the stadium the day Woody Hays tore up the yard marker), the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (right outside East Engineering), the Dexter cider mill, and Pizza Bob’s. I can’t imagine a better educational experience.” Trew received the ECE Alumni Merit Award in 2003. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2004]

Neal B. Vance

Neal B. Vance

Neal B. Vance (BSE EE ‘71) came to Michigan Engineering after serving in the Navy, and working at General Motors as a draftsman and research technician. While there, said Vance, “I came to realize that industry places its future with young engineers, and they recruit these future business leaders from engineering colleges, and if I wanted to realize any leadership contribution in my life, I would need to get my degree. From that moment on, I could not have been more focused or determined. It was spring, and my goal was to be enrolled by fall in the best engineering school that would have me.” Accepted by every school to which he applied, he chose Michigan!

Vance decided to major in electrical engineering after he was told he had a keen insight in the realm of the invisible. Upon graduating, he returned to GM and discovered “that his Michigan degree forever changed my life; doors opened, challenges were offered, leadership was given, and a satisfying and enduring career has been the result.” Neal says:

"I am a Renaissance man; curiosity and wonderment at nature and exploring the unknown. I’ve owned three companies, and have a half-dozen inventions living inside automobiles, computer cabinets, and manufacturing machines, I’m an ex-pilot and ex-speed junky. I designed a super-precision manufacturing grinder in 1981 (10 years out of Michigan Engineering) still being built and sold worldwide today. The grinder company who gave me that job did so on faith; neither they nor I had ever designed or built anything like that before. And part of that faith was based on that I was a Michigan Electrical Engineering grad!

My goals today are to pick projects that have a direct human benefit. One thing I know; any project - any enterprise, will hit snags and delays and unexpected interruptions. If the goal is indeed important to another human being, that fact seems to get me through the delays and interruptions; it takes me out of the equation.  Somebody is depending on this thing getting done, and that is a very powerful incentive.

I am the father of a future Michigan man, I hope, and married to a wonderful woman. I read 4-6 hours a day, am building an Intel Core2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz workstation to run solid modeling CAD, restoring an old house, and making sure everyone uses the recycle bins. Life is good. Go Blue!" neal.vance@labcappers.com; Saginaw, Michigan. Pictured right along with his former Professor Nino Masnari. [EECS Profile] [EECS News 2009]

Jack L. Walker

Jack L. Walker (MSE PhD EE ’67 ’74) is an acknowledged expert in synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which enables observations of Earth from space. He devised the mathematical formulation and optical processing for the highest resolution form of SAR, known as spotlight mode; his research has had profound implications for the security and defense of the United States. He accomplished this research during a distinguished career at Veridian and ERIM, where, as chief scientist, he directed many of that organization’s R&D projects. He retired in 2000 after 36 years of service. Walker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is currently working as an independent consultant.

Walker was a student of Prof. Emmett Leith, who stated, “Jack Walker’s contributions to synthetic aperture radar were brilliant and immensely successful. They permitted synthetic aperture radar development to surge ahead to new vistas and to the production of images of stunning quality. Such imagery could hardly have been imagined before Walker made his contributions.” According to Walker, “when I was 12 years old I was firmly convinced that I wanted to be an Electrical Engineer and go the University of Michigan. I have very fond memories of my years at Michigan.” He still recalls his first conversation with his advisor, Prof. John Lyons, in 1962, who told him that he would be very busy working full time and going to school. Despite this being true, Walker said, “I enjoyed every class that I took at Michigan!” Walker received the ECE Alumni Merit Award in 2004. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2005]