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Advisory Council

The ECE Council (ECEC) is a prestigious 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

MSE EE ’81; also BSE EE from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India

Board of Directors, Marvell. Former founder and CEO of Cavium Inc.

Founded in 2000, Ali built Cavium into 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 was acquired by Marvell in 2018 for a reported $6.35B.

From 1998 to 2000, Ali was VP of Marketing and Sales at Malleable Technologies, which 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.



Todd Coleman

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

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. 



Rhonda Franklin

MSE Ph.D. EE ‘90 ‘95; BS Texas A&M University

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

Rhonda Franklin investigates design of circuits, antennas, integration and packaging techniques, and characterization of electronic and magnetic materials for communication, biomedical and nanomedicine applications. She has co-authored over 100 conference and journals, 2 book chapters and has 2 patents. She received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and 3M Untenured Faculty Award. She is an active member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) and has served as associate editor of MWCL, chaired several IMS TPRC sub-committees, student programs – paper competitions and scholarship committee. She is a co-founder of IMS Project Connect to broaden URM and women participation and is Vice-Chair of MTT-S TCC for Integration and Packaging. She served on the University of Minnesota’s Provost Women Faculty Cabinet, as founding advisor to the IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity group for women undergraduate ECE students, and as Interim Director of ECE Undergraduate Studies. Honors include 2013 Sara Evan Leadership Award, 2017 John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2018 Willie Hobbs More Distinguished Alumni Award ( ECE Department – University of Michigan), and 2019 N. Walter Cox Service Award (IEEE MTT-S). She also is a 2018 Minnesota African American Heritage Calendar Award recipient from the St. Paul, MN community.



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

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

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.



Isaac Porche

PhD EE:S ’98

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

Isaac Porche

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

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

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

PhD EE:S ’95; also a BE from Anna University and a M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology

Provost Fellow,State University of New York 

Sampath supports the SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development in developing and launching strategic research initiatives and expanding industry collaborations. Prior to joining SUNY, Meera was Vice President of Innovation at Xerox Services where she oversaw a broad research portfolio in Automation and Analytics across 4 research centers in the US, Europe and India, with special focus on Transportation and Healthcare industries. As Founding Director of Xerox Research Center India, she led the creation and establishment of the company’s first research lab in Asia from concept to scale. 

Sampath is known for her pioneering contributions to the field of discrete event dynamic systems and model-based diagnosis. She holds over 15 US patents. Her current research interests are in human-technology collaborative work, socially responsible automation, and the role of technology and education in creating jobs of the automation era. A recipient of the University of Michigan’s Alumni Merit Award, Dr. Sampath is active on a number of education focused boards including the University of Michigan ECE advisory council, the Rochester International Academy for refugee students, and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance also in Rochester, NY.



Navin Shenoy

BSE EE ’95; also attended Stanford Executive Program

Executive Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Group, Intel Corporation 

Navin Shenoy is executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel Corporation. He leads the worldwide organization that develops the company’s data center platforms, a business that spans servers, networks and storage across all customer segments. Shenoy is responsible for the group’s product lines and business strategies, which encompass traditional business models as well as innovative solutions that help drive the industry transformation toward cloud computing, virtualization of network infrastructure and the adoption of artificial intelligence.

Before assuming his current role in 2017, Shenoy served as general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group. During his tenure in that position, he had responsibility for profit and loss, business strategy and product development across notebooks, desktops, tablets, 2 in 1 devices and home gateways. Earlier in his Intel career, Shenoy was general manager for Intel Asia Pacific, where he was responsible for all sales, marketing and enabling of Intel products in the region. He also previously held leadership roles in Intel’s PC and tablet business units and in the CEO’s office, including three years as technical assistant to former Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini.



Amit Singhi

MSE EE:S 1989

COO and CFO, Piston Group

Amit Singhi is responsible for operating and financial matters at all of the Piston Group’s four companies. Piston Group assembles and manufactures a wide variety of automotive parts and systems, and has annual U.S. sales of more than $1.7B.

From 2015 to 2017, Amit was the Chief Financial Officer at FLIR Systems, leading all Finance and I.T. functions. From 1994-2015, he worked at Ford Motor Company, where  he held financial management positions of increasing responsibility in a wide range of operating areas. He was the Chief Financial Officer of Ford South America, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2012 to 2015. 

Prior to joining Ford, Mr. Singhi was an engineer at General Motors R&D Center from 1989 to 1994, where he held several engineering & operational roles involved with development of advanced navigation systems, product planning, and manufacturing consulting. 



Vik Verma

MSE EE ’89

CEO, 8×8, Inc.

Vik Verma joined 8×8, Inc. as CEO in 2013. He had previously served as a board member of the company. Verma focuses on revolutionizing enterprise communications, with 8×8’s cloud unified communications and contact center technology. Prior to 8×8, 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

MSE EE ’87; also a BASc EE from Univ. of British Columbia

System Engineer – Azure Hardware, Quantum Computing, Microsoft

Dawson Yee is System Engineer – Azure Hardware, Quantum Computing at Microsoft. Prior to this position, he was Hardware System Engineer & Architect for Hololens. From 2009-2013, he 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.  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.




Emeritus Council Members


Frederick (Rick) Bolander

BSE MSE EE ’83 ’85; also MBA from Harvard University

Co-founder and Managing Director, 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.



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 

BSE CE ’80; MBA ’85

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

Karen Fireman

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.

Karen Schreiber Fireman has over 25 years of experience in finance and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with a degree in computer engineering, a masters in math and an MBA. She has worked fortune 500 companies as well as small startup companies. Karen has held C-Suite positions including Chief Technology Officer of ManTechCyber, Chief Financial Officer of Columbus Properties, and Chief Compliance Officer of Columbia Partners.

Karen was Economist for BP-Amoco’s Gulf of Mexico Shelf, Assistant Vice President and Asset/Liability Officer of USF&G, Compliance Director of Freddie Mac, and Team Lead at NAVSEA. She is currently head of the External Advisory Board of the $100M data analytics initiative Michigan Institute of Data Science (MIDAS) and was the lead external board member of the NSF-funded FORCES Cyber Research group led by UC-Berkeley. Karen was also a board member of University of Michigan’s Engineering Alumni Board and was Vice Chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Council from 2014-2018. She has been an Investment Board Member for several charitable endowments and has provided financial advice to multinational institutions and the city of Columbia, MD.

Karen has been published in Barron’s Proceedings, International Actuarial Association, Military Operations Research Society (MORS), and numerous other publications. She has been an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Towson State University, University of Baltimore, a teaching assistant at University of Michigan, and has spoken at finance conferences. She lives in Houston with her husband.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.