John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award

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John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award

Established in 2004, this award commemorates the outstanding professional contributions of John D. Ryder, former Dean of the College of Engineering and professor in the department. Nominations are made by alumni, faculty, and students. The department's advisory committee selects the award winner in consultation with the chairperson. The award is given on the basis of contributions in furthering the mission of the department - which is to provide undergraduate and graduate education characterized by quality, access, and relevance; and to develop distinctive research programs in electrosciences, systems, and computer engineering, with the promise of sustained excellence as measured in scholarship, external investment, reputation, and impact.

2016

Rachel S. Hutter (BS ’93 Electrical Engineering)

Rachel Hutter received her B.S. degree in electrical engineering with a minor in Theater from Michigan State University and a Crummer Management Certificate from Crummer Graduate School of Business from Rollins College. She also earned hydraulic and electrical certifications.

After graduating from MSU, Hutter’s early career involved a variety of roles, including doing medical research with the Veteran’s Administration, facilities and construction management at General Motors, controls engineering at General Mills, and technical support for Allen-Bradley Automation Controls Products (now Rockwell Automation). Then in 1997 Hutter got her dream job. She joined Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and was part of the team that built and then opened Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She also led technical services for all of Walt Disney World and initiated the position of director of attractions engineering services and quality assurance. In addition, she headed up a team focused on maintenance consistency for Disney theme parks worldwide.

Today, Hutter is the vice president, Worldwide Safety for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.  In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of safety strategies for WDPR and leads the Executive Safety Council and Worldwide Safety Committees, as well as serves as a member of the Asia worldwide operations steering committees.

2015

Steven H. Noll (BS '74 Electrical Engineering)

After receiving his BS degree in electrical engineering in 1974, Steven H. Noll worked as an engineer in the Government and Industrial Research Group at Magnavox Co., and then attended law school at Ohio State University, receiving his law degree in 1977. Since then, Steve has practiced law in the field of intellectual property, specializing in patent law, and is currently a partner in the firm of Schiff Hardin LLP in Chicago.

Steve’s patent prosecution practice has focused primarily on medical devices, and he has obtained more than 4,000 patents for his clients during the course of his practice. He has represented clients in litigation involving many different technologies, including cryptography, traveling wave tubes for radar, printers, optical fibers, pacemakers, amorphous metal, papermaking machines, anesthesia systems, and semiconductor devices. Steve has also represented clients in copyright litigation and trademark litigation, is registered to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. He is a member of several bar associations, and served on the board of directors of the International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association.

 

2014

Fred Killeen (BS '82 Electrical Engineering)

Fred Killeen has served as the global chief technology officer for General Motors Information Technology group since 2005. He is responsible for employee end user experience, which includes an engineering team that manages all PC, workstation, and mobile platform builds—as well as engineering and development of productivity solutions, including e-mail and collaboration. He also has operational responsibility that includes the IT service desk, global site services, core end user operations, and end user device life cycle management. The focus of his team is on end user solutions that drive increased productivity and ensure that GM employees have a great user experience. In addition, he leads a team that drives end user engagement through communications, social media interaction, training, and adoption workshops. Fred is also responsible for GM IT’s emerging technology and innovation team that leads GM IT hackathons and innovation challenges, and researches emerging information technologies and how they can be exploited for GM’s benefit.

Fred joined General Motors in March 2001 as director of Systems Integration for Global Product Development, and was appointed to the role of director, Systems Development Factory, in December of 2003. Before joining General Motors, Fred held a variety of technical consulting and leadership positions during his 16 years with HewlettPackard. Prior to that, he was a software developer for manufacturing test systems at Motorola. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science and is active with the Michigan State University capstone program. He is the executive champion for IT recruiting at MSU.

2013

Timothy A. Adcock (BS '85 Electrical Engineering)

Timothy A. Adcock has more than 25 years’ experience in application and systems engineering. A significant amount of his career was spent at Texas Instruments, working to successfully implement, launch, and support embedded processing and digital signal processing products worldwide.

Adcock has served as director of Texas Instrument’s Motor Lab in the Kilby Advanced Research and Development facility in Dallas, Texas, since early 2011. Previous to that, he held various engineering and engineering management positions at Texas Instruments, including positions in imaging and audio products, storage products group, wireless handsets, and sales and marketing field application engineering.

Adcock began his career at TI as an applications engineer in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for the design of automotive electric subsystems and hard disk drives. He then took on responsibility for creating and managing the first dedicated hard disk drive field applications team and later managed all of the system engineering activity for TI’s storage products group. After that he moved to the wireless areas as director of North American wireless field applications engineering, which also included five regional ASIC design centers dedicated to creating specific ICs for TI’s wireless handset customers.

After moving to Texas from San Jose in 2001, he took on management of worldwide system engineering activity for TI’s new imaging and audio products group. He managed engineering and software development teams in Japan, India, and North America, focused on development of camera and audio system ICs. He and his team were responsible for system-level IC verification, hardware system design, software development, and successful launch of several camera and audio SOC products. He also worked to implement TI’s first web-based software repository, which enabled customers to purchase and download specific applications code. After that he managed the regional digital applications engineering team for the southern United States, focused on designing radio, communication, entertainment, video, and metering systems.

Prior to joining Texas Instruments in 1990, Adcock worked at both McDonnell Douglas and Northrop Corporation in Los Angeles as an embedded systems engineer, developing ground-based data acquisition and communication systems, and onboard cockpit instrumentation for commercial and military aircraft.

Adcock received his BS in electrical engineering from MSU in 1985. While at Michigan State, he worked for the Department of Microbiology and Public Health, which included performing IT work on computer systems, designing local area networks to connect various systems, writing application software (including an e-mail system in 1982), and working with research teams on DNA sequencing.

2012

Asif Naseem (MS '80, PhD '84, Electrical Engineering)

Asif Naseem currently serves as vice president of the Global Communications Business Unit of Oracle Corporation. Until recently, Asif served as president and chief operating officer of GoAhead Software, a privately held company that develops and markets high availability and embedded management infrastructure software for telecommunications and the aerospace and defense industries. Under his leadership, GoAhead Software, Inc., grew to become the market leader and the most prestigious company in its category culminating in its recent acquisition by Oracle Corporation.

Asif began his career with AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he held various technical and management positions including growing and leading the LifeKeeper family of products. Subsequently, LifeKeeper was successfully spun out as an independent business.

He then served as general manager of the Internet & Connectivity Solutions Division of Motorola, based in the UK, and was responsible for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), where he started and ran a successful wireless applications business for Motorola.

Just prior to GoAhead, Asif was the chief operating officer of Iospan Wireless, Inc., a broadband wireless company that pioneered the development of smart antenna technologies employing MIMO (multiple input multiple output) for high-speed broadband communication. Iospan Wireless was acquired by Intel Corporation and L3 Communications.

For the past 20 years, Asif has been actively engaged in key international consortia, driving and promoting standards for the computing and telecommunications industries. He has served on the steering committees of the System Performance Evaluation Cooperative, the Transaction Processing Council, and most recently as president of the Service Availability Forum. He serves on the advisory boards of several telecommunications-related conferences. He is also a frequent author of technical and business papers, and regularly speaks at industry and academic events. Since graduation, he has regularly visited MSU’s ECE department as an invited speaker, giving seminars to the faculty and students on a variety of topics.

2011

William M. Seifert (BS '71, MS '75 Electrical Engineering)

Seifert, chief technology officer of Avaya Data Solutions, is an accomplished entrepreneur, an innovative technologist, and a corporate strategist. Upon receiving his BS degree, Seifert enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard, graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1972. He returned to MSU in 1973 and earned his MS degree in 1975.

He was hired as a microprocessor software developer in the Electronics Division at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in 1975. In 1979, he took a position as a design engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation, assisting in the drafting of the original Ethernet “blue book” specification, published in 1980. In 1981, he co-founded Interlan, Inc., an early manufacturer of Ethernet controller board, software, and system products. Interlan was acquired by Micom Systems in 1985.

In 1986, Seifert founded Wellfleet Communications. As vice president and CTO, Bill invented the multiprotocol bridge-router for interconnecting multiple Ethernets over high-speed data circuits. He recruited and staffed the core engineering team that delivered Wellfleet’s first product to the market in 1988. In 1992, Seifert founded Agile Networks as president and CEO. Agile launched the world’s first automated virtual LAN backbone switch, the ATMizer 1000, at Networld-Interop ’94; it was awarded the show’s Most Innovative New Product. The company was sold to Lucent Technologies in 1996.

Seifert served on the board of directors of Digital Lightwave from 1997 to 2000, where he was the lead outside director, bringing the company back to profitability and increasing the company’s share price over 6000 percent. In 1998, he was recruited into Prism VentureWorks, an early-stage information technology and life science venture capital firm. He served as an active board member for 15 companies over 11 years, and held offices of chairman and acting CEO for Colubris Networks and Sagamore Systems. From 2009 to 2010, he served as an independent consultant for a number of high-tech startup companies.

Since joining Avaya in the spring of 2010, Seifert has developed strategic relationships with a number of technology and business partners, identifying key technology adjacencies, offering leadership and guidance for new product initiatives and architectures, and participating in industry events and technology forums for the former Nortel data networking business unit acquired by Avaya in late 2009.

2010

Marvin W. Adams (BS '81 Electrical Engineering)

Marvin (Marv) W. Adams is executive vice president of technology and operations at TIAA-CREF, a fortune 100 financial services company and the leading retirement system for people who work in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. A member of the firm’s 11-person executive management team, Marv is responsible for the organization’s technology and operations strategy and policy. He also oversees the company’s continual upgrade of corporate systems and technology infrastructure and ensures an integrated approach between TIAA-CREF information technology and operations groups.

Marv joined TIAA-CREF in January 2010 from Fidelity Investments, where he was president of shared services. His responsibilities included oversight for IT, operations, real estate, and procurement functions. Prior to Fidelity, Marv served as chief information officer for Citigroup, Bank One Corporation, and Ford Motor Company, building a nearly 30-year career focused on leading information technology, corporate strategy and integration, and process-engineering initiatives.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Marv is currently a technology adviser to Warburg-Pincus, a global private equity firm. During the past 15 years, he has served on several corporate boards, been asked to advise the chief information officer of the United States Army, and participated in a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Focus Hope and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

He received his BS in electrical engineering from Michigan State University in 1981. He also completed executive programs at Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2009

Seyed Hossein Mousavinezhad (MS '73, PhD '77 Electrical Engineering)

Seyed Hossein Mousavinezhad is highly regarded for his expertise in digital signal processing, electromagnetics and antennas, biological effects of electromagnetic fields, and engineering education and accreditation. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Texas Instruments, and other government and industry grants.

Professor Mousavinezhad earned his BS in electrical engineering from the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, in 1972, and his MS (’73) and PhD (’77) degrees from MSU in electrical engineering and electrical engineering (bioelectromagnetics), respectively. He then went to Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran, where he was an assistant professor from 1977-79. From 1979-80, he was a visiting assistant professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and from 1980-82, he was assistant professor at Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana. He then joined the faculty of Western Michigan University as associate professor, became professor in 1990, and served as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from 1995-2004. In 2007, he moved on to Idaho State University, where he is currently professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

While at Western Michigan University (WMU), he led departmental efforts in the ABET accreditation of the electrical engineering and computer systems engineering programs and was responsible for initiating the first master’s program in electrical engineering there in 1987. A new ECE PhD program was offered starting fall 2002. Also while at WMU, Hossein was part of the group promoting economic development in Michigan through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; in 1999 he was responsible for bringing to WMU the Innovation Forums—a series of meetings and seminars focused on university and industry collaboration initiated by Michigan’s governor. Sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation and the Dow Foundation, the forums were designed to find strategies for creating more high-tech jobs in the state. In 2002, he received the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Distinguished Service Award for “Significant and Sustained Leadership,” and in 2007 he received the ASEE ECE Division Meritorious Service Award.

Professor Mousavinezhad is currently a member of the editorial advisory board of the international research journal Integrated ComputerAided Engineering and a panel review member for the National Science Foundation. A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), he has been a reviewer for several IEEE journals, including IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and IEEE Transactions on Education. He is the founding general chair of the IEEE’s International Electro Information Technology Conferences, which bring together researchers in the ECE field. He has also initiated international collaborations with colleges and universities in Sweden, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and India.

2008

Robert W. Leland (BS '85 Electrical Engineering)

Dr. Robert (Rob) W. Leland is Vice President, Science and Technology, and Chief Technology Officer at Sandia National Laboratories, which is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California.

Dr. Leland is the executive responsible for leadership and management of corporate research and development and capabilities stewardship at Sandia National Laboratories. He is also responsible for leadership of technology transfer and strategic research relationships with universities, industry, and the State of New Mexico.

Dr. Leland joined the Parallel Computing Sciences Department at Sandia National Laboratories in 1990 and pursued work principally in parallel algorithm development, sparse iterative methods and applied graph theory. There he coauthored Chaco, a graph partitioning and sequencing toolkit widely used to optimize parallel computations.

In 1995, Dr. Leland served as a White House Fellow advising the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury on technology modernization at the IRS. Upon returning to Sandia, he led the Parallel Computing Sciences Department and the Computer and Software Systems Research Group.

In 2005, Dr. Leland became Director of the Computing and Networking Services at Sandia, with responsibility for production computing platforms, voice and data networks, desktop support and cyber security for the laboratory.

In March of 2010, he became Director of Computing Research, leading a vertically integrated set of capabilities spanning computer architecture, math and computing science, algorithm and tool development, computational sciences and cognitive sciences. He also served during this period as Director of Sandia’s Climate Security Program, which is focused on helping the nation understand and prepare for the national security impacts of climate change.

In 2014, Dr. Leland worked at the White House in the Office of Science and Technology Policy on development of a new national strategy for High Performance Computing.

Dr. Leland studied undergraduate electrical engineering at Michigan State University. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and studied applied mathematics and computer science, completing a Ph.D. in Parallel Computing in 1989.

2007

George H. Simmons (BS '73, PhD '81 Electrical Engineering)

George H. Simmons is COO of Simpler Networks in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is responsible for product line management, including micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) research and chip development, hardware and software systems development, and product manufacturing. Simpler Networks is a pre-revenue, venture capital–backed startup company with operations in Montreal and Hsinchu City, Taiwan.

George is past president and CEO of Cibernet, located in Bethesda, Maryland, where he managed a turnaround of the venture capital–backed wireless services business, improving customer relationships and cash flow while developing a strong management team and improving the service delivery platform technology. The company was recently sold to MACH for over $200 million.

George received an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan (1974), and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University (1991). He subsequently worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Alcatel-Lucent) from 1974 to 2002, including an assignment in Beijing, China (1995-97), where he was vice president of the Network Wireless business. His team was the first equipment manufacturer to build and successfully generate a CDMA network call in China.

As vice president of Research and Development Operational Excellence for Lucent (1997–98), George led the development and implementation of new engineering processes for complex telecom network solutions in five North American and international projects. The quality of this work earned his team the Bell Laboratories Presidents award for R&D Operational Excellence. He was named vice president and general manager of Lucent’s newly acquired $1 billion Access Technology business in 1998. He led the product unit in designing, developing, and selling ATM access data network equipment. Under his leadership the product portfolio expanded and revenue grew from $60 million per year to over $200 million per year.

George has received many awards, including the Lucent Wireless Explorers Award (1997) and the Lucent Wireless CDMA Award (1997). He also received two patents: Circuit for Eliminating Spurious Pulses in a Dial Pulse Stream (1981), and Optical Data Link Extension for Data Communication Networks (1987).

He generously supports his alma mater through corporate donations. He has served on the electrical engineering visiting board and is active in encouraging other alumni to do likewise. He is on the MSU Black Alumni (MSUBA) Endowment Campaign committee and formerly served on their board of directors. MSUBA is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving communication among African-American alumni and has raised over $1 million for scholarships.

2006

Gregg A. Motter

(BS '73 Electrical Engineering, MS '80 Systems Engineering)

Gregg Motter is currently a scientist and Six Sigma Master Black Belt in the Performance Plastics and Chemicals business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, with numerous ongoing projects in the Polystyrene, Automotive, Building Solutions, and Materials Engineering business units. He is responsible for the training and mentoring of Black Belts and project teams globally using Dow’s Six Sigma methodology for new product development. Six Sigma is a statistical method that breaks down a customer’s requirements into tasks, pinpoints quality problems, reduces defects, and controls the process to sustain improvements. Gregg has responsibility to integrate best practices into the company’s constantly evolving DFSS (Design For Six Sigma) methodology.

Gregg joined Dow in 1973 after earning a BS in electrical engineering from MSU. While working at Dow, he earned his MS in systems engineering from Michigan State. In 2001, he earned his certification as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Earlier in his career, he served as Dow’s global electrical industry scientist in Dow’s External Technology organization, seeking new business opportunities in this rapidly changing industry. He has also served as new product development project manager in Dow Plastics, Laboratory Process Automation, Optoelectronics, and Saran business units. Additionally, he was a new plant construction manager in Alberta, Canada.

He has served as a member of the ANSI Z21.83 Standards Committee of the American National Standards Institute, which wrote the initial standard for fuel cell power plants during his tenure (1995-97).

He holds five patents related to polymeric reflective materials and one for chemically pumped vacuum insulation. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Dow Chemical Scientist Global Organization, and a member and co-founder of Dow Chemical’s Global Development Scientist Organization. He has served MSU through membership on two alumni boards: the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering visiting committee (1995-2006) and the College of Engineering alumni board (1999-2003).

2005

Brian M. Kent (BS '80 Electrical Engineering)

Dr. Brian M. Kent is a Consultant in Aerospace, Science, and Technology, and an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering with Michigan State University's Department of Electrical Engineering. 

Previously he was the Chief Technology Officer of Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he served as AFRL’s principal scientific and technical expert for a 6,500 person organization while overseeing a $2.2B+ research portfolio. He is an internationally recognized scientific expert, and provides technical advice to AFRL management and the professional staff. He has significant experience in engineering education, radar, radar signature, and other radio frequency technologies.

Dr. Kent received a NSF Fellowship while simultaneously working at the Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories and the Ohio State University Electroscience Laboratory until completing his doctorate. Dr. Kent made pioneering contributions to the areas of signature measurement technology, and successfully established international standards for performing radar signature testing. He was a member of the Technical Staff of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, where he provided expert public testimony about an orbital debris source that separated from Columbia in orbit, which was later shown to be directly related to accident root cause. He remained assigned to NASA for 4 additional years where he lead an AFRL-NASA team to develop the NASA “Ascent Debris Radar System”, which was used for all remaining 22 Shuttle missions to the ISS and the final Hubble Telescope repair mission. He personally was on the NASA debris radar console for STS Missions 114, 116, 121, and 115. 

Dr. Kent is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and an international distinguished lecturer for the Antenna and Propagation Society. He is also a Fellow of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association and of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

2004

David A. Pahl (BS '86 Electrical Engineering)

Dave Pahl has been Vice President of Investor Relations at Texas Instruments Inc. since August 27, 2014. Mr. Pahl served as Director of Investor Relations at Texas Instruments Inc. since October 2004 until August 27, 2014.

Pahl was the Business Manager of TI's catalog C5000 DSP products and digital still cameras. He has 20-plus-year veteran of TI and began his career as an applications engineer. He then worked in sales in the San Jose area, where his customers included IBM, Sun, Seagate and Cisco. In 1995, he returned to Texas, working in DSP and microprocessor marketing. Later, as a program manager, he worked on product development of more than 14 new products, with teams based in Houston, Dallas, Tokyo and Bangalore.

In addition to his TI duties, Pahl serves on the Michigan State University Engineering Alumni Board. Mr. Pahl holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.