Our graduates continue to uphold the innovative and top-tier reputation of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTD.

With the university’s close proximity to industry leaders, we are seeing more and more students in influential positions across Texas and beyond. Whether it’s starting their own renewable energy company, furthering their education through graduate research, employed at a top level company like Texas Instruments, or becoming faculty members, our graduates are making moves for the future of technology, research, and education.

Alan Ladd

Class of '96

 

Alan is an alumnus of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He is the lead ASIC design engineer for educational technology products at Texas Instruments Inc. (TI). He currently lives in Frisco with his wife and their dog Fred, pictured above. In his free time, Alan enjoys volunteering as a verger, vestry member and a lay Eucharist minister for his church. He also enjoys collecting and repairing antique radios. Alan and his wife of 29 years have two children. Their son Adron is a fellow alumnus of UT Dallas and has served our country in Iraq as an EOD specialist in the U.S. Army. Their daughter Emily is a graduate of Texas State University. Read below to learn more about Alan and his experiences at UT Dallas.

 

1. Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What is your proudest achievement?

I was selected twice to the TI Member of Technical Staff.

 

2. What brought you to UT Dallas?

I was interested in electronics since I was young. In high school I played with radio and TV sets, and I was my neighborhood’s local fix-it guy. After earning my associate’s degree in Toledo, Ohio, I was hired by TI as a technician. I soon realized I was interested in design but wasn’t able to make the transition at TI without the necessary coursework. Fortunately, UT Dallas began offering an electrical engineering degree focusing on microchip technology and enrolling juniors and seniors. Like many of our alumni, I took some preparatory classes at Collin County Community College, then enrolled part time as a junior at UT Dallas, attending classes in the evening. In 1996, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in Microchip Technology.

 

3. What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?

My favorite memories include the good friendships I made. I still keep in contact with them, including one of his lab partners who was a classmate back at Collin County Community College. I enjoy bringing my kids to the campus and showing off the major growth over the years.

 

4. What inspired you to start giving to UT Dallas as an alumnus?

I started giving because of the quality of education I received at the University and how it has helped me in my career. I was also inspired by the former UT Dallas President Franklyn Jenifer who visited the TI campus and asked all alumni to give. President Jenifer explained the importance of alumni participation.

 

Arun Gupta

Class of '12

What did you study within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTD?

I studied Electrical Engineering (MEMS and Microsystems).

Where do you currently work and what is your job title?

I’m am the Founder and CEO of Skyven Technologies.

In what ways did the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department prepare you for your current position?

The department gave me the flexibility to pursue my PhD while maintaining full-time employment at Texas Instruments. This flexibility has been crucial in setting me for my current role as Founder of a renewable energy company!

Alex Moreno

Class of '17

Where do you currently work and what is your job title?

UC Berkeley, Graduate Researcher

Tell us about your experience within ECE and specifically Senior Design.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering provided me with the opportunities to take rigorous analog and RF courses as an undergrad and to work on exciting Terahertz research with Dr. Kenneth O at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence. Through the Senior Design Program I was able to brainstorm technological ideas to reduce gun violence in America. Seeing our prototype to fruition with my friends and the support of Dr. James Florence was my favorite part of the capstone project.

Why should future students choose to study within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTD?

Because of UTD’s fast paced track to tier one! UTD’s environment is changing at literally a new building per year and increasing student and faculty. Change like this is seen at all tiers of UTD and translates to opportunities for growth, research and learning for students. Read more about Alex here.

William Krenik

Class of '93

Where do you currently work and what is your job title?

I work at Texas Instruments as a Custom CTO.

In what ways did the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department prepare you for your current position?

The excellent technical training within ECE prepared me for my career at Texas Instruments. The great school, the ECE Department’s reputation, and the city that surrounds us sets all students up for success!

Nicole Skarke

Class of '10

 

What did you study within the department of ECE?

Electrical Engineering

 

What was the most valuable thing you gained from obtaining your degree from the ECE department at UTD?

I gained an introduction to IEEE which has become and ever-growing network for me over the years following graduation and it also has helped me to improve on valuable business and life skills in addition to my course curriculum. Also, I had two different internships through the Industrial Practice Program that ultimately led me to my career in a field I would have otherwise not journeyed into.

 

Why do you think it’s important that alumni stay connected?

I think it is important to help foster the future of the engineering profession. Everyone wins when students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to be successful, well rounded problem solvers.

 

Why have you chosen to remain involved with ECE and serving as an officer in the alumni chapter?

So much of what I have is because of my time in the ECE department. I know people from all over the world in IEEE because I jumped in and got really involved as a freshman. I felt empowered as a student and was able to translate skills I learned to my professional life and it really helped me to excel. I want to pay it forward and make sure that incredible culture of the ECE department continues on for future generations. (An aside: I even met my husband in the ECE department…)

 

What advice would you give to current students obtaining the same degree?

Take the time to take advantage of all the resources at your disposal: Start building your network through one of the student organizations. Get an internship; go for it even if it is in an area of engineering that is new to you. Don’t just memorize equations; learn how to learn. Ask questions, because it is better to ask what seems silly than be lost and let yourself and potentially your teammates down.

Pavel Bolshakov

Class of '15

 

1. What did you study within the department of ECE?

I majored in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Microelectronics and a minor in Nanoscience.

 

2. What was the most valuable thing you gained from obtaining your degree from the ECE department at UTD?

It would have to be the collaborative teamwork skills during major projects.

 

3. Where do you currently work, what are your responsibilities, and how do you believe the Department of ECE and your specific area of study prepared you?

I work as a research assistant at UTD in the Materials Science & Engineering department towards a Ph.D. degree. The department prepared me by instilling me with hands-on lab work early on, which allowed me to use my critical thinking and problem solving skills that are essential for a successful graduate student in a research lab.

 

4. Are you proud to be an alumni of the ECE Department? If so, why?

I am very proud because more and more I hear that the ECE department at UTD is being recognized not only nationally but globally as well for its high achieving graduates.

 

5. What advice would you give to current students looking to go down a similar path?

There are dozens of specializations within the ECE department, so take every opportunity to find your passion and expertise.

 

6. What is one valuable thing you’ve learned that has stuck with you since your time at UTD?

Life-long learning is key to success!

Laura Mueller

Class of '12

 

1. What did you study within the department of ECE?

I studied Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Applications.

 

2. What was the most valuable thing you gained from obtaining your degree from the ECE department at UTD?

Without a doubt, theoretical knowledge paired with laboratory and research opportunities. This combination laid a solid foundation for hands-on industry experience and influenced my approach to working with others and solving challenging problems with unclear answers.

 

3. Where do you currently work, what are your responsibilities, and how do you believe the Department of ECE and your specific area of study prepared you?

I’m building my career at Texas Instruments, currently serving in Technical Sales as an Aerospace and Defense Account Manager. My responsibility is to listen, understand and respond to customers’ semiconductor needs. UT Dallas provided the technical foundation to acknowledge common challenges that subject matter experts face on a daily basis. Thanks to my UT Dallas background, I have a firm grasp on how certain semiconductor specifications impact our customers designs, and respond by guiding our customers to leading edge products that address their challenges.

 

4. Are you proud to be an alumni of the ECE Department?

Absolutely! Making an impact requires diversity of thought and skillsets. UT Dallas has both. The people at UT Dallas did and continue to impact how to approach challenging problems.

 

5. What advice would you give to current students looking to go down a similar path?

  • Convey genuine interest and always remain curious.
  • Always remember there are many ways to address challenges.
  • Never let adversity stand in the way of your accomplishments.

 

6. What is one valuable thing you’ve learned that has stuck with you since your time at UTD?

Logic and a friendly, personable demeanor are not mutually exclusive. A genuine smile, willingness to work with others and respect for others points of view will take you far.

Arthur Pachachura

Class of '20

 

 

1. What did you study within the ECE Department?

I studied Computer Engineering.

 

2. What is your current position?

I will be starting to work with Credera this coming summer as a consultant.

 

3. How has UT Dallas prepared you for your job?

Some of the classes that I took at IT, specifically the ones in entrepreneurship and software design prepared me for actually even getting the internship that got me this job, as well as being able to have the opportunities to start a project of my own. In addition to that, something else that really helped me was a lot of the clubs I was involved with. Without those clubs, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to lead projects and help other people, which ultimately is what got me to where I am today.

 

4. Tell us about your time with the IEEE Student Chapter and how it helped you in your academic and professional career.

I was with IEEE ever since my freshman year, where I started as a tutor. From that point, I was helping other students learn the material they needed to succeed in class. Later on, I became an officer and I was able to lead tech workshops and other small events, and after that, I started a program that helped students learn about technology from other students.

That experience is what really got me to understand that “Okay, I really like this consulting thing!” It’s not only something that I really enjoy doing, but I really enjoy working with the people who are asking the questions and building trust with them. Working with them is what really got me to say “Yeah, I really enjoy consulting”.

 

5. What is EPICS and how were you involved with that organization?

EPICS stands for “ Engineering Projects in Community Service.” They are an organization that reaches out to non-profits mainly in the Dallas area and they have students work on projects at no charge for the organization. I started with EPICS in my sophomore year, and I worked with them for six semesters. When I started out, I was put on a project called Trusted World. They’re a non-profit that deals deliver products frim food banks, shelters, police departments, any organization that has clothing, goods, or other necessities and delivers them to people that need them. They asked us to build them a system to keep track of all the inventory, so basically you can imagine the back-end of Amazon. It took us 4 semesters to get there. The first semester I tool the EPICS class, and I worked on the project for quite a long time. We worked a lot of long hours, even though it was only a 1-credit-hour class. For the other 4 semesters, I ended up mentoring the EPICS team, and I was still in touch with the CEO of Trusted Worlds, constantly staying in touch with him, constantly asking questions and getting answers.

 

6. Do you have any advice that you would give to current students so that they can make the best of their time at UT Dallas?

I think the biggest one is that you have to do something outside of class. I would not be where I am now if I didn’t take all these initiatives and take things outside of my major, work with clubs, and honestly have fun with other organizations. I met some of the most fantastic people that I still work with and see every day through student organizations at UTD. Get involved!

 

7. What did you learn during your time at UTD that you will take with you throughout your professional career?

I guess one of the biggest ones that normally, as a computer engineer, you think your most important resource is your own time or maybe how much money do you have to build something, or what physical, tangible resources do you have. UTD taught me that people are the most important resource and I learned that through my entrepreneurship classes and just by working with the people around me on really cool things.

 

Jeremy Chaney

Class of '20

 

 

1. What did you study within the ECE Department?

I studied Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Microelectronics.

 

2. What is your current position, what are your responsibilities, and how did the ECE Department at UTD prepare you for your career?

I am a member of the Integrated Circuit Design team at Maxim Integrated where I am involved with the entire design process of Mixed-Signal IC’s from start to finish. My time with UTD’s ECE Department familiarized me with the tools and concepts that I use daily in the industry, as well as the ability to adapt to new technologies as industry advances. I met representatives of the company at the university’s career fair which led to this job. I can’t stress enough how important it is to go to those.

 

3. Tell us about your experience with the IEEE Student Chapter.

I became involved as a tutor at the start of my junior year and immediately fell in love with the organization. I took a head tutor role for 3 semesters until I graduated which gave me the opportunity to work directly with professors to offer additional resources, such as test reviews, to students for learning and practicing concepts from the classroom. Tutoring gave me an opportunity to keep familiar with some topics that were covered in earlier courses and showed me that there is often more than one method to solve a problem.

 

4. Why should prospective students choose the ECE Department?

At UTD’s ECE Department, you will find a staff with plenty of experience, who can offer great advice for any stage of your career. There are also plenty of opportunities to network with companies held by the university as the DFW area has a plethora of companies looking for engineers.

 

5. As you move into your professional career, what is one thing you learned at UTD that will stick with you as you go through your career?

I am collaborating with Laleh Behjat of the University of Calgary. We are investigating machine learning for computer-aided design (CAD). Our team published a paper last year at the first conference for machine learning in CAD (MLCAD).

Focus more on why things work than if things work. If you focus more on the “why”, you’ll be more confident on the “if”.

 

6. What advice would you give to current students?

Follow your dreams.

 

Diana Cogan

Class of '16

You have a unique position as a former student, can you explain your current role at UTD?

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTD.

In what ways did the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department prepare you for your current role as a Senior Lecturer?

I spent 24 years raising and homeschooling my four children (all of whom are now UTD alumni!), so my engineering skills were rather rusty when I first enrolled. The department allowed me the time I needed to rebuild my skill set so that I could move forward with my degree.

What’s something that stood out to you while you completed your PhD?

As a PhD student, I did a dissertation. My favorite part of the project was contributing to the body on knowledge that is improving the lives of those who suffer with epilepsy.

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