Startup Founders, Fortune 500 CEOs and Wildcats for Life
Making the Top 1 Percent
Cisco chief technology officer Salman Asadullah, BS 1995, traveled from South Asia to study at the UA and earned his undergraduate degree in three years, despite personal and financial hardships. Now he is among the less than 1 percent of Cisco Systems engineers holding the title of distinguished engineer.I’ve witnessed the dramatic shifts in the networking industry in real time, and I’m here to tell you: Software leads the world.
Standing Against Corruption
Alan Boeckmann, BS 1973, joined Fluor Corp. just after college and rose to chairman and CEO of the global engineering and construction firm before retiring in 2012. His influence continues as a board member for British Petroleum, Archer Daniels Midland and Sempra Energy. Renowned for his leadership in combating corruption in global commerce, he was UA Engineering’s 2017 Alumnus of the Year.This is an issue that I'm absolutely passionate about. Corruption has a corrosive impact on market opportunities and the general business climate.
Putting on a Good Show
Phillip Toussaint, BS 2010, plays a big role behind the scenes. He works for Las Vegas-based Stage Technologies making magic for Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatic performances, pop singer Pink’s gravity-defying shows, and many others. The code he writes moves props and equipment for some of the most extravagant shows on earth.Nowadays you just don’t imagine doing anything without very complex, computer-controlled equipment. It's not human-operated; it's human-supervised.
Paying Technology Forward
Teri Spencer, BS 1987, is founder, president and CEO of Ephibian, which has grown from a few people in a garage to a global company providing infrastructure, application development and managed services for Fortune 1000s and startups. She has won numerous awards and is known for developing the venture technology model.Ephibian provides technology services in exchange for equity, and we also help those clients raise additional funding as needed.
Inspiring Decades of Students
Paul R. Gray, BS 1963, MS 1965 and PHD 1969, worked on analog integrated circuits in the early days of Silicon Valley before joining the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. At Berkeley, he climbed the ladder from professor to chair of electrical engineering and computer sciences, dean of engineering and executive vice chancellor and provost.In the late 1960s there were three laboratories in the United States in university settings that had the ability to fabricate an integrated circuit. One was the University of Arizona.
Starting, Selling and Starting Companies
Sunil Kishen, MS 1991, came to the UA from his homeland in India. Now he works in Silicon Valley transferring vast quantities of proprietary information for clients from their networks to the cloud. After his Sheer Networks startup was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2005, he held leadership posts there and at Intel before starting Aviatrix Systems in 2015.I feel I started my life in Tucson, and I could not have had a better landing in America.
Catalyzing Regional Biotech Growth
Patrick Marcus, BS 1996, whose sculptures featuring solar-powered light decorate the country, harnessed the power of his UA undergraduate degree and 2006 PhD in biomedical engineering to found a Tucson-based startup that makes medical devices. Named Tucson’s Man of the Year in 2014, Marcus works tirelessly with business and academic groups to support other entrepreneurs.Local startups must build relationships with engineering students early on. We can’t afford not to be closely involved with the University.
Pioneering Microprocessor Design
Bill Mensch, BS 1971, has been a major contributor to the designs of microprocessors used by Motorola, Apple, Atari and Nintendo. He holds 22 patents for microprocessors, microprocessor peripheral devices and microprocessor systems. One of Embedded Computing Design’s 2017 Top Embedded Innovators, he founded Western Design Center in 1978 and helped establish the fabless semiconductor business model.The world embraced that model, which has allowed for the expansion of more markets, more rapidly, and with a much wider range of uses.