Texas Instruments, UT Dallas Use Shared Past to Forge Bold Future
Pioneering Tech Company and Engineering School Reflect on 25 Years of Working Together
Jun. 14, 2012
Greg Delagi, senior VP and general manager of the Wireless Business Unit at Texas Instruments, spoke with students during the 25th anniversary celebration where he delivered the keynote talk.
The last in a series of events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science showcased the longstanding partnership between Texas Instruments and the Jonsson School, one built of shared kinship, mutual appreciation and anticipation of future endeavors.
The keynote lecturer was Greg Delagi, senior vice president and general manager of TI’s embedded processing business, who attended with many representatives from the largest producer of digital signal processers and analog semiconductors in the world.
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel described TI’s relationship with the University and the Jonsson School as proactive and engaged.
“We could not possibly have a greater and a better friend than Texas Instruments,” Daniel said. “Not a day goes by without us collaborating, working on some new idea, some new recruit, some research project or some innovative teaching.”
TI’s collaborations with the Jonsson School include funding for the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE), endowed chairs, fellowships, student internships, recruiting, senior projects and joint research.
Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School, said TI’s proximity is a source of prestige when competing against top universities for the most promising students and faculty members.
“Having TI as a neighbor means special opportunities to work with their engineers to develop new products,” he said. “That’s something that most universities can’t provide to their faculty recruits.”
Delagi told the audience that packed the TI Auditorium for his keynote speech that the relationship benefits Texas Instruments as well.
“It is not an overstatement to say that our company’s ability to innovate depends on the strength of our relationships with key universities,” he said. “We depend on UT Dallas for research into semiconductor materials and devices, as well as design, both for incremental improvements and new paradigms.”
Delagi said he expects the next 25 years of the partnership to emphasize three priorities:
- Continue pressing for quality programs that provide growth engines for the community and contribute to the nation’s global competitiveness.
- Expand efforts to produce high school graduates who are capable of using engineering to solve problems of global significance, such as energy needs and health care.
- Pursue bold research that creates new technology.
Dr. Muge Acik, shown with (from left) Dean Mark Spong, Greg Delagi and Dr. David E. Daniel, earned a doctoral degree from UT Dallas in the spring and is working for TI as a process engineer.
The growing number of degrees and programs offered in the Jonsson School are producing more and more graduates who are prepared to work at high-technology companies such as TI.
“We’ve partnered with the University and the engineering school to make sure we have the right kind of talent graduating from the school to really help feed our workforce pipeline,” said Trisha Cunningham, TI chief citizenship officer.
TI has employed many Jonsson School alumni through the years. Recently, six people from TxACE have been hired in the last three years. Dr. Muge Acik, who received her doctoral degree this spring, is already working for TI as a process engineer. Acik, whose research has been supported by TI, was mentored by Dr. Yves Chabal, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics. TI helped recruit Chabal.
“We are doing everything we can on the TI end to help convince the world’s best and brightest, whether they are faculty or students or have some other role, to come here and share in this University with us,” said Bob Doering, TI senior fellow and research manager. “The Jonsson School always seems to do a marvelous job of picking people that are not only technically first rate, but are also easy to work with.”
Robert Doering, senior fellow and research manager at Texas Instruments, confers with Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of material science engineering at UT Dallas.
As part of the event, faculty, students and staff dedicated a new sign for the Jonsson School, a limestone marker that displays the school’s full name for the first time.
In the courtyard during the event, students mingled with Delagi and others from Texas Instruments. A guitar duo featuring School of Arts and Humanities lecturer Eddie Healy and teaching assistant James Wilder provided music as guests watched knee-high remote-controlled chess pieces move around the courtyard.
As he watched the chess pieces, Allen Bowling, TI’s analog technology development manager of research, commented about a future that further weaves together the efforts of TI and the University.
“It’s easy for an engineer at TI to realize they have this resource just up the road, and they can interface with professors, share their ideas, thoughts and needs,” he said. “Hopefully the engineering professors will feel the same way. That when they have issues or they’re looking at what future research would be good to work on, that they could come talk with TI people and get new ideas.”
ECS Dean Mark Spong (far left) and UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel (far right) welcome TI guests executives (from left) Allen Bowling, analog technology development manager of research; Robert Doering, senior fellow and research manager; Trisha Cunningham, chief citizenship officer; Greg Delagi, senior VP and general manager, Wireless Business Unit; Steve Lyle, human resources director; and Arturo Sanchez, workforce and education director.
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