Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ECE Council

The ECE Council (ECEC) is a prestigous 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   Syed Ali  (MSE EE '81; also BSE EE from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India)

Chairman, CEO & Founder, Cavium Inc.

Founded by Syed in 2000, Cavium is 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, listed as CAVM on NASDAQ, is one of the fastest growing US semiconductor companies with >30% in compound annual growth rate since its IPO in 2007. From 1998 to 2000, he was VP of Marketing and Sales at Malleable Technologies, a communication chip company of which he was a founding management team member. Malleable Tech was acquired by PMC Sierra in 2000. From 1994 to 1998, Syed 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.

rick bolander   Frederick (Rick) Bolander (BSE MSE EE '83 '85; also MBA from Harvard University)

Co-founder and Managing Director, Gabriel Venture Partners; Co-founder and General Partner, Michigan eLab

Rick 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 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.


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

Associate Professor, Bioengineering, University of California - San Diego (UCSD)

Todd 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, Todd 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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.    


charlotte decker   Charlotte Decker (BSE MSE CE ’85 ’86; MBA ’91)

CIO, UAW, Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

Prior to Charlotte’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). Charlotte 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, Charlotte has served on the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) Foundation.


karen fireman   Karen Fireman (BSE CE ’80; MBA ’85)

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

Karen 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. Karen has an extensive background in investment management, including 6 years at United States Fidelity & Guaranty.



ed maier   Edward Maier (BSE ME ’77; also MBA from University of Chicago)

President and CEO, GW Lisk Co., Inc.

Ed 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   Nino Masnari (BSE MSE PhD EE ‘58, ‘59, ’64)

Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University

Nino 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   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 is the creator of Google Glass. Prior to his current role at Amazon, Babak 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. Babak is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington.


babak parviz   Mitchell Rohde (BSE MSE EE ’94 ’96; MSE PhD BME '97, '00)

CEO & Co-founder, Quantum Signal LLC

Dr. Rohde co-founded Quantum Signal following his graduation from the University of Michigan in 1999. Since that time, he has led Quantum Signal's business operations and managed a number of advanced technology development projects. Dr. Rohde has extensive expertise in integrating complex hardware and software signal processing systems, and has designed, built, and tested such diverse devices as biomedical instruments, walking and wheeled robots, hovercraft, smart card readers, and more. In 1999 he co-founded Quantum Signal with the express purpose of bringing advanced signal processing technologies from the academic research lab into real-world applications. Dr. Rohde has spearheaded and directed over ten million dollars in advanced image-processing related research and development projects for the Army, Air Force, NIST, and industrial clients over the past six years. He has specific expertise in signal and image processing, robotics, real-time instrumentation, and measurement systems, and has patented biomedical technology. Dr. Rohde is a member of Sigma Xi, IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi.


meera sampath   Meera Sampath (PhD EE:S ’95; also a BE from Anna University and a M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology)

Vice President for Innovation and Business Transformation, Xerox

Meera joined Xerox in 1996, and has held several strategic leadership positions at the company. In 2009, she became the first director of Xerox’s Research Innovation Hub in India where she was responsible for overseeing its creation as well as guiding its research agenda and establishing Open Innovation partnerships. She is a leader in defining Xerox Innovation Group’s expansion strategy in emerging markets. Meera’s dissertation helped launch a new area of research – the diagnosis of discrete event systems. She is an Associate Editor for the Springer Journal of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems.


navin shenoy   Navin Shenoy (BSE EE ’95; also attended Stanford Executive Program)

Vice President, PC Client Group, and General Manager, Mobile Client Platform Division, Intel Corporation

Navin joined Intel in 1995. As vice president of the PC Client Group and general manager of the Mobile Client Platform Division, he is responsible for managing the P&L, leading the strategy/product development for Intel's notebook product line including Ultrabook™ devices, 2-in-1's and Intel® Core™ processor-based tablets. Prior to assuming his current role, he was the general manager for Intel Corporation in Asia-Pacific where he was responsible for all sales, marketing and enabling of Intel products in the region, excluding Japan and China. Navin was also the technical assistant to Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO for 3 years. In this role he assisted Otellini in the development and implementation of Intel’s long-term corporate strategy and the daily management of Intel’s global business.


david tarver   David Tarver (BSE MSE EE ’75 ’76)

Founder, Telecom Analysis Systems. CEO of eBuktu Media LLC.

David 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.


Vik Verma  

Vik Verma (MSE EE '89)

CEO, 8x8, Inc.

Vik joined 8x8, Inc. as CEO in 2013. He had previously served as a board member of the company. VIk focuses on revolutionizing enterprise communications, with 8x8’s cloud unified communications and contact center technology. Prior to 8x8, Vik 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   Dawson Yee (MSE EE ’87; also a BASc EE from Univ. of British Columbia)

Principal H/W System Architect & Engineer, Devices and Studios group, Microsoft

Dawson 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.  He is now working on new projects and incubating new ideas. 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. Dawson is author of more than 80 granted and pending patents.


Past Council Members


nancy gioia   Nancy Gioia (BSE EE ’82; also, MS from Stanford University)

Director of Global Connectivity (Retired), Ford Motor Company

Nancy 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, Nancy 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.