News

Tawfiq Mossadak named sales and marketing manager of Sensortech Systems

EECS alumnus Tawfiq Mossadak (B.S. '97, member of HKN) has been named sales and marketing manager of Sensortech Systems, a manufacturer of measurement and control instruments.  Tawfiq, who has 15 years of experience at Avnet, Madell Technology, and Altera,  will be responsible for leadership of the business development team, driving revenue, marketing and business strategy.  This appointment is part of Sensortech Systems’ expansion, which includes a new larger building, higher capacity production line with state-of-the-art environmental product testing.

Siemens to acquire startup Comfy

German conglomerate Siemens announced it will acquire Comfy, an Oakland-based startup co-founded in 2012 by two CS alumni, Andrew Krioukov (M.S. '13) and Stephen Dawson-Haggerty (Ph.D. '14).  Both students were advised by David Culler.  Comfy (formerly named Building Robotics) is an end-to-end solution utilizing sensors and smart technology to control all aspects of the workplace environment, allowing office workers to not just control temperature and lighting but determine whether a room is currently empty.  This comprehensive approach has helped Comfy land numerous tech giant clients, including Microsoft, Intel, Salesforce and Infosys.  "Our unique strength is that we have, from the beginning, focused on the end user experience," explained Krioukov. "The building of the future that we envision is one that from the moment you walk into work, it knows who you are and what you're doing that day."  The purchase is part of Siemens' expansion into smart building strategies.

Jyuo-Min Shyu elected to board of UMC

2016 EE Distinguished Alumnus Jyuo-Min Shyu (Ph.D. '88) has been named a non-Executive Director of United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), a "leading global semiconductor foundry that provides advanced IC production for applications spanning all major sectors of the electronics industry." Shyu, who is  currently a professor of computer science at National Tsing Hua University, was the 2015-16 Taiwan Minister of Science and Technology.  His research focuses on microelectronic system design and applications, optimization-based design, and multicore design automation.

Shankar Sastry on universities and the digital transformation of society

Prof. Shankar Sastry, dean of the College of Engineering, has written an article in Berkeley Engineer magazine about the radical transformation of technology and our world.  He explores how new technologies are impacting different sectors of society and how universities can help, not just through cutting edge research, but also by addressing growing concerns about privacy, social issues, law, and economics.  "Our challenge going forward is to meld these new technologies with economic, business, legal, behavioral and many other tools and advances to design a society we will be glad to live in, even in the face of dramatic changes in how we work and live. This indeed will be our mantra going forward in Inventing the Future," he said.

Ekta Singh-Bushell appointed to board of Datatec

Alumna Ekta Singh-Bushell (M.S. '95), the former Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has been appointed to the board of directors for Datatec, South Africa’s biggest Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed tech firm.  Singh-Bushell will also be a member of Datatec’s audit, risk & compliance committee and on its social & ethics committee.   She previously worked at a senior level for EY (formerly Ersnt & Young) for 17 years, including as US innovation & digital strategy leader, Northeast Advisory people leader and chief information security officer.

Christopher Hegarty named CEO of ANCA Group

EE alumnus Chistopher Hegarty (Ph.D. '91, advisor: Lawrence Rowe) has been appointed CEO of ANCA Group, a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines.  Hegarty spent five years working for McKinsey and Company in Zurich before racking up extensive experience working for machine tool manufacturers in Europe and Australasia, including over fifteen years’ experience as CEO or general manager in other organisations.  He joined the ANCA group from Switzerland in July 2017 as the engineering manager of CNC machines and was more recently appointed to general manager of that division.  ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

SiFive receives $50.6M in series C funding

SiFive, a fabless provider of customized semiconductors built on research by alumnus Yunsup Lee (MS '11/Ph.D. '16), alumnus Andrew Waterman (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '16), and Prof. Krste Asanović, received $50.6M in series C funding in April.  Lee is Chief Technology Officer,  Waterman is Chief Engineer, and Asanović is Chief Architect at SiFive. The funding round was co-led by Osage University Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, Spark Capital, and Intel Capital.  SiFive's semiconductors are built on Risc-V, an instruction set architecture (ISA), which acts as the conduit between a computer's software and hardware.  The series C round is being used to commercialize additional products based on Risc-V.  The company has raised $64.1M in funding to date.

How Mary Ann Horton invented the email attachment, then revolutionized trans rights

CS alumna Mary Ann Horton (Ph.D. '81) is the subject of a Daily Beast article titled "How Mary Ann Horton Invented the Email Attachment, Then Revolutionized Trans Rights."  As a student, Horton contributed to Berkeley UNIX (BSD), including the vi editor and terminfo database, and created the first email attachment tool, uuencode.  She then became a pioneering transgender activist who, in the 1990s and 2000s, played a key role in encouraging American companies to add the categories of gender identity and gender expression to their non-discrimination policies—and to provide transgender health benefits.  It began when she encouraged her employer, Lucent, to become the first large company in the United States to include gender identity or expression in its non-discrimination policy.  “Getting Lucent to do it was all about me, but once Lucent did it, I thought, this could be for everybody,” Horton remembers. “My vision was to push the snowball, and build up that snowball, and get it bigger and bigger until it would roll down the hill by itself—until I didn’t have to push it any more.”

A feasible way for devices to send data with light

Researchers, including Prof. Vladimir Stojanović, have developed a method to fabricate silicon chips that can communicate with light and are no more expensive than current chip technology.  Stojanovic initially led the project into a new microchip technology capable of optically transferring data which could solve a severe bottleneck in current devices by speeding data transfer and reducing energy consumption by orders of magnitude.  He and his collaborators, including Milos Popović at Boston University and Rajeev Ram at MIT, recently published a paper in Nature where they present a manufacturing solution by introducing a set of new material layers in the photonic processing portion of a bulk silicon chip. They demonstrate that this change allows optical communication with no impact on electronics.

Teresa Meng (photo: EE Times)

Teresa Meng on winning the game in a male-dominated industry

EECS distinguished alumna Teresa Meng (M.S. '85/Ph.D. '88) is the subject of an article in the EE Times about a keynote presentation she recently gave at the  International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) on sexism in her profession.   Meng, who was the first female professor in electrical engineering at Stanford in 1988 (she retired in 2013) and also co-founded Atheros Communications (later acquired by Qualcomm), was named one of the top 10 entrepreneurs by Red Herring in 2001.    The title of her speech was “Winning the game in a male-dominated industry” and she said that she was initially very reluctant to speak because the subject was “just too painful.”  She discussed when and how gender discrimination happens, describing “unconscious” male behaviors that hurt women and discourage female engineers from pursuing higher positions in their organizations. She also discussed how women must pick their battles.  Her talk was nothing like what anyone in the audience would have expected in the semiconductor industry — especially at a highly technical conference like ISSCC, where only 2 percent of attendees are women.