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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

Empowering Leadership with WIT and WISDOM

November 1st, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Mark your calendars and register today for “Empowering Leadership with WIT (Women in Technology) and WISDOM,” a panel of executives from the technology sector who will explore various career choices for men and women. It will be held Tuesday, November 28, at SEMI in Milpitas, Calif., and begins with dinner and refreshments at 6 p.m. The panel discussion will start at 6:45 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. 

Your hosts for the evening are the ESD Alliance, ANSYS, SEMI and Semiconductor Engineering, along with NetSpeed Systems, Samsung, Stanford Health Care and Tribal Ventures.

You can expect a lively and topical discussion, moderated by Ann Steffora Mutschler, executive editor/EDA at Semiconductor Engineering, that will include tips and insights into personal branding, leadership, negotiation, networking and mentoring. Its aim is to help you develop your personal strategy to achieve your goals, whether you are starting out, seeking your next opportunity or trying to proactively navigate your career.

The impressive lineup of panelists includes:

  • Amita Dhawan, executive director, Applications at Stanford Health Care
  • Indira Joshi, Samsung Memory Solutions Lab’s director of Datacenter Storage and Memory Architecture
  • Sundari Mitra, CEO and co-founder of NetSpeed Systems
  • Mona Sabet, Tribal Ventures’ managing director
  • Margaret Schmitt, chief of staff to the CEO at ANSYS

I’m sure you assume the program was proposed by women and constructed by a committee of women and I’m here to tell you that your assumption is wrong! ANSYS’ Vic Kulkarni, a friend of the ESD Alliance, approached me in late September about a WIT evening and I jumped at the opportunity. Vic and Annapoorna Krishnaswamy, also from ANSYS, quickly organized a committee of men and women to plan for the evening. Additional committee members are Paul Cohen and Julie Rogers from the ESD Alliance, Bettina Weiss and John Friedlund from SEMI and Marie Brunet from ANSYS.

While the evening is free of charge, seating is limited and those seats are filling fast! To register, go to:

SEMI is located at 673 South Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas.

December 4 Event on Artificial Intelligence and Convolution Neural Networks

The next evening the ESD Alliance is co-hosting with San Jose State University (SJSU) follows this latest event Monday, December 4. “Artificial Intelligence and Convolution Neural Networks” will be held at SJSU’s Diaz Compean Student Union Theater and features a panel discussion on the systems companies are building to gather data and process it to drive business operations. It will be moderated by Jim Hogan of Vista Ventures.

Panelists include:

  • Raik Brinkmann, president and CEO of OneSpin Solutions
  • Chris Rowen, principal at Cognite Ventures
  • James R. Gambale Jr., a registered patent attorney
  • Drew Wingard, Sonics’ co-founder and CTO

This event also is free and open to all. Parking is complimentary at the SJSU campus. Registration information can be found at:

Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar of the University of Pittsburgh Honored with 2017 Phil Kaufman Award

I’m pleased to report that Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh, is the recipient of the 2017 Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design. The award ceremony and dinner, hosted by the ESD Alliance and the IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA), will be held in Silicon Valley, Calif., Thursday, February 8. Watch for lengthier blog post about Dr. Rutenbar and details on the dinner soon.

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