Workshop for Women in Engineering Design


The Marie R. Pistilli Award

Beginning at the turn of the century, the workshop established the Marie R. Pistilli Award. The award is named after Marie Pistilli who founded the workshop, and was also instrumental in creating DAC and making it the premier conference on electronic design.

Although the award winners do not have to be female, so far they have all been. After all there is only one award and many women in our industry that deserve it. The list of recipients will give you and idea of the professional caliber of the honorees. The list is ordered from the most recent award presented in 2009, to the first recipient in the year 2000.
46th DAC – Telle Whitney, Anita Borg Institute
45th DAC – Louise Trevillyan, IBM Research Center
44th DAC – Jan Willis, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
43rd DAC – Ellen Yoffa, IBM Research
42nd DAC – Kathryn Kranen, Jasper Design Automation, Inc.
41st DAC – Mary Jane Irwin, Penn State Univ.
40th DAC – Karen Bartleson, Synopsys, Inc.
39th DAC – Ann Rincon, AMI Semiconductor
38th DAC – Deidre Hanford, Synopsys, Inc.
37th DAC – Penny Herscher, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

A few days ago the committee revealed the name of this year's winner: Mar Hershenson.

Mar Hershenson is currently Vice President of Product Development in the Custom Design Business Unit at Magma Design Automation, in charge of product development for the mixed-signal migration and optimization design tools. She joined Magma through the acquisition of Sabio Labs, where she was the CEO and a co-founder. Sabio Labs offered an equation-based design environment for mixed-signal ICs. Mar was directly involved in developing Sabio’s ground-breaking technology and all core aspects of building the company from financing to sales to engineering.

Prior to Sabio Labs, she was CTO and co-founder of Barcelona Design, where she commercialized her graduate research in the application of convex optimization to analog circuit design. Prior to Barcelona Design, Dr. Hershenson worked at leading Silicon Valley companies such as Linear Technology Corporation and Apple Computer. Her work spans from low level components such as low voltage regulators for microprocessor applications, to systems such as low-power video cards for laptops.

Dr. Hershenson has been awarded eight patents and has several other patents pending. From 2003 until 2009, she was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University, teaching analog circuit design courses. She is planning to join Stanford University again in this role in the 2010-11 school year. Mar has received several awards for her work, among them the prestigious award TR100 Young Investigator from MIT in 2002. She served on the executive committee at ICCAD in 2007 and 2008 and she was a member of the DAC TPC for 2009.

An event such as the WWED enriches DAC and contributes to the variety of networking, information gathering, and professional growth opportunities that contribute to make our industry a key contributor to progress.



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  • IEEE bellweather? May 10, 2010
    Reviewed by 'Mike B'
    Only IEEE numbers are mentioned. This seems a less than scientific way to measure employment.
    Also, related to this:
    "The female membership is about 10% of the total IEEE membership. It seems obvious that women are under-represented in the largest professional organization in our industry. "
    How is it obvious that women are underrepresented, when the percentage of women engineers is not given? It could be the IEEE over-represents the number of women.
    In addition, what of the current economic circumstances and real reduction in working engineers? Has this overly effected women? The same?
    This is the downside of writing articles to engineers, they ask too many questions :-)


      2 of 2 found this review helpful.
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