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 Bridging the Frontier
Julie Rogers
Julie Rogers
Julie Rogers is the Director of Marketing and Operations of ESD-Alliance.  She oversees all events, industry trade show and collaboration activities with member companies and associates in the semiconductor ecosystem.  She brings expertise in event planning, member development, trade show … More »

WIT and Wisdom with Women in the Workplace …

December 11th, 2017 by Julie Rogers

A large and enthusiastic crowd greeted five high-powered women panelists as they took the stage two weeks ago to talk about “Empowering Leadership with WIT and WISDOM” with Ann Steffora Mutschler of Semiconductor Engineering. The memorable evening was co-hosted by ANSYS, the ESD Alliance and SEMI at SEMI’s new headquarters in Milpitas, Calif.

Ajit Manocha, SEMI’s president and CEO, offered a welcome and conveyed the organization’s commitment to advancement in the workplace as attendees began settling in. He suggested that a better title for the evening would be “WIT and WISDOM with Women in the Workplace,” that got plenty of smiles and heads nodding in agreement.

At the WIT and Wisdom panel (standing from left to right): Amita Dharwan, Annapoorna Krishnaswamy, Renuka Vankuri, Neela Kulkarni, Panelist Indira Joshi, Vic Kulkarni, Moderator Ann Steffora Mutschler, Panelist Sundari Mitra, Julie Rogers and Panelist Mona Sabet. Kneeling from left to right: Dhrithi Bankuru, Emine Bostanci and Jason Woo.

I’m sure audience members, a mix of men and women, will take heed to the pearls of wisdom from the empowering 90 minute-long discussion. Ann asked each panelist to focus on an area, from personal branding and leadership to negotiation, networking and mentoring. She captured valuable insights each of the women made in a great wrap-up article that includes photos of the evening. It can be found at: A recording of the panel is posted on the ESD Alliance website, along with additional photos, at:

A special note of thanks is in order to everyone who made the evening possible. ANSYS’ Vic Kulkarni and Annapoorna Krishnaswamy and Marie Brunet drove the planning. Additionally, Paul Cohen from the ESD Alliance, Bettina Weiss, John Friedlund, Hemant Patel and Scott Pedro from SEMI  deserve a round of thanks as well.

… Quickly Followed by an Evening on Artificial Intelligence

We switched gears from career development to “Artificial Intelligence and Convolution Neural Networks,” an evening we co-hosted last week with San Jose State University at SJSU and moderated by Jim Hogan of Vista Ventures. If you missed the evening, the video and photos are available at:

“Artificial Intelligence and Convolution Neural Networks” panelists were (from left to right): Entrepreneur and Technologist Chris Rowen, James Gambale, a patent attorney, Drew Wingard, co-founder and CTO of Sonics and Raik Brinkmann, president and CEO of Onespin. Jim Hogan, who served as moderator, is at the right-hand side of the photo.

February is the Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner

And finally, I can report that we secured the San Jose City Hall Rotunda for the Phil Kaufman Award ceremony and dinner Thursday, February 8. 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. We hope you will be able to join the ESD Alliance and the IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA) in honoring Dr. Rutenbar at this unique event space. Special thanks to Arm and Cadence for signing up early to sponsor the event. We have more levels of sponsorship available.  Sponsorship information can be found at: Registration will be available soon.

If your company would like to join the ESD Alliance, please visit the ESD Alliance website to read about our committees and ongoing initiatives. You can contact me ( or our Executive Director Bob Smith ( for more information.

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