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2008 Electrical Engineering Leadership Seminar

This winter quarter seminar series is a unique opportunity for students to hear from some leading executives who all have one thing in common - a degree from the UW EE department! Each week one of these top executives will share their insights on the skills, attributes and approaches that can lead to outstanding careers. This is intended to be a fun and informative seminar that puts our students in touch with professionals in the field they otherwise might not have the opportunity to meet.

Seminars are held in EE1 room 003 from11:30am to 12:20pm, unless otherwise noted.


1.  F. Paul Carlson, Ph.D. – BS 1960, PhD 1967, President & CEO, Carlson Group – January 7, 2008

Paul Carlson is owner and president of the Carlson Group of companies which focus on business consulting, investments, and engineering. He has extensive experience in business strategy and business development and has been co-founder of several high-technology start-ups.  Carlson has a PhD Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington where he was a Professor for 10 years.  Prior to forming his own consulting firm, Carlson was instrumental from 1992 until 2001 in restructuring banks in the Middle East and enjoyed extensive travel and consulting activities throughout the region. From 1988 to 1991, Carlson was Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at Honeywell, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN.  Between 1977 and 1988 he was President and CEO of Oregon Graduate Institute where he developed the OGC Science Park and OGC Telecom, a telecommunication company.  Currently he is on the Board of Directors of the Russell Investment Group Trust Company, Cascade Microtech, Inc., Medius Technologies, Inc. and Bethesda Homes and Services of Watertown, Wisconsin.  Additional graduate studies have been undertaken at the Stanford University Business School, MIT Sloan School and the University of Minnesota Executive Development Program.

Paul received the from the UW, the BS EE degree in 1960, the EE MS degree in 1965, and the EE PhD in 1967.

2.  Chris Kenworthy, January 28, 2008

Chris Kenworthy is the Senior Vice President, Global Enterprise Business at McAfee Inc..  Chris was the executive vice president of Foundstone when it was acquired by McAfee Inc. in 2004. He spearheaded the establishment of the global sales organization and market positioning that drove Foundstone's strategic vision and growth strategy, consistently meeting revenue objectives. Much of that strategy has evolved within McAfee to become part of the foundation of its emerging Security Risk Management strategy.  In his current role, Kenworthy guides the SRM strategy and its cross-product integration within McAfee's global enterprise business.

Kenworthy gained much of his 25+ years of technology experience in the security industry, where he has led both domestic and international sales and marketing teams at related security products and services companies, including Foundstone, RSA, and Aventail. Under his direction, the companies grew strategic businesses and relations with enterprise clients, channels, strategic partners, OEMs, and international distributors.  

Kenworthy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington.

3.  George Johnson, January 14, 2008

George L. Johnson is the President and Co-founder of Brueggeman and Johnson Yeanoplos, P.C.  He directs the firm's complex litigation services, specializing in the calculation of economic damages in a broad range of personal and complex corporate disputes. Mr. Johnson also provides acquisition/divestiture support to closely held businesses and expert witness services. Since 1982 he has been involved in hundreds of cases and has testified in Federal Court, Bankruptcy Court, Superior Court, as well as arbitrations/mediations in Washington, Alaska, Montana, California and New York. Mr. Johnson's prior work experience includes various analytical and management positions in securities analysis and commercial banking.

Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (1969) and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is a member of the Financial Analysts Federation, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Seattle Society of Financial Analysts.

4.  Rob Shanafelt, February 4, 2008   

Robert Shanafelt most recently served as President/CEO of Radix Technologies which he helped found in 1990. He lead the sale of the company to Argon ST in 2005. Prior to founding Radix he was Director of Business Development at ArgoSystems and helped build it from 120 people to over 1,200 people prior to its sale to Boeing in 1987.  Shanafelt's career was primarily in Defense Electronics where he started as a design engineer and evolved into system engineering and business development. His primary focus was signal intelligence. While heading Radix he was responsible for securing a large commercial contract in the wireless local loop arena. This lead to the spin off of a commercial  company, Beamreach Networks, which developed a high speed wireless data network system including both the base stations and remote units. Shanafelt led the raising of venture capital to form the company and served on the Board of Directors. His recent work has involved the development of adaptive beamforming systems for spatial separation of overlapped co-channel signals.  Shanafelt received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UW in 1967.

 5.  John Coltart, February, 11, 2008   

John Coltart retired from Chevron after a thirty-six year career that included a wide range of assignments of increasing responsibility.  Early in his career, he designed and installed communications systems, computer networks and diagnostic systems.  He later handled process engineering and operations responsibilities in an oil refinery.  He has managed teams of engineers on projects for refineries, research plants, and production operations; and he has managed diverse groups of engineers and scientists in research centers, developing technology for Chevron's worldwide operations.  Building on this variety of operations and technical experience, he spent the last years at Chevron traveling to oil and gas production operations around the world, helping them solve the technical challenges that they faced.  He is also a Vietnam Era Veteran, achieving the rank of Captain in the US Air Force, where he worked on the development of Air Force missiles and NASA spacecraft. John received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UW in 1967.

6.  Gary Ball, February 25, 2008

Since Mr. Ball's retirement from Fluke Corporation, he has served as a director on BetterInvesting's board of directors.  This is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to investment education, with over 50 years of service.  Mr. Ball was Manager of Investor Relations and Public Affairs at Fluke Corporation in Everett, Washington until his retirement in 1998.  He held that position since 1994.  Prior to that, he held various engineering and manufacturing management positions within the company.  He was with Fluke since 1975.  Prior to joining Fluke, he was employed at GTE Lenkurt in California as a design engineer.   Mr. Ball holds a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington (1970) and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University.  He served on the University of Washington Bothell Campus Advisory Committee from 1991 to 1997 and on the advisory panel for the Program in Engineering and Manufacturing Management in the college of engineering at the University of Washington from 1994 until 1997.  He served from 1985 until 1993 on the Electronic Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee for the United States Department of Commerce.  Mr. Ball has taught investment classes for over 20 years in the Puget Sound area and he has taught investment classes at the Better Investing National Conventions since 1991.  He also served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Washington teaching investment classes in the business school.

7.  Gary Swofford, March 3, 2008

 Swofford has over 35 years of experience in the energy industry. He currently serves as General Manager of Swofford Energy Consulting, LLC. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Puget Sound Energy (PSE). Swofford has also served as V.P. for PSE in Customer Service and has two degrees, in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and in Engineering Economy for Public Utilities from Stanford University.  Mr. Swofford brings deep understanding of the issues driving power utilities to adopt networking technologies. He provides insight into what motivates consumers and the regulatory world to embrace advanced metering programs that encourage consumers to use energy more efficiently and cost effectively.  As the former Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Puget Sound Energy – which serves 1.5 million electric and gas customers in Western Washington – Mr. Swofford was instrumental in implementing one of the USA's first large-scale, fixed wireless networks for a utility. He also directed the operational aspects of several innovative customer service programs including a voluntary time-of-use pilot pricing program that resulted in more efficient operations and a dramatic improvement in the energy consumption habits of consumers.  Mr. Swofford continues to be active in the utility industry since his retirement in late 2003. In addition to serving on the Tantalus board, he provides guidance to companies in the emerging technology sector, and is involved in a number of prominent national power organizations including the EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute.

8.  Ed Suominen, March 10, 2008

In his senior year at the University of Washington, Ed engaged in an individual study class with Professors John Sahr and Murat Azizoglu studying radio receiver technology.  In this class, Ed developed novel ways of tuning a radio among several channels.  Specifically, he developed improvements in the technology of wireless data devices such as mobile phones.  Ed's invention was valuable because it achieved an effective balance between analog and digital circuits, minimizing power and area needed for modern personal wireless communications.  His invention has proven particularly suited for use in the well-known Bluetooth® technology so common in wireless devices such as cordless computer mice and wireless headsets for cell phones.   With Professor Sahr's encouragement, Ed granted the University the opportunity to patent this work. Following the creation of a successful patent, Ed's career has been focused on technology intellectual property. 

 

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