2005 EE Leadership Seminar Speakers
Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:20 p.m.
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! They provide leadership to companies as diverse as Philips Ultrasound (formerly ATL Ultrasound), T-Mobile and Genie Industries all the way to the Professional Bowlers Association (yes, with an EE degree you, too, could run the PBA!).
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.
A laboratory job led Don Baker into ultrasound research as a junior EE major. By1967 he had developed the first pulsed Doppler and duplex scanner instruments, devices that would revolutionize medical practice worldwide. In 1979 he left his UW faculty research position to help launch ATL Ultrasound (now Philips Ultrasound). As a visionary inventor and entrepreneur, Baker helped lead bioengineering into the forefront of the healthcare industry and transformed Seattle into the "ultrasound capital of the world." Baker's pioneering devices are on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of Medical History in Washington, D.C.
Robert Trimble, a real estate developer and investor, is president of R&B Development Corp. He is a co-owner of the Seattle International Trade Center and the Black River Corporate Park in Renton. Trimble earned BSEE and MBA degrees at the UW and started his career as a design engineer at Boeing, then moved into management positions evaluating and hiring engineers and also held engineering management assignments for the 707, 727, 737, and SST aircraft. From Boeing he embarked in 1970 on an entrepreneurial adventure by founding Everett-based Tramco, which grew into one of the nation's largest airplane repair and modification firms. He sold the company to B.F. Goodrich in 1990. Building the Tramco facilities led to his new career chapter in real estate development.
Bror Saxberg is innovating on the front lines of Internet education as senior vice president and chief learning officer for K12, Inc., which provides elementary and middle school curricula for home-based learning. His career experiences have included management positions in educational testing, acquisition of technology-based media companies, business development and marketing for a multimedia publishing company, and management consulting for technology and medical industries. At the UW, Saxberg double majored in EE and mathematics and won the President's Medal. He earned an MA in math as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and MS and PhD degrees in artificial intelligence from MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is based in the Los Angeles area.
Chris Peters followed an unusual trajectory from UW bachelor's and master's degrees in EE to chairman of the Professional Bowler's Association. First, he signed on as Microsoft's 105th employee and spent 16 years as a programmer and manager, helping to develop software such as Word and Excel. In 1998 he joined a venture capital firm and took up recreational bowling. In 1991 he and several partners jumped at the opportunity to buy the PBA, a declining membership organization with an image mired in a 1950's time capsule. With business savvy and marketing pizzazz, they transformed the PBA into a private corporation with 4,000 pro-bowler members in 11 countries, an ESPN contract, 16 corporate sponsors, and 20 official events in 17 states.
George Johnson joined the analytical skills gained with a BSEE from the UW to an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance and embarked an a career path through investment research and management for Safeco Insurance Co., to management positions in the Seattle banking sector. He is now president of Breuggeman and Johnson Capital, a company he co-founded in 1988. The firm specializes in financial analysis and calculation of economic damages for a broad range of personal legal cases and complex corporate disputes. Johnson also consults on corporate finance and provides acquisition/divestiture support.
Mark Robison is an electrical and mechanical engineer with more than 30 years experience in the building design industry. In 1985 he bounded Abacus Engineered Systems, which became one of the largest engineering firms in the Northwest. He sold his interest in Abacus in 2000 and founded Robison Engineering, based in Shoreline. The firm serves the architectural community with design and analysis for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems. Hotels and restaurants are the primary focus, and Robinson is the West Coast Region troubleshooter for Marriott hotels. Clients also include a broad array of commercial, industrial, government, educa-tion, and military facilities. Robison earned his BSEE at UW and is a licensed PE in 19 states.
As chief technical officer and executive vice president of engineering and operations for T-Mobile USA, Timothy Wong directs a team of 2200 employees and manages a $2 billion capital budget. With 15 million customers, Redmond-based T-Mobile is one of the fastest growing wireless companies in the nation. After receiving his BSEE from the UW in 1978, Wong held engineering positions in a succession of communications companies including Pacific Northwest Bell, AT&T, US West New Vector Group, and Western Wireless Corp.
Gregory Koskowich is vice president for research and development at Sonic Innovations, Inc., a Salt Lake City company that manufactures digital hearing aids. He previously was vice president for product development at IMP, Inc., a San Jose company that designs, manufactures and markets high-performance, standard analog integrated circuits. Earlier, he was manager of microelectronic engineering at the North American Group of GN ReSound, a Danish company that designs and manufactures hearing aids. Koskowich earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at the UW and BSEE and MSEE degrees at the University of Calgary.
Jerry Knoll is vice president of Redmond-based, Genie Industries, a company that manufactures forklifts and has customers in 72 countries worldwide. The company is active in the College of Engineering's Co-op Program. Knoll also served Genie as chief financial officer from 1989 to April 2001. He earned B.S. degrees in EE and IE and also an MBA at the UW.
Melanie Veazey is vice president of Burgermaster, the nationwide burger chain. She earned her B.S. in EE at the UW.