Class Notes: ECE

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Degree Year
  • 1981

Steve Cogger

Degree(s):

  • BS

Since my graduation from Cornell, I have had many interesting and varied career opportunities. My first job was with EHV Systems, a start up company devoted to electric vehicle technology started by John Santini, Cornell EE '75.

Over the years I have been with startups that have perished, (EHV, Ubicom), as well as large multi-nationals, (Seiko-Epson). As I climbed the career path, leaving engineering for management and sales, I realized that living in hotels and out of suitcases was lucrative but not terribly satisfying.

In 2007, I received Massachusetts teacher licenses in Technology/Engineering and in Physics and have spent the last seven years teaching Physics, Robotics, and Electronics. My motivation was a presentation by Dean Kamen about the state of STEM Education, especially Engineering in public schools. Teaching has allowed me the opportunity to share and give back some of the experience that has been provided to me by my Cornell education.

As part of my professional growth, I completed my Master's degree in STEM Education at Tufts. This year I started my course work towards a Ph.D. in STEM Education, also at Tufts.

 

Degree Year
  • 1982

Brian Pickerall

Degree(s):

  • BS

I now lead Booz Allen Hamilton's Surface Transportation business. We are doing exciting work with the U.S. Department of Transportation in major transformative programs, including High Speed Rail and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Our support is across the board, from engineering to stakeholder outreach, finance to environmental modeling, and everything in between!

Degree Year
  • 2004
  • 2005

photo of Simon Li

Simon Li

Degree(s):

  • BS
  • MEng

I earned my B.S. '04 and M.Eng '05 in ECE, focusing on digital communications. After graduating, I worked for four years in the intelligence industry, applying all of the theory I learned to real-life problems. After two years in business school, I worked at Samsung Mobile and Amazon, both in product roles. Although I'm squarely on the business side of the company, the technical foundation I developed at Cornell is still critical in my day-to-day work.

Degree Year
  • 2006

Pamela Ongchin

Degree(s):

  • BS

Cornell ECE has enabled me to develop problem solving skills required to tackle complex technical problems that I have come across throughout my career and provided a network, which I can always reach out to.

The technical skills that I built while I was at Cornell have helped me throughout my career. Through the undergraduate curriculum in ECE (specifically Computer Architecture and VLSI), doing research on faster architectural simulation with Sally McKee (now an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology), and taking part in Cornell's Co-op program at AMD, I was able to build the experiences I needed to get my first job at Broadcom designing Blu-ray chips. Following Broadcom, I went back to school and joined MIT's Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program and got a dual degree in M.B.A. and M.S. in EECS to get more experience in business, operations, and software. I continued to work in semiconductors after school as part of Business Development in Intel's Custom Foundry. There, the technical knowledge from my ECE degree helped me to make good business decisions. Today, I continue to use the coding skills that I learned through my experience in ECE as a Technical Account Manager at Optimizely.

In addition to providing the resources that I needed to build technical expertise, the Cornell ECE network has been extremely valuable for finding advice and mentorship throughout my career. I continue to be surprised by the number of Cornell ECEs from various years that have helped me in my different jobs, including senior engineers and managers at Broadcom.

However, the best part of my whole experience has been the friendships that I made from working on impossible coding projects and problem sets with my fellow classmates late into the night during undergrad. These are the friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. We have all gone on to pursue a variety of career paths including engineering, law, and business. Nevertheless, we continue to give each other advice about our careers, provide constant moral support, and reminisce about our college days.

Degree Year
  • 1989

photo of William E. Pence

William E. Pence

Degree(s):

  • PhD

As Chief Technology Officer, William Pence leads all aspects of AOL’s global technology strategy, platform development and external technology partnerships, as well as plays a key leadership role in the overall strategy and direction of the company. He is an accomplished leader in the digital technology industry with over 25 years of experience. William joined AOL on April 30, 2014.

Before joining AOL, William served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of WebMD from 2007 to 2014 as well as Chief Operating Officer of WebMD from 2012 to 2014. At WebMD, he led many cross-company initiatives that drove innovative new products, improved operational efficiencies and user experiences for consumers and advertiser partners. He also drove technology and corporate operations improvement through automation, cloud technology and data management systems. William was instrumental in mobile product efforts across WebMD’s properties as well as the company’s global expansion. Prior to WebMD, William served as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President at Napster from 2003 to 2007. From 2000 to 2003, he was the Chief Technology Officer for Universal Music Group’s online initiatives. Previously, William spent more than a decade at IBM.

William received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.