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Class Notes: ECE

Degree Year
  • 2001

Michael Maskulinski

Degree(s):

  • BS

I am currently working as a Primary Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I have been at the office for over 12 years examining patents for fault tolerance in computer systems.

Degree Year
  • 1966

photo of John William Monroe

John William Monroe

Degree(s):

  • BS
  • MS
  • PhD

My years at Cornell prepared me for a very diverse career. My engineering education gave me the quantitative skills and confidence to undertake a broad range of ventures.  I am especially indebted to Professor Les Eastman, my Ph.D. advisor and Professor Nelson Bryant, who recruited me into EE in the fall of my Freshman year.  

Thanks to Professor Eastman, I began my career as a III-V semiconductor device researcher at Monsanto, and then moved to Watkin-Johnson. I shifted out of research into manufacturing in 1973, when I joined Hewlett-Packard's Components Group, making solid-state microwave devices for commercial and defense markets. HP whetted my appetite for management, and I enjoyed assignments as manufacturing manager and marketing manager for HP's personal computer business, and as a strategic consultant in manufacturing for HP Computer Systems Organization. I finished my HP career in the Corporate Quality department responsible for the Worldwide Technical Regulations function, a group of 50 people in 16 countries responsible for obtaining and maintaining local regulatory approval for HP products.  

Thanks to Professor Bryant, a fine trumpet player as well as a very practical EE, I never put down my trombone. So today, as a retiree, I have played in excellent ensembles in interesting locations all over the world, from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City to the Great Wall of China.

Degree Year
  • 1989

photo of Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Degree(s):

  • BS

After completing my degree at Cornell, I spent several years as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, followed by 10 years as a full-time Program Manager at Microsoft, where I shipped 16 products and received over 20 patent awards. Since 2004, I've been a freelance software design consultant for Microsoft as well as for Nike, Panasonic, and other award-winning local high tech companies.

In 2011, I was elected President of our local school board (18,000 students) and then the following year elected State Representative for our legislative district (140,000 citizens).  I currently serve on the Education (asst. ranking), Higher Education, Technology & Economic Development, and Rules committees for the Washington State House of Representatives. In June, I was elected Asst. Floor Leader by my caucus.

Degree Year
  • 1968

Tom Manuccia

Degree(s):

  • BS

Career summary (all in the Washington, D.C. area):

23 years - Naval Research Lab (laser physics, laser induced chemistry, spectroscopy, laser microscopy)

10 years - Physical Sciences, Inc. & Schafer Corporation (developing theoretical and experimental tools for neuroscience)

2003 to present - Professor, ECE Department, George Washington University.

Degree Year
  • 1971

photo of Joseph Thanhauser

Joseph Thanhauser

Degree(s):

  • BS

I'm not a practicing engineer, and never have been; I got an MBA from Columbia immediately after my BSEE from Cornell, and went into real estate. My first job was with the Uris brothers. When I graduated from Cornell, it was not a good job market for engineers. The joke used to be, how do you get an engineer out of a tree? A: Cut the rope.

Over the years, my experience at Cornell in the engineering program has been of critical and increasing importance to me, both in business and other pursuits. Beyond the analytical skills and comfort with mathematical relationships, the ability to survive in an atmosphere of adversity, to face recurring series of challenges (cross reference: PRELIMS), to prepare at the last moment for events that draw upon a long thread of information and principles (not always directly related), and to relate practical, specific steps and objectives to seemingly stochastic inputs and outcomes...all of these aspects of making it through the EE program were priceless.

A lot has changed at Cornell since I went through; I described some of the key changes (and improvements) when I spoke to the graduating ECE class in 2012, which is the one item that is currently on my personal website (www.thanhauser.com). The biggest laugh line was that, in my day, they used the campus food to make spies talk.

However, in general, I think that recent graduates are much more (and better) attuned to the needs and culture of the world at large. Although it has taken decades for me to appreciate this, and for Cornell to have changed institutionally, the changes have been fundamental, positive, and are ongoing.