ECE Expeditions goes hybrid

Students visited the new KLA headquarters in Ann Arbor and attended virtual presentations by NVIDIA and NASA.

ECE Expeditions returned to its first in person programming since the beginning of the pandemic with a tour of KLA’s new headquarters in Ann Arbor. Students also attended virtual presentations by NVIDIA and NASA. The goal of the program is to expose students to a variety of careers and teach them about the day-to-day life of working electrical and computer engineers.

In person tour February 28, 2022

KLA is a global capital equipment company that works to advance the future of tech. KLA’s President and CEO, Rick Wallace, graduated from U-M in 1982 with a BSE in Electrical Engineering.

KLA’s main headquarters is located in Silicon Valley, but this past summer they officially opened their $150M second headquarters in Ann Arbor Technology Park, off Woodridge Avenue and Dixboro Road. The ECE Expedition group was the very first public group to get a tour of the new site. 

Introductory remarks were given by John McLaughlin, KLA’s Ann Arbor site leader, who previously served as the Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations for the College of Engineering. Then Bodo Ehlers, the Systems Engineering Manager, gave a presentation on Hardware Engineering Overview. A Q&A session featured three current employees, including ECE alum Daniel Manwiller. Manwiller attended several previous ECE Expedition trips, including the 2019 visit to the KLA headquarters in California.

After the presentations, the group toured the new facilities, which featured open concept work spaces, large clean rooms, huge windows to enjoy views of the rural surroundings, and a plethora of amenities that KLA has to offer their employees.

group photo at KLA headquarters
ECE Expeditions visits KLA’s second headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI, on February 28, 2022.

Virtual Presentation February 15, 2022

NVIDIA is known for inventing the GPU, which creates interactive graphics on laptops, workstations, mobile devices, notebooks, PCs, and more. During the NVIDIA presentation, Serena Cheng, NVIDIA’s university recruiter, provided an overview of the company’s work and culture.

Three ECE alumni then spoke about their various roles at NVIDIA and shared which EECS courses were most helpful with their current roles. The alumni were Dora Li (Physical Design Engineer), Jinal Shah (Circuit Design Engineer), and Eric Yang (Software Engineer). The presentation ended with information on future job and internship opportunities.

Virtual Presentation April 8, 2022

The NASA presentation was led by ECE alum Adam Schlesinger (BS EE 2005), who currently serves as the Project Lead Engineer for Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) element and the Deputy Manager for the AES Avionics and Software project at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

The program featured:

  • An overview of the Johnson Space Center’s major programs, focus areas, and ECE-related capabilities
  • A Humanoid Robot (Robonaut2) demonstration 
  • A presentation on “Why we are going back to the Moon” with an introduction to the Artemis Program
  • An overview of NASA partnership, internship, and research opportunities
  • A Q&A session with U-M alums