Volume 4, Issue 1
UMTRI Flash, 08 April 2013
MbusinessLink January 2013, 14 March 2013
Student Projects Flash, 18 September 2012
July MbusinessLink 2012, 02 August 2012
MbusinessLink Spring 2012, 23 March 2012
Fall 2011 MbusinessLink, 13 December 2011
Spring 2011, 28 April 2011
MbusinessLink- Fall/Winter 2010, 14 December 2010
Summer 2010, 26 August 2010
Spring 2010, 01 June 2010
Winter 2010, 18 February 2010
Fall 09, 19 November 2009
Summer 09, 29 July 2009
Spring 09, 03 April 2009
Winter 09, 22 January 2009
MBusinessLink is a quarterly e-newsletter produced by the University of Michigan's Business Engagement Center. The publication brings together all of the news on events, research, resources, and opportunities for industry engagement at the University of Michigan.
The Intel name is etched into a brushed stainless steel plaque displayed prominently in the lobby of the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. The commemorative tablet recognizes “those who have made a lasting investment to benefit this college” and serves as a constant reminder of the strong ties between Intel and the University.
Built over the course of 20 years, Intel and Michigan share a rich history of academic and research collaborations. To date, Intel has invested more than $20 million in the University of Michigan to support the partnership. This, in turn, has yielded hundreds of Wolverines joining the company. In the last five years alone, more than 200 U-M students have selected Intel as their employer of choice. Defining the future, be it through educating the next generation of engineers or deep technical collaborations, Intel and Michigan are focused on working together: “inspired innovation that’s changing the world.”
“Intel has cultivated a deep, lasting relationship with the University through its research funding, doctoral fellowships, curriculum grants and joint work with professors,” says Mark J. Abel (BSE '79), principal investigator for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing. “Michigan is a key school that touches all aspects of the company.”
Scott Buck, a native Michigander who manages Intel’s University Program Office, characterizes the 20-year corporate-campus connection as a rich and rewarding, mutually beneficial collaboration that has “fostered the kind of exploratory thinking and innovation by professors and students that flourishes within the academic community.” Through its support for U-M, Intel has seeded the field of its future workforce and created a conduit for technological advancements in years to come. The University, Buck says, “has fully leveraged the opportunity to contribute to worldwide technological innovation and gain insight into emerging trends and technologies at an early stage.”
“Our partnership with Intel is a strategic asset,” says Dave Munson, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. “Intel continues to play an important role in providing exceptional opportunities to our students through focused research collaborations, new curricular themes and employment.”
Establishing a Deep Footprint
It’s not surprising that Intel sees the University of Michigan as a strategic partner, where the refrain “the leaders and best” resonates throughout all aspects of campus life.
As research powerhouses, Intel and Michigan share a robust history and commitment to innovation. The U.S. National Science Foundation recently reported that the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ranks first in R&D spending among the nation’s public universities as a more than $1.2 billion research enterprise.
Another attraction for Intel is U-M’s well-deserved reputation for educational excellence. “A great strength of Michigan is that the University has top-10 schools of engineering, business, medicine and law all on the same campus,” says Intel’s Abel. “There are no silos. Michigan has really found a way to work across campus. This offers opportunities to pursue research projects holistically and exposes students to interdisciplinary experiences while they’re in school. It’s a big competitive advantage for Michigan.”
The Midwestern work ethic, well-rounded Michigan Engineering curriculum, and “can-do” culture on campus are greatly valued at Intel. “Midwesterners know how to get things done,” Abel says.
Abel’s own career trajectory illustrates the close bond between Intel and the University. A 1979 U-M graduate with a BSE in electrical engineering, he joined Intel 20 years ago and led a succession of award-winning teams in the creation of new technologies and new businesses. As the executive sponsor for the University of Michigan, Abel provides guidance and insight into strengthening and expanding the partnership. Abel has served the U-M community in a variety of advisory board roles at Michigan Engineering and the School of Information, and received the Computer Science Engineering Alumni Merit Award in 2011.
What makes U-M engineering graduates prime candidates for Intel’s recruitment efforts, says Buck, is the discipline and technical fundamentals they learn inside and outside the classroom. “The foundation of their coursework has a great deal of alignment with Intel’s goals,” he explains. “Michigan graduates are primed to pursue careers in the high-tech industry and are eager to start working with a leading technology company, such as Intel.”
Advancing Cutting-Edge Research
The linchpin of Intel’s strategic partnership with campus is its connection to the research enterprise through support of faculty and students.
“Ongoing research between investigators at Intel and the University focuses on developing ideas to fuel the next generation of Intel’s business,” says Intel’s Buck. “Working with campus, we are pushing beyond the cutting-edge to create fertile ground in the 5- to 10-year time horizon.”
One of Intel’s current research interests centers on “near voltage threshold” solutions. “Manufacturers are facing a brick wall on how to make the transistors in computer chips smaller and smaller,” explains Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Professor Dennis Sylvester (BSE '95), director of the Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory. “You can only reduce the size so much before you lose reliability or robustness [at low operating voltage].” Intel has sponsored Sylvester’s investigation of techniques for “building reliable [circuitry] systems out of unreliable [transistor] components.” Along with his colleagues, EECS professors David Blaauw and Zhengya Zhang, he has developed an innovative circuit design that allows transistors to function at a low operating voltage and generate electronic data correctly.
EECS Professor Satish Narayanasamy is collaborating with two Intel researchers to develop tools that help computer programmers automatically expose and fix programming mistakes that cause computers to crash. Their solution, he says, will make it easier for programmers to write the complex “multi-threaded” programs that run in parallel on multiple processors in new computers.
“Intel engaged U-M researchers in this collaboration because it’s a high-risk, high-reward project that requires unique faculty expertise in both computer software and hardware,” says Narayanasamy.
Earlier, Narayanasamy developed BugNet, a processor feature that enables computer developers to debug computers by replaying the last second of the program’s execution before a crash. Today, BugNet is actively used as a tool at Intel for debugging. “Michigan Engineering has a strong culture of value-based research,” Narayanasamy explains. “As faculty, we are recognized for having an impact on industry, and it feels great to see something at work inside Intel.”
EECS Professor Peter Chen is conducting Intel-sponsored research in the area of “deterministic replay,” which is useful for debugging computer programs and recovering lost or stolen information. “We want to be able to record and have a computer replay its software computations,” Chen explains. “By enabling us to recreate an execution, we can get all the information about what went wrong.” Intel funding also supported Chen’s work on “platform virtualization,” which creates a virtual, or “guest,” machine that acts like a real computer within an operating system and adds a layer of functionality to enhance the performance and monitor the execution of the virtual machine.
In addition, Intel has invested in automotive-related research centered on imbedded circuitry systems for “smart” cars. EECS faculty members Brian Noble, Robert Dick and Mark Brehob have spearheaded this research activity. Today, the University of Michigan is leading national efforts to develop and test future smart vehicles, focusing on vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle to pedestrian technologies.
Supporting World-Class Facilities
Cutting-edge research does not take place in a vacuum. It requires world-class facilities and equipment. Intel’s contributions to Michigan include support for the infrastructure necessary to feed innovation and education on campus.
Highlights include support for the:
- Bob and Betty Beyster Computer Science and Engineering Building
- Robert H. Lurie Nanotechnology Facility – an 18,000 sq. ft. cleanroom
- Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory
Priming the Talent Pipeline
Innovative, educated individuals power Intel. Intel’s multifaceted support for U-M students and its keen interest in recruiting first-rate graduates continue to deepen the engagement with the University.
“Intel directly or indirectly supports a number of Michigan Engineering classes and research in specialized programs, such as MEMS (microelectromechanical systems),” says Intel’s Buck. “Funding enables professors to develop new coursework in emerging fields, such as artificial intelligence, or to launch collaborative research projects, such as the American Journey 2.0, which engaged students in designing new apps for auto makers.”
To prime the pipeline of talented graduates seeking careers at Intel, the corporation funds one-year doctoral research fellowships for Ph.D. candidates and internships for undergraduate and graduate students. Intel also is involved with the Michigan Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (M-STEM) Academy, which is designed to maximize the academic, personal, and professional success of a diverse pool of U-M students, with the goal of preparing them for the engineering global workforce.
“The internship program is a strategic pipeline to future hires,” says Catherine Jensen, Intel’s campus relations manager. “Every year, we host 30 to 40 U-M interns within our business groups across the globe. These very hands-on learning experiences provide a great venue for Intel, as well as the students, to define and explore their future work interests.”
Intel’s recruitment activities at U-M reach back more than two decades. Since 2005, the company is recruiting 50 to 70 new hires from Michigan annually, Jensen reports. These cohorts include students from across campus, with the vast majority from the College of Engineering.
An estimated 500 U-M alumni currently work at Intel. There is exceptional representation across Intel’s businesses, including two members of Intel’s top Management Committee: Arvind Sodhani (MBA '78), executive vice president and president of Intel Capital, and Patty Murray (JD '86), senior vice president and director of human resources. Sodhani received his master’s degree in business administration from U-M and joined Intel in 1981 as assistant treasurer of Intel Europe. He was named Intel’s treasurer in 1988 and became president of Intel Capital, the corporation’s strategic-investment arm, in 2005. Murray is the first woman at Intel to rise to the position of senior vice president. A Detroit native, Murray worked at the University of Michigan Hospitals as a Registered Nurse, earned her Juris Doctor degree at U-M, and joined Intel as an attorney in 1990. She was named director of Human Resources in 1996, and has worked closely with three of Intel’s five CEOs. “Our relationship with U-M is vibrant and mutually gratifying,” Murray says. “Intel is a proud partner with this extraordinary university, and our employees [who were recruited from U-M] are an enthusiastic and exceptional cohort.”
Looking to the Future
Built on more than 40 years of innovation, Intel continues to look into the future with its academic partners. As a leader in research for areas such as intelligent transportation systems and low power computing, the deep-rooted partnership with the University of Michigan undoubtedly will play an important role in helping Intel retain its leadership position.
Leaders and Best – fueling Intel Inside.
More information: Contact Michael Drake, director, College of Engineering Corporate Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.647.1579.