ECE @ HSI Workshop Series: Session 5

Engaging with Industry


Workshop Session 5

This next installment of the ECE@HSI workshop series focuses on collaborations and partnerships with industry to support ECE student and faculty success. We have invited an outstanding group of panelists composed of industry leaders and members of academia to talk about creating successful industry-university partnerships and collaborations. Panelists will talk about their experiences in creating, managing, and succeeding in these partnerships and collaborations to inform the proposed ECE@HSI coalition. They will discuss signature practices that could be adopted by ECE@HSI and how the proposed alliance can facilitate and support engagement of ECE students and faculty with industry as well as supporting and facilitating the transition of Hispanic ECE students into the workforce.
This workshop is the 5th event as part of the planning process to guide the development of a concept paper to establish the Coalition for Inspiration, Education and Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Hispanic Serving Institutions (ECE@HSI) with the overarching goal of increasing participation and graduation of Hispanic students in electrical and computer engineering.
This planning grant is funded by NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) under award 80NSSC20K1769


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Pre-Recorded Video Presentations

Betsabe (Betsy) Castro-Duarte, University of Texas at El Paso

This presentation will address the various ways that the UTEP Career Center supports EECE student’s professional development efforts with the aid of industry professionals and key campus stakeholders. In specific, I will discuss the following topics: early student engagement, creating a sense of belonging, intentional professional development efforts, employer engagement, and collaboration across campus. The goal of the Center is to provide UTEP students with the skills, experiences, and connections to be successful in their profession. These engagements are critical since over 50% of our students are the first in their families to pursue a higher education degree.


Wayne Johnson, Mass Insight


Partnership Continuum



This document was published by the National Academies based on my work with GUIRR and the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP).
Rogelio Palomera García , University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

The video present de main features of the collaborative project between Texas Instruments and UPR Mayaguez, specifically, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. This program has been working continuously for 23 years and has been successful in several ways. Very important, it has been beneficial for all parties involves: industry, university, ECE Dept., professors and students.


Rod Wetterskog, Assistant Dean, Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science Director, UTDesign Studio, University of Texas at Dallas

Presentation Slides:



Wilson Lee, Tektronix

Presentation Slides:



Betsy Castro-Duarte
University Career Center
University of Texas at El Paso
Betsy Castro-Duarte is the Director of the UTEP Career Center Department. The Department aligns under the Division of Student Affairs with the direction of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Gary Edens. As director of the Career Center, Betsy provides oversight, leadership and management of a centralized career center operation that serves UTEP’s six academic colleges and Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy. Her team of dedicated professionals includes thirteen full time staff and fifteen student staff. Betsy is passionate about developing young professional to reach their diverse career aspirations. She believes in excellence and innovation in all aspects of her work. Her experience in higher education spans the spectrum of international recruitment, graduate education, advocacy and leadership development, and employer engagement. Betsy has over twenty-five years of experience working with first generation college students and their families. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, with a BA in Government, and The University of Texas at El Paso with a Master’s in Public Administration. Ms. Castro-Duarte is a member of numerous professional organizations and is a graduate of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Management Leadership Institute.

Iván García
Business Manager, Analog Power Products
Texas Instruments
Iván García is a Business Manager at Texas Instruments where he leads a team directing the definition, promotion, and support of next generation analog power products across a number of applications. Throughout his career, Iván has had the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology both as an individual contributor and a high-level business leader. Managing teams in a global market has presented many challenges, but each hurdle has deepened his understanding of the business, furthered his relationship with his team, and revealed what necessary skills it takes to navigate the ever-changing digital and analog semiconductor landscape.
In addition to being a Business Manager, Iván also serves as the Texas Instruments Campus Recruiting Manager at The University of Texas at El Paso where he graduated with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2002. He has over a decade of experience in the college recruiting space across a variety of functions. Iván is also the co-chair for the “UNIDOS” Hispanic/Latino employee resource group at TI whose mission is to foster professional development, offer professional guidance to college students, and plan community service activities within the Latinx community.

Andrew Horchler
Principal Research Scientist 
Andrew Horchler is Astrobotic’s Principal Research Scientist and leads the development of robotics hardware and software for advanced applications that push the boundaries of what is possible in space. He serves as Principal Investigator on R&D contracts and technical lead on space robotics technology development projects, including a navigation sensor for precision landing that will fly on Astrobotic’s first lunar mission and a hazard detection LiDAR sensor that will safely land NASA’s VIPER rover on the south pole of the Moon in 2023. Horchler has developed more than a dozen mobile robot platforms over the past 20 years and has published over 60 papers, proceedings, and patents. His robots have been tested on simulated lunar regolith at NASA GRC’s SLOPE laboratory, on tortuous rubble piles and desert terrain for NASA and NIST field tests and have flown in caves and icy lava tubes. As Astrobotic’s Principal Research Scientist, Horchler is the technical lead of the company’s R&D team that has been awarded over 30 NASA and commercial contracts to develop robotics hardware and software for space exploration. He also serves as a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on Planetary Protection. Prior to Astrobotic, Dr. Horchler invented Mini-Whegs, a series of small, bio-inspired, highly mobile, and inexpensive robots. As Technical Lead for Case Western Reserve’s successful DARPA Urban Challenge self-driving car team, he led the creation and testing of driving behaviors and developed real time trajectory planning, collision avoidance, and mapping algorithms. Horchler has also made significant contributions in climbing robotics, biologically inspired design and control, and soft robotics. At Astrobotic, Horchler also supports rover system development and served as PI for Astrobotic’s lunar “CubeRover” platform as well as a NASA contract to develop software to aid mission planners in formulating rover missions under the unique lighting conditions at the poles of the Moon. He has also served as Flight Software Lead for Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander. Horchler holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and a B.S.E. from Princeton, both in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on robotics.

Wayne Johnson
MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium
Director Innovation Partnerships

Mass Insight

Wayne Johnson is a nationally renowned expert in domestic and international innovation ecosystems and experienced at creating complex partnerships between government, academia, industry, and nongovernmental organizations. Currently a member of the National Academies Government University Industry Research Roundtable, he was Executive Director of the Innovation Institute at the University of Massachusetts, which he founded, Vice President of Corporate Institute Relations at Caltech, and Director of Innovation Partnerships at Mass Insight. Wayne is a member of the ASTRA Board of Directors and an influential member of the global innovation community. He has spent many years navigating corporate and academic interfaces related to intellectual property rights, innovation policy, technology commercialization, and competitiveness issues. He also served as a Trustee of Wentworth Institute, as a member of the Franklin W. Olin College President’s Advisory Council, a member of the National Academy of Engineering University Industry Demonstration Partnership, a member of the Kauffman Foundation iBridge Strategic Advisory Board, and Chair of the University of Texas El Paso I-STAR External Advisory Board. From 2001 until 2008 he was Vice President of University Relations Worldwide at Hewlett-Packard Company. He currently serves as a Board member of the MSI STEM Research and Development Consortium, Raytheon Association of Retirees, the Weston Council on Aging, Springwell, and Vetflix. He is also an advisor to the technology start-up known as the Curious Reactor. In April 2018 Mr. Johnson was invited by Newton-Wellesley Hospital to serve as an Overseer for a three-year term. He recently joined the Board of Directors of Maguire Associates. Widely recognized as a thought leader and global influencer, Johnson was a delegate to the Clinton Global Initiative, September 2007. He has also been quoted as a subject matter expert on the topic of engineering education and global capacity building in the press. Johnson was one of five members of an expert panel that provided Congressional Testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives (Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Committee on Science and Technology) on July 17, 2007, regarding “Bayh-Dole – the Next 25 Years,” influencing significant legislation that seeks to address issues of Intellectual Property (IP). Johnson joined HP in 2001 from Microsoft’s University Relations where he managed Program Managers and administrative staff across a customer base of 50 tier-one universities. From 1967 to 2000, he held a variety of positions at the Raytheon Company in Waltham, Massachusetts, including National Sales Manager for Wireless Solutions, Manager of International Financing and Business Development, Manager of Administration and Strategic Planning for Raytheon’s Research Division, and Manager of Program Development and Operations for Technical Services. Johnson received his B.A. from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, and his M.B.A. from Boston College’s Carroll School, Boston, MA. He was an Adjunct Professor of Management at Boston University from 1977 to 1999. Johnson was recognized during this period as one of BU Metropolitan College’s most outstanding adjunct faculty members of the year. Johnson’s work was also acknowledged in 2005 through a Harvard Business School Case Study - HP Nanotech: Partnership with CNSI, which illustrates the challenges of managing industrial–university collaborations and examines issues of US national competitiveness.

Wilson Lee
Education Market Segment Lead 
Wilson Lee is Education Market Segment Lead at Tektronix. Wilson has over 25 years of technical marketing, technical sales leadership roles with manufacturers such as CTS Electronic Components, as well technical/value-add distributors such as Richardson RFPD and Premier Farnell. Wilson has focused on on-line learning communities such as Element 14 that nurture crowd learning, and design engineer engagement. Wilson’s other areas of focused experience is technology advancement and adaption within the RF/Wireless, Industrial Power, and Industrial Automation market segments. Wilson earned his Bachelors of Science Degree at Cornell University. He has lived in New York, Chicago and Asia through his career and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.


Rogelio Palomera-García
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Rogelio Palomera García has been professor at UPR Mayaguez since 1985, and collaborating with the program Texas Instruments-UPRM since 1997. He received the engineering degree from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico in 1971, the Masters in Engineering from the U. of Electrocommunications, Tokyo, Japan in1975, and the degree of Docteur es Science from the Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, EPFL, in 1979. Prior to UPRM, he was researcher at CICESE, Centro de Investigación Científica y Estudios Superiores de Ensenada, in Baja California, Mexico.

Rodney Wetterskog
Assistant Dean of Corporate Relations
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science 
University of Texas at Dallas
Rod Wetterskog is the Assistant Dean of Corporate Relations for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. His role in corporate relations focuses on aligning high tech companies with Jonsson school faculty and students; expanding on successful relationship building, research and recruiting efforts. He also directs the UTDesign Studio, the home of the Jonsson School UTDesign Senior Capstone, EPICS and Makerspace programs. Rod’ s early career landed him at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y., where he served for six years as an optical scientist, test and systems engineer. In the early 1990s, he moved to Texas to work as an applied physicist at the Superconducting Super Collider, a U.S. Department of Energy physics project. Following the termination of that project by Congress, Rod served for six years as the director of the North Central Texas Tech Prep Consortium, partnering high schools, community colleges, universities and industry to help better prepare students entering technical careers. Rod then joined Texas Instruments for 10 years, where he partnered with 50 universities worldwide, establishing research projects with their EE and CS departments and recruiting interested students into TI internships and full time positions. Rod has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Penn State University and a Master of Science degree in physics from the University of Oklahoma.

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