The Virginia Tech ECE Advisory Board has had another fulfilling year serving the department. In 2017, we welcomed six new members. Ivan Lai from Clarity Strategies & Engineering Solutions, R.J. Balanga from the U.S. Government, Andrew Consiglio from Pratt & Whittney, Keith Kennedy from Micron, Thomas Drayer from DoD, and Jeff McWhirt from Digital Reality. We thank outgoing board members John McHenry, Peter Hadinger, Tim Winter, Michael Chapman, Mike Keeton, and Thomas Joseph for their service to the department.
Key issues the board has been involved with are the reformulation of the undergraduate curriculum and strengthening ties with industry. With the introduction of the 12 undergraduate majors within the ECE curriculum (see next page), industry will soon enjoy engineering students specifically trained in our most critical areas of need. This will not only help industry, but also increase the importance of Virginia Tech overall. In 2017, board members continued to provide industry perspective as input to ECE's RED grant initiative from the National Science Foundation. The board has also been active exploring the possibility of faculty sabbaticals in industry to further develop strategic relationships between Virginia Tech and industry.
In 2017, we also saw continued growth in the numbers of engineering students attending Virginia Tech and the impressive growth in faculty to accommodate. Going forward, the board looks forward to continuing to help Luke Lester prepare for continued growth of the ECE Department and to contributing to the many strategic initiatives being introduced at Virginia Tech.
I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the board, our Vice-Chair Lynn Hamilton-Jones, and Luke, for their support and the opportunity to serve the ECE department.
Chair, ECE Advisory Board