SIE Alumni in Their Prime
Realizing A Calling
Mike O’Brien, 2021 SIE alum of the year, graduated in 1996 and went on to work for companies such as Intel and Verizon.I had a lot of appreciation for math, and I knew I wanted something that kept an intersection of analytics and human interactions. One of my classmates described what a systems engineer does, and I soon realized my calling.
David Ashton, BS 2013, went on to earn a Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University in 2017.The systems and industrial engineering program... provides the foundation to becoming a critical thinker.
Diana Yakowitz was the first woman to earn a doctorate from the SIE Department, in 1991. She went on to work for the Agricultural Research Service, the research branch of U.S. Department of Agriculture, producing more than 40 papers.SIE made sense. I realized, from there, any field was open. People with degrees from the SIE department end up working for a ton of different industries.
Ryan Kanto, BS/EM 2007, spent nearly a decade in the oil and gas industry before co-founding his own distillery, Quantum Spirits, where he uses science to create whiskey. He and his wife are making a gift to the college to help develop collaborative learning techniques, like those practiced by UA Distinguished Professor Paul Blowers.We see a lot of opportunity, based on the work Dr. Blowers and others have done, to do something meaningful that moves the needle.
Claire Tompkins: Why We Need an Engineer in the White House
"We engineers see the world a certain way. We build things and fix things. In some ways, that’s a good job description for a president. In some ways, that’s a good job description for a president."
During the her 2016 Engineers Breakfast keynote address, “Why We Need an Engineer in the White House,” SIE alumna Claire Tomkins – founder of Future Family, an online platform focused on helping women and couples navigate fertility issues – discussed how our technology- and science-based society needs leaders who understand technology and know how to leverage data.