SIE Alumni in Their Prime
Networks for Needs
Claire Tomkins, BS/SIE 2001, has investigated climate change solutions at the Carbon War Room, managed product marketing at SolarCity and co-founded the holistic fertility care company Future Family. She was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Engineers Breakfast.We need to elect leaders who understand technology and know how to leverage data. 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.
Public Health Entrepreneur
Michael Popovich, MS/SE 1973, started his Arizona-based IT consulting firm, Scientific Technologies Corp., in the late 1980s. It wasn’t long before the company took a public health tack, saving lives during Hurricane Katrina and working to educate the public on the value of immunizations.Seeing the appreciation of the people whom we work with was enough to keep us going and motivated.
In 1960, Herb Burton was the only graduate of the UA’s engineering mathematics program, which became the systems engineering program a year later. The data communications pioneer, former AT&T executive and donor to SIE received the department’s inaugural alumni award in 2016.I look forward to following SIE’s future achievements and celebrating next year’s recipient of this new alumni award.
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.
Cindy Klingberg, BS/IE 1988, is a program manager and engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems. The Alumni Association member, Engineering Design Day mentor and donor to the college was the second-ever recipient of the department’s Alumni of the Year Award in 2017.The greatest reward I’ve ever been given is the simple opportunity to help generations of students learn how to think critically about the world around them.
Tech Industry Titan
Kurt DelBene, BS/IE 1982, chief digital officer and executive vice president of corporate strategy and operations at Microsoft, has had a decades-long career at the company. The UA College of Engineering’s 2015 Alumnus of the Year also helped revamp the healthcare.gov website. He delivered the inaugural talk for the 2018 series, Lessons in Engineering Leadership.What we do as engineers is becoming more and more essential to how we operate as a nation.