Alumni notes


David Breslauer (Ph.D.’10 BioE) is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Bolt Threads, a company that uses the science behind spider silk to produce garments. The company recently announced a limited-release tie collection that garnered extensive media attention; future plans include a collaborative project with Patagonia.

Raghav Chandra (B.S.’11 EECS) founded UrbanClap, a startup that aims to optimize the on-demand services sector in India. UrbanClap aggregates 107 local services and 65,000 providers, enabling customers to request services through its website or mobile application. Previously, he was a software engineer at Yelp and Twitter; he also founded the startup Buggi.

Baiyu Chen (B.S.’14, M.S.’15 CEE) and his research partner, Anthony Barrs, won the top prize for their design of “Hyperlane,” a highway system that features a reserved lane for self-driving cars to travel at high speeds. The pair were awarded a $50,000 prize at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge by transportation experts, who believe this idea could be achieved as soon as 2050.

Dawn TilburyDawn Tilbury to head NSF Engineering Directorate

Dawn Tilbury (M.S.’92, Ph.D.’94 EECS), a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Michigan, will lead investments in fundamental engineering research and education as the newly-appointed head of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering. Prior to her appointment, Tilbury was the associate dean of research at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. She joined Michigan’s faculty in 1995, where her research has spanned distributed control of mechanical systems with network communication, logic control of manufacturing systems, reliability of ground robotics and dynamic systems modeling of physiological systems. She was elected an IEEE fellow in 2008 and an ASME fellow in 2012. (Photo courtesy Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing)

Kathryn Cook (B.S.’10, M.S.’11 MSE) leads a Facebook team that is creating solar-powered drones to deliver Internet access to remote areas of the world.

Patrick Goodwill (Ph.D.’10 BioE) is the co-founder and CTO at Magnetic Insight Inc. The medical imaging startup was recently selected by the Angel Capital Association for the 2017 Luis Villalobos Award for ingenuity, creativity and innovation.

Kaleb Hatfield (M.Eng.’16 NE) studies radiation and transport at Tri Alpha Energy, using physical and computational analysis of current
and future nuclear fusion devices. In a February interview posted on Medium, he described his work and responded to public concerns about nuclear energy.

Lavanya Jawaharlal (B.S.’16 ME) is the president and co-founder of STEM Center USA, which received a $50,000 small business grant to further their mission to help children learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), close the gender gap and enrich the lives of children through innovation. STEM Center USA was also featured on an episode of Shark Tank.


Sarah Bergbreiter (M.S.’04, Ph.D.’07 EECS) is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland in College Park. She is also the director of the Maryland Robotics Center and oversees both the Micro Robotics Lab and the Robot Realization Lab. Her research interests include microrobotics, microelectromechanical systems, microactuators, soft robots and millimeter-scale power systems. She has received many accolades — including NSF CAREER, DARPA Young Faculty and PECASE awards — and was named one of “25 Women in Robotics You Should Know About” by the robotics website Robohub.

Lizzie Blaisdell Collins (M.S.’05 CE) received the 2016 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Shah Family Innovation Prize for her creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. A specialist in earthquake risk mitigation and management, she is the director of engineering for Build Change and leads the technical development for supporting cities in implementing disaster mitigation programs.

Oscar DubonDubón appointed Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion

Oscar Dubón (M.S.’92, Ph.D.’96 MSE), formerly the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion at the college, was recently appointed Berkeley’s next Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. He will lead the Division of Equity & Inclusion in broadening programmatic access; creating equitable experiences for students, staff and faculty; ensuring a welcoming campus climate; and facilitating, advising and consulting with the campus on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Earlier this year, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity as a record of his accomplishment in promoting diversity and inclusion throughout UC Berkeley. During his time as Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, he established the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence, which offers programs and support for engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds. (Photo by Noah Berger)

Khalid Kadir (M.S.’02, Ph.D.’10 CEE), a lecturer at Berkeley, was honored at the 58th Annual Distinguished Teaching Award ceremony on campus for his inspiring teaching. He teaches courses for the Global Poverty and Practice program and the College of Engineering. While doing research for his Ph.D., he received a Fulbright Fellowship to work on wastewater treatment systems in Morocco. He was chosen to be a Chancellor’s Public Scholar in 2013 to create and teach an interdisciplinary engineering course, and was also awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for Service-Learning Leadership in 2014.

Andrew Ng (Ph.D.’03 CS), chief scientist at Baidu, is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, where he is the founder and leader of the Google Brain project, which develops massive-scale deep learning algorithms. In 2011, he led the development of Stanford University’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform, which led to the founding of Coursera to offer high quality online courses at universities all over the world.


Eleanor Allen (M.S.’97 CEE) is the CEO of Water for People, a nonprofit that aims to provide sustainable, long- term access to high-quality drinking
water and sanitation services through-out the world. She was recently awarded the prestigious WEF Fellows designation by the Water Environment Federation.

Yoky Matsuoka (B.S.’93 EECS) was featured as one of Interesting Engineering’s “17 Awesome Women Engineers” in 2017. She is currently working at Google’s parent company, Alphabet, as the CTO of Nest.


Charles Giancarlo (M.S.’80 EECS) is the new chief executive and member of the board at Pure Storage. Most recently, he was a senior executive at Silver Lake Partners. He is also a member of the Berkeley Engineering advisory board.

Anantha P. Chandrakasan EECS Distinguished Alumni Award

Anantha P. Chandrakasan (B.S.’89, M.S.’90, Ph.D.’94 EECS) has been named dean of MIT’s School of Engineering. Earlier this year, he received Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. (Photo by Patty Sampson)

Yongdong Wang (M.S.’88, Ph.D.’92 CS) has been named global senior vice president of Microsoft. He is currently the CTO of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group; previously, he served as the vice president of engineering at Yahoo.

Denis Shing Fai Yip (B.S.’89, M.S.’91 EECS) is the CEO of Digital China Holdings Limited, focusing on integrating big data and cloud computing technologies into the company’s industrial system. Previously, he served as president of EMC Greater China. He has been working in the information management, software and global sales industry for 26 years, and has been a key figure in the integration of DELL and EMC in the greater China region.


Sanjay Mehrotra (B.S.’78, M.S.’80 EECS) is Micron’s new president and CEO. Previously, he co-founded SanDisk, later joining Western Digital when it acquired the company in 2015. He holds 70 patents in flash memory systems and volatile memory design.


Charles Jennings (B.S.’62 CEE, B.Arch.’67) is the principal architect for the expansion of McKeon Pavilion at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. Previously, he worked on the Golden State Warriors Practice Facility in Oakland, the West County Times Building and Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City. He has been practicing architecture in the Bay Area for over 45 years with both Charles F. Jennings Architects and Polytech Associates.

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