Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Deb Frincke, ’85, ’89, ’92

April 07, 2020

Since her time as a computer science student at UC Davis, Deb Frincke, B.S. ’85, M.S. ’89, Ph.D. ’92 has been at the forefront of cybersecurity as it has become an increasingly important part of modern life. With experience in academia, national laboratories and government—most recently as the Director of Research for the National Security Agency (NSA)—she has made a profound impact on the field through her leadership, mentorship and research.

Alumni Spotlight: Shelten Yuen, '01

November 22, 2019

Shelten Yuen received his B.S. in electrical engineering from UC Davis in 2001 and his S.M. in applied math and Ph.D. in engineering sciences from Harvard University in 2007 and 2009, respectively. He is currently the VP of Research at Fitbit Inc. where his team built one of the first optical sensors to measure pulse from the wrist. He was also a founding engineer and developed the core algorithms in the Fitbit trackers. Yuen oversees development in new hardware, sensors, and algorithms in wearable computing.

Alumni Spotlight: John Maroney, '75

November 22, 2019

John Maroney graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1975. Currently, he is the CEO of Alessa Therapeutics, a pre-clinical stage company developing implantable drug delivery systems focused on sustained delivery of drugs to solid organ tumors. Arising from the work done in Dr. Pamela Munster’s labs at UC San Francisco, Alessa’s initial focus is on breast and prostate cancer. Maroney has held several leadership positions over his career and has been on a number of boards. Since graduating, he has remained involved with the College of Engineering in various ways.

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Kiss, ’84

November 22, 2019

Among his accomplishments over a 27-year career in the biotechnology industry, Robert Kiss has helped develop and manufacture multiple biotherapeutics, including Herceptin® for the treatment of breast cancer and Rituxan® for lymphoma. In 2019 Kiss, who spent 24 years at Genentech, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for “contributions to mammalian cell culture and microbial processes that produce recombinant proteins and antibodies.”

Alumni Spotlight: Michael Hurlston, '88, '90, '91

November 22, 2019

Mike Hurlston received his B.S and M.S. in electrical engineering at UC Davis in addition to a M.B.A from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM). He has had a successful career as an electrical engineer and as a business leader. Hurlston is currently the CEO of Synaptics, the leading developer of human interface solutions, bringing innovative and intuitive user experiences to intelligent devices. Since graduating, Hurlston continues to be involved with UC Davis both philanthropically and by volunteering with the two colleges he spent his time in.

Alumni Spotlight: Dennis Discher, '86

November 22, 2019

Dennis Discher earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at UC Davis in 1986, his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco in 1993 and his postdoc from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in 1996. Discher is currently the Robert D. Bent chaired Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Engineering and Applied Science: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Bioengineering.

Alumni Spotlight: Kimberly Budil, '88, '94

November 22, 2019

Kim Budil received her B.S. in physics from University of Illinois Chicago in 1987, her M.S. in applied science from UC Davis in 1988, and her Ph.D. in applied science from UC Davis in 1994. She has held positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), the UC Office of the President and the US Department of Energy. Today, Budil leads LLNL’s nuclear weapons program.

Alumni Spotlight: Diane Bryant, '85

March 26, 2019

UC Davis electrical engineering alumna Diane Bryant (’85) is one of the most powerful women in tech. Most recently, she was the chief operating officer of Google’s Cloud Platform where she managed Google Cloud’s supply chain optimization, customer adoption and IT product development efforts. She was previously the senior vice president and general manager of Intel Corporation’s Data Center Group, a role that landed her on Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” and Business Insider’s “Silicon Valley’s 100” lists, among other accolades. 

Alumni Spotlight: Adam Davis, '04

February 14, 2019

Adam Davis graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He is a Principal Engineer at Weston & Associates Mechanical Engineers, Inc., a full-service design engineering firm providing mechanical engineering services to architects and owners for projects throughout California.

Alumni Spotlight: Jose Velazquez, '13, '14, '17

January 07, 2019

Jose Velazquez was eight years old when he moved to the United States from Mexico. He has gone on to become the first in his immediate family to graduate from college, going on to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from UC Davis in 2017. Always obsessed with cars, he is now an engineer at Ford. The holder of seven pending patents, in May 2018 he was awarded Ford’s Controls Engineering Chief Engineer’s Award for outstanding on-the-job performance.

Velazquez lives in Michigan with his wife, Beatriz, and a puppy.