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Contact Info

Audrey LeGrande
Assistant Director of Alumni
and Student Relations
1072 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-1783


We've created this space to help you stay connected with ECE ILLINOIS. We're sure you'll find it to be a great resource for information, news, and networking.

If you don't see what you need here, or if we can be of assistance in any way, don't hesitate to call us! And, as always, don't be a stranger. Use our online Stay Connected form to let us know what you're up to! Coming to campus? Send us an email.

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Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award (2008)

For leadership in creating high performance electric cars that combine efficiency with great driving performance.

Martin Eberhard

Martin Eberhard

BSCompE ’82, MSEE ‘84
CEO and Co-Founder (retired)
Tesla Motors
San Carlos, CA

Martin Eberhard had a storied career since completing his master’s degree at Illinois. After working with Wyse Technology, he was involved in founding Network Computing Devices (NCD). He left NCD after its successful IPO and founded Nuvo Media, which developed the Rocket eBook, a device that first allowed customers to purchase electronic versions of books from online bookstores. He facilitated the sale of NuvoMedia to Gemstar/TV Guide in 2000.

Martin then turned to developing an electronic car, creating Tesla Motors and developing the Tesla Roadster, which is a beautiful, unbelievably quick automobile, and yet is the most energy efficient car on the road.

Martin grew the cross-discipline Tesla Motors team to 280 people. He led development of the Roadster from inception through design and testing, including safety tests required by the US DOT, and also performance and range tests that validated his claims of sub-4-second 0-60 mph, and better than 220 miles on a charge.

Even before the first Tesla Roadster shipped, Martin’s vision has had an impact on the auto industry and the public perception of what an electric car can be. For example, Bob Lutz, Vice-Chairman of General Motors, publicly commented that he restarted GM’s electric car program with the Chevy Volt as a direct response to the Tesla Roadster.

Martin has recently left Tesla Motors to pursue other opportunities.