AMD endows W.J. (Jerry) Sanders III Advanced Micro Devices - Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Laura Schmitt, ECE Illinois
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Wen-mei Hwu will be invested as the first W.J. "Jerry" Sanders III - Advanced Micro Devices Endowed Chair in Electrical & Computer Engineering.
- "It is a privilege to further the educational excellence of my alma mater, honoring one of the nation's best educators, and creating a lasting legacy of innovation and competition," said Sanders.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Wen-Mei W. Hwu will be invested as the first W.J. “Jerry” Sanders III – Advanced Micro Devices Endowed Chair in Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at a ceremony today at 4:00 p.m. in the Beckman Institute on campus. An endowed chair is the highest honor bestowed on university faculty.
AMD (NYSE: AMD), a leading designer and producer of microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and system-on-chip solutions, provided the $2.5 million donation to create the chair. Mr. Sanders co-founded AMD and served as chairman and chief executive officer of the company for 33 years from its inception until his retirement as CEO in 2002. He is a University of Illinois alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1958.
“It is a privilege to further the educational excellence of my alma mater, honoring one of the nation’s best educators, and creating a lasting legacy of innovation and competition,” said Sanders. “Professor Hwu has demonstrated throughout his career a dedication to his students and a commitment to the advancement of technology that makes him the ideal first recipient of this chair.”
An expert in computer architecture and compilers, Hwu directs the Illinois Microarchitecture Project using Advanced Compiler Technology (IMPACT) research group. IMPACT provides architecture expertise and compiler prototypes for the microprocessor industry. He is best known for his contribution to the development of instruction-level parallel processing techniques that have been adopted into many of today's microprocessor products.
“The endowed chair is a tremendous gift from AMD to the University of Illinois, honoring Mr. Sanders,” said Professor Hwu. “It will greatly impact the education and research achievements of this institution for many generations to come. I am grateful that my colleagues selected me as the first steward of this magnificent gift, and I intend to leverage this resource to pursue educational and technological advancements important to the semiconductor industry."
The endowed chair is the latest AMD gift in support of Illinois engineering. The company sponsors major computing research projects emphasizing binary code and run-time optimization. AMD has also sponsored the Jerry Sanders Creative Design Competition at the College’s annual Engineering Open House since the late 1980s. Students from Illinois and other engineering schools design and build robotic vehicles that compete against each other in the contest.
“This chair represents one more step in the growing relationship between AMD and the ECE department,” said ECE Head Richard Blahut. “We hope to continue to help them grow their company and the industry, as we provide them our outstanding graduates as new employees.”
In addition to honoring Professor Hwu as the first Sanders - AMD Chair, Illinois is hosting a series of presentations on campus featuring AMD senior executives, including:
- On March 10, Senior Vice President of the Computation Products Group Dirk Meyer spoke to students about AMD’s microprocessor products.
- On March 11, Meyer will present a lecture on leadership in the 21st century to students at 1:30 p.m. in 103 Transportation building.
- Also on March 11, AMD President and CEO Hector Ruiz and AMD Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Tom McCoy will discuss executive leadership and corporate governance with College of Law and College of Business students and faculty at the University of Illinois Research Park at 1:30 p.m.
- On March 12, Sanders will open the student design competition with an address at 9:00 a.m. in Kenney Gym.
AMD (NYSE:AMD) designs and produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and system-on-chip solutions for the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries. AMD is dedicated to helping its customers deliver standards-based, customer-focused solutions for technology users, ranging from enterprises to government agencies and individual consumers. Founded in 1969, AMD is a Standard & Poor's 500 company with global operations and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia.
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About the University of Illinois Electrical & Computer Engineering Department
Currently ranked among the top four electrical and computer engineering programs in the United States, the Illinois ECE Department is internationally recognized for its excellence in research and teaching. The department includes 93 faculty, 1,600 undergraduates, and 550 graduate students. There are more than 19,000 ECE alumni making valuable contributions to engineering and other professional fields worldwide. One of those alums, Jack Kilby (BSEE ’47), won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his invention and development of the integrated circuit.