Texas Instruments CEO speaks highly of UI engineers

By Peter Kim

For the first time ever, Rich Templeton, chief executive officer of Texas Instruments, leading electronics manufacturer most known for its line of “TI” calculators, chose the University as a venue for one of his annual speaking events.

Templeton spoke in a seminar titled “Engineer the Future: Making an Impact Through Innovation.” The event, sponsored by the University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, took place Wednesday in the Coordinated Science Laboratory.

“(My lecture will answer) why it’s great to be an engineer,” said Templeton. “Texas Instruments has a long history with the University of Illinois. There are a lot of great engineers at the U of I.”

Templeton said he has been to many other top engineering colleges like the University of Southern California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and makes international trips to colleges in countries such as India and China.

“I get a chance to see what the faculty has in mind and to meet great students,” Templeton said.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Templeton’s visit coincided with the 50th anniversary of University alumnus Jack Kilby’s invention of the integrated circuit, a device that paved the way for virtually all of modern electronics. Kilby won the Nobel Prize for that invention in 2000. According to the Nobel Foundation Web site, Kilby worked for Texas Instruments from 1958 until the 1980s.

“(The 50th anniversary of Kilby’s award) highlights the connection between Texas Instruments and the University of Illinois,” Templeton said.

Richard Blahut, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that Texas Instruments is also an active employer of University graduates.

“There are currently about 140 alumni employed at Texas Instruments,” Blahut said.

Blahut also said Texas Instruments makes frequent donations to his department. One such donation was an entire laboratory named after Texas Instruments.

“It’s a great time to be an engineer,” Templeton said. “(Any student studying engineering) has chosen well. The University of Illinois is a wonderful university.”