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Building Technology that Matters: Global Opportunities in Engineering

02/01/2007 4:00 PM 34-101
Rich Templeton, CEO, Texas Instruments

Description: -The great innovations are in front of us as a society," believes Rich Templeton. This means glowing opportunities for young people entering the workforce, especially those pursuing science and engineering. -The world is getting technologically more sophisticated, and people who understand how this world works will be advantaged, no matter what their occupation: researcher, scientist, lawyer or salesperson." In the 130 years since Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, one billion land line phones have been installed. In the 20-year-history of the cell phone, three billion units have come into circulation around the globe. That number may go up to four billion soon. -I don't know of any other product that two-thirds of the world's population uses," Templeton remarks. He views the explosion of consumer markets as an enormous incentive to entrepreneurs and others moving into the job market. He urges listeners to consider the emerging economies of China and India as a welcome change, not a threat. -We've got three billion additional consumerswho will drive the economy, overnight. We've never seen that type of transformation in the history of the world." The convergence of electrical engineering and life sciences will create a robust area for product development. Templeton envisions such equipment as portable, low power, and low cost ultrasound machines, capable of operating in remote villages, or implantable devices to diagnose and monitor an individual's health. Templeton himself is a product of an engineering education, but to his college advisor's chagrin, chose to head first into sales. It's a choice he's never regretted. -It wasn't about making money, it was because I enjoyed it," Templeton says. He's found that a technical background immeasurably helped in his relations with customers. When students ask about choosing a career path, he advises, -Relax, do what you think you'll have fun doing, and work on things you're not familiar with, challenging stuff that scares you because you don't have a background in it."

About the Speaker(s): Rich Templeton assumed his current duties at Texas Instruments (TI) in May 2004. He also serves on the company's board of directors, to which he was elected in July 2003.

From April 2000 through April 2004, Templeton was chief operating officer of TI. He was executive vice president of the company and president of TI's semiconductor business from June 1996 through April 2004.

Templeton is credited with helping to define and execute TI's strategy to focus on semiconductors for signal processing. Operationally, he guided TI during the worst downturn in the semiconductor history, while maintaining the company's strategic investments in R&D and advanced manufacturing.

Templeton joined the company in 1980 after earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Union College in New York. He spent his operational career in the company's semiconductor business, beginning in sales.

In addition to his TI duties, Templeton is Chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association, and is a member of the Business Roundtable and the Dallas Chief Executive Roundtable.

Host(s): School of Engineering, Research Laboratory for Electronics

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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