Strategic Advisory Board

The Strategic Advisory Board plays a major role in setting directions for ECE research and education as well as providing a source of new partnerships with industry. We recruit members from corporations and academia that are well connected with the industry and can provide the insights necessary to keep the ECE department current and vital.

picture of John Amein

John Amein

President Voice Biometrics Group
John Amein is President of Voice Biometrics Group, a developer of voice authentication software technology. John has more than 30 years of telecommunications experience across US and Europe, specializing in call center on-premise and cloud solutions, interactive voice response, and mobile web application development. From 2013 to 2015 John served as Vice President for Product Management for Aspect Software, a multi-national company where he led global planning for Aspect's full product suite. He previously spent seven years as a Senior Vice President at Voxeo Corporation prior to its acquisition by Aspect, where he oversaw Strategic Partnerships, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Product Management. John founded VoiceReady in 2005, which he sold to Voxeo. Before founding VoiceReady, he served as CEO of NetByTel, Inc, a company specializing in cloud-based speech recognition solutions for enterprises, and led its successful sale. Prior to NetByTel, John was with Intel Corporation and Dialogic Corporation in sales and executive roles. John has an MSEE from Stanford University and a BSEE from NCSU.
picture of Caren Anders

Caren Anders

Vice President, Transmission Operations & Planning Duke Energy

Caren Anders serves as vice president of emerging technology and transmission affairs for Duke Energy. In this role, she is responsible for the development and application of technologies that support Duke Energy's mission of providing electric services in an affordable, reliable and clean manner - while maintaining a strong financial position and responding to an ever-changing business environment. Key emerging technologies include renewable generation, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage, smart grid, clean combustion, small modular nuclear reactors and water efficiency. In addition, Anders has responsibility for the company's external transmission relations and industry leadership, as well as managing the transmission compliance team and enhancing transmission risk management efforts. She assumed her current position in January 2015.

Anders brings more than 30 years of experience to the position, including engineering and a variety of leadership roles. She joined the company in March 2007 as vice president of transmission operations and planning for Progress Energy. Prior to that, she held numerous leadership roles at Exelon Corp. in the nuclear, fossil and transmission businesses.

Anders earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and received her MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is also a graduate of the Columbia University Advanced Management Program, Leadership Philadelphia and Leadership North Carolina. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of ASME International.

picture of Russ Gyurek

Russ Gyurek

Director of Technology, IoT CTO Group, IVSG Cisco
picture of Bob Kepley

Bob Kepley

Senior Vice President, Engineering Hughes Network Systems, LLC

Bob is senior vice president of engineering at Hughes Network Systems, LLC located in Germantown, Maryland. He is responsible for hardware engineering and manages the development of satellite based products and systems for consumer, enterprise, and government markets. Over his 34 year career at Hughes, he has made numerous technical contributions in the areas of wireless and satellite products and services. Specifically he was instrumental in the development of satellite based telephone and video conferencing systems, and the Hughes airplane telephone system; he led the development of multiple generations of DIRECTV set top boxes; and he currently leads the development of Hughes VSAT terminals, gateway equipment and government systems and products.

Bob joined Hughes in 1981 as a member of the technical staff in the corporate research center. With a background in digital signal processing and information theory, he was responsible for advanced research and development of video and audio coding and compression technologies. Since 1985, he has held a variety of technical and management positions within engineering at Hughes.

Bob received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is co-inventor of numerous patents in electronics and communications systems and has authored published technical papers.

picture of Serge Leef

Serge Leef

Vice President Mentor Graphics Corporation

Serge Leef serves as the Vice President of New Ventures, responsible for identifying and developing product opportunities for systems markets adjacent to EDA. Most recently, he was General Manager of the System-Level Engineering Division at Mentor Graphics. In this role, Serge led three business units focused on markets where system-level design plays a pivotal role: 1) product lines that focus on next-generation EDA technologies for advanced functional verification and test; 2) a business unit that concentrated on applying advanced system-level design automation techniques to the challenges associated with functional design of automotive distributed systems and 3) a third business unit focused on analysis and verification of multi-physics systems where software and electronic hardware interact with hydraulic, magnetic, thermal, fluidic and mechanical components.

 Prior to joining Mentor Graphics in 1990, Leef was responsible for design automation at Silicon Graphics, where his team created revolutionary high-speed simulation tools to enable design of high speed 3D graphics chips that defined state-of-the-art in visualization, imaging, gaming and special effects for a decade. 

Prior to 1987, Leef managed a CAE/CAD organization at Microchip Inc. From 1982 to 1987 he worked at Intel Corp. developing functional and physical design and verification tools for major 8- and 16-bit microcontroller and microprocessor programs. Serge holds a BSEE and MSCS from Arizona State University.
picture of

Steven W. McLaughlin

Steve W. Chaddick School Chair & Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology

Steven W. McLaughlin received the B.S.E.E. degree from Northwestern University, the M.S.E. degree from Princeton University, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan. He joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech in September 1996 where is now Steve W. Chaddick School Chair for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

From 2007-2012 he was Vice Provost for International Initiatives and Steven A. Denning Chair in Global Engagement. As Vice Provost he was responsible for Georgia Tech's global engagement in research, education, and economic development. He was also President of GT Global, Inc. a not-for-profit corporation created to manage select Georgia Tech international initiatives. He was President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2005 and is a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2011 he was awarded the honor Chevalier dans l`Ordre Nationale de Merite, (Knight of the National Order of Merit) from the President of the Republic of France. His research interests are in communication and information theory, has published more than 250 conference and journal papers in those areas and holds 32 US patents. He is a co-founder of Whisper Communications, a physical-layer security company established in 2009.

picture of Nelson Peeler - Strategic Advisory Board Chair

Nelson Peeler - Strategic Advisory Board Chair

Vice President Duke Energy Corp.


Nelson Peeler is vice president of system planning and operations for Duke Energy’s U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas organization. He leads the group responsible for the real-time monitoring and control of the bulk electric transmission and distribution systems, as well as transmission system planning for Duke Energy. He was named to his current position in January 2010.  Previously, Peeler served as vice president of performance support. He led the power delivery support team for five states served by the company, including the areas of business planning, contract management, IT integration, training, labor strategy, resource planning and process improvement.  He joined Duke Power in 1988 and  has held a variety of leadership roles within the power delivery and engineering departments.

The Faith, N.C., native graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Queens University. He is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Peeler serves on the board of directors of the North American Energy Standards Board and is a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s Distribution Executive and Reliability Executive Advisory Committees. He chairs the Carolinas Energy Workforce Development Consortium and serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina State Engineering Foundation and the advisory board of the Computer, Electrical, Electronics, Engineering Technology (CEEET) department at Central Piedmont Community College.

He and his wife, Lorie, have a son and a daughter.

picture of Laura Schoppe

Laura Schoppe

President Fuentek
Laura A. Schoppe is president of Fuentek, LLC, a consulting firm she established in 2001 that provides intellectual property and technology management services with a specialization in technology commercialization. In her role as president, Laura is responsible for managing relationships as well as establishing strategic client plans and conducting training workshops for clients. She has an extensive background in all aspects of intellectual property management, particularly leading license negotiation activities from transition innovations to new products. She has led major technology transfer projects at leading universities and government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies have sought her advice on strategic planning related to their intellectual assets. Prior to establishing Fuentek, Laura spearheaded successful research for several defense contractors. Laura has been selected to speak at several national and international conferences and has published many papers and book chapters. She was elected to the board of the Association of University Technology Managers as the Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and also serves on the NC State University Electrical and Computer Engineering advisory board. In 2008 Laura was recognized as one of the Triangle’s top 25 businesswomen with Triangle Business Journal’s prestigious Women in Business Award for her exemplary leadership skills in the innovation category.
picture of Anders Sjoelin

Anders Sjoelin

Region Division Manager, Power Systems Division ABB North America

Anders assumed the role as President and Division Manager for the Power Systems Division in North America on May 1, 2010.  He formerly held the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager for Business Units Grid Systems and Substations within the Power Systems Division in North America.  Anders has more than 21 years with ABB, working in several countries in different management positions. Before moving to US in late 2004 Anders worked in Switzerland at ABB’s headquarters.

picture of E.C.Sykes

E. C. Sykes

CEO Black Box

EC Sykes is President and CEO of Black Box. Black Box is a leading global technology solutions provider dedicated to helping customers build, manage, optimize and secure their IT infrastructure. Black Box delivers high-value products and services through its global presence in 150 countries and 3,800 team members. Black Box trades as NASDAQ: BBOX with annual revenues of about $1B. Prior to these roles, EC was CEO of SWITCH Lighting, an LED lighting solution that was scaling into the large and rapidly growing LED lighting market. SWITCH won the most awards in the industry for innovation and design.

Prior to SWITCH Lighting, EC was a Named Executive Officer and Group President of Flextronics, a $28B Fortune 500 company. Part of his responsibilities included leading the Industrial and Emerging Industries Group which included $4B in revenue from 400 customers and managing 35,000 people in 30 international sites. Prior to the President role, EC was Vice President of the Guadalajara, Mexico campus and General Manager at the North Carolina site.

Prior to Flextronics, EC was CEO of Circuit Board Assemblers, a design and manufacturing service provider which was recognized as one of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the nation.

EC holds a BSEE and Masters in Management from North Carolina State University and holds several board positions and is an active supporter of a number of charitable organizations.

picture of John A. Toebes

John A. Toebes

John is responsible for leading a developer community in the field of Software Defined Networks at Extreme Networks.

John has been awarded 98 US patents for his work in MPEG video and XML compression, IP telephony, distributed computing and distributed network services. He currently has over 40 additional patents pending with the U.S. PTO.

Previously at Cisco, John was Senior Director, Patents Effectiveness, Tools and Processes at Cisco, responsible for evaluating patents and encouraging innovation. Prior to that, John was the Chief Architect of the Cisco Media Solutions Group, responsible for evaluating technologies, both internal and external to improve the content experience for consumers. Prior to that, he was a Senior Manager in Cisco's Technology Center, where he managed a team of software engineers who evaluated, designed, and developed innovative technologies. John and his team worked at the bleeding edge on a wide variety of technologies, including Network Search, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Network Gaming, and XML Applications.

John joined Cisco in December of 1999. Prior to this, he was Founder and Vice President of Research & Development for SouthPeak Interactive, a division of SAS Institute. While at SouthPeak, John was the Producer for Men in Black: The Game.

John received a BS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University and went on to be stationed at the Pentagon as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He has also worked at SAS Institute and Nortel Networks as a Manager and Systems Developer.

John resides in Cary, NC with his wife where he likes to tinker with electronics and help coach high school Robotics and Science Olympiad teams. John was honored as the 2011 FIRST Tech Challenge Volunteer of the Year for development and support of their robot communications system.
picture of Robbie Troxler

Robbie Troxler

Director; Advanced Technology Troxler Electronic Laboratories

Robbie is the Director of Advanced Technologies at Troxler Electronic Laboratories in Research Triangle Park, NC.  Troxler Electronics was founded by Robbie's father, William Troxler, a 1953 NC State graduate.  Robbie received his BS in Electrical Engineering from NC State in 1983 and his MS/PhD in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.  The Troxler Family has been a long time supporter of the ECE Department making major donations the Troxler Design Center, the ECE Department and the College of Engineering. 

picture of Jan van Dokkum

Jan van Dokkum

Operating Partner Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

Jan van Dokkum is an Operating Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with the specific task of assisting the Greentech ventures toward commercialization. He brings many years of experience in building organizations to achieve rapid growth in the areas of sales, marketing, manufacturing, product development, quality and supply chain development.

Prior to his role at KPCB, Jan served as president of UTC Power, a division of United Technologies, Inc., for 7 years and was instrumental in advancing UTC Power's on-site power generation product and service offerings. These include stationary fuel cells, renewable power solutions, such as geothermal and solar, and combined cooling, heating and power applications for the commercial building markets. He led United Technologies’ effort to improve and optimize energy use in commercial buildings by offering in depth analysis of a building’s electrical and thermal systems. In addition, he focused the company's fuel cell activities toward transportation, working closely with the world\'s leading automotive manufacturers and seeking out other early uses for fuel cells in transit buses.

Before joining UTC Power, Jan was with Siemens for 17 years where he served the last 6 years as president and chief executive officer of Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc. In those years he augmented the company’s traditional power equipment such as switchgear, power breakers, transformers and regulators with intelligent systems and controls. His vision was to create a smart electrical power delivery system to provide greater reliability and functionality, while at the same time adapt to deregulation and improve competitiveness. Under his leadership, the product lines expanded to include metering and billing systems, power system information technology, distribution automation and high voltage controls.

picture of Jonathan C. White

Jonathan White

R&D Director Synopsys Corporation

Jonathan is an R&D Director for Synopsys Corp out of their RTP, NC office. He leads a worldwide team focused on the Synopsys design tools for the backend flow and physical layout. His 20+ years in EDA (Electronic Design Automation) began with work as a software developer, and has included various R&D management, business development and marketing roles. His expertise is primarily in Physical Verification, Place & Route and Floorplanning and includes two patented EDA algorithms. In addition to his R&D work, Jonathan is passionate about recruiting, hiring and mentoring new college hires at Synopsys, and is the lead for the relationship between Synopsys and NCSU.

Jonathan received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University in 1991 and his MS in Computer Engineering in North Carolina State University in 1994.

Member Files IconMember Files