Illinois ECE alumni are some of the most interesting people we know. To celebrate them, we’ve decided to ask them questions both serious and fun. Here, you’ll find their Ten Answers.


Matthew Hudson (BSEE '89) is VP Sales Major Accounts at Syniverse Technology in Kirkland, WA.  While at Illinois ECE, Matthew was active in IEEE and Engineering Open House. During his career, he went on to earn his MBA at Washington University. 


What was your favorite place to study?

Psych Building. It was right across from Kam's and CO's. Could study for a few hours and then go to the bar for a 'reward.' 

 What was your favorite ECE course and why?

I cannot remember the class number, but I had two lab classes that were amazing. In one, we fabricated IC's and the other we used lasers to make holograms. Both classes were great examples of applying the theory to reality.

 Did you have a faculty advisor/mentor  while at Illinois ECE? What do you remember most about them?

Nick Holonyak, Jr was my Sr. Project advisor. If anyone knew about how to apply theory to the real world, Prof. Holonyak would be the guy.

 What was your greatest accomplishment while at Illinois ECE?

My first semester of my sophomore year. I missed about 3 weeks of school due to an appendectomy. I was taking a full load of classes with my first EE classes. I don't know how I did it, but I was able to buckle down and pull out my best GPA ever that semester. 

 What do you think is the next big idea that's going to change the way we live?

I think we are seeing more and more cross-discipline collaboration. Provost Cangellaris mentioned how they had researchers looking to apply RF/signaling error correction theory to IC design and fabrication to improve yields. I find that type of cross pollination fascinating and I think we are just scratching the surface.

 What's your favorite technological advancement so far?

I have been working in the field of mobile communications for over 27 years, so I might be biased here. However, I am so amazed at what we have been able to accomplish in that time. We went from simple car phones with horrible quality to incredibly sophisticated devices that allow us to do so much.

Why did you choose Illinois/ECE?

When I was a Senior in High School, I applied to many of the best Engineering schools in the Midwest. All it took was one visit to Illinois to realize that is where I wanted to go. The campus had everything I wanted. It had a great academic reputation, an engaged social scene, and an amazing campus. 

How did your time at Illinois affect your career?

I graduated from U of I a few years after "Risky Business" hit the big screen. So, many people didn't think University of Illinois was that great of a school. However, for those people who know anything about Engineering schools, know that U of I is in rarified company. It has such a strong reputation that I have been able to leverage as a door opener. 

Advice you would like to share to current/future students?

Do not get trapped into an engineering bubble. Try to take classes outside of ECE and even outside of The Grainger College of Engineering. You never know where you will gain an idea or help someone else with theirs.

What is the last book you read or movie/TV show you watched?

I just finished re-reading "1984." Wow!!! Very scary how much has come to pass.

Do you have answers? Email us at ece@illinois.edu, and we may feature you in the future.