Michael VanBlaricum


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 (sometimes more) Answers.


Michael VanBlaricum (BSEE '72, MS '74, PhD '76) is the Owner of Dogged Research Associates in Santa Barbara, CA. I will try and keep this short as there is much to share with you about this alum. VanBlaricum is an active alumnus with a lot of Illini pride – having received the UI Alumni Association's Lou Liay Spirit Award. VanBlaricum has stayed connected to the University in many ways – Athletics, Spurlock Museum, Illinois Distributed Museum, UI Alumni Association, U of I Foundation, and the Illinois ECE Alumni Board where he currently is serving as it’s Past President. Want to learn more? Google him, it’s worth it! 


What was your favorite place to study?

My dorm room.

 What was your favorite ECE course and why?

ECE 344, George Anner was an amazing Professor.

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

Prof. Paul Klock was my go to person. He was always willing to talk, help me with a problem I couldn't work out, or have me over to their house for pizza.

What was your greatest accomplishment while at Illinois ECE?

My wife and I revived Engineering Open House in 1972. We were general co-chairs of EOH '72 for the college.

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

Time travel.

 What's your favorite technological advancement so far?

Digital photography.

Why did you choose Illinois/ECE?

I grew up in Illinois and my brother had just gotten three degrees in EE from Illinois.

How did your time at Illinois affect your career?

The amazing national credibility of ECE Illinois not only helped getting multiple offers for my first job but allowed for doors to open when I presented my credentials throughout my career. Also the network of Illini colleagues across the nation was fantastic.

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

Work hard, play hard, and take advantage of the creative arts to the extent possible.

What is something you've learned during the pandemic?

Learned to steer with a more even keel.

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

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

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