Julia Sullivan, ECE ILLINOIS
3/16/2017 3:04:02 PM
ECE ILLINOIS alums 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.Zentera’s founder, CEO, and visionary architect, with 20 years of executive network and engineering experience. Before Zentera, he headed Imera Systems, which provided secure enterprise collaboration solutions, after managing Cisco’s network search engine program. He has published widely, holds 20 U.S. patents, and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by CIE/USA in Silicon Valley.
What was your favorite ECE class?
I think the class was called Design for Test, offered by Professor Janak H Patel. The class was about silicon design for testability and test vector generation, and it provided the most thorough but high-level overview of the technology landscape.
When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?
I’d spend time with my family. I love any moment where I get to talk about casual topics like sports, culture, food or entertainment. These conversations tend to go past 30 minutes, though.
If you could only work on one project for the next year, what would it be?
At work, my one project would be to turn on the security service business for a global leading telecom company. My personal project would be to go traveling with my wife.
What’s your personal philosophy?
My philosophy is “pursue excellence.” You don’t have to be the smartest person in the world with the highest IQ and the best test scores. Have the right attitude and the drive to keep pushing forward and you will win. I also have a “yin-yang” philosophy: there is always a pro and a con to something.
What makes you feel energized?
I always become energized and productive after having my morning house blend coffee. The smell of the coffee wakes up my brain so my thoughts can get going.
If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
I would want the ability to time travel. I’m so busy that I’ve had too many moments where time just slipped by me. I think most everybody would love to have all the time in the world. And there are some things in my past that I wouldn’t mind doing over.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about new inventions that improve people’s lives. Back in 1989, I was using a Unix talk function at CSL (Coordinated Science Lab) to “chat” with my brother on the east coast. Today, we not only chat, but see each other on live video on this small device called a smartphone.
What do you think is the next big idea that’s going to change the way we live?
My guess is AI and IoT. Artificial intelligence is certainly going to lead to more and more products being autonomous—we’re already seeing automated cars. IoT, on the other hand, will connect all devices together and present new business opportunities.
Do you have a secret talent, and if so, what is it?
I do business like a professor. As for talents from a hobby perspective, I am a pretty good golf and badminton player.
What advice would you give to yourself on graduation day?
Always keep an open mind on any incoming opportunity. Remember that you don’t know what you don’t know.