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Texas Instruments, Illinois dedicating two spaces in ECE Building after $3.2 million gift


Meg Dickinson, ECE ILLINOIS

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois will welcome officials from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) on Thursday, March 19, to dedicate two spaces in the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building.
The spaces include the Texas Instruments Electronic Design Laboratory, a project-based hands-on learning environment, and the Texas Instruments Student Center, which is intended to provide students a creative area to gather and exchange ideas. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the ECE Building, which is located at 306 N. Wright St., Urbana, with a reception to follow.
Students work in the Texas Instruments Electronic Design Laboratory in the ECE Building.
Students work in the Texas Instruments Electronic Design Laboratory in the ECE Building.
The ceremony will recognize a $3.2 million gift pledge by TI in support of the university’s ECE department in its College of Engineering. The gift from TI has supported the construction of the ECE building, which opened last August and was dedicated this past October. The gift represents a commitment by U of I toward cutting-edge education and research at ECE ILLINOIS, and by TI toward its company-level commitment to ensure students are engineering- and industry-ready. 
ECE alumni and students are known for their innovative contributions that drive the state, national and world economy. One notable example for both TI and U of I is the university’s ECE alumnus Jack Kilby (BSEE ’47), who invented the first integrated circuit while working at TI in 1958. Faculty members and alumni also invented the transistor, the first visible LED, and plasma-screen technology. Texas Instruments sees both its gift and relationship with ECE ILLINOIS as an investment in students who will change the world in similar ways as visionaries such as Jack Kilby.
“We believe that students who spend time in this inspiring new environment will continue the legacy of ECE ILLINOIS to create a brilliant future through innovation,” said Haviv Ilan, TI senior vice president and manager of High Performance Analog. “Equipping students with the latest technology and a space to explore their boldest ideas is fundamental to the changing needs of engineering careers, and TI is excited to help cultivate bright engineering minds inside and outside the TI Electronics Design Lab.”
The TI Electronics Design Lab is a space where every ECE ILLINOIS freshman will learn by doing, allowing them to gain hands-on, real-world experience with TI analog and embedded technology found in the freshman design labs. In addition, the TI Student Center provides a home base to members of ECE ILLINOIS student organizations where they can collaborate on daring ideas, conduct insightful meetings, and build beneficial experiences that will serve them as they become tomorrow’s leaders.
“Our March 19 ribbon cutting celebrates a tremendous gift from Texas Instruments,” said ECE ILLINOIS Department Head William H. Sanders. “Both of these spaces provide a glimpse into how our department grows engineers who change the world.”
ECE ILLINOIS is a highly regarded program, known for both its excellence in both teaching and research. It is home to more than 2,500 students and 100 faculty members, and the department has about 22,000 alumni worldwide. The new ECE Building was designed to be the largest net-zero energy building of its kind, and is targeting LEED platinum certification.
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.