Sharif Zadeh - President, Silicon Valley Engineering Council

Opening Speech: Sharif Zadeh – President, Silicon Valley Engineering Council

Opening Speech

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Opening and Acknowledgments

This year’s event marked a significant milestone as it was the first in-person event since the 2020 banquet. President Sharif Zadeh expressed his gratitude to everyone in attendance and acknowledged the support received for the event. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the SVEC managed to organize the program within a tight schedule, starting in October 2022. Zadeh thanked the sponsors, volunteers, and committee members for their contributions to making the event a success.

Impact of the Pandemic and Engineering Initiatives

President Zadeh highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the SVEC’s events, which were moved online. However, this also presented an opportunity to bring together various engineering events and initiatives in one place on the SVEC website, reaching a wider audience of engineers. The SVEC’s goal is to expand its outreach to the over half a million engineers in the San Francisco Bay area and reach 100,000+ engineers in Silicon Valley. The organization sponsors several programs, including the Hall of Fame, Engineers Week, and Discover-E, with the aim of encouraging younger generations to pursue engineering careers.

Theme and Keynote Speakers

The theme of the program for the evening was “Artificial Intelligence: From Science to Engineering.” The keynote speaker was from the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Kang Shen, who would provide insights into the scientific aspects of artificial intelligence. Additionally, Dr. Bill Dally, Chief Scientist of NVIDIA, and former professor and chair of Computer Science department at Stanford University, a leader in artificial intelligence hardware, was honored as the 2023 Hall of Fame inductee.

Recognition of Past Hall of Famers

Mr. Zadeh acknowledged the presence of past Hall of Famers in attendance and recognized their contributions. Dr. Fred Barez, the Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee, and Dr. Bernard Widrow, a 1999 SVEC Hall of Famer, were specifically mentioned for their involvement in the review process of this year’s Hall of Fame nominations. Dr. TJ Rogers, and Mr. Pasquale were also recognized as past Hall of Famers and SVEC sponsors.

Recognition of Distinguished Guests

The presence of distinguished guests was acknowledged, including the founders of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang and Chris Makowski, as well as faculty and professors from Stanford and MIT, including alumni of Dr. Bill Dally’s research groups from Stanford, MIT, and NVIDIA.

Future Directions and Programs

Mr. Zadeh discussed the future directions of the SVEC and proposed new programs that require support and sponsorship. One such initiative is the establishment of a Silicon Valley Hall of Fame Club, aimed at fostering engagement and connection with past Hall of Famers. He discussed the plans for purchasing a building for the Hall of Fame Club, which would require significant funding. Additionally, the organization plans to introduce an Annual Corporate Membership program to secure funding for future events and mitigate the challenges faced due to short event planning periods. Zadeh emphasized the importance of sponsorships and support from corporations and Hall of Fame members for the successful implementation of these initiatives.

President Sharif Zadeh expressed his gratitude to all sponsors, distinguished guests, and members of the SVEC for their support. He highlighted the importance of collaboration and continued support in achieving the SVEC’s goals and future endeavors.