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Texas Instruments CEO Urges Engineering Students to Be Advocates for Science and Technology

Rich Templeton Says Greatest Innovations Are Ahead of Us

Jan 26, 2007

DALLAS (January 26, 2007) – “You have chosen wisely,” Rich Templeton, Texas Instruments president and chief executive officer, told students Thursday evening at the College of Engineering at the University of Texas – Austin. “This world is increasingly technical and sophisticated,” he said, “and the education you receive here will help you in any career you choose and enable you to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Speaking to the assembly after a day of meetings with students, faculty and administrators at the engineering school, Templeton encouraged the group to see engineering as a foundation rather than an occupation. “Engineering is a way of thinking,” he said. “It enables you to analyze problems and design solutions that have an impact.” He also highlighted health care and life sciences as areas where engineers could produce the next great breakthrough. “If you’re worried that everything important has been invented, relax,” he said. “Everyone in this room is gaining the knowledge they need to solve problems that most people today think are impossible to solve.”

Templeton, who also serves as chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association, urged the students to be champions for science and technology. He told them, “All of us here have been able to have our careers and our education because of investments made years ago in physical sciences, engineering and public universities; and we all need to give back by supporting greater funding for R&D and encouraging K-12 kids to take an interest in math and science. We have to help attract talented people to engineering and make ours a stronger profession.”

As he concluded his remarks, Templeton offered the students a few words of advice, saying, “Be sure to do what you love and believe you have the power to change the world. The greatest innovations are ahead of us, and you will have amazing opportunities to use your skills to improve the quality of life. Why did it only take about twenty years for the number of cell phone users to reach over two billion? Cell phones offer an easy, convenient and increasingly affordable way for people to connect with one another. As engineers, you have the power to have that kind of impact, to create something that truly makes a difference.”

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