Week 21 – Visiting Detroit

What do automobiles and DAC have in common? Plenty.


Who would have thought I’d end up sitting outside in the sunshine in downtown Detroit writing the first draft for my next blog. I’m here with a few of my Mentor colleagues to attend SAE Convergence and to have a discussion with GM about a possible DAC keynote. Stay tuned (and keep your fingers crossed) — I hope to tell you more about that at a later time. SAE Convergence is a two-day conference, hosted this year by the Chrysler Group and led by General Chair Christine Barman, Unit Responsible, Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Chrysler. SAE Convergence couldn’t be more different from DAC. It is a single-track conference with a keynote, and then continued two-hour plenary panel discussions throughout the day with thought leaders from across the auto industry such as Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Freescale, Infineon, Bosch, Delphi, and other OEMs and suppliers. We are more familiar with many of these companies since DAC 51, when we started our Automotive Initiative.

Last year’s DAC keynote speaker James Buczkowski from Ford was pretty active at Convergence and so was our automotive co-chair Tony Cooprider. I especially enjoyed the “Executive Visionary Panel” moderated by John McElroy. Some of you may know McElroy from regular media appearances on CNN, NPR and CBC as an analyst and commentator on the auto industry. He also hosts the TV programs “Autoline Detroit” and “American Driver” on Detroit Public Television. He is a great moderator and kept the discussion lively. The panel covered a lot of ground from autonomous driving to electrification and of course cybersecurity. Security came up a lot during my week in Detroit: SAE Convergence was followed by the 7th AUTOSAR Open Conference and by the 2014 IEEE-SA Ethernet and IP @ Automotive Technology Day.

Of course I was thinking often of all our recent work at DAC, especially the three major initiatives — automotive, IP and security — the DAC leadership team launched last year. It was interesting to see all those topics converge during the week in Detroit. Now I wish I could leapfrog forward to next June in San Francisco, where we will underline the relevance of automotive, IP and security for electronic design automation, as well as embedded systems and software.

Let’s talk a bit more about automotive at DAC. In our first year we had more than 40 papers submitted and we provided attendees with two full days of relevant content for automotive electronics and embedded systems. We were perhaps too ambitious when we aimed for a two-day double track on automotive and forced our attendees to choose between compelling content running in parallel. We learned our lesson and this year there will be a single track on automotive Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The call for contributions is open; abstracts are due on Nov. 21, and full papers on Dec. 2. In addition, our program co-chairs Tony Cooprider and Samarjit Chakraborty, are working on invited content for the program. If you have any ideas on what we should cover during DAC, don’t be shy. Contact Tony or feel free to write to me if that’s easier. Let me introduce you to Tony and Samarjit to lower the barrier and make it easier for you to get in touch.

Anthony (Tony) Cooprider was born and raised in rural Indiana. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Oakland University, the Ph.D. degree in Systems Engineering from Oakland University and graduated from the Executive MBA program at Michigan State University. In 1985 he joined the Ford Motor Company as a Product Test Engineer working in Electromagnetic Compatibility. Dr. Cooprider held several product design and test engineering positions and since 1993 has served in vehicle electrical and electronics management positions of increasing responsibility as either a technical expert or in a traditional line management role. In 2008 Dr. Cooprider was appointed Senior Technical Leader for Global Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering responsible for Vehicle Electrical Architecture, Systems and Electronic Hardware Design. Dr. Cooprider is a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is an active member of Academic Advisory boards for the Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering at both Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Oakland University. He holds multiple U.S. and International patents. Tony and his wife enjoy traveling and entertaining their family and friends on the Great Lakes on their boat. He is an avid musician with a focus on folk and Irish music. Tony plays the guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, ukulele and harmonica and a whole bunch of other instruments to varying degrees.

tony samarjit

Samarjit Chakraborty is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at TU Munich, where he holds the Chair for Real-Time Computer Systems. Prior to taking up this position in 2008, he was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the National University of Singapore from 2003 – 2008. Samarjit started studying Indian Classical music at the age of 7 and obtained a Master’s when he was 15. Thereafter, he focused on more worldly pursuits and studied Computer Science and finally obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zurich in 2003. His research interests include various aspects of embedded systems and software, including those arising in the automotive domain. Dr. Chakraborty is actively engaged with the automotive industry and has/had funded projects with BMW, Audi, Bosch, Siemens and General Motors. In addition to his position at TUM, he also leads a research program on embedded systems design for electric vehicles at the TUM CREATE Centre for Electromobility in Singapore, where he also serves as a Scientific Advisor. He was the General Chair of the Embedded Systems Week (ESWeek) 2011, and the Program Chair of EMSOFT 2009 and SIES 2012, and regularly serves on the TPCs of many conferences on real-time and embedded systems. For his Ph.D. thesis, he received the ETH Medal and the European Design and Automation Association’s Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2004. In 2012, he was also awarded the Best PhD Thesis Award from the National Centres of Competence in Research in Switzerland (NCCR) for contributions to the Mobile Communications & Information Systems (MICS) project that ran from 2001 – 2012, and in which he was employed during his doctoral studies. In addition, he has received Best Paper Awards in ASP-DAC 2011 and EUC 2010 and several Best Paper Award nominations at RTSS, EMSOFT, CODES+ISSS, ECRTS and DAC. At the moment, apart from nurturing the newly born automotive track at DAC, on the home front, a large part of his time is spent on a similar role with his now eight-month-old son.

samarjit and son


Graham Bell says:

I would love to sit down and have a drink with Tony and Samarjit. I am sure the conversation would be pleasurable and enlightening.

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