Member of ECE Industry Advisory Board Receives Award from National Organization

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) has recognized Igor Alvarado, a member of the industry advisory board in the Cullen College’s department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), for providing guidance and support to academia from the perspective of an industry leader.

The award was presented to Alvarado at the 2017 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo by Zhihua Qu, chair of the ECEDHA awards committee and department chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Central Florida. In Qu’s own words, Alvarado’s “leadership and international viewpoint has made a positive impact on countless students and in turn, the ECE discipline”.

ECEDHA members in the Southwest Region, which includes Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, nominated Alvarado for this award. Ultimately, Alvarado was chosen as the recipient among the industry professionals nominated nationally.

“This award means so much because the nominators are department heads that are recognizing my work and contributions to their department and the impact it makes on their students,” said Alvarado. “We are trying to improve the way students learn and the way professors teach, focusing on hands-on learning in labs that prepares them for the industry in the best way.”

Alvarado received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University and currently works with National Instruments as the business development manager for academic research. Over the past 28 years, he has served as a consultant or advisory board member for several institutes, colleges, universities, corporations and research laboratories and currently advises two international innovation institutes as well as several colleges and universities in the U.S. During this time, Alvarado has counseled academic institutions on creating research models applicable in the field – and to society as a whole.

“I am currently focusing more on the research side of academia by working with graduate students and principal investigators on new grant proposals and ensuring UH is conducting cutting-edge research that distinguishes it from other universities,” said Alvarado.  “We are especially interested in applied research that can be translated to real-world applications.”

When asked about his hopes for the future of electrical and computer engineering, Alvarado explained, “I hope the students graduating enter the field aware that there are still so many challenges waiting to be solved, and we in the industry believe that they are the ones who can make a difference.”

To learn more about the Industry Advisory Board, visit