PerspECCtive: the 50th Annual ECC Conference


Steve Wozniak
A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II. He also influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry. In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers. Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. In 2014, he was awarded the Hoover Medal, a prestigious honor given for “outstanding extra-career services by engineers to humanity,” and was inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Wozniak is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include: ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
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General Stan McChrystal
Legendary Leader
Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
A one-of-a-kind commander with a remarkable record of achievement, General Stan McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. He is also known for developing and implementing the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the way military agencies interact and operate. A four-star general, he is the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military's most sensitive forces. His leadership of JSOC is credited with the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. He is also the author of the bestselling leadership books, My Share of the Task: A Memoir and Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, McChrystal, a former Green Beret, is known for his candor, innovative leadership, and going the distance. Called "one of America's greatest warriors" by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, few can speak about leadership, teamwork, and international affairs with as much insight. Thirty-four years of service. The son and grandson of Army officers, McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and trained at the Special Forces School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was later commissioned as an infantry officer and spent much of his career commanding special operations and airborne infantry units. During the Persian Gulf War, McChrystal served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment. He also completed year-long fellowships at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2001. In 2002, he was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan. Two years later, McChrystal was selected to deliver the nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003-2008, he commanded JSOC and was responsible for leading the nation's deployed military counterterrorism efforts around the globe, assuming command of all international forces in Afghanistan in June 2009. President Obama's order for an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan was based on McChrystal's assessment of the war.
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T.J. Wojnar
Vice President for Corporate Strategic Planning
ExxonMobil Corporation
Wojnar was appointed vice president of corporate strategic planning at ExxonMobil in August 2017. Previously, he served as president of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE). EMRE engages in the research, exploration, and production of crude oil and natural gas.

As president of EMRE, Wojnar oversaw more than 3,000 engineers and scientists. EMRE’s research and engineering facilities around the world are actively engaged in long-term, breakthrough research including advanced biofuels and fuel cell carbon capture, as well as executing capital projects and engineering programs to continuously improve the safety, efficiency, and productivity of ExxonMobil’s manufacturing operations.

Prior to his role as president at EMRE, Wojnar assumed the position of senior vice president of the global polymers business in ExxonMobil Chemical Company in 2010. He became senior vice president in ExxonMobil Chemical Company in 2008, managing the global basic chemicals, intermediates, and synthetics businesses. Previously, he served as global vice president of the hydrocarbon and oxygenated fluids business. In 2006, he was the manager of global logistics optimization, supply, and transportation in Fairfax, Virginia.

Wojnar has spent his entire career at ExxonMobil and its predecessor companies. He began his career in 1980 as a project engineer in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Wojnar has been actively involved with Rensselaer since he graduated in 1980. He has been an ExxonMobil Key Executive since 2000. He was recognized with the RAA Alumni Key Award in 1999. He has been a member of the School of Engineering Leadership Council since 2013.

Wojnar earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer in 1980. He received an MBA from the University of Houston.
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Rich Wells
Vice President U.S. Gulf Coast Operations & Site Director Texas Operations
The Dow Chemical Company
Over the course of his 35-year career with The Dow Chemical Company, Rich Wells has held leadership roles in a wide range of areas, including advanced manufacturing and engineering (M&E), business leadership, EH&S (environment, health and safety), energy and climate change, and public policy.

Wells, a member of the Dow Operations Leadership Team, was named vice president of U.S. Gulf Coast Operations and site director of Texas Operations in 2017. He is responsible for 10 advanced manufacturing sites, the Texas Innovation Center (a state-of-the-art R&D campus) and the Houston Dow Center (a strategic engineering and business hub).
As the site director for Dow Texas Operations, he leads one of the largest integrated petrochemical manufacturing sites in the world. The site employs more than 8,000 people, producing products that are used in industrial and consumer applications including food packaging, health care, automobiles, construction and electronics. He is also president and CEO of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and he sits on the UCC Board of Directors.
Wells joined Dow in 1982 after accepting an M&E role in Freeport, Texas. From 1992 to 1998, he served as a production leader in the Epoxy Products and Intermediates business. Wells was named global director of Hydrocarbons and Energy Supply Chain in 1998 and relocated to Terneuzen, the Netherlands. In 2001, he returned to the United States to assist with the integration of Dow’s newly-acquired subsidiary, Union Carbide, and assumed the added responsibility of business EH&S director. Wells was named business vice president of the Chlor-Alkali business in August 2004, and added responsibility for Dow’s Chlorinated Organics business in February 2006.
In 2007, he was named Dow’s vice president for Energy, Climate Change and Alternative Feedstocks, having responsibility for the generation, management and procurement of Dow’s energy requirements. In this position, Wells also played a key role in the formation of Dow’s energy advocacy strategy and was the leader of Dow’s climate change policy efforts. This led to his assignment as vice president for Global Government Affairs and Public Policy in 2009, where he was responsible for overseeing comprehensive advocacy strategies in each of Dow’s major geographies, as well as issue management and public policy development at the corporate level. Wells returned to M&E when he was named vice president and site director for Michigan Operations in 2011.
Amy Myers Jaffe
Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment/Director for Energy Security and Climate Change
Council On Foreign Relations
Amy Myers Jaffe is a leading expert on global energy policy, geopolitical risk, and energy and sustainability. Jaffe is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director for the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council On Foreign Relations. She also serves as the chairperson of the steering committee of the Women in Energy Initiative at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. Jaffe was previously executive director for Energy and Sustainability at University of California, Davis and Senior Advisor on energy and sustainability at the Office of the Chief Investment Officer, University of California Regents. Her research focuses on the digital revolution and how it is altering the energy landscape and the changing geopolitics of oil and gas. Jaffe is widely published, including as co-author of “Oil, Dollars, Debt and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold” with Mahmoud El-Gamal and co-editor of “Natural Gas and Geopolitics From 1970 to 2040.” She currently serves as a member of the US National Petroleum Council and on the board of several academic journals focused on energy economics and policy. She was chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas with the World Economic Forum (Davos) and currently serves on the Forum's committee on International Security. Jaffe was awarded the Senior Fellow Award from the U.S. Association of Energy Economics in 2015 for her career contributions to the organization and to the field of energy economics. The Baker Institute Energy Forum, which she was the founding director for 17 years, received the prestigious Adelman-Frankel award for its unique and innovative contribution to the field of energy economics. Jaffe was an honoree to Esquire's 100 Best and Brightest.
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Sanjay Sarma
VP Open Learning and Director of Digital Learning/Author of The Inversion Factor
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Sanjay Sarma is the Vice President for Open Learning. He also leads the Office of Digital Learning, which oversees MIT OpenCourseWare and supports the development and use of digital technology for on-campus teaching and massive open online courses (MOOCs). He is also the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the co-author, with Linda Bernardi, of The Inversion Factor.A co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, Sarma developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008, and he has worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California.Currently, Sarma serves on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal, several startup companies including Senaya and ESSESS, and edX, the not-for-profit company set up by MIT and Harvard to create and promulgate an open-source platform for the distribution of free online education worldwide. He also advises several national governments and global companies.Author of more than 75 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation, and CAD, Sarma is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research, including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award, and InformationWeek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.
MIT Open Learning