Dave Adams is a 1980 Graduate in ISE. His parents met as U of I students, and he grew up with an Illinois pennant hanging on his wall. He counts 16 family members who are Alumni of this campus, plus one current student.
He was born at the dawn of Space Travel and was deeply influenced as a boy by television coverage of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Space Programs. His Father worked for a number of years for a local Dairy, and Dave was fascinated by the various automated packaging and material handling machines and process equipment he saw running when he was allowed to accompany his Dad to work.
He graduated from Warren Township High in Gurnee and attended the College of Lake County before transferring to the U of I. In addition to having an Engineering bent, Dave was also an accomplished drummer, and just a few days after arriving here on campus had talked himself into an unpaid position as the Drum Instructor for the Marching Illini. He spent two additional seasons as the Drum Section Leader and a member of the Band before he graduated. His avocation influenced his selection of Acoustics as his Field of Concentration.
His Senior Project was to have profound influence on his career. Working under Professor Hall, Dave and two other students designed a manufacturing tool for FMC Corporation which eventually saved the company several hundred thousand dollars a year. The team also won a Lincoln Award for their work.
He was recruited by Lockheed Space Systems and headed to Silicon Valley right after graduation. After two years of working on Classified Projects, he headed for the place in the Bay Area that is the most diametrically opposite of that, and earned a Masters degree from Cal Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering. He’s been working in the Silicon Valley ever since then, and he’s here today to give you a taste of what that’s like.