LEADER IN NAND FLASH MEMORY TECHNOLOGY
Major and graduation year: Computer Engineering, BS ’84
Flash forward: Alumnus Frankie Roohparvar currently is working on leading edge storage systems using NAND flash memory. According to Roohparvar, solid state drives are a hot area right now and they are expected to be used in many laptops within the next few years, replacing the hard disk drives we use now. “They provide a lot of benefits as far as lower power and ‘Instant On’ capabilities, as well as more reliability,” Roohparvar says.
On the edge: Roohparvar, who is vice president of NAND Development at Micron Technology, says the thing he enjoys the most about his career is working on cutting-edge products and solutions for the marketplace and technology field.
Sweet rewards: Roohparvar says he is proud of his creativity—he’s generated more than 300 patents—as well as his ability to move up the management ranks while staying involved in technical aspects of his work. He says his most fun project was designing a chip that was used on the Mars Rover. “I got a letter from NASA congratulating me. They actually sent me a Mars candy bar. That was cool.”
Engineers at heart: Roohparvar’s passion for engineering and his career extends beyond the borders of the United States. He manages engineering organizations in Italy, Japan, and China, too. “While we all come from different cultures and backgrounds, it is the engineer in all of us that is the same everywhere. It is surprising to see how similar we all are. It is a way of thinking that seems to be programmed in our genes,” Roohparvar says.