Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Chair
Program Director, B.S. in Computer Engineering
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Jeremy Thomas earned his BA in Physics from Bard College, as well as his MS in Physics and Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Washington. In addition to serving as the Electrical and Computer Engineering department chair at DigiPen, Jeremy is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Earth & Space Science Department at the University of Washington and a Research Scientist/Engineer at NorthWest Research Associates. Jeremy believes that curricula should be student-centered and embedded within an engaged, collaborative community that understands and teaches the broader, societal implications of academic work. He aims to achieve this through the design of project-based and experiential curricula, such as through a recent redesign of the Computer Engineering program. Jeremy serves on several committees, including the steering committee for the Faculty Senate. He also leads ABET accreditation and coordinates assessment for the Computer Engineering program.
Jeremy’s research is in space physics and electrical engineering, including atmospheric electricity, radio wave propagation, and digital signal processing. He receives external support through grants from agencies such as the US Geological Survey. He has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications, several with DigiPen students and Physics Associate Professor Natalia Solorzano.
To learn more about Thomas' research, visit his website.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Strategic Initiatives
Professor, Computer Science
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Charles Duba earned a BS in Physics from UC San Diego, and an MS and PhD in Physics from the University of Washington at the Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics. His dissertation project was on electronics for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, where he helped prove the solution to the long-standing "Solar Neutrino Problem." (See "Solving the Mystery of the Missing Neutrinos.") He continues to work on neutrino detection experiments, currently with HALO, a long-term supernova neutrino detector at the SNO lab in Sudbury.
Dr. Duba’s research interests are in weak-interaction physics, physics instrumentation, physics simulation, augmented reality, and hardware design.
Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Christopher Theriault graduated at the top of his class in high school, and after attending University of Arizona for a brief time, enlisted in the Army. He was stationed overseas in Germany and deployed to both Bosnia and Saudia Arabia, where he worked in Information Management.
After discharge, Christopher rediscovered his love of game development by creating scenarios for the PC strategy game Age of Empires. This led to a job designing scenarios for Creative Carnage, where he developed levels for an unreleased title. During this time, he earned his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate and the CompTia A+ certification.
The notoriety he gained via his scenario designs led to a job at Stainless Steel Studios. While there, Christopher was the Lead Single-Player Designer for Empire Earth and Empire: Dawn of the Modern World. In 2003, Christopher decided he wanted to explore game development as a full-time career, enrolling in DigiPen’s RTIS program. Shortly after starting, he switched over to the BSCE program and graduated with honors in 2007. His design, organizational, and engineering skills led him to be immediately hired by DigiPen's CE department, where he currently serves as a lecturer and lab manager. While not teaching any classes directly, Christopher has been instrumental in developing lab work for the RTOS and Digital Electronics courses. He has also given lectures in the Engineering Project classes and at the University of Washington's Tacoma campus.
Christopher’s senior engineering project was to produce an in-house version of the Project Fun robotics toolkits that DigiPen had previously bought from an outside vendor. DigiPen has since used Christopher's toolkit, which he continues to update yearly. On the side, he is currently working as a game designer with a Canadian start-up company, Reverie World Studios, on their flagship title Dawn of Fantasy, which should be released by 505 games in 2011.
Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lukas van Ginneken received his engineering degree cum laude from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 1984 and his doctorate in 1989. From 1985 to 1988 he was employed by the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter. In 1989 he joined the Logic Synthesis group of the IBM TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. In 1993 he was assigned to Somerset, the IBM Motorola joint design center in Austin, TX where he worked on the development of the PowerPC 603 processor. From 1995 to 1997, he worked for Synopsys in Mountain View CA. In 1997 Dr. Van Ginneken was one of the founders of Magma Design Automation, where he was the Chief Architect of the Blast Fusion IC design system. Magma went public in 2001, under the ticker symbol LAVA.
Dr. Van Ginneken's area of expertise is design automation of integrated circuits, and more particularly logic synthesis and physical design. He has authored more than 20 research papers and a book on "The Annealing Algorithm". He has been an advisor to several startups, including Lemmatis, Fishtail and MultiGig. He has testified in Olympia for mathematics in secondary education in Washington, and is a member of IEEE.
Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
B. Lorena Villarreal graduated with honors from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering in 2008. She took courses in automotive engineering and design at the Fachhochschule Braunschweig/Wolfenbütel, in Wolfsburg, Germany, and courses in Lean Manufacturing endorsed by the Institute of Industrial Engineers. She obtained her Ph.D. in Robotics and Intelligent Systems in 2014 from Tecnológico de Monterrey and was invited as a visiting researcher to collaborate with the EVOVision Group at the computer department of CICESE in Baja California.
In 2014, Dr. Villarreal earned a place on MIT Technology Review's "Innovators Under 35 Mexico" list for her work on the development of an artificial olfactory system for odor source localization in rescue robots. Later, she worked as a professor and researcher of robotics and embedded systems at Universidad de Monterrey, where she remains an affiliate fellow. In 2015, the Royal Academy of Engineering in collaboration with the University of Oxford offered Dr. Villarreal the opportunity to participate in a training course on technology commercialization as part of the "Leaders in Innovation Fellowship" program.
Dr. Villarreal's research interests include mobile robotics and artificial intelligent systems.