An award-winning, published computer engineer who has achieved seven patents in the field, Dr. Kelly Ockunzzi is an incredible example of perseverance, hard work and passion. Respected by her peers for her inventive spirit and reputation of excellence, Dr. Ockunzzi brings with her three decades of experience; however, her love of engineering started much earlier. “When I was young, my dad brought home a computer and I was immediately intrigued by the inner workings of this machine,” she said, adding that when she was in college this interest was brought to the surface once again. “One of my professors was doing testing on integrated circuits and I became his muse — I couldn’t learn faster if I tried.” Because of this interest during her academic years, Dr. Ockunzzi was able to amass knowledge beyond that of her peers very quickly. After graduating from Case Western Reserve University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering, she accepted a position with IBM, which was the start of an incredibly gratifying and successful career.
While working for IBM and establishing herself professionally, Dr. Ockunzzi continued to build upon her education as computer engineering became a rapidly growing and evolving field. In 1996, she was awarded a graduate research fellowship through the National Science Foundation. That same year, she earned a Master of Science in computer engineering, followed by a Ph.D. in computer engineering in 2001. Dr. Ockunzzi earned both of these degrees at her undergraduate alma mater, Case Western Reserve University. Regarded today as a leader in her field, Dr. Ockunzzi is tremendously involved in her professional community as the principal member of technical staff at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a leading provider of advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology. She is affiliated with the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Society of Women Engineers. Further, Dr. Ockunzzi has shared her knowledge through her contributions to scientific journals. Most notably, she published the paper “Optimizing Delay Tests at the Memory Boundary.”
When asked of her success over the last three decades, Dr. Ockunzzi’s response is simple: Hard work pays off. In her particular field, mathematics is a large part of every project that she pursues. Because of this, it is imperative to pay close attention to details. For Dr. Ockunzzi it is part of the requirement of the job: “It just clicks,” she said. As she looks toward the future, she has no intention of slowing down. Dr. Ockunzzi plans to continue in her work as a computer engineer while taking on new opportunities and pursuing projects that allow her to share her insight and expertise for a greater purpose.
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