Home' Technology Review : September October 2009 Contents Growing up in Mumbai, India, Arvind Salian epito-
mized "happy go lucky." The youngest of four chil-
dren in a middle-class family, Salian studied just
enough to make decent grades, but he much preferred being
outdoors, playing sports with the neighborhood kids. His
mother and sisters were constantly on his case, making sure
he did his homework.
But at age 20, everything changed. Salian su ered a serious
injury while playing soccer. It left him bedridden for several
months, and the former athlete had to learn how to walk again.
"The feeling of helplessness and not having achieved any-
thing of significance in my life in spite of having been given
every opportunity by my family forced me to look at things dif-
ferently," he says.
Upon his recovery, Salian enrolled at the Gogte Institute of Technology at Karnatak University in India and earned his
bachelor's degree in engineering. Then, at age 23, he made a solo journey to the United States to continue his pursuit of
higher education. Today, with two master's degrees, a PhD, and five patents under his belt, this PE manager at Freescale
Semiconductor has found success on an entirely new playing field.
In Freescale's Sensor and Actuators Solutions Division, Salian manages a 12-member product engineering team to meet
new product introduction (NPI) deliverables targeted for auto markets. It's a job that requires an in-depth understanding of
what makes a product commercially successful, from its design and function to its pricing and marketability.
Salian's supervisor, Mike Cheperak, puts it this way: "Automotive NPI is largely about systems on chip (SOC) and system
solutions in general. As the component manufacturers add more content to our products, the value of these features must
be understood not only from an applications perspective---to design, validate, and test---but also from an engineering per-
spective. Arvind's input and understanding of the business models have helped the marketing teams to accurately price and
promote products. Additionally, his understanding of our customers' road maps and strategies has improved our ability to
add value to our new products."
Salian's passion for engineering comes naturally. As a boy, he marveled at his big brother's ability to repair broken radios,
and he entertained the idea of one day becoming a pilot in the air force---a childhood dream that he says "was squashed the
day I got my glasses."
As a graduate student pursuing a master of science in electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, Salian em-
braced his role as a research assistant, designing, fabricating, and testing microprobes, sensors, and microaccelerometers.
"This was an exciting experience that opened up a whole new world for me, and I wanted to learn more," says Salian; he
went on to earn his doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan in 2001.
Job Title: Automotive New
Production Introduction PE
Graduate Programs: MBA,
Arizona State University, 2006;
PhD, electrical engineering, University of Michigan, 2001; MS,
electrical engineering, University of Arkansas, 1993; BS, engineering,
Karnatak University, India, 1990.
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