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Silicon Valley entrepreneur's donation to create Center for Nanostructures

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 6, 2004 - Santa Clara University today announced that John Ocampo, an alumnus who is co-founder and chairman of Sirenza Microdevices, a telecommunications firm, and his wife, Susan, will donate $1.3 million to create a new Center for Nanostructures at the University.

In making the announcement at the opening of the annual Senior Design Conference at SCU’s School of Engineering, engineering dean Daniel Pitt called the donation “a gift with vision, from a true Silicon Valley visionary, which will make possible significant advances in research and in the preparation of a new generation of engineers and scientists for the emerging nano industry.”

Ocampo, who received his electrical engineering degree from SCU in 1979, said, “I am excited to be a part of Santa Clara’s new role in nanoscience research. The potential benefits of this technology are far-reaching, and match up well with the University’s values, which I am proud to support.”

Atom Yee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “The Ocampo gift to the Center for Nanostructures will provide excellent opportunities for students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering to partner in enhancing nanoscience education and research.”

Today’s announcement culminates 20 years of research and education in micro and nano electronics at SCU spearheaded by electrical engineering professor and associate dean Cary Yang. The new center will expand business-university-government research partnerships, according to Pitt.

The Center for Nanostructures will be an interdisciplinary center for research and integrated education in the diverse field of nanoscale science and technology. Building on existing SCU faculty and initiatives, Pitt said it incorporates recently established partnerships in nanotechnology with the NASA Ames Research Center, Hitachi Global Storage Technology, Hitachi High Technologies America, the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, and the School of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

“As a pioneering institution in integrating research and education, Santa Clara University aims to take the necessary steps to supply industry with a workforce with the necessary technological literacy in the increasingly critical areas of nanoscale science and technology,” Pitt said. 

Nanotechnology, sometimes referred to as the “science of the small,” allows scientists to manipulate individual atoms and molecules, making it possible to build machines on the scale of human cells or build structures that assume dramatically different properties by virtue of their size.

Sirenza Microdevices Inc. (NASDAQ: SMDI), chartered in Broomfield, Colo., with design centers across the U.S., is a leading supplier of high performance radio frequency components for wireless and wireline telecommunications equipment.

Ocampo, a co-founder of the company, has been Sirenza’s chairman since December 1998. He was previously Sirenza's president and CEO.   Susan Ocampo is a co-founder and has served as treasurer of the company since 1999. John and Susan Ocampo reside in Los Altos Hills, Calif. John Ocampo is a member of the School of Engineering's Industry Advisory Board.

The Ocampos’ gift to the Campaign for Santa Clara University is one of a number of major gifts pledged or received so far this year. The gift moves the fundraising total past $213 million toward its $350 million goal for scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, program support, and new facilities.

MEDIA: To arrange an interview with Ocampo, Pitt, or Yang, call Barry Holtzclaw, SCU media relations, at 408-554-5126.

About the School of Engineering

The School of Engineering offers a rigorous, balanced undergraduate curriculum.  Its faculty and students take advantage of the Silicon Valley location and combine teaching and learning with relevant practical experience. Small classes taught only by faculty members, interdisciplinary team projects, and a solid engineering curriculum augmented by classes in liberal arts, religion and ethics prepare students of all faiths for lifelong contribution. The largely part-time graduate program enrolls students who work full-time in local industry, and recruits and retains senior technologists from industry to teach as adjunct lecturers.  As a Jesuit institution in the midst of Silicon Valley, the school has shaped the technological and human landscapes since its founding in 1912. More information can be found at www.scu.edu/engineering.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,047 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is available at www.scu.edu.

 

<p>Engineering dean Daniel Pitt, left, with John Ocampo, announcing $1.3 million gift.</p>

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