Texas Instruments’ Stephanie Butler Talks APEC and the Power Electronics Industry
Stephanie Butler currently serves as the Technology Innovation Architect in High Voltage Power at Texas Instruments (TI). As part of her role, she is involved with a number of external organizations and universities, including being a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), serving as Chair for the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association's JC-70 Wide Bandgap Committee, and also serving on the University of Texas-Austin's Department of Chemical Engineering Advisory Council.
Besides power semiconductors, she has produced innovations in the areas of control, factory automation, process and package development, materials, and metrology. A holder of 17 patents, an author of more than 40 papers, the recipient of the Society of Women Engineers' Achievement Award in 2016, and a long-time attendee of APEC, Butler shares her personal and professional insights into the event and the industry:
APEC: What does attending APEC mean to you and your company? Why is it so important?
Butler: Attending APEC provides me and TI the opportunity to engage with our customers and demonstrate our system design collateral, while also assessing where the industry is headed. Helping our customers achieve leadership in power density, and solve tough design challenges like isolation or low quiescent current, requires that we deliver best in class support. Knowing where the industry is headed, combined with TI support, is what allows us to give our customers the power to do anything.
APEC: As a regular attendee of APEC, how has it benefited you personally as an employee of such a large semiconductor company?
Butler: While Texas Instruments is a large company and APEC is a large conference, personal connections are what truly define the power electronics industry. APEC has provided me the opportunity to meet individuals across the industry at the same time the industry has exploded as electrification and electronification have taken off in the last decade.
APEC: What is your favorite part of APEC?
Butler: Reconnecting with colleagues as we discuss how the industry has grown and changed as seen in the Exhibit Hall and the papers each year.
APEC: How can we ensure the continued growth and advancement of our field?
Butler: Power electronics and power semiconductors, like other high-tech industries, are dependent upon the best and brightest wanting to excel in our industry. Our industry makes a direct impact on making the world a better place by providing better energy efficiency and enabling electrification. Our industry, also, is known for its people-focus, as seen when walking the halls of APEC. Thus, the best and the brightest should naturally want to work and excel in this field. In order to continue this trend, each of us should be reaching out to the academic community and to the younger members of our industry to enable them to excel and stay engaged. The biggest step anyone can take is treating each individual as someone who will contribute to the job rather than highlight that an individual is different than the historical, stereotypical engineer, whether it be due to age, gender, race, religion, country of origin, or any other personal characteristic.
APEC: Finally, what advice would you have for a young professional new in the industry and eager to succeed?
Butler: The advice I provide any engineer new to the field is to leverage all the opportunities around them. APEC is full of opportunities to meet people, learn of the latest technologies, comprehend the challenges that are important to the industry, and become involved with the organizations that enable the industry, like IEEE and [the Power Sources Manufacturers Association]. By growing deep connections and knowledge, you grow your career potential.