Dr. James Truchard
Named an Innovation Agent by Fast Company, James Truchard, president and CEO, cofounded National Instruments (NI) in 1976 and has pioneered the way scientists and engineers solve the world’s grand engineering challenges. As one of Forbes’ America’s Favorite Bosses, Dr. James Truchard, commonly known around NI as Dr. T, has led the company from a three-man team to a multinational organization.
Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, Truchard has also earned the distinction of being elected an IEEE Fellow. He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and has also been inducted into Electronic Design’s engineering Hall of Fame.
Truchard’s personal passion for inspiring and preparing young people to pursue careers in technical fields has led him to contribute to a variety of organizations from The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, to FIRST Robotics, and more.
Additionally, Truchard has been recognized with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship for his work with STEM organizations in the Central Texas community.
Truchard holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, as well as a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in physics, all from the University of Texas at Austin.
NI equips engineers and scientists with systems that accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery. For 40 years, NI has worked with engineers and scientists to provide answers to the most challenging questions. Through these pursuits, NI customers have brought hundreds of thousands of products to market, overcome innumerable technological roadblocks, and engineered a better life for us all. If you can turn it on, connect it, drive it, or launch it, chances are NI technology helped make it happen.
As a technology company that works with engineers in virtually every industry, NI is uniquely positioned to make a meaningful impact in STEM education. NI created the tools the world’s top scientists and engineers—and hundreds of thousands of students—use to create and discover.
To inspire and prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators, NI invests in improving STEM education with contributions of time, technology, and financial support.
As a company built by and run by engineers, NI is passionate about inspiring and preparing the next generation of innovators and scientists to take on the jobs of tomorrow, and solve the world’s greatest challenges. Science and technology education – STEM education – has been a priority for NI for decades, and will continue to be for years to come.
It’s clear that the world needs more graduates to choose, and stay in, engineering (STEM) careers. Now, more than ever before.
The structures of our global society and economy are changing and the employment outlook is changing with them. The total number of STEM jobs is growing – in fact, it will grow 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. Why?
- The new literacy of technology. The tilt toward software-based work environments imbues every job with a technology requirement. The ability to create and control technology is essential for a thriving workforce.
- The economy of new ideas. Emerging markets and a new generation of consumers crave entirely new product categories. The world needs new ideas to stay in business.
- Our grand challenges. Increasing population, diminishing resources, and the sudden shift to digital infrastructure all create big problems for our graduates to solve in their lifetimes. Like multiple “moon shots” for the new century, these challenges require many more high-tech workers than we produce now.
To invent and build the next big thing, knowledge is only part of what it takes to get that degree, job, or promotion. Young people need the mindset to ask the right questions, embrace uncertainty, plan whole solutions, and take a design from idea to creation. At NI, we know these things as engineering. We understand the power of tinkering, problem solving and “doing engineering.”
Completing hands-on, technology-assisted, exploratory projects—“doing engineering”—gives every student practice solving problems while connecting theories to real-world concepts. Engaging in engineering early and often feeds natural curiosity and a desire to tinker, which inspires more students to pursue STEM majors and careers. For those who do choose the STEM track, early exposure to engineering makes them more likely to complete their training and become contributors in their workplaces.
If students are going to design and build what’s next, they must design and build today – in school and outside of school. NI believes students should be designing and building technology projects at every level, ideally with the same hardware and software they will be using throughout their academic and industry careers. This not only makes them better students but also provides valuable rehearsal for the work they tackle at the next level.
Just like with sports or music education, the study of theory is only valuable when put into practice. That “doing” is essentially engineering. When students do engineering, they gain real skills they need to become successful, working adults.
NI has a long history of partnering with organizations such as For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), World Robot Olympiad (WRO), LEGO Education, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and many, many more to drive change in STEM learning. These programs and organizations teach core engineering concepts, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and leadership skills.
NI is proud to be a leader in the STEM movement and contribute technology, volunteer time and financial resources to help inspire and prepare students to be successful in STEM subjects and careers.