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William Spies

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William received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2012. While progressing through UC's five-year program, he distinguished himself with leadership and service in the collegiate Habitat for Humanity program and the Engineering Tribunal body. As a co-op, working while attending classes, he spent a dizzying year-and-a-half working on space-grade electronic systems with L-3 Communications Cincinnati Electronics, where he learned a great deal about high-speed control systems, software and hardware validation, and just how exciting it is to work in aerospace.

After graduation, William started as an Electrical Design Engineer at ATS Automation in Columbus, Ohio. At ATS, he worked on several advanced manufacturing automation systems for companies such as General Motors, Dow Chemical, Oral-B, Ethicon Endosurgery, Tesla Motors, and First Solar. He converted to Software Design Engineering, and eventually progressed to Software Project Engineering. His responsibilities as a Project Engineer involved managing the 12-strong software engineering department, developing the high-level software architecture for each automated system, determining project task lists and manpower assignments prior to engineering kickoff, and acting as a software consultant to the engineering sales department.

While working in advanced automation, William saw the pivotal role that robotics play in the evolution of a plethora of industries. Sensing the coming robotic revolution led him to pursue his MS in Robotics at Northwestern University with an eye to the future. At Northwestern, William is focusing on machine vision, AI, sensor networks, multiple-robot systems, and human-machine interfaces. He believes that nearly everyone will have routine interactions with robotic systems in the next 10 years and he intends to bolster the foundations of human-robotic interactions.