UCLA Engineering 2021 Award Recipients
Every year, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering selects and recognizes outstanding achievements by a number of its alumni, faculty members and students who have excelled in various fields. These awardees are honored at a formal school ceremony. Due to the pandemic, the in-person award presentation and public recognition of the 2021 honorees were rescheduled for May 2022. Below is the profile of the recipient for the Alumnus of the Year Award.
Alumnus of the Year
Tyson Tuttle M.S. ’92
Over his 30-year career in the semiconductor industry, including the last decade as CEO of Silicon Labs, a global technology company. Tyson’s focus has always been about trying to simplify the connection of things, information, networks and people.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuttle received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1989 and a master’s degree from UCLA in 1992. While at UCLA, he joined electrical engineering professor Asad Abidi’s powerhouse research group in integrated circuits where he proved his knack for smart chip design.
After graduation, he moved into industry, working at Cirrus Logic and Broadcom before joining the Austin, Texas-based Silicon Labs in 1997. Initially hired as a senior design engineer and the firm’s 10th employee, Tuttle designed technologies to better connect personal computers through dial-up lines. He continued a remarkable career at Silicon Labs over the following 15 years, holding various engineering and management roles, including chief technical officer and chief operating officer. In 2012, Tuttle was named CEO of the company.
Under his leadership as CEO, Silicon Labs made a major transformation, pivoting from its roots in developing traditional semiconductors to focusing on a suite of silicon, software and system-level technologies for the internet of things (IoT) market. The shift paid off, making Silicon Labs one of the global leaders in IoT products designed for a smarter, more connected world.
By 2019, the company had sold more than one billion wireless chips. Tens of thousands of companies around the world now rely on Silicon Labs chips and software to design and build smart and secure IoT devices. With Tuttle at the helm, Silicon Labs grew its market valuation almost four times, from $1.5 billion in 2012 to more than $5 billion today.
Tuttle’s commitment to foster a strong company culture and vision also garnered widespread recognition for developing technologies that improve lives and transform industries. Beyond running a successful company, he has also been a prominent voice in Austin’s expansive tech community. He has galvanized leaders of other tech companies to support programs for improved diversity, equity and inclusion. He also has advocated for the rights of immigrant professionals, noting their important and extensive contributions to the economy.
In December 2021, Tuttle retired as CEO of Silicon Labs but remains a member of the company’s technical advisory board. He holds more than 70 patents in radio frequency and mixed-signal integrated circuit design. Tuttle served on the boards of the Global Semiconductor Alliance as well as the Semiconductor Industry Association, and currently serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the Texas Black Legislative Caucus Foundation.
For his remarkable career as an engineer, innovator and industry leader, Tyson Tuttle has been selected as UCLA Samueli School of Engineering’s 2021 Alumnus of the Year.