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Eiko Rutherford

Program Manager, Agile Hardware Program
Electrical Engineering
Story originally published on Dec 2021
My first job with Stanford was with the Stanford Overseas Studies program in Kyoto, Japan.

For eight years, I managed the Stanford academic quarter in Kyoto and students in their summer internships with Japanese companies/universities in various fields. I truly enjoyed working with Stanford students who were so enthusiastic about learning Japanese technology, language and culture.

After moving to California, where I spent some time in industry, I started at the Woods Institute for the Environment on campus and took on different roles over the past almost 14 years. Today I’m the program manager for the Agile Hardware (AHA) Program within Electrical Engineering. Our primary goal is to create a more agile hardware development flow – to make hardware design easier, faster, and more friendly, which will allow more people to take advantage of silicon technology and enhance innovation.

The program represents collaboration among six different research groups in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science plus technology companies and government agencies. My role is to provide administrative, finance, and communications support so program members can focus on their research and work together smoothly to achieve their bigger goals.

I manage multiple financial accounts, take care of all aspects of our website to showcase the program’s research efforts and outcomes, oversee monthly events where students present to our industry affiliate members, and plan our yearly retreat. This year’s retreat in August was challenging to organize under many safety requirements, but it was particularly special to have the program faculty, researchers, students, and industry representatives together for in-person discussions and interactions after a year and a half of online meetings.

I’ve always liked working in an academic environment – and it’s funny, every time I changed jobs, somehow I’ve always landed in science/engineering programs that involve connecting academic research with industry and the public. I enjoy being part of this because I think it is very important. I just find the faculty and students so inspiring – they’re really hard-working and so motivated to make the world a better place through their research and education.

They also encourage me to broaden my own horizons. Each student and faculty member is incredibly busy but they also have other talents in art, music, and sports. Sometimes I think, “Do they have more than 24 hours in a day?” It encourages me to spend my own 24 hours in a way that includes exercising my talents.

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