Andrew Beckett is Senior Solution Architect at Cadence Design Systems
What his CV says:
After obtaining a B.Eng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol in 1987, Andrew Beckett joined GEC's AMSYS Hirst Research Centre as a research engineer, working on customer projects such as a 10Msample/s 10bit current-steering DAC, and writing design software used at AMSYS. When the AMSYS design group was disbanded, Beckett moved to LSI Logic's Mixed Signal Group in 1990, where he designed and implemented various analog cells, as well as worked on a number of system chips. He joined Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd as a senior design engineer in 1991, where he designed analog blocks for a GSM chipset and then co-designed and implemented a novel ADC architecture, used on a noise cancellation chip. In 1995 he moved to Cadence, where he has held a number of positions. Since April 2007, Beckett has held the technical leadership/solution architect role for Cadence's European technical field organisation.
In his own words:
ADLE: What set you on the path to becoming an engineer?
AB: Aged 12, my friends and I joined the school electronics club and got interested in hobby electronics, which my Dad encouraged. After that, I got involved in lighting the school plays - the school's rig and control panel had been built by students and teachers and was forever going wrong, so they needed someone who was able to fix it! Later on, when I was in the 6th form, I studied for an O Level in Electronics during my lunch hours. There were a handful of us who were interested and we had a few lessons from a teacher who was keen to encourage our interest.
I attended Maidstone Grammar School and though my school was keen on sending capable students to Oxbridge, I had decided upon engineering and chose Bristol for its reputation. It wasn't a microelectronics degree, more mechanical. The analog aspects of it nearly all involved discrete electronic components, rather than ics. However, it proved a good grounding in a wide range of disciplines and its value was in teaching you how to find out information, and importantly, how to learn.
During the first term, we a couple of companies visited that were looking for students to sponsor through the course, one of which was AMSYS, GEC Hirst Research Centre. We were invited to apply and have an interview, and two or three of us won scholarships there.