Distinguished Alumni Awards

Kenneth A. Hansen

Kenneth A. Hansen

For his leadership in research and development and influence in the cellular wireless revolution.

President and CEO, Semiconductor Research Corporation

  • BS, 1974, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois
  • MS, 1977, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois

At the forefront of cellular wireless development, Ken Hansen is recognized as one of the most influential technical leaders in the wireless and semiconductor industry.

His 40-year career in the industry started in the fabrication lab at the University of Illinois. It has since taken him to leadership roles with Motorola and Freescale, and to the world’s leading university research consortium for semiconductor technologies, Semiconductor Research Corporation, where he was named its President and CEO in June 2015.

Semiconductor Research Corporation brings together members from the industrial, academic, and governmental sectors as research partners. The corporation has a history with Illinois, funding over $60 million in research over the past 30 years. He is building on the Consortium’s mission of driving focused industry research to both advance state-of-the-art technology, and continues to create a pipeline of qualified professionals who will serve as next-generation leaders in the industry.

Hansen has four decades in technical management and semiconductor system/circuit design, primarily in the area of wireless communications. After completing his degree from Illinois, Hansen designed wireless communications integrated circuits for two-way radios, and later for the cellular telephone market at Motorola.

From Motorola, Hansen moved to Freescale Semiconductor, leading research and development teams before becoming Freescale’s Vice President and Chief Development Officer. He improved design efficiency and reduced product cost for all Freescale units. In 2009, Hansen was named Freescale’s President and Chief Technology Officer. In this role he revitalized the technical community by tripling the patent output, opening a new Lab for employee suggested innovations, hosting local and global technical events to showcase technical achievement to all employees and providing a voice from the technical community to the CEO and his staff.

Hansen has served as an industrial advisor to multiple organizations, including the University of Texas Wireless Networking and Communications Group, Connection One -- Integrated Circuits, Systems, and Sensors Research Center, and the Center for Design and Digital-Analog Integrated Circuits.

Hansen earned the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Illinois in 2012. He is a fellow of the IEEE, and holds 11 U.S. patents.