When he was named the recipient of ASME’s 2020 Richard J. Goldstein Energy Lecture Award, Dr. James Truchard elected to donate his $10,000 honorarium to the ASME Foundation to fund a scholarship for a deserving engineering student.
That student is Johane Bracamonte, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and a second-year student member of ASME. “It is a great honor to receive the James J. Truchard Scholarship,” Bracamonte said. “It’s particularly meaningful and thrilling, since LabView and other National Instruments products have an immeasurable impact on my professional career.”
National Instruments, which Dr. Truchard co-founded and led as president and CEO, is a leading global producer of automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software.
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics, Dr. Truchard received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, all at the University of Texas at Austin.
Recognizing the limited opportunities for advancement in his job as managing director of the acoustical measurements division at the U.T. Applied Research Laboratories, he and two colleagues founded National Instruments in 1976 in his garage.
Says Dr. Truchard,“I didn’t see a job I wanted [in Austin], so I created one!” Ten years later, NI released its ground-breaking LabView graphical programming interface and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Though he retired from his roles as president and CEO of the company in 2017 after nearly four decades, he continues to serve as chairman of the board.
Dr. Truchard delivered the Goldstein Energy Lecture during IMECE in November. He is only the second person to receive the prestigious honor (the first was Nobel laureate and former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu). Established in 2019, the Richard J. Goldstein Energy Lecture Award “recognizes pioneering contribution(s) to the frontiers of energy leading to a breakthrough(s) in existing technology, leading to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor, or leading to policy initiatives.”