STEMinist Profile: Rebecca Lipon, Account Manager of Technology, Functional Verification

Rebecca Lipon

Rebecca Lipon

Account Manager of Technology, Functional Verification
Cadence Design Systems

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I was always fascinated by gadgets, and I had an amazing Calculus teacher in high school who inspired me to continue studying mathematics. In college, I was able to apply mathematics to real-life scenarios (learning how to write faster programs for computer architectures, understanding physical limitations of computer hardware and how to optimize for best results, etc.) and I was hooked.

That led me out of pure mathematics, and into Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and I didn’t look back. Each job I’ve pursued since has led me to new problems that force me to question what is possible and architect solutions. I could not imagine finding a career path that would have allowed me to keep growing and learning throughout life more than being an engineer.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I worked on an FPGA-based acceleration board that plugged into the highest I/O interconnect available in the market at the time. FPGAs are field-programmable gate arrays and can be programmed to have different functionality by sending a different stream of 1s and 0s into the chip. Working with a great team of people we built the entire system from “soup to nuts”–the board layout, peripherals, interconnect architecture, the FPGA logic wrapper providing access to off chip memory and I/O, and then a software layer to program the FPGA to run the logic the user required, and be able to debug it with standard tools.

It was an amazing opportunity to learn about a system from the inside out, and it also allowed me to work with an incredible team of people. Engineering has been incredible not just for the problems I’ve individually been able to solve, but for the joy of working with wonderful, talented teams of people.

Role models and heroes:
There are so many wonderful women, heroines, making a difference in high tech right now: Sheryl Sandberg, Caterina Fake, Cher Wang, Marissa Mayer, and Padmasree Warrior are just a few who come to mind. Honestly though, the strong and capable women in my family have always been my role models–from my grandmothers, to my mother, aunts, and sisters, I am deeply proud to come from such a strong line of women and I know they inspired me to believe in myself.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Learn. Never stop learning. When a problem is truly difficult, the joy found in unlocking the riddle and figuring it out is better than any other feeling I’ve experienced.

Favorite website or app:
Women 2.0 is my favorite website for learning about and promoting other women trying to change the world and build a future for America.

Twitter: @rebeccalipon

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