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Alumni Update: Sulmer Fernandez 

Photo of Sulmer FernandezSulmer Fernandez’s passion for electrical engineering emerged at a young age. With a strong fascination for research and solving problems, Sulmer was driven to pursue a path of innovation to inspire others. Sulmer embarked on her academic journey, pursuing a master’s degree from Washington State University and later enrolling in the prestigious PhD program at Boise State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Under the guidance of her advisor and friend, Dr. Jim Browning, Sulmer focused on groundbreaking research in the captivating realms of microwave devices and RF engineering. Her unwavering dedication paid off, as she made history in 2014 as the first female Latina PhD student to graduate from the Boise State University ECE Department. This immense accomplishment brought great pride to Sulmer and her family in Venezuela.

After completing her PhD, Sulmer was determined to become a leading researcher, striving to make a meaningful impact in the world, no matter how small. One day, Sulmer received a special invitation from Intel to attend a professional event exclusively for Latina women in Electrical Engineering. To her surprise, Sulmer ended up leaving the event with three job offers from Intel, presenting her with an incredible opportunity to apply her research, engineering skills, and problem solving abilities to revolutionary products. In 2016, Sulmer joined the RF hardware team at Intel and was immediately assigned to work on an exhilarating project focusing on 5G technology. She was tasked to contribute to the cutting-edge design of a 2-in-1 tablet to be used in the 2018 Winter Olympics. This work made Sulmer very proud, as this device was successfully used in the Olympics for spectators to track the athletes real time performance using 5G network. This product’s achievement was recognized as one of the highlights of the Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain in 2018.

Amidst her exciting career at Intel, Sulmer also devoted herself to mentoring others and volunteering at various events dedicated to promoting STEM education for children within Latinx communities. Her involvement included joining the Intel Girls in STEM volunteering group, where she served as a role model, inspiring young girls to take interest in STEM careers. Sulmer’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of aspiring scientists and engineers exemplified her dedication to making a lasting impact in the field and empowering underrepresented communities.

One year ago, Sulmer decided to take a bold career move and embraced a new opportunity to work with a research-oriented team involved in intricate computer design. As a member of the microwave signal integrity team, Sulmer played a key role contributing to the design architecture and electric specifications of the USB4 interface, which is implemented into computers, tablets, and mobile devices on a global scale.  Summer’s contributions position her at the forefront on innovation, driving advancements for the next generation of devices that will shape the digital landscape for years to come.

“Did I think that I was going to end up doing what I am working on today? No. It has been a mix of taking chances, new challenges, and use the opportunities that are presented to you and making the best of them.”

Sulmer has had a remarkably rewarding career journey, and she is excited for the next chapter of her story. Her goal is to continue expanding her expertise and continue to create meaningful impacts. With a deep sense of purpose and a commitment to innovation, Sulmer is determined to leave a lasting legacy in the realm of technology, touching the lives of countless individuals with her contributions.