Carnegie Mellon University
February 23, 2022

Alumnus Gift Will Advance Electrical and Computer Engineering

By Krista Burns

Krista Burns
  • College of Engineering
  • 412-268-5316

A lifetime of innovation and leadership in the suburbs of Pittsburgh has inspired an alumnus to make a generous gift to support electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Giorgio CoraluppiGiorgio Coraluppi has made a commitment that will endow the headship for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The Giorgio Coraluppi Headship in Electrical and Computer Engineering will provide support for the department head and for ECE's strategic initiatives and priorities.

The department is ranked No. 2 in computer engineering and No. 8 in electrical engineering in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in undergraduate engineering education. The department is also ranked in the top 10 in graduate rankings — No. 5 in computer engineering and No. 8 in electrical engineering.

This is the second headship announced in the college, succeeding the David and Susan Coulter Headship bestowed to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in February 2019.

"Dr. Coraluppi's generous gift will be the catalyst in the strategic growth of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department," said Bill Sanders, the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean of the College of Engineering. "I feel strongly that his partnership will help the college and ECE to reach new heights."

Believing deeply in the mission of the College of Engineering, Coraluppi is motivated to give generously because he wants to be invested in the future of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

"One of the motivations was the desire to have a strong relationship with the academic institution where I had started," stated Coraluppi. "I started at Carnegie Mellon University during my first years in the United States. These were important years in which I learned to appreciate this first-class academic institution. CMU reinforced my desire for intellectual openness."

Coraluppi appreciated the unbiased intellectual framework that is prevalent at the university, and instills this mindset at his company today.

"I am extremely grateful and excited to be the first recipient of The Giorgio Coraluppi Headship in Electrical and Computer Engineering," said Larry Pileggi, department head and Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "This endowment will support multidisciplinary research initiatives in ECE that will address emerging global and societal challenges for decades to come."

Coraluppi — known affectionately and respectfully by his employees as "Dr. C" — is the founder and continued inspiration behind Compunetics Inc., which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 as a Pittsburgh technology pioneer and touchstone enterprise.

With the intent of developing a world class organization, Compunetics is unique in its style and achievements. Since inception, the company has been engaged in the design and manufacture of special systems for complex processing applications. As a result of the success in data communications, Compunetix, Inc. and Chorus Call, Inc. were established. Compunetix is a key provider of large-scale multimedia multipoint teleconferencing systems both in the commercial and government markets with the largest worldwide deployment of teleconferencing systems in the industry.

"CMU reinforced my desire for intellectual openness." — Giorgio Coraluppi

Coraluppi earned a Ph.D. in engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1958 and an master's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 1966.

After graduating from the Politecnico di Milano, Coraluppi was a research assistant at the Istituto di Fisica Tecnica of Politecnico di Milano before serving as a lieutenant in the Italian Air Force for 18 months. Starting in 1961, he worked in the Electronics Research Laboratory of Olivetti and held a teaching position at the Politecnico di Milano during the same period. In 1964 he joined the Space Defense Division of the American Optical Company in Pittsburgh.

Lifelong Tartans, the Coraluppi family has seen three generations study engineering at Carnegie Mellon; Giorgio Coraluppi (MS ECE'66), Stefano Coraluppi (BS ECE'90), and Giovanni Coraluppi, a first-year student.

Coraluppi's gift is the latest commitment to be announced as part of Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University. The multiyear effort aims to raise $2 billion in private philanthropy to support CMU's strategic priorities across the university and its seven colleges and schools. To date, more than 55,000 supporters have contributed more than $1.84 billion in support of the university.

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