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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Silicon Valley Executive Council Bridges the Gap for Arch Students

Silicon Valley Executive Council Bridges the Gap for Arch Students

By SCER Staff

July 10, 2019

With strong ties to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute community, alumnus Richard Lotti ’78, MBA ’79, has recruited more than 40 Rensselaer students for a variety of Co-op positions at top-tier companies throughout California. Lotti’s passion continues through his partnership with The Arch program and his appointment to the Rensselaer Silicon Valley Executive Council.

Having earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer, Lotti attributes much of his success to the Co-op experience he secured at Johnson & Johnson. Lotti joined Johnson & Johnson the fall semester of his sophomore year and continued to work there every summer leading up to his  final MBA semester. With a strong work ethic and academic drive, Lotti managed to graduate with two degrees and 14 months of work experience in four and a half years.

When creating a well-rounded Co-op/Arch experience for the student, Lotti suggests pairing an engineering student with an engineering mentor and focusing their assignments on understanding how products work or fail, meaning time is invested in the engineering test lab or on the manufacturing floor. Lotti feels this approach provides engineers with the knowledge necessary to design better products after they first understand how and why products fail.

When asked what appeals to him specifically about the talent pool at Rensselaer, Lotti says, “Rensselaer students provide a solid problem-solving approach, a practical engineering perspective, and the hunger needed to learn.”

As a member of the Rensselaer Silicon Valley Executive Council and chair of The Arch subcommittee, Lotti is strategically implementing a process to connect Rensselaer alumni from companies in Silicon Valley with Arch students interested in gaining experience in California. He is also working with the Center for Career and Professional Development at Rensselaer to put a plan in place to prepare students for the interviewing process that Silicon Valley companies utilize. With his strategic plan and organized effort, Lotti is highly confident that the process will yield 50 student placements within the first year.

“An assignment here places students at the technology center of the universe,” Lotti said. “The opportunity is all about accelerated learning.” He also urges students who accept Arch assignments in Silicon Valley to take in the sights when possible, including hiking and skiing in the mountains and surfing and cycling on the coast. His Co-op alumni have compiled a list of 100 “must do” adventures for incoming Silicon Valley Arch students.

Lotti’s latest venture, Cranial Waves Medical Inc., founded in April 2018, seeks to provide clinicians with non-invasive neuro-monitoring solutions for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s disease utilizing acoustic wave analysis with AI algorithms. The company plans to initiate clinical studies this summer.


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.