Profile of a Leader: From Moon Landings to Intel Fellow

An Intel Profile: Meet the 2019 SHPE Star Innovation Award Winner  

Intel’s own Alberto Martinez has been recognized by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for his immense technical achievements and advocacy of Latinxs in tech. Meet the man behind the award-winning career.  

On July 20, 1969, history was made.  

A family was gathered around the black-and-white television, watching the momentous event when the Eagle safely landed on the surface of the moon.  

One of the children, Alberto Martinez, could not articulate his feelings as Neil Armstrong’s famous words were broadcasted across the expanse of space and around the globe. The words ignited a fire within him — an insatiable desire for learning and a profound drive for self-betterment.

This drive manifested itself in many aspects of Alberto’s life. He obtained a full-ride scholarship for technical and moral merits to a prestigious private school in Caracas. As his mother’s health declined, he and his father convinced her doctors Alberto could administer his mother’s hemodialysis, instead of the family paying a nurse to render home care every other day. 

Alberto earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela. He later moved with his wife to the United States to study at Sacramento State University, where he earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. While adapting to a new country, he persevered by remembering his late father’s words: Knowledge is the source of progress, but the will to achieve “the fire in the belly” is what makes the impossible happen. 

Another history-making day in Alberto’s life was achieving the moon landing of his career: becoming a member of Intel’s 1994 Overdrive Processor Validation Organization team in Folsom, Calif. 

Since then, he has provided technical leadership to the development of next-generation System-on-a-Chip (SoC) technology and is currently the lead architect for the Audio, Voice, and Speech Center of Excellence. While Alberto oversees the architecture and definition of SoC products for multiple devices, his technical focus has shifted to the expanding area of artificial intelligence as it relates to audio and voice.  

Alberto is the lead architect designing the integrated neural network accelerators dedicated to achieving 66times power reduction at the algorithm level for acoustic scoring, a necessary improvement to speech recognition. This allows AI to process natural language locally in our everyday devices, creating great improvements in privacy and security. He is also the technical project engineer for the 11th generation of the Intel® Core™ processor family, providing technical guidance for the architecture, design, and deployment for Intel’s 2020 flag-ship micro-processor. 

Alberto’s most important achievement is his family. He and his wife, Patricia, have two grown daughters – one is attending Washington University in St. Louis and the other is an engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton who says she’s taking her father to the moon someday. He’s been ready for it since 1969. 

The SHPE awards ceremony honors professionals for their dedication, commitment, and selfless efforts to advance Hispanic professionals in STEM. Read more here. 

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