December 2020

A Conversation with Michael Devetsikiotis

Michael Devetsikiotis

Professor & Chair

University of New Mexico

The Basics

How many years have you been with your current company? 4.5 years

First job? Teaching assistant at NC State University. First "real job": Research Associate in Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Where were you born? In Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, founded in 315 BC and named after the sister of Alexander the Great.

Where did you grow up? In Thessaloniki, Greece


Academic Perspective

Why is ECEDHA important to you?

Because it provides an amazing opportunity to benefit from the combined strength of hundreds of ECE departments.


What are you most proud of with distance learning?

Starting to break free from growing up in a physical classroom, especially with respect to assessments and exams.


What have you found to have been most rewarding in your experience with ECEDHA and the Board position?

I had not anticipated the COVID crisis at the start of my term. But it turned out to be a very impactful time given the challenges for pivoting the organization to online operations, while confirming and increasing its value to our member departments.


Was there a defining moment in your life that made you choose ECE as a profession?

Reading articles during high school about computers, robots and biomedical applications.


If you had to choose another profession, what would you choose?

Orchestra conductor.


What has been your personal biggest challenge, or most significant achievement since the pandemic?

By far, the biggest challenge and most gratifying, was homeschooling my five and a half year old daughter in the last months of kindergarten.


My favorite class to teach is...

“Introduction to Simulation”.


Greatest piece of advice I can offer a student is...

Learn the fundamentals very well. Later this is the door to studying different fields and applications that may change over a lifetime.


Beyond the Desk

What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

It’s a marathon not a sprint. Find time to take care of yourself and enjoy along the way.


Who/what inspires you?

Integrity and bravery.


Philosophy of life in a nutshell?

Work hard, play even harder.


Nobody is better than me when it comes to...

doing best the most important things.


A problem I have yet to solve:

how to be in multiple places at the same time.


I always wanted to travel to...

New Zealand.


You couldn’t pay me enough to...

Do nothing.


One thing people don’t realize about me is that..

I am a certified group fitness instructor since 2013. I teach Les Mills Bodypump ™ and Bodyattack ™ and currently have four classes per week at two different gyms.


Favorite movie:

Fargo (both the original and the FX series)