Ikhlaq Sidhu

Area of Interest:

Data/AI, Networks, and Systems Architecture:

  • Data-X, datax.berkeley.edu

  • Customer data analysis for insight and prediction of customer loss and revenue gain

  • Making Data, AI, and Systems practical and effective for any organization

  • Breaking down complex data and systems problems into simple approachable solutions

  • Monetizing Data, Management Science, Filling skill gaps

Innovation Process and Culture:

  • Innovation Engineering - A framework for creating anything new in large firms, research labs, student projects, and new ventures.

  • Engineering Leadership Program – Enabling technical leaders for higher impact and career acceleration

  • Empowering innovators to positively change the world at Sutardja Center , UC Berkeley

  • Curriculum Design or Professional Education in Data, AI, Innovation, or Entrepreneurship

Short Biography:

Ikhlaq Sidhu, Chief Scientist, and Faculty Director of UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. He is the author of the book "Innovation Engineering" and the creator of the very popular Data-X Course at Berkeley. He holds 75 patents in internet communication technologies. Dr. Sidhu developed the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, a teaching framework used at UC Berkeley as part of the Entrepreneurship & Technology area at the #1 public university in the world.

Sidhu received the IEEE Major Education Innovation Award in 2018 and the Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times Award by UC Berkeley in 2021. He received the Berkeley IEOR Emerging Area Professor Award in 2009 at UC Berkeley. In 1999, he received 3Com Corporation’s Inventor of the Year Award. He serves on many advisory boards. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his masters’ degree and doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University.
For more information see
UC Berkeley Celebrating 15 Years with Ikhlaq Sidhu

Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times, 2021

Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times (link)

IEEE Major Innovation Award, 2018

IEEE Leadership: Vice President, Educational Activities Chair, Witold Kinsner and Awards & Recognition Chair, Lorena Garcia, with Ikhlaq Sidhu

Significant Recognitions:

Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times Award (2021):

SCET Faculty Director & Chief Scientist, Prof. Ikhlaq Sidhu was awarded the University of California, Berkeley’s Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times Award for demonstrating his commitment to students and excellence in teaching, even under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

“We are fortunate and grateful for Ikhlaq’s commitment to innovation and excellence in teaching for the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology,” says Tsu-Jae King Liu, Dean, College of Engineering.

Ikhlaq was nominated for his work on the SCET Data-X course, Applied Data Science with Venture Applications. With its significant team-based component, it wasn’t originally meant to be a remote learning experience, so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ikhlaq decided to re-design the course. (more)

The IEEE Major Innovation Award (2018):

Ikhlaq Sidhu is the recipient of the 2018 IEEE Major Innovation Award in the education category for his research and teaching work at UC Berkeley. Past award winners of this international recognition include some of the most prolific professors in the world. Recent example include Rao Tummala, Endowed Chair Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech who developed System on Chip Packaging, IEEE Technical Field Award, Vincent Poor, IEEE Fellow, the Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton for development of smart energy grids, socially minded engineering leaders such as Karen Panetta, IEEE Fellow, Dean for Graduate Education, a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Director of the Simulation Research Laboratory at Tufts University who also created the International Nerd Girls Program, John Booske, IEEE Fellow, Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin for his contribution as a researcher and authorship of a leading text book in Microwave Electronics, and other distinguished faculty.

The IEOR Emerging Area Professor Award (2009):

The IEOR Emerging Area Professor Award is an internal Berkeley Department recognition for bringing a new area of teaching and research into the Industrial Engineering and Operation Research Department at UC Berkeley including Entrepreneurship & Technology as well the Engineering Leadership including a college-wide Master of Engineering Degree.

3Com Inventor of the Year (1999):

The 3Com Inventor of the Year Award was selected from approximately 14,000 people in the firm for work leading to new product and technology areas including networking technology, IP telephony, Internet communications, and mobile computing. Work from that period includes some of the world’s most seminal products and patents for real time voice and video communication over the Internet.

Major Affiliations:

  • Board of Directors, Qatar Foundation, 2019

  • International Advisory Board, BII Business School, Norway, since 2019

  • Honorary / Visiting: Chair Professor in Computer Science and Physics (joint appointment), HKBU, Hong Kong, 2018

  • Faculty Committee for Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley, since 2016

  • Board of Trustees of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, since 2016

  • Faculty Director’s Council, Jacob’s Institute for Design Innovation, UC Berkeley since 2018 and Review Committee for Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in 2020

  • Master of Design Faculty Advisory Council UC Berkeley since 2019

  • Advisor X-Fund, Advisor Onset Ventures

  • Fellow, Applied Innovation Institute, since 7/ 2012 (501.3c),

  • Founder, Innovation Engineering, Advisory Practice, 2010,

  • Member IEEE since 1995.

Supporting References:

“When I was Dean of the College of Engineering at Berkeley, my mission was to broaden engineering to include technology, entrepreneurship, and design. With Ikhlaq leading SCET, we have been able to literally reinvent engineering instruction to bring the world’s real-life challenges and timely opportunities directly into the classroom,” says Shankar Sastry, Chair, SCET Faculty Council, and former dean of the College of Engineering.

“Thanks to Ikhlaq’s transformative approach to teaching entrepreneurship and innovation, UC Berkeley has expanded its role within the vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area,” says Tsu-Jae Liu, Dean, College of Engineering. “Leveraging his strong ties to industry, the Sutardja Center has been able not only to develop customized programs for executives and technical professionals but also to give Berkeley students more opportunities to work directly with companies on timely and impactful innovation projects.”

“As a former entrepreneur and a current venture capitalist, it’s obvious to me that the most essential ingredients for success are teamwork, trust, curiosity, acceptance of failure, and a constant drive to iterate.” says In Sik Rhee, Partner at Vertex Ventures and SCET advisory board member. “None of those factors are steeped in any particular syntax or curriculum. All have to do with a certain psychological strength and confidence in a unified team. Ikhlaq and the SCET have embraced these core principles and created a great method to enable students to focus on the mindset of entrepreneurship.”

Charlie Giancarlo CEO Pure Storage, former EVP and Chief Technology & Development Officer, Cisco Systems, and SCET board member was one of the first collaborators of ELPP. In Charlie’s words, “It has been a pleasure to have been associated with Ikhlaq in the initial development and spectacular growth of the ELPP program. Ikhlaq combines the rare combination of business experience and pedagogical skills to translate concepts using industry practice and academic perspectives. This program fills an incredibly important need in the development of rising technical leaders in Silicon Valley.” 

“ELPP and Prof. Ikhlaq are synonymous and inseparable. The numerous case studies led by Ikhlaq Sidhu, especially on innovation, were very engaging and insightful. I always looked forward to the ELPP sessions, and I have personally enjoyed them. Cheers to Ikhlaq for leading this program,” Venkat Sundaranatha, a graduate of the program and leading Silicon Valley tech industry professional.

“By providing project-based courses, Ikhlaq has helped us improve the experience for IEOR students, enabling them to apply their technical training to timely innovation projects,” says Alper Atamturk, Professor and Chair, Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research.

“We endowed the Center because we could see the impact that SCET’s programs were having on students’ self-confidence, attitudes, and ability to execute on their ideas,” say the Center’s chief benefactors, Pantas and Ting Sutardja. “It has been very rewarding to see the SCET grow under Ikhlaq’s leadership to empower thousands of students at Berkeley and around the world.”

Reference: UC Berkeley Celebrating 15 Years with Ikhlaq Sidhu