DesignCon honors Cathy Liu, engineer and director at Broadcom SerDes Architecture and Modeling Group, as the 2021 winner of its Engineer of the Year award. The prestigious award honors the best and brightest in engineering and product advancements at the chip, board, and systems-level, recognizing excellence by awarding a $1,000 donation to any secondary educational institution of their choosing in the United States. Cathy has decided to donate her grant to the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at University of California at Davis to help young engineering students grow.

Liu is dedicated to encouraging engineers to take a more active role in the engineering community and breaking down barriers within the industry. She was among a group of Technical Program Committee (TPC) members, mentoring authors and early-career engineers who were the lead author on a DesignCon paper for the first time. Along with the other mentors, she worked with the lead authors through the paper-creation process and was available to read a paper draft and provide input prior to submission.

"Liu is among the most impressive engineers in the industry, and we are so excited to celebrate the work she has accomplished at DesignCon," said Naomi Price, Conference Director, DesignCon, Informa Markets - Engineering. "She has been an active member in the engineering community for decades and has made revolutionary contributions to chip design and signal processing. On behalf of the entire DesignCon team, we are proud to have such a strong engineer in our community and admire her dedication to mentoring and teaching early-career engineers."

The finalists this year were chosen out of the pool of nominees submitted for the award during the online nomination process earlier in the year. From those nominees, DesignCon judges chose the finalists based on their outstanding dedication to high-quality engineering. The DesignCon community selected the winner, and the award was presented to Liu during DesignCon 2021 held in-person at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

"It's a privilege to not only be nominated alongside so many highly respected engineers and peers but to be bestowed the title Engineer of the Year is truly an honor," said Liu. "It's remarkable to be reunited in person with the DesignCon community again after so many long months apart. The past few days have been filled with so many learnings and stimulating conversations that we as a community can now turn into practice."

Notably, Liu has worked on high-speed transceiver solutions and has previously developed read channel and mobile digital TV receiver solutions. Additionally, she is well-known for the generous amount of time spent dedicated to progressing the engineering community and has a passion for mentoring and furthering young engineers' careers.

About Dr. Cathy Liu:

Liu, a distinguished engineer and director, currently heads up Broadcom SerDes Architecture and Modeling Group. Previously, she worked as an R&D director and distinguished engineer in Avago/LSI, which acquired Broadcom in 2016. Since 2002, she has been working on high-speed transceiver solutions. Liu has developed read channel and mobile digital TV receiver solutions and her technical interests include signal processing, FEC, and modeling in high-speed optical and electrical transceiver solutions. Impressively, Liu has published many journals and conference papers and holds 20+ US patents. Liu also has demonstrated her leadership roles in industry-standard bodies and forums, where currently she serves as a member of the board of advisors for the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) of the University of California at Davis and the co-chair of the DesignCon technical track of high-speed signal processing, equalization, and coding. 

In addition to receiving the award during the show, Liu will also be in the Career Zone on Wednesday, August 18, along with other TPC co-chairpersons, to answer questions regarding submitting a paper for DesignCon 2022 and provide advice on best practices.

DesignCon is partnered with The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), offering its accreditation to eligible conference attendees. Each conference hour is equivalent to one professional development hour (PDH), and 10 PDH's result in one continuing education unit (CEU) and an official IEEE certificate. IEEE accreditation can be used to meet training requirements, stand out to future employers, and maintain an engineering license.

To learn more about the award, please visit