Eric Swanson 1956-2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 10:45am

UT ECE lost a valued friend on October 14, 2014 when faculty member Eric Swanson passed away unexpectedly at the age of 58.

Born to Carl and Pauline Swanson on August 16, 1956, Eric was raised in Des Plaines, Illinois as the second of five siblings (Carl, Bill, Jim, and Mary). Graduating from Maine West High School, he went on to obtain a bachelors in electrical engineering from Michigan State University in 1977 and a masters from CalTech in 1980. His career began at Bell Labs in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he met his first wife, Carol Yenkner. They moved to Texas, where Eric was an early member of Crystal Semiconductor (which later became Cirrus Logic), eventually serving as the CTO. A prolific inventor, his career innovations include 62 patents with nine more pending. 

In addition to his work at Cirrus, Eric taught a graduate-level mixed-signal systems course in the UT Electrical Engineering department for the last 13 years, and co-taught a class in Technical Entrepreneurship with fellow industry experts. In 2006, Eric met his second wife, Marian Scott, and they began building their family together in Buda, Texas.  Eric later returned to work at Cirrus as a technical fellow, until he decided to launch a new company early this year.

Eric found happiness in raising and mentoring his children. While Eric, Charles, Catherine, and Patricia headed off to college, he and Marian returned the family home to its typical noise levels with Cole Scott, Carl Rae (C. Rae), Scottie, and Lucky.

In between his children’s band concerts and t-ball games, Eric was an avid cyclist and swimmer. He enjoyed working in the outdoors, and spent his summers at Lake Pocotopaug in Connecticut towing kids behind a boat and exploring the surrounding forests and waterfalls on his bike.

A remembrance will be held at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Ballroom at 1900 University Ave in Austin, TX on Friday, Oct. 24th from 1:00 – 2:00 PM with a reception to follow.

Donations can be made to the scholarship fund in Eric’s memory at the UT ECE department: giving.utexas.edu/Swanson