James J. Truchard

Jmaes J. Truchard

Ph.D. E.C.E. 1974
President and CEO, National Instruments

Dr. James J. Truchard, National Instruments president and CEO, co-founded the company in 1976 while working at The University of Texas at Austin. Under Truchard's leadership, National Instruments has pioneered the development of virtual instrumentation software and hardware that has revolutionized the way engineers approach measurement and automation applications.

In 1986, Truchard and Jeff Kodosky invented LabVIEW graphical development software. With LabVIEW, engineers and scientists can quickly and intuitively build a customer-defined solution for measurement and automation. The intuitive graphical environment of LabVIEW revolutionized the way engineers and scientists work, much like the spreadsheet provided a new way for financial professionals to do their jobs. When combined with continuously improving computer-based measurement hardware, LabVIEW programs, known as “virtual instruments,” create measurement systems that work at ever-increasing frequencies and resolutions.

As National Instruments has grown from a three-man team to a global organization with more than 3,100 employees, Truchard has led the company with a conservative, deliberate approach that has yielded steady company success. He has incited innovation, growth, and expansion in a highly successful, worldwide enterprise while maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit that spurred the start of the company. As a result, National Instruments has seen 26 years of growth in its 27-year history.

Truchard’s long-term course for National Instruments equally balances the success of its customers, employees, shareholders, and suppliers. Truchard and his management team have created such a winning corporate culture that FORTUNE magazine has named National Instruments as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the past five years.

Truchard also is a recognized industry leader. In 2003, he was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. In 2002, a leading electronics publication, Electronic Design, inducted Truchard into its Engineering Hall of Fame and in 2001, a global market consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, honored him as the CEO of the Year for the test and measurement industry. In addition, Worth magazine named him one of best CEOs for three consecutive years, emphasizing his focus on long-term growth and innovation.

While successfully directing the company's innovation of industry-leading software and hardware, Truchard also participates in many community organizations. He is a member and former chairman of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council, works closely with The University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Chancellor's Council, and is a former member of the university's Electrical and Computer Engineering Visiting Committee. He is a founding member of the Austin Software Council and was a member of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Advisory Council on the Digital Economy. Truchard also is an active supporter of the National Instruments ROBOLAB program, which, in conjunction with Tufts University and the Pitsco LEGO Educational Division, seeks to introduce students from kindergarten through high school to basic engineering and computing skills.

Before founding NI, Truchard worked as managing director of the acoustical measurements division at Applied Research Laboratories at The University of Texas at Austin. Truchard holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, as well as a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in physics, all from The University of Texas at Austin.

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