Alum Makes His Mark at National Instruments

headshot of Michael King smiling


A self-described Longhorn from birth, San Antonio native Michael King followed the steps of many of his family members when he chose to attend The University of Texas at Austin. His decision to enter the biomedical engineering program came after a campus visit. His mother ran into a woman who worked with the brand new Department of Biomedical Engineering that would begin to offer classes to undergraduates in 2002, during Michael’s first year. After hearing about the curriculum’s unique synthesis of math and science, King thought the field was a good match for him.

His affinity toward biomedical engineering was strengthened during a course with Professor Krishnendu Roy.

"While taking Dr. Roy’s class, I began to I understand for the first time how large the scope of biomedical engineering is. Dr. Roy, who came to UT after working in industry, was passionate, and his class was the first to solidify my desire to be a biomedical engineer."

King also worked with Professor Pengyu Ren in his Molecular and Dynamics Lab, where he worked on modeling the computational properties of proteins. They created synthetic molecules through software programs, and it was in Ren’s lab that King learned about Linux and software programs and their complexities.

After graduating, King began working as an applications engineer for National Instruments (NI) in Austin, Texas, a company he had previously interned at during his sophomore and junior years.

"National Instruments sets up its new employees for success in their careers," says King, "They have an extensive training program where new employees are mentored in areas of R&D, marketing, and sales for their first year on the job."

Through NI’s training program, King decided to move into the research and development field, where he worked as a product support engineer for LabVIEW software. LabVIEW is a graphical development application intended for scientists and engineers. Today, King is a project manager for LabVIEW R&D, managing 15 people based in Austin and 7 based in Romania. LabVIEW is a product that King is proud to work with.

"LabVIEW helps engineers in the workplace measure and automate everything they need to do in order to create technologies and products that have tremendous impacts on society" says King.

CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, uses LabVIEW as do a number of other industries, such as automotive companies for testing purposes and biomedical researchers to perform deep-tissue cell imaging.

King is proud to be making an impact through his contributions to LabVIEW products, which are used by 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

"While at UT, I was surrounded by the best and brightest students from all over the country," says King. "Specifically, the BME Department and its curriculum prepared me for my job and the work I do today."