Dr. James 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, NI has pioneered the development of virtual instrumentation software and hardware that revolutionizes the way engineers design and develop test and measurement applications. Today, Dr. Truchard leads the graphical system design vision that expands virtual instrumentation to encompass embedded systems.
In 1986, Truchard and Jeff Kodosky invented NI LabVIEW system design software. With LabVIEW, engineers and scientists use graphical system design to quickly and intuitively build customer-defined solutions that need measurement and control applications. Much like the spreadsheet provided a new way for financial professionals to do their jobs, the intuitive graphical environment of LabVIEW has revolutionized the way innovators design, prototype, and deploy their applications.
As NI has grown from a three-man team to a multinational organization with more than 6,100 employees, Truchard continues to lead the company with the same entrepreneurial mindset that led to its inception more than 35 years ago. He focuses on ensuring employees have a working environment that fosters innovation, and as a result, NI has seen 33 years of growth in its 35-year history.
Truchard’s long-term course for NI equally balances the success of its four stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, and suppliers. Truchard and his management team have created an award-winning corporate culture that has been recognized as one of the top 25 “World’s Best Multinational Workplaces” by the Great Place to Work Institute.
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 Governor Rick Perry’s Advisory Council on the Digital Economy.
Truchard also is an active supporter of the NI academic program which focuses on growing students’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through hands-on, project-based learning. In 2005, Governor Perry asked Truchard to chair the Texas STEM Industry Advisory Council, which directly addresses the declining interest and preparation of young people to pursue careers in technical fields.
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’s degree and bachelor’s degree in physics, all from The University of Texas at Austin.