Bridge-builder for academia and industry wins distinguished alumni service award

For her outstanding dedication to electrical and computer engineering education at the University of Michigan, Karen Fireman is honored with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

Karen Fireman and Khalil Najafi Enlarge
Karen Fireman, the 2019 College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Service Award Winner, stands with Khalil Najafi (Schlumberger Prof. of Engineering, Arthur F. Thurnau Prof., and former Chair of ECE) during Homecoming 2019.

Karen Schreiber Fireman’s decades of experience in industry and outstanding dedication to electrical and computer engineering education at the University of Michigan is being honored with Michigan Engineering’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award.

She has also served as a Michigan Engineering Alumni Board member and was vice chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Council.

Schreiber Fireman earned her bachelor of science in computer engineering from U-M in 1980. She earned a master of science in numerical analysis in 1983 and master of business administration in 1985, both from Johns Hopkins University.

The award is one of the highest accolades given by the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board. It honors a graduate who has given generously of time and talent to further college projects and activities.

Schreiber Fireman has over 25 years of experience in compliance consulting, risk oversight and complex financial modeling. She is a chartered financial analyst whose resume includes chief technology officer of ManTechCyber, chief financial officer of Columbus Properties, and chief compliance officer of Columbia Partners.

She has sat on investment boards of several charitable endowments, and has provided financial advice to multinational institutions. She has been an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, and a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan. Currently, she is a principal at Fireman & Associates.

ECE Expeditions, the brainchild of Fireman’s committee at Michigan Engineering, was a passion project designed to introduce students to a variety of companies while forging connections in industry. Her work in the department nurtured a closer relationship between academia and industry.

“Fireman has been working closely with our division for many years and has made a significant impact in many ways, from being an inaugural ECE Council member, to having great ideas for educating our students. Our staff, faculty, and students will be forever grateful for her boundless energy and enthusiasm for ECE at Michigan” said Mingyan Liu, the Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Michigan Engineering Alumni Board (MEAB) serves the college and its 80,000 alumni by offering knowledge, hands-on service, network connections, passion and resources in the pursuit of the College of Engineering’s vision and mission. 

Karen Fireman's talk as the 2019 recipient of the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Service award, "Ready Fire Aim: RE-Wiring My Brain for N=ALL."