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NMSU alumnus to take home Emmy Award

New Mexico State University electrical engineering graduate Colin McDowell and his company, McDSP, will receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development at the 69th Engineering Emmy Awards show on Oct. 25 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel.


Man’s head shot
Colin McDowell, McDSP founder and Chief Technology Officer and New Mexico State University alumnus, has been honored with a 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development. (Courtesy photo)

“I attribute a great deal of McDSP’s success to our customers,” McDowell said. “They not only use our products every day, they also advocate for our company in ways I would’ve never imagined. I am grateful for their support over nearly two decades.”

McDSP was recognized for its SA-2 Dialog Processor, which helps to improve the overall sound of recorded speech on television shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” on HBO, “Sense8” on Netflix, “The Good Fight” on ABC, “Criminal Minds Beyond Borders” on CBS, “The Swap” on Disney, “Halt and Catch Fire” on AMC and movies such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Insurgent,” “Mr. Holmes” and the upcoming “A Star is Born” re-make with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

McDowell said the SA-2 Dialog Processor is also used in music production for vocals and other instruments that can produce sudden peaks that are not pleasing to the ears nor suitable for high-quality productions.

The Engineering Emmy is presented to an individual, company or organization for engineering developments that are so significant an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television, according to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

“Colin is an inspiration to all of our engineering students,” said College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi Reddi. “His enthusiasm is contagious, and his ability to apply engineering in liberal arts is outstanding. I am truly proud of Colin, and our staff and faculty wish him many more honors and successes.”

A Buffalo, New York, native, McDowell credits his interest in audio to Moog Music, which produced one of the most popular synthesizers of all-time and had its main office in his hometown for a time.

“I may have given my parents the idea I’d continue taking piano lessons if I could also check out one of these music synthesizers,” McDowell said. “Although I did ‘blow up’ my dad’s stereo with the resonant filters of my first Moog synth, it was totally awesome and started me on the path of always wanting to combine music and engineering.”

McDowell, who founded McDSP in 1998, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1991.