Kate Bergeron (MMechEngr’95) has been with Apple Inc. for more than two decades and currently serves as a vice president of hardware engineering. Early in her career, she was part of the team that designed hardware such as the 2003 17-inch PowerBook and the original unibody MacBook Pros, which revolutionized notebook design by integrating components and features into a machined aluminum chassis. Since those initial accomplishments, Bergeron has moved into progressively larger leadership roles at Apple. She leads the product design teams responsible for Mac, iPad, audio, soft goods and packaging. In that capacity, she has led the development of multiple versions of AirPods and AirPods Pro, groundbreaking products that have been tremendously successful. Her outstanding contributions and leadership in innovative engineering design earned her a place in the National Academy of Engineering in 2022 — one of the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer.
In addition to being a key player in the development of iconic products that have transformed Apple into a household name, Bergeron’s commitment to opening doors for underrepresented minorities, along with spearheading Apple’s initiative to adopt more environmentally sustainable practices, has helped change the culture of Apple for the better. She is part of an effort to create platforms for women and underrepresented minorities in engineering to showcase their technical contributions. Her leadership in this space has enabled Apple to make huge strides in diversifying their workforce. Her leadership also proved instrumental in driving a dramatic reduction in the use of plastic in product packaging, which has been a major contribution to Apple’s wider initiative of eliminating all plastic in packaging by 2025.
Bergeron’s exemplary career in engineering leadership at Apple is equaled only by her passion for giving back to the communities that helped her achieve her professional success, as well as serving as a role model for women and other underrepresented minorities in STEM. Since graduating from CU Boulder, Kate has been steadfast in her support for the engineering community.
During her time at CU Boulder, Bergeron was a founding member of the women’s ultimate frisbee team, creating a new opportunity for students with her shared interests. Now in an influential role in her professional career, she has turned her efforts toward other types of new opportunities for students. She has spearheaded efforts to bring Apple recruiting and engagement to CU Engineering. She has been an active participant in the activities of the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering, helping to connect students with industry professionals and serving on the Mechanical Engineering Strategic Advisory Board (MESAB).
Bergeron philanthropically supports students through a scholarship for women engineering students that she and her husband personally sponsor. She has also advocated for Apple to support CU Engineering students through the BOLD Center and student scholarships.
In addition to earning her MS in mechanical engineering from CU Boulder in 1995, Bergeron attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning her BS in mechanical engineering in 1993 and MBA in 2013. Bergeron and her husband, Mike, will soon be the proud parents of a Forever Buff — their child, Maeryn, will be joining the class of 2027.