Heinz Stoewer’s systems engineering approach to solving complex challenges has led to the successful implementation of important international space projects and has benefitted diverse industries. Stoewer was the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first program manger for the Spacelab project, where he created a strong systems group. Spacelab was essentially a small reusable space station designed to fit within the cargo bay of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Space Shuttle that consisted of pressurized modules, unpressurized pallets, and other hardware that could be reconfigured for specific missions. Stoewer’s systems engineering approach was critical to the success of the project, where the Spacelab and Shuttle depended on each other for power, life support, thermal management, crew functions, and communication. In these efforts, he led the requirements, system definition, and interface negotiations between ESA and NASA. This work ultimately set the stage for U.S. and European cooperation on the International Space Station. Stoewer also founded the ESA’s Systems Engineering and Programmatics Department, where he implemented an end-to-end systems engineering philosophy across ESA projects. He served as managing director of the German Space Agency’s national space science and applications projects, which included important work on shuttle imaging radar and the gravity recovery and climate experiment. Stoewer was also founding director of Delft University of Technology’s international master’s degree program in space systems engineering, where he introduced the use of small satellite-based projects as an effective teaching and training tool for engineering students. He has extended the influence of systems engineering beyond aerospace projects to universities, private companies, and government laboratories. Serving on the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), he helped to broaden the organization’s global perspective beyond aerospace and added a commercial component to complement its original aerospace focus. For the past eight years, Stoewer has been a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been helping to transform their system capabilities into a modern model-based systems engineering set of assets.
A member of the International Academy of Astronautics and recipient of the NASA Administrator Public Service Award (1984 and 1995) and of the Medal of the German Bundesrat (Senate), Stoewer is president of Space Associates GmbH, Munich, Germany.
Recognized worldwide as a visionary leader of systems engineering, John S. Baras’ development, commercialization, and advancement of Internet-over-satellite (IoS) systems created a new industry that is bringing fast Internet services to tens of millions of people who may otherwise not have access. During the 1990s, the commercial use of satellites was limited to broadcast television applications. However, Baras envisioned a system in which direct broadcast satellites could utilize small satellite dishes to deliver Internet service and customers could send information to the Internet using ordinary telephone modems. The result was the first-ever fast asymmetric IoS system. While it was believed that IoS would never be a viable product, Baras provided the technical breakthrough of modifying transmission control protocol (TCP) to overcome its natural failure in the presence of physical delay by incorporating connection splitting, address spoofing, and selective acknowledgement to inform the TCP protocol that a delay in receiving a request at the receiver end was due to the satellite’s physical path delay and not congestion. Working with Hughes Network Systems, Baras commercialized IoS to provide inexpensive high-speed Internet connectivity even to rural and undeveloped areas, and it has greatly impacted applications including telemedicine, disaster relief, and ship communications. Baras also provided innovations for secure operation of IoS, such as layered encryption security, which has become an international standard. As founding director of the University of Maryland’s Institute for Systems Research (ISR), Baras has championed the development of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) with a foundational framework that has been successfully applied to industrial applications. He has demonstrated MBSE methodologies to be essential for addressing challenges in software-intensive systems; modular product development in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries; cyber-physical systems; and smart manufacturing.
An IEEE Life Fellow and fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, Baras is a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.
The groundbreaking work of John P. Lehoczky, Ragunathan Rajkumar, and Lui Sha on developing the generalized rate-monotonic scheduling (GRMS) theory has revolutionized the modern practice of real-time system design by ensuring that critical tasks can be guaranteed across a wide range of real-world applications. Building upon the RMS theory introduced by Liu and Layland in 1973, the trio developed and refined GRMS theory over two decades to provide predictability, efficiency, and flexibility in scheduling complex concurrent real-time tasks that regular RMS could not satisfy. GRMS transformed the development of real-time systems from what was traditionally a hand-crafted, error-prone process into a scientific engineering discipline for building real-time systems that are pervasive in applications including aerospace, defense systems, transportation, process control, manufacturing, and medical systems. They constructed the first exact test to determine whether periodic tasks could be scheduled to meet general real-time constraints; expanded the scope of this test to include aperiodic tasks; developed robust protocols to synchronize real-time tasks; and determined the priority levels required to guarantee real-time behavior. GRMS made real-time design possible for complex, industrial-scale systems that exhibited rich behaviors while meeting essential, safety-critical design constraints. Their work made it possible to compute both the average-case and worst-case behaviors with useful mathematical precision. Not only does GRMS contribute to keeping development costs in check, leading to billions of dollars in savings and increased efficiencies being accrued, it also helps assure that expensive mission failures do not occur. GRMS has been incorporated into IEEE real-time software standards such as POSIX Real Time Extension and hardware standards such as IEEE Futurebus+. GRMS has been implemented in major projects including a wide variety of U.S. Department of Defense systems; the International Space Station; global positioning systems; the Mars Pathfinder; and, more recently, in autonomous vehicles.
An IEEE member, John P. Lehoczky is the Thomas Lord University Professor of Statistics and Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. An IEEE Fellow, Ragunathan Rajkumar is the George Westinghouse Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. An IEEE Fellow, Lui Sha is the Donald B. Gillies Chair Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
Paul G. Kaminski’s technical prowess and leadership skills have played a key role in the development and application of the U.S. Offset Strategy developed to counter the massive conventional forces of the Soviet Union during the cold war. The three components of that strategy included Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) to permit one weapon to destroy one target; advanced Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Systems (ISR) to find and track the targets; and Stealth Technology to permit delivery of the PGMs on target in the presence of air defenses. This combination provided immeasurable benefits to national security and military capability. Dr. Kaminski’s work on low-observable airborne systems led to the development of stealth aircraft including the F-117 fighter and B-2 bomber and advanced cruise missiles with stealth ability.
Many years ahead of similar systems pursued by other nations, the F-117 was designed as not simply an airplane but, in combination with ISR and PGMs, provided a complete weapons system incorporating ordinance and targeting capabilities. It changed the paradigm of air warfare and provided a dramatic reduction in the loss and capture of U.S. aircrews. Critical to the success of Dr. Kaminski’s stealth technology innovations was his implementation of the Integrated Product Team concept and the use of red teams for identifying and solving problems early in the development process.
He also championed physics-based modeling and simulation during development of the F-117, which accelerated testing and provided the basis for the development of algorithms to route the aircraft that gave great confidence to test pilots. Dr. Kaminski’s work in stealth and counter-stealth was complemented by his earlier work in PGMs in the late 1960s, followed by his work in unconventional satellite imaging systems in the early to mid-1970s. This work helped form the basis for the B-2 long-range stealth strategic bomber, refining the technologies with advances in sensors, control systems, and modeling and simulation.
An IEEE Life Fellow and recipient of U.S. National Medal of Technology, Dr. Kaminski is currently chairman and chief executive officer with Technovation Inc., Potomac Falls, VA, USA.
A master of accelerator physics, Lyndon Evans’ leadership in the design and successful development of the Large Hadron Collider has resulted in one of engineering’s greatest milestones and is allowing scientists to expand our knowledge of fundamental physics. As the project director (1995–2009) of the highest energy particle collider ever created, Dr. Evans was responsible for the research and development of the large superconducting magnets, the 27-km-long super-fluid cryogenic system, the integration of thousands of highly accurate power supplies, the optical design of beam collision regions, and the related instrumentation and control systems. He coordinated the efforts of thousands of engineers from around the world, and his ability to make difficult decisions when was faced with problems was critical to keeping the project on track. The Large Hadron Collider went live in 2008, but during start-up operations it faced one of its most serious challenges when a superconducting splice between two of the magnets failed near the peak design current during a sector test. This caused a large number of magnets to terminate in an uncontrolled way. Dr. Evans and his team analyzed the failure, determined how to prevent this type of failure in the future, and executed the work that was needed to resume operations. After a one-year interruption, beam commissioning was completed very quickly and science operations began in 2010. In 2012, the large detectors, center of mass energy, and luminosity provided by the Large Hadron Collider enabled the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, which had been the object of intense searches for 30 years. This discovery allows scientists to validate the standard model of particle physics.
A Fellow of the Royal Society (U.K.), Dr. Evans is currently director of linear collider collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland.
Considered a hero of deep-space exploration, Gentry Lee has set the standard for systems engineering of complex robotic planetary missions. From the 1970s Viking landers to today’s Mars rovers, Mr. Lee has provided guidance, technical counsel, and made the hard decisions to identify, characterize, and reduce the risks inherent in deep-space missions. The critical events in these missions, such as orbit insertion burn, autonomous soft landing, Earth atmospheric entry, and autonomous targeting for impact, must execute precisely and without error for the mission to meet its objectives. Mr. Lee has been at the center of the engineering decision-making process for proper execution of these events. Mr. Lee was chief engineer for the Galileo mission to Jupiter from 1977 to 1988. After working on the historic Viking project from 1968 to 1975, he was the director of science analysis and mission planning during the Viking operations. His leadership of the Genesis (2004) and Stardust (2005) missions’ Earth-entry risk reduction resulted in the successful return of solar wind molecules (Genesis) and comet particles (Stardust) for scientific study. His recent work includes the supervision of the successful Curiosity rover mission to Mars, the Dawn mission to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, the Juno mission to Jupiter, and the GRAIL mission to the Moon.
A Jet Propulsion Laboratory Fellow, Gentry Lee’s honors include the Harold Masursky Award from the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences (2006), the Distinguished Service Medal (NASA’s highest award) (2005), and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1976). He is the chief engineer for the Solar System Exploration Directorate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA.
Considered the “father” of field robotics, William Whittaker propelled robots from research curiosities mostly found bolted to factory floors or relegated to laboratories to mobile, autonomous units capable of working outdoors in harsh and challenging environments. He pioneered the locomotion technologies, navigation and route-planning methods, and advanced sensing systems that make these robots successful. After the nuclear reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979, Dr. Whittaker and his team developed robots to inspect and clean the damaged reactor’s basement. He overcame challenges including the extreme environment and the high level of reliability needed due to the inability to introduce human assistance if maintenance was needed. This work led to the formation of the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon (the first research center dedicated to field robotics). Other innovations from Dr. Whittaker include a walking robot that explored an active volcano and robots that searched for meteorites in Antarctica and surveyed an 1,800-acre area of Nevada for buried hazards. He developed self-guided trucks and underground machines that operate autonomously without communication or GPS. He led teams that developed self-driving cars that achieve high speed and comply with traffic laws, including a vehicle that won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Urban Challenge race in 2007. He is currently developing a lander/rover in pursuit of the Google X Prize for the first commercially funded venture to put a robot on the moon.
An IEEE Member, Dr. Whittaker is currently a University Professor with Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Neil Siegel’s groundbreaking systems engineering work in creating the “digital battlefield” has helped define the future of the U.S. armed forces and is already saving the lives of soldiers and Marines. Dr. Siegel led the design of a digital system capable of tracking friendly and enemy forces, thereby revolutionizing tactical-level command and control. He led programmatic, systems engineering and technology efforts and also guided what was an initially controversial concept through political minefields to realization. This system, known as Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2), is also known as the Blue-Force Tracker. Dr. Siegel’s invention of the force-structure-aware communications network provides better communications in the challenging tactical environment by incorporating continuously updated knowledge of the military force structure it is supporting into routing decisions. The communications network achieves reliable infrastructureless wireless communications for tens of thousands of mobile platforms, without depending on cellular towers or fixed-site relays. FBCB2 has thereby become the U.S. Army’s principle battle command system, is deployed on U.S. Army and U.S. Marines vehicles worldwide, and is credited with saving hundreds of soldiers’ lives during its use in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans. It has been cited by commanders as one of the most decisive new military technologies of our time. Over 90,000 units of this system are in use today, and it is planned to be the cornerstone of U.S. tactical operations for decades to come.
An IEEE Fellow and member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Siegel is currently sector vice president and chief engineer at Northrup Grumman’s Information Systems, Dominguez Hills, Calif.
Barry Boehm’s integration of systems engineering principles with software development has helped enhance the quality, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness of how software and other complex systems are developed. Dr. Boehm showed that engineering rigor could be applied to software development and that software engineering was as important as hardware engineering. His models for predicting and evaluating software development projects and processes helped create software engineering economics as its own discipline and enabled developers to improve software productivity and quality. During a U.S. Air Force study in the 1970s, Dr. Boehm showed that software was the most critical technology for future strategic, tactical and air defense systems. As a result, the government redirected its research and development program from hardware to software issues. Among the modeling techniques developed by Dr. Boehm is the “Constructive Cost Model” (COCOMO) family, which became the standard for software cost and schedule estimation. He also developed the “Spiral Model,” which is a lifecycle process model defining iterative development cycles that incrementally mature a software system through effective risk management. This model serves as the basis for the current generation of flexible, incremental, risk-driven models. Current extensions of his “win-win” and “anchor-point” spiral enhancements were adopted by the United States to guide the U.S. Army Future Combat Systems Program. An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Boehm is the founding Director Emeritus of the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Systems and Software Engineering, Los Angeles; director of research of the DoD-Stevens Institute of Technology-USC Systems Engineering Research Center; and the TRW Professor of Software Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Albert Myers made numerous contributions to the success of the B-2 program, most significantly in the areas of flight control, project engineering and flight test. Using his extensive knowledge of flight mechanics and digital control, he was able to overcome the challenges of making the tailless B-2 fly like a conventional airplane with superior capability to deliver weapons and maintain stealth properties.
Mr. Myers led the team that implemented a robust flight-control system that also enhanced the plane’s stealth characteristics. His introduction of a fully integrated fly-by-wire (computer-controlled flight) flight-control system was revolutionary, requiring integration with the propulsion, weapons and stealth systems. Mr. Myers also provided the leadership that allowed the redesigned aircraft to operate at low altitude and high speed, requiring a significant advancement in the state-of-the-art to provide a critical gust-load alleviation capability, in which the flight control system detects gusts and causes the flight-control computers to command the aircraft to pitch into the gust.
As vice president of test operations at Northrop in 1988, Mr. Myers ensured that the B-2 was ready for its first flight, overcoming the challenges of system qualification and flight readiness review of all tests related to the first flight. His leadership at Northrop Grumman contributed the company’s success in global defense systems with more than $30 billion in annual revenues. An IEEE member, Mr. Myers retired from Northrop Grumman in 2006 as corporate vice president of strategy and technology and is currently an independent consultant residing in La Habra Heights, California.
Dramatically transforming media delivery, Chrysostomos L. (Max) Nikias blended cinematic arts and engineering to develop an integrated media approach. Establishing the University of Southern California's (USC) Integrated Media Systems Center, Dr. Nikias brought experts in the cinematic, performing and musical arts together with leaders in computer science and engineering to develop new tools for creating entertainment media. Dr. Nikias, currently provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC, has spent most of his 26-year career in academics. He established new academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and instituted a community-outreach education program that trains at-risk youths in the Los Angeles area and places them in the entertainment industry. Dr. Nikias has served as a consultant to the U.S. government, holding a high-level security clearance for 15 years. His signal processing patents have been adopted by the U.S. Navy in sonar, radar, and mobile communication systems.
Dr. Nikias is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also an IEEE Fellow and has authored or co-authored more than 95 peer-reviewed journal articles, 180 refereed conference papers and three textbooks. Two of his works have received "best paper" awards from the IEEE, and he also was awarded the Presidential Medallion in the Sciences from the Republic of Cyprus. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical and mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, as well as a master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
In the last 30 years, Victor B. Lawrence has made a significant impact to the global telecommunications industry. His pioneering work has paved the way for many developments in broadband, DSL, HDTV technologies and wireless data transfer. Additionally, his advancements in V-series modem technology and international standards have had a global impact, enabling the interoperability of computer networks across the globe.
Dr. Lawrence spent most of his career at Bell Laboratories, where he worked in research and development in signal processing and communications. His application of signal processing to data communication led to many significant advances in high-speed transmission over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). He was the architect and lead engineer behind AT&T's first 2400 bps full-duplex modem; he played a significant role in the development of every major international voiceband modem standard; and over the years, he continued to lead the innovations that resulted in modems up to 56 kbps. His continued efforts in communication transmission led to the development of wireless data modems and other high-speed data connectivity that helped to spur the growth of the Internet worldwide. Dr. Lawrence's work on high-speed transceivers led to the creation of a variety of DSL technologies, which are widely used today for broadband services and high-speed access.
Dr. Lawrence is also an avid supporter of international education and technology exchange programs, and has personally championed the effort to bring fiber optic connectivity to Africa in order to improve the communications infrastructure of some of the world's poorest countries.
An IEEE Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Lawrence has received numerous awards, including the 2004 IEEE Award in International Communication, and in 1997, he shared an Emmy Award for the HDTV Grand Alliance Standard. He currently serves as the associate dean and Batchelor chair professor of electrical and computer engineering and founding director of the Center for Intelligent Networked Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ. He holds numerous patents and publications in the telecommunications field. He received a bachelor's of science, a Diploma from Imperial College (DIC), and a doctorate, all from the University of London in the UK.
Donald C. Wetzel enabled banking to take a giant leap forward when he invented the automatic teller banking machine. In the late 1960s, while vice president of product planning for the Docutel Corporation in Irving, Texas, he conceived the idea for the ATM while waiting in a bank teller line to cash a check. His invention was one of the first, if not the first, to combine a magnetically coded stripe on a plastic card and a personal identification number (PIN) that enabled users around the world to conveniently withdraw cash from their bank accounts - whether in dollars, pounds, euros or yen. Today, more than 371,000 ATM's in the United States process 30 million transactions a day - and there are at least another 700,000 ATM's worldwide. They also permit banking functions such as deposits, funds transfers and balance inquiries. Other ATM's dispense movie tickets, phone cards and similar items.
In a ceremony in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., on the 30th anniversary of the ATM, Wetzel was honored as its inventor. He also was presented with an ATM card bearing his name and the number 000 000 0001.
Wetzel has founded three companies, all in the financial systems industry. In 1973, he founded Financial Systems & Equipment Corporation, which marketed and serviced non-computer products for financial institutions throughout Texas. In 1979, he co-founded Electronic Banking Systems, Inc. to provide marketing and consulting services to financial institutions interested in installing ATM's. In the late 1982 he incorporated Autosig Systems, Inc., which developed and marketed electronic signature verification systems for financial institutions worldwide. He retired from Autosig in 1989.
Some inventions are unrecognized at the time they are created but are later enhanced and to make an impact on the world environment. One such invention created by three scientists working between 1968 and 1971 at TRW in Redondo Beach, California, is an automotive power train for a practical hybrid automobile. Despite the lack of interest by major automotive manufacturers at that time Dr. Baruch Berman, Dr. George H. Gelb and Dr. Neal A. Richardson developed, demonstrated and patented an operable hybrid vehicle system that provided significantly reduced exhaust emissions, outstanding fuel efficiency without sacrificing road performance - long before the hybrid systems in production today.
Many of the engineering concepts incorporated in that first hybrid system are to be found in the Toyota PRIUS, the trailblazer of the current hybrid generation, as well as in vehicles produced or proposed to be produced by Honda, Ford, General Motors and Nissan.The three inventors developed a TRW hybrid power train designated as an electromechanical transmission (EMT) providing brisk vehicle performance with an engine smaller than required by a conventional internal combustion engine drive.
In addition to their pioneering work on the EMT, Drs.Berman, Gelb and Richardson also contributed significant technology to the fields of power systems and processes with developments in advanced batteries, air pollution control, coal conversion, fuel cells and power generation and control.
Dr. Richardson was manager of the Energy Conversion Group staff at TRW at the time he and his colleagues developed the EMT technology. Prior to that project, he was involved in TRW's evaluation of the Apollo Lunar Landing success probability and the design of a life support system for the manned mission to Mars. He is a former member of the Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Committee and chairman of its Electric Vehicle Technical Committee. Dr. Richardson holds two U.S. patents.
Dr. Gelb was project manager for the construction and test of the full size EMT system at TRW. He was also active in TRW's programs for advanced space and terrestrial power systems including the evaluation of various systems for land vehicle propulsion such as batteries, fuel cells and alternate liquid fuel systems. He holds five U.S. patents related to energy conversion systems and components. Dr. Gelb is a past member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
During his career, Dr. Berman has held a series of senior engineering positions at ACF Industries,TRW,Gulton Industries and Rockwell International Satellite Systems\Division. An IEEE Life Fellow, he has served as chairman on a number of IEEE committees including the Region 6 Award Committee, the PACE Committee, the Southern California South Bay Harbor Section, and its Nomination and Awards Committee.
David R. Heebner's inspired defense technology research, including his pioneering role in the development of towed array sonar systems, has had a lasting impact on U.S. military technology.
At Hughes Aircraft Company, in Fullerton Calif., in the 1950s, Mr. Heebner led the successful development and deployment of a multiplexed hydrophone sonar system. Prior systems required a twisted pair of wires for each hydrophone, with drag from wires severely limiting the length of the array. The multiplexed system allowed many hydrophones to share a single set of wires. He also participated in and directed advanced systems for acoustic signal processing. Towed arrays enabled submarines and other vessels to detect enemy submarines from great distances before being detected themselves.
Mr. Heebner continued to make significant contributions to defense technology as assistant director of sea warfare programs and deputy director of defense research and engineering in the Department of Defense from 1968-1975, and later, as executive vice president and vice chairman of the board at Science Applications International Corporation in McLean, Va. Until his death in January 2003, he worked as a consultant, with active memberships on several corporate boards and advisory groups.
An IEEE Life Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mr. Heebner received numerous honors, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense's Eugene G. Fubini Award and Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. He also was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Bradford W. Parkinson is said to have changed the history of navigation. As a U.S. Air Force colonel, he led the definition, development and testing of the Global Positioning System. This satellite-based system with both military and civilian applications has proven a breakthrough technology for precise navigation and location of transportation vehicles.
As creator and head of the NavStar GPS Joint Program Office from 1972 to 1978, he brought together the often divergent scientists and strategists of the military, other government agencies, private businesses and academic institutions that all proved to be essential to the development of GPS. After leaving a 21-year career with the Air Force, he served as vice president at both Rockwell International and Intermetrics, and as president of PlantStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intermetrics. Since 1984, he has been a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University in California, where his students pioneered the use of Differential GPS for completely blind airplane landings, automatic tractor steering, automatic space vehicle guidance and more.
Dr. Parkinson is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Institute of Navigation and the Royal Institute of Navigation. He also chaired the NASA Advisory Council for over six years. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1990.His numerous awards include the ION Thurlow, Burka and Kepler Awards; IEEE Pioneer and Kirchner Awards; the Royal Institute of Navigation Gold Medal; and he has been inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame.
Dr. Kurt E. Petersen has been instrumental in establishing the promising field of MEMS, from early conceptual ideas to finished system designs. He has also founded three of the key companies of the field.
Dr. Petersen's seminal review paper, "Silicon as a Mechanical Material" appeared in the May 1982 issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE, and is credited with inspiring widespread research in a field that has already delivered impressive results, and holds great promise for the future. This paper is still regarded as required reading for anyone entering this area ofstudy. In addition, he initiated and led the development and commercial implementation of several crucial MEMS processing technologies.
In 1982, he co-founded Transensory Devices, and in 1985 he co-founded Lucas NovaSensor. These companies developed pressure sensors and accelerometers, which were widely used in the medical and automotive industries, and inspired other MEMS-based business and research that followed. More recently, he founded CEPHEID, a developer of integrated bioanalytical test systems, where he is President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director.
Kurt E. Petersen was born on 13 February 1948 in San Francisco, California. He obtained a B.S. cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, both in Electrical Engineering. He joined the IBM Research Division in San Jose, California as a research staff member in 1975, where he initiated his groundbreaking work.
Dr. Petersen is a Fellow of the IEEE, and has been a key force behind a number of Institute activities related to MEMS. He has served on numerous technical program committees as well as Chairman of the Solid-State Sensors and Actuators Workshop and Chairman of the first International Conference on MEMS. He is invited frequently to speak on the subject of MEMS and, particularly, the commercialization of MEMS.
A member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi, he has won many honors, including an award for the "Year's Best R&D" from R&D Magazine, the "Best New Product of the Year" from Design News Magazine. He holds more than 22 patents and has published more than 100 technical papers.
Kurt Petersen and his wife, Carol, reside in Fremont, CA. He has two children, Scott, a software guru at Adobe Microsystems, and Brett, a molecular biologist soon to attend medical school. His outside interests include travel, cosmology, and skiing.