2011 Stanford Engineering Heroes
Craig Barrett is the retired CEO and chairman of semiconductor giant Intel Corp. He joined the company in 1974 after 10 years on the faculty of Stanford Engineering's Materials Science and Engineering Department, and ascended Intel's ranks to become its president in 1997. He was named CEO a year later, and by 2005 he was chairman, serving until mid 2009. Barrett is author of the textbook, Principles of Engineering Materials. Today, he is an advocate for improving education and a champion of technology as a path to higher social and economic standards worldwide. He earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree and PhD at Stanford.
While a doctoral student at Stanford in computer science and electrical engineering, Andreas "Andy" Bechtolsheim built the SUN workstation and later became co-founder and chief system architect at Sun Microsystems. He was CEO and a Founder of Granite Systems, a Gigabit Ethernet switching company from 1995 to 1996 when it was acquired by Cisco Systems. He managed Cisco's Gigabit Systems Business Unit responsible for the highest volume modular switching platform in the industry. Bechtolsheim's technology foresight is legendary. He was an early-stage investor in Google, VMware, Mellanox, Brocade, and Magma Design, among many others. Today he is Co-founder and Chairman of Arista Networks, a high-speed datacenter and cloud networking company.
Morris Chang is the founding Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a pioneer of the dedicated integrated circuit foundry model. TSMC is the world's largest silicon foundry. Born in China, Chang moved to Hong Kong during the Chinese Civil War and then to the U.S. where he attended Harvard and MIT. His employer, Texas Instruments, sent him to Stanford for his PhD in Electrical Engineering which he obtained in 1964. Returning to TI, Chang devised the strategy of pricing semiconductors aggressively, sacrificing early profits to gain market share and long-term profits. By 1983, he had risen to group vice president responsible for TI's global semiconductor business before leaving to lead General Instrument Corp. and, later, TSMC.
A trained mathematician, George Dantzig is known as the father of linear programming and the "simplex algorithm." Working during the mid-century heyday in which industrial expansion intersected with the rise of computing power, Dantzig developed the mathematical algorithms that helped countless organizations sort through myriad possibilities to optimize their complex systems for profit and efficiency. Virtually every industry, from petroleum refining to the scheduling of airline flights, has been transformed by his work. The journal Computing in Science and Engineering named the simplex algorithm as one of the top 10 algorithms of the twentieth century. Dantzig, a Professor Emeritus of Operations Research and Computer Science, passed away in 2005.
Theodore "Ted" Maiman holds U.S. Patent 3,353,115 for the world's first working laser. His creation, using a synthetic ruby and flashlamps, was first operated on May 16, 1960 at Hughes Research Laboratories. Today, the laser has a remarkable array of uses from surgery to shopping. Maiman earned his master's degree in electrical engineering and his PhD in physics at Stanford. Maiman had a rare blend of advanced training in physics and engineering combined with significant laboratory experience. The design of his laser was so simple it is estimated to have cost Hughes just $50,000 to produce, including the inventor's salary, likely one of the greatest research bargains of all time. Maiman passed away in 2007 at the age of 79.
Bradford Parkinson is chief architect of the now-ubiquitous Global Positioning System (GPS), which he led as a U.S. Air Force colonel in 1973. As a professor at Stanford, he pioneered GPS for aviation and other applications, including the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) used by the FAA. More recently, he led the NASA/Stanford Gravity Probe B program that validated Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to an unprecedented accuracy. Parkinson is co-editor and an author of the best-selling textbook, Global Positioning System: Theory and Applications. He received his PhD from Stanford in 1966 and is a Stanford Engineering Professor Emeritus of Aeronautics and Astronomics.
Calvin "Cal" Quate is known as the brilliant mind behind acoustic and atomic force microscopy. The scanning acoustic microscope, invented with a colleague in 1973, has resolution exceeding optical microscopes, revealing structure in opaque or even transparent materials not visible to optics. In 1985, Quate read about a new type of microscope able to examine electrically conductive materials. He dreamed up a related instrument that would work on non-conductive materials, including biological tissue, and the Atomic Force Microscope was born. AFM traces surface contours using a needle to maintain constant pressure against the surface to reveal atomic detail. AFM is the foundation of the $100 million nanotechnology industry. Quate received his PhD from Stanford in 1950 and is a Stanford Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics.
Stephen Timoshenko was a renowned expert, teacher and writer widely regarded as "the father of applied mechanics" in the U.S. So great was his influence that his active years in the field became known as "the Timoshenko era." He authored 13 popular textbooks; the best known of these, Strength of Materials, was first published in Russia in 1911. His Engineering Mechanics text was translated into over 10 languages. Many of Timoshenko's personal research and theoretical contributions became classical subject matter in engineering courses long after his death. In 1957, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers established the Timoshenko Medal in his honor. A Professor Emeritus in Mechanical Engineering, Timoshenko died in 1972 at the age of 93.
See the list of 2010 Stanford Engineering Heroes.