Five pillars of the electronics industry will line up next week at the Embedded Systems Conference, but only one will receive the EE Times ACE Award for Innovator of the Year.
The finalists share a passion for the pursuit of knowledge and a deeper understanding in the field of electronic engineering and science. The five creators of technology could not have come from more diverse backgrounds, yet their engineering careers share a common thread.
Loren Betts hails from Canada. As a student, he fell quickly into math and science and cut his teeth on a Timex Sinclair ZX81. Instead of attending college after high school, he performed missionary work for two years. That "nonlinear" path was a prelude for what was to come later at Agilent.
Al Wegener started with a Heath Kit as a kid, started developing compression algorithms in his garage and followed his passion to start Samplify Systems in 2006. He still messes with algorithms in his spare time.
Like Betts, Stan Williams loves math. But unlike Betts, he liked "blowing things up." A bit different than missionary work. Still, Williams moved up despite his humble background, later combining his love of math with sound materials science and device physics to prove the existence of memristors at HP Labs.
Along with Arun Chhabra of Texas Instrements and Michael Scheidell of SECNAP Network Security Corp., these pioneers of electronics are profiled in the EE Times Image Gallery.
Congratulations to our five finalists.