The son of bakers proved to be a quick study at an early age.
"When I was young, I rode to work at 5 a.m. a lot with my folks,"
said Agilent Fellow Joel Dunsmore, that quick study. "Dad said it's a lot easier to
make money with your head than your back."
And so, at 13, pulling an electronics book from a library shelf,
Dunsmore set out to do just that, chart a course for a career
outside of kneading and yeast and baking ovens. After reading that
book--50 electrical DIY projects that today Dunsmore jokes would be
considered "child abuse"--he wired his father's bakery with features
like an electronic timer for his ovens.
Agilent Fellow Joel Dunsmore checks cabling.
He parlayed that fascination with electronics into a career with
HP/Agilent in test and measurement, that includes two dozen patents,
innovations in other areas and spot among EE Times'
visionaries. For Dunsmore, it's turned into a career in test that seems tougher
and tougher problems to solve, not just in measurement science but
in integrating functions into systems to make customers' jobs
easier, more moveable and flexible. Something to believe in
“It used to be that our customers would buy our equipment and put
lots and lots of it into big racks, and then try to write their own
programs,” Dunsmore said in earlier interview. “More and more, we’re
trying to replace those custom test racks with standard test racks.
To do that, we have to have really good measurement science so we
can give them measurements they believe in.”
Over his 32 years at HP/Agilent--starting as an intern--Dunsmore's
- Vector mixer measurement, a calibration method that made
measurements of frequency-converter delay faster and simpler.
- Embedded local oscillator application, which extended mixer
techniques to satellite test.
- True-mode differential measurement, which was some of the
earliest work on making real-world measurements on balanced
devices (devices that have two pins on either the input, the
output, or both).
- Automatic port extension, which provided a simple method for
customers to compensate for test fixtures in their balanced
- Compression calibration, which extended the usable range of
Agilent receivers beyond anything competitors could do.
- Intermodulation spectrum mode, a digital processing technique
that allows a network analyzer to act like an image-free
At 39, relatively late in life, Dunsmore decided to obtain a