Bill Oldfield was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. Currently residing in Redwood City, CA, Bill has been instrumental in many revolutionary developments within the microwave & RF industry during a career spanning half a century.
After being awarded a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Connecticut, he worked for a microwave company in Boston for a couple of years before setting out for California. He joined Wiltron Company as an engineer in September 1963.
During his early career at Wiltron, Bill was responsible for co-pioneering the “ripple technique” with Dr. Peter Lacy. In 1990, Wiltron was acquired by Anritsu Corporation. Between 1990 and 2001, Bill worked as a Staff Engineer at Anritsu Company, based in Morgan Hill, CA.
Bill became known as the “father of the 40 GHz K-connector” after he developed the interconnect technology. He also designed the 65 GHz V-connector and 110 GHz W-connector. All became industry standards. His work on the V and W connectors enabled coaxial connectors to work through millimeter-wave frequencies. Currently he is working on the 240 GHz Y-connector. Many of Anritsu’s current microwave test products rely on Bill’s work in passive and interconnect technology research.
In 2002, Bill was honored by the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) with the distinguished Career Award. At that time, it was an honor that had only been bestowed on 20 other professionals. ARFTG awarded him its technology award in 1985. He also was honored as one of the Microwave Legends by Microwave and RF magazine in 2006.
Bill has been awarded 31 patents, and has designed more than 600 components and systems operating up to 110 GHz during his engineering career. He is the author of over 25 papers, and has served as Chairman of the IEEE Standards Committee on Scattering Coefficients and on the IEEE Standards Committee for Precision Connectors. In 2002, he retired from Anritsu but has worked as a consultant for the company over the past decade.
Having given up kayaking and rock climbing, he enjoys golf, and continues to contribute to Anritsu’s research and development teams with his expertise.
Fifty years with microwaves is a tall wide expereince.His advice work hard,listen to people whho makes our designs are great. For me microwave is a subject very hard to digest. So i view Mr.Janine Love great person.
The manager appoined Bill to become a manager should be fired at first. I hope this has happened. Why do we not look at the best strength of people and let them decide themselves where they are good in and what they like to do?
I got the same takeaway as you. Too many companies used to follow the Peter Principle, and push great engineers into becoming mediocre managers.
But I think the opposite problem is worse. Nobody wants to say "my boss has no idea what I do for a living."
This is a very engaging story of success in engineering when passion goes with hard work. He says the Management tried to make a manger out of him without knowing his aptitude but luckily he escaped before being burned by it. I think more companies that we care to think make this mistake of trying to automatically push talented people up the management ladder without a regard to their preference.
Even with all his years of experience Bill is still a design engineer being more productive to his company and one happy man at that, what else could a company want.
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