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Thomas E. Everhart

  • Born: February 15, 1932, Kansas City, Missouri

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0502
Interview Date: March 28, 2007
Location: Telephone Call,
Interviewer: David C. Brock
No. of pages: 37
Minutes: 79
Sponsor: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

  Abstract of Interview

Thomas E. Everhart's oral history begins with a discussion of his work with the scanning electron microscope, his work both at University of California, Berkeley and at Westinghouse Central Research Labs, and his collaboration with Andy Grove. Throughout the oral history, Everhart talks about Gordon E. Moore and Moore's contributions to the electronics world, including Moore's Law and predictions that Moore made regarding integrated circuits. Everhart also describes the process of interviewing for the position of president at the Caltech and expounds on his time as president, which provided opportunities for institutional growth and entrepreneurship. He details his and Caltech's relationship with Arnold O. Beckman and addresses the impact of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation on Caltech. In closing, Everhart discusses his admiration for both Gordon and Betty Moore, and what they have done for Caltech.


1953 A.B., Physics, Harvard College
1955 M.Sc., Applied Physics, University of California, Los Angeles
1958 Ph.D., Engineering, Clare College, University of Cambridge

  Professional Experience

Hughes Aircraft Company, Research and Development Laboratories

1953 - 1955 Member of the Technical Staff, research on microwave tubes

University of California, Berkeley

1958 - 1962 Assistant Professor, Engineering and Computer Science

University of California, Berkeley

1967 - 1978 Professor, Engineering and Computer Science

University of California, Berkeley

1972 - 1977 Department Chairman, Engineering and Computer Science

University of California, Berkeley

1962 - 1967 Associate Professor, Engineering and Computer Science

Watkins-Johnson Company

1960 Research and Development, microwave electron tubes

Watkins-Johnson Company

1961 Consultant, mm-wave low noise tubes

Westinghouse Research Laboratories

1961 Research and Development, electron beams as applied to semiconductor analysis and fabrication

Ampex Research and Development Laboratories

1961 - 1970 Consultant, electron beam recording

Hughes Research Laboratory

1965 - 1980 Consultant, problems of electron optics and electron physics

Cornell University

1979 - 1984 Professor, Electrical Engineering and Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1984 - 1987 Chancellor and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

California Institute of Technology

1987 - 1994 Professor, Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics

University of Cambridge

1998 Pro-Vice-Chancellor


1949 - 1953 William Scott Gerrish Scholarship, Harvard College
1953 Phi Beta Kappa
1953 Sigma Xi Associate Member

A.B. Magna cum laude qui adseculus est summos honores

1955 - 1958 Marshall Scholar, Cambridge University
1958 Sigma Xi, University of California, Berkeley
1962 Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Berkeley
1966 - 1967 National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship
1969 Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1969 - 1970 Miller Research Professor, University of California, Berkeley
1974 - 1975 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
1978 National Academy of Engineering
1984 IEEE Centennial Medal
1984 Scientific Member, Böhmische Physical Society
1988 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
1989 ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award
1990 Honorary Doctor of Laws, Illinois Wesleyan University
1990 Honorary Doctor of Laws, Pepperdine University
1990 Honorary Doctor of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
1990 Microbeam Analysis Society Presidential Science Award
1990 Foreign Member, Royal Academy of Engineering
1992 Clark Kerr Award, University of California, Berkeley
1993 Professional Achievement Award, Alumni Association, University of California, Los Angeles
1993 ASEE Centennial Medallion
1995 Founder's Award, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley
2002 IEEE Founders Medal
2002 Okawa Prize

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Early Research 1

University of California, Berkeley. Scanning electron microscope. Westinghouse Research Labs. Fairchild Semiconductor. Andy Grove. Advancement of integrated circuits. Metal Oxide Semiconductor transistors and circuits. Electron beam lithography. Comparing early work to work at Intel. Moore's Law, Moore's Observation, and the influence of Moore. Grove's lessons.

Leadership and Management 10

Caltech and the integrated circuit revolution. Cornell University submicron laboratory. Interviewing for president position at Caltech. Gordon Moore and entrepreneurship. Growth at Caltech. Arnold Beckman.

After California Institute of Technology 18

The Moore Foundation and its impact on Caltech. Final impressions of Gordon Moore.

Notes 22

Index 23

  About the Interviewer

David C. Brock

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.

In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.

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