In May of 1982 Dr. Petersen's seminal paper on "Silicon as a Mechanical Material" was published in the IEEE Proceedings. This paper, the most widely referenced within the field of MEMS, contributed to Kurt's reputation as a "founding father of MEMS." The MEMS industry has now grown to over $5 Billion in annual revenue with major successes in pressure sensors, accelerometers, ink jet print heads, mirror displays, and microphones.
Joe Brown, SiTime co-founder and long time MEMS industry friend says "I am most fortunate to have worked with Kurt since 1979 and have watched his innovation turn to success in so many facets of technology."
Al Pisano, University of California, Berkeley professor and MEMS luminary who shares with Kurt membership in the National Academy of Engineering states "Kurt is a genuine human being who constantly goes out of his way for fellow colleagues. As the father of MEMS, Kurt remains a hero to many in the industry and is constantly drawing in creative people. I gained tremendous inspiration and insight from his seminal paper, and feel that he truly paved the way for scientists worldwide."
Dr. Petersen established a micromachining research group while at IBM from 1975 to 1982, and since then co-founded many successful companies in the MEMS field
These companies include:
-- Transensory Devices was a pioneer in advancing MEMS technology. Kurt's first start up was purchased by IC Sensors in the mid-80s.
-- NovaSensor specialized in MEMS pressure sensors, was acquired in 1990, and later became part of GE.
-- Cepheid invented DNA analysis equipment used, among other diagnostic applications, by the US Postal Service for anthrax detection in the mail. Cepheid (Nasdaq:CPHD) went public in 2000.
-- SiTime Corp. was founded in 2004 and is working to commercialize MEMS resonators as an alternative to quartz-based timing solutions.
Dr. Petersen earned his BA from UC Berkeley and Ph.D. from MIT. Kurt is a Fellow of the IEEE in recognition of his contributions to the commercialization of MEMS technology. "I feel too young to have this award," commented Dr. Petersen, "but I believe MEMS technology will continue to expand and impact all of our lives. The best is yet to come." In 1976, Dr. Petersen fabricated some of the world's first prototype micromechanical resonators and 30 years later has returned his focus to this field.
SiTime Corporation is developing MEMS Silicon resonators and related products. The MEMS First(TM) process licensed from Robert Bosch GmbH has removed the technical barriers preventing wide acceptance of this quartz replacement technology. The first oscillator product with excellent stability, low phase noise, and a programmable frequency range is due to sample in Q1'06 and will be suitable for consumer, automotive, and industrial timing applications. SiTime's primary investors are Greylock, NEA venture capital firms and Robert Bosch GmbH. More information about SiTime is available online at www.sitime.com or www.sitime.jp.