Thomas E. Everhart
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Thomas E. Everhart’s oral history begins with a discussion of his work with the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Everhart talks about Gordon E. Moore’s contributions to the electronics world. He describes his time as president of California Institute of Technology (Caltech). At the end of the first session, Everhart discusses his admiration for Moore.
His second interview starts with his childhood in Missouri. He discusses his family, hobbies, and school. He talks about work, the Methodist Youth Fellowship, where he met his future wife, and his desire to go to Harvard.
Everhart entered Harvard University and shortly after starting was offered the Gerrish Scholarship, for all four years. At Harvard he played intramural basketball; was active in the Wesley Foundation; helped found the Crimson Key Society; and became engaged. He majored in physics, helped set up laboratories, but had no opportunities for research. After graduation he went to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for a master’s degree, in conjunction with Hughes Aircraft Company, where he focused on applied physics and engineering. There he first began working with electron beams. For his PhD he went to Clare College, University of Cambridge, funded by Marshall Scholarship, and working in Charles W. Oatley’s lab. His dissertation dealt with SEM contrast formation, observed voltage contrast across P-N junctions, and explored potential applications.
PhD in hand, Everhart became an assistant professor of electrical engineering at University of California, Berkeley. Initially working on microwave tubes. With Donald O. Pederson and Paul L. Morton, they founded the first integrated circuit (IC) lab. During his years at Berkeley, Everhart consulted for Watkins-Johnson, Ampex, Westinghouse Research Laboratories, and Hughes Aircraft Company. He took leave to help Oliver Wells build a SEM at Westinghouse Research Labs. He built his own SEM, the first with transistorized circuits. He had funding from the Air Force, the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He also progressed to full professor and then to chairman of the electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) department. While he was chairman of EECS, the NSF wanted to establish an accessible microfabrication facility. Berkeley did not take advantage of this opportunity, instead the lab went to Cornell University.
Everhart left Berkeley to become Dean of Engineering at Cornell University. He felt he greatly improved the engineering college’s morale, faculty, and financial position. During his tenure, the Knight Laboratory, the Snee building, and the Pew Engineering Quadrangle were dedicated. He worked on the advisory committee for the submicron facility, funded by NSF. After six and a half years at Cornell, Everhart was offered the chancellorship of the University of Illinois. There he started new programs, helped get personal computers for faculty, and improved the facilities for semiconductors. He also encouraged the founding of the Beckman Institute.
After three years, Everhart was chosen to be president of Caltech, a position he held for ten years. At Caltech he was also on the advisory committee for micro devices at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Throughout the interview Everhart explains his relationships with many scientists and their work. He remains amazed by the speed of evolution of transistors to integrated circuits and he exclaims over the continued validity of Moore’s Law.
|1955||University of California, Los Angeles||MSc||Applied Physics|
|1958||Clare College, University of Cambridge||PhD||Engineering|
Hughes Aircraft Company
Westinghouse Research Laboratories
Ampex Research and Development Laboratories
Hughes Research Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
California Institute of Technology
University of Cambridge
|1949 to 1953||
William Scott Gerrish Scholarship, Harvard College
Phi Beta Kappa
Sigma Xi Associate Member
AB Magna cum laude qui adseculus est summos honores
|1955 to 1958||
Marshall Scholar, University of Cambridge
Sigma Xi, University of California, Berkeley
Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Berkeley
|1966 to 1967||
National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship
Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
|1969 to 1970||
Miller Research Professor, University of California, Berkeley
|1974 to 1975||
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
National Academy of Engineering
IEEE Centennial Medal
Scientific Member, Böhmische Physical Society
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Illinois Wesleyan University
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Pepperdine University
Honorary Doctor of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
Microbeam Analysis Society Presidential Science Award
Foreign Member, Royal Academy of Engineering
Clark Kerr Award, University of California, Berkeley
Professional Achievement Award, Alumni Association, University of California, Los Angeles
ASEE Centennial Medallion
Founder's Award, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley
IEEE Founders Medal
Table of Contents
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.
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.
The Moore Foundation and its impact on Caltech. Final impressions of Gordon Moore.
Growing up. Family life. Hobbies, sports, faith, and work. Education.
Harvard; scholarships; work; and sports. Summers. Wesley Foundation. Student Council. Crimson Key Society. Edward Purcell; physics major. Rhodes Scholarship.
UCLA Master’s Degree. Microwave tubes. Simon Ramo. Dean Wooldridge. Richard Johnson. Tony Siegman. John Whinnery. PhD at Clare College, University of Cambridge. Charles Oatley’s lab. Dennis McMullan, Oliver Wells, Fabian Pease, Alec Broers. Louis Marton. IEEE. Robert Bakish. Instrumentation.
UC, Berkeley. First integrated circuit lab at Berkeley. Donald Pederson. Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Westinghouse Research Laboratories. Ernest Sternglass. Consulting. Ken Shoulders. Funding and promotions. Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE). Electron beam lithography. Sabbatical in G. Moellenstedt’s lab. Electron beam imaging system (EBIS) at Bell Laboratories. Three beams conference. Growth of field. SEMATECH and SRC.
Cornell. Noel MacDonald. James Mayer. Ilesamni Adesida. Funding.
Chancellorship. Industry affiliates. Donald Greenberg.
President. Advisory committee at JPL. Nanotechnologies advancing.
Atoms on planar surfaces. Erwin Müller’ field ion microscope. Mini parallel beams. LIGO. Ahmed Zemail and femtosecond pulses. Nobel Prize. Cryogenic electron microscope. International science.
About the Interviewer
Cyrus Mody is an assistant professor of history at Rice University. Prior to that position he was the manager of the Nanotechnology and Innovation Studies programs in the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and materials engineering from Harvard University and a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell. He was the 2004–2005 Gordon Cain Fellow at CHF before becoming a program manager. Mody has published widely on the history and sociology of materials science, instrumentation, and nanotechnology.
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.