Silicon Valley Engineering Council
2007 Hall of Fame Recipients
Dr. Paul Baran
Born 1926 in Poland, Dr. Baran came to US at age of two; BS in EE Drexel 1949, an MS in Engineering UCLA, 1959; Dr. Science (Hon.), Drexel University in 1997, and a Ph. D. (Hon.), RAND Graduate School, 2000.
An electrical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur, he is probably best known for his invention of packet switching at RAND in 1960. Also at RAND he came up with the idea of the doorway gun detector (1964) and developed an early working feasibility model.
Has invented several new technologies and created companies to turn these concepts into reality. Among his inventions are the small dish satellite transceiver using spread spectrum creating Equatorial Communications Co. Another communications invention was the Telebit modem the first OFDM modem, the fastest of its day. The next company Packet Technologies, later morphed into Stratacom, based on fast packet switched voice. Then came Metricom that used unlicensed frequencies to create a highly reliable mesh packet radio network for electric power utility metering and control, and later as the Ricochet network for lap top computers.
While retired, he remains engaged in NovoVentures his private company working on new technology developments.
He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Marconi Society, and serves as a director of its board.
He is married to Evelyn M. Baran, has one son, David, and three grandchildren.
Dr. Bradford W. Parkinson
Dr. Parkinson was born in 1935 in Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1978, retiring as a colonel. Early in his career, he chaired the Department of Astronautics and Computer Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Parkinson created and ran the GPS Joint Program Office from 1972-1978, during which time he received the Defense Department Superior Performance Award as the best program director in the Air Force. He has been the chief architect of GPS throughout the systems concept, engineering development, and implementation.
Dr. Parkinson served as Group Vice President for Rockwell International and was the General Manager for Intermetrics where he participated in the IPO. During his period as acting CEO/President of Trimble Navigation the company stock quadrupled in price.
He has been a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University since 1984, currently as the Edward C. Wells Endowed Chair professor (emeritus). At Stanford he directed the Space Test of Einsteins General Relativity called Gravity Probe-B (sponsored by NASA), and led major firsts on the use of GPS including the first commercial aircraft blind landing and first auto-steering of a farm tractor (to 2 inch accuracy).
Dr. Parkinson has received many distinguished awards such as the NASAs Distinguished Public Service Medal, IEEE Simon Ramo Award, Engineer of the Year for Silicon Valley, the AIAA Goddard Award, Aerospace Contribution to Society medal and in 2003 he was awarded the Draper Prize by the National Academy of Engineering (sometimes called the engineer’s Nobel) for the development of GPS.
Dr. James Spilker, Jr.
Dr. Spilker worked on the early satellite systems at Lockheed and Ford Aerospace (now Loral Space and Communications) before co-founding Stanford Telecommunications in 1973 where, among other accomplishments, Dr. Spilker and his team designed and developed the first GPS receivers for the Air Force. Under Dr. Spilkers leadership as Chairman, President, and CEO Stanford Telecommunications was ranked by Forbes and Fortune as one of the Best Small Companies in America.
While busy running Stanford Telecommunications, Dr. Spilker wrote two seminal books. His first book Digital Communications by Satellite (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ) in 1977 has been the bible for students and working engineers in digital satellite communications. He also co-edited a two volume book titled Global Positioning System, Theory and Applications, Volumes I and II, (AIAA, Washington DC) in 1996 which is the most widely cited book on GPS. Spilker has authored over 100 papers and 50 patents. Dr. Spilker co-founded the Stanford Center for Position Navigation and Time at Stanford where he is now a Consulting Professor. Recently he also co-founded two Silicon Valley companies: Rosum in 2001, a company providing wireless location technology based on using TV signals, and AOSense in 2006, a company developing new inertial navigation, gravity gradiometers, and precision clocks based on ultra-cold atoms and laser measurements.
A vegetarian for 20 years, Dr. James Spilker has been a competitive weight lifter (Northern California power-lifting champion for masters over 50), bodybuilding champion (California for masters over 50), and took third place in the 100 meter sprint in the Martin Luther King Games at Stanford for masters over 60 years old.