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Born in New York City, he attended Stuyvesant High School, a magnet school in New York. After completing high school, he served in the United States Army for two years and received his education on the GI Bill. He studied at Columbia University, where he received his Doctorate and served as a Professor before answering the entrepreneurial call. He served as a Professor at Cooper Union and NYU for five years and then went on to found Materials Research Corporation (MRC) in 1957. Though their initial interest was the purity and characterization of metals, MRC would grow to become a global manufacturer and supplier of highly specialized semiconductor materials and equipment. His innovative nature spanned several domains beyond metallurgy. He understood people, finance, and international relations. In the technological arena, MRC consistently introduced leading-edge manufacturing equipment to the semiconductor industry. Their electronic materials set the pace for the industry. Innovative business methods led the company to invent equipment for their own use. In turn, some of this equipment would have commercial value and become products. As with any business, MRC had its share of economic ups and downs, and he met each of those challenges head-on, keeping the company in business for over 30 years. Under his stewardship, MRC was one of the most progressive workplaces in Rockland County, NY and their employee benefits were well-known and spoken of at other companies. He designed the company benefits program around the idea of "giving as much as we can afford, not the least we could get away with." He explained that he wanted his employees to be able to concentrate on their work instead of having to worry about job security or their family's health. In addition to a generous medical and dental benefits package, MRC was one of the earlier companies to implement a 401K match. Two benefits in particular had his distinctive stamp: lifetime employment and the educational policy. The idea of lifetime employment was that you would always have a job, no matter what was going on with the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry. When the industry was on the down side, MRC canceled all contracted services such as security, custodial, and landscaping and put employees in the slow areas to work in the gardens and such. MRC offered a lifetime employment plan for as long as the company could bear it and eventually, it had to be discontinued after 25 years. Under his leadership, MRC's educational policy was one line: "you pass, we pay." Any major area of study was open to any employee. An engineer could study English, an Administrative Assistant could study computer science, and a machinist could study Journalism. He would say that he wanted his employees "thinking in their off hours." He felt that in the field of semiconductors, an Engineering degree would be obsolete within five years. In 1989, Sony acquired MRC. The U.S. Government objected to the sale but the company needed a large infusion of capital and no American-owned company was prepared to make the investment to purchase MRC and keep it (and its technology) intact. Sony, a company utilizing thin films in many areas from semiconductor manufacture to tapes and CD's understood the tremendous strength that MRC had in thin film technology and acquired the company. He remained with Sony nearly 7 years as Vice Chairman for Engineering and Manufacturing of Sony America. He retired from Sony in 1995 and has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and State University of New York, Stony Brook where he teaches a bridge course between academia and the industrial world. He continues to serve on several Boards and still enjoys tennis and fly-fishing. He was awarded the SEMI Award, by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute in 1980; and in 1988 he was awarded the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur by the Government of France. In 1984 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering for his technological contributions to the field of electronic materials. In 1990 he was elected to the International Technology Institute’s Hall of Fame for Engineering, Science and Technology. He also received three honorary doctorates from St. Thomas Aquinas (Law), Adelphi University (Science) and the State university of New York at Stony Brook. (Science).
Noted For:Founder of MRC, a global manufacturer and supplier of highly specialized semiconductor materials and equipment, setting the pace for the industry
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