• unknown (b.)


Having received his B.S. degree in Engineering Physics in 1963, and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (1964) from the California Institute of Technology, he originally founded Trimble Navigation Limited (TNL) in 1978 along with two partners from Hewlett Packard, initially operating from Los Altos, California. Previously, he was the Manager of Integrated Circuit Research and Development at Hewlett-Packard’s Santa Clara Division. He wanted to create Loran navigational products. In 1982, he began to develop Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and was the driving force behind introducing the first economic timing receiver in 1984. This success led to the development of products for the military and for the nascent survey market, and to further innovations in GPS receiver designs, including military receivers and commercial handheld receivers. Under his guidance, TNL introduced the first RTK survey receivers and products for GIS/mapping, avionics, and vehicle tracking. The Trimble patent portfolio has the largest single collection of GPS patents in the world. The company began to focus resources on harnessing and expanding the power of GPS, thus spearheading the development of GPS for commercial and consumer applications, as well as military use of the new technology. In 1982, the company began engineering products that would take advantage of the U.S. Government's newly launched GPS satellites, and in 1984, they introduced the world's first commercial scientific-research and geodectic-survey products based on GPS for oil-drilling teams on offshore platforms. From 1984 to 1988, the company greatly increased its family of products for scientific and research applications, as well as marine navigation markets. The next two years were explosive growth years, with the company receiving the first of its many U.S. and foreign patents for advances in GPS and other technology. In 1989, they acquired the Navigation Systems Division of TAU Corporation and began developing differential GPS (DGPS) technology to provide increased accuracy for the fleet management market. The company also made headway into new markets in 1990 by acquiring a New Zealand company, Datacom Software Research Ltd., enabling Trimble to offer new survey and mapping software products. In 1998, he left Trimble Navigation Limited to chair the U.S. GPS Industry Council. He has been active in policy development of GPS in commercial and civilian applications, while preserving the military advantages of GPS and has been intimately involved in protecting the GPS spectrum. He serves on the Board of Directors of several high tech companies and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Board of Trustees of Caltech, and the NASA Advisory Council. He also served on the Board of Governors for the National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has received many awards in recognition of his achievements: INC Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year award (1991), CEO of the Year (electrical instruments) from Financial World Magazine (1996), the Kershner Award from the IEEE Position Location and Navigation Symposium (1996), the Piper General Aviation Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for pioneering the manufacture and application of affordable GPS, the American Electronic Association’s Medal of Achievement (2000), the NASA Technology Medal (2001), and the Golden Gizmo award from the San Jose Tech Museum (2002).