Elected in 2008
“For the conception, development, and commercialization of the
silicon semiconductor pressure transducer.”
BY ALAN EPSTEIN
ANTHONY DAVID KURTZ, founder and chief executive officer of Kulite Semiconductor Products, and a prolific inventor, innovator, and entrepreneur, died on February 9, 2010. He was 80 years old.
Kurtz started Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., in 1959 to manufacture silicon strain gauges. He was among the first to demonstrate the piezo-resistive silicon pressure transducer (1961) and to bring the silicon transducer to market (1964). Kurtz and Kulite have continued as the technology leader in this business such that over the past 50 years “Kulite” has become synonymous with miniature high frequency response transducers. Kurtz grew Kulite to about 700 people and $100 million per year in sales. His product innovations include the first silicon accelerometer, the first silicon-on-oxide transducer, the first acceleration-compensated transducer, and the first high-temperature (>500°C) silicon transducer. His last work was on silicon carbide, porous silicon, and diamond-based transducers. His record of inventions is apparent in his more than 200 patents and 60 papers. His patent combining a micromechanical sensor with electronic computation was among the most frequently cited of the 1980s. His pioneering contributions were recognized by Industrial Research magazine with an IR 100 award in 1968 and by awards from the