Silicon Valley Engineering Council
1995 Hall of Fame Recipients
Dr. Edward L. Ginzton
Edward L. Ginztons life and career have a storybook quality about them that so often seems to set apart those who excel in a number of fields. Born in the Ukraine, he escaped the chaotic aftermath of the Russian Revolution to arrive in San Francisco in 1929 at the age of 13. With little initial knowledge of English, by 1940 he had earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. His discovery of the balanced feedback principle was enough to gain a teaching assistantship at Stanford. There he was attracted to the microwave research being conducted by Russell and Sigurd Varian, with Professor William Hansen, which led to their invention of the klystron tube, a forerunner of radar. He began to contribute his own inventions and, with the dawn of World War II, moved with the Stanford team to New York where their work continued at Sperry Gyroscope Company.
After the war, Dr. Ginzton returned to Stanford to teach and help form the universitys Microwave Laboratory. Work done there saw him lead the successful completion of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and pioneer, with Dr. Henry Kaplan, the use of smaller linear accelerators in radiotherapy treatment for cancer. In 1948, he helped found Varian Associates and went on to become the companys chairman and chief executive officer. He would continue as chairman until 1984, overseeing Varians evolution into what is today a world leadership position in radiotherapy systems for cancer treatment, NMR instrumentation, and semiconductor equipment, as well as electron devices. Dr. Ginzton retired from Varians Board of Directors in 1992 and holds the title of chairman emeritus.
Mr. Norman O. Gunderson
Norman O. Gunderson was Chairman of the Division of Engineering and Mathematics at San Jose State College from 1956 to 1960. He served as Dean of Engineering until 1970. Under his leadership, engineering education developed into a professionally recognized school of engineering. He led the political fight to remove imposed restrictions on the State Colleges from offering accredited engineering programs. As a result, the restrictions were removed and San Jose State was the first engineering program to become professionally accredited and also to offer a masters degree. During these tumultuous years, Dean Gunderson led a major effort to plan and develop a new 4.5 million dollar engineering building. The dedication ceremony took place in 1963; another major milestone had been achieved.
Dean Gunderson has served as president or chairman of the San Jose Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Engineers Club of San Jose, the statewide Engineering Liaison Committee, and the Pacific Southwest Section of the American Society for Engineering Education. In recognition of his accomplishments from 1948 to 1980, he was awarded the San Jose State University Engineering Award of Distinction in 1981. He was also honored by receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wyoming, 1979. Mr. Gunderson received both his Bachelor of Science (1939) and Master of Science (1947) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming and his professional C.E. degree from Stanford University in 1955.
Mr. George S. Nolte, Sr.
In 1949, Mr. Nolte formed George S. Nolte, Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor It was a single employee practice, located in the City of Palo Alto, that grew with and beyond the limits of Silicon Valley. In the mid 1950s the name of his firm was modified to reflect nearly a decade of change: George S. Nolte, Consulting Civil Engineers, Inc. Again in the 1980s, it changed to its current name of Nolte and Associates.
From the early beginnings as a sole practitioner, the Nolte firm grew into one of the largest pure civil engineering firms in the nation performing noteworthy projects in all the various disciplines of civil engineering. Mr. Nolte rounded the firm and actively directed its development for three and a half decades.
During his thirty-five years at the helm, the organization performed engineering services for every city in Santa Clara County. The City of San Jose, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the County itself were among its largest clients. The firm has been responsible for much of the infrastructure in Santa Clara County having planned and designed countless public works projects that serve or protect the many residents and employees of Silicon Valley. The achievements of the organization are a tribute to Mr. Noltes leadership and innate ability to attract outstanding people to head the various departments within the firm.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Mr. Nolte was an active participant in many professional societies and civic organizations. Mr. Nolte, a native of Bellingham, Washington, attended Western Washington University and the University of Washington. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic College of Engineering in Oakland, California in 1940.