Ernest S. Kuh is a world-renowned pioneer in basic and applied research in electrical and electronic circuits and systems, computer-aided design of very large scale integrated circuits(VLSI), and system theory. For over half a century, he has made fundamental contributions to establishing outstanding engineering programs, both in teaching and research, at UC Berkeley as professor (1956-1992), department chair (1963-1968), and dean of engineering (1968-1980).
As a founding faculty member of the systems group of electrical engineering at UC Berkeley, he has laid the foundation of ECAD programs and sparked many initiatives that have produced programs like SPICE, the origin of computer simulation program essential to the development of integrated circuits and systems, BBL (building block layout) for physical design of highly complex integrated circuits with automated placement of circuits blocks and routing of interconnects, the principles of which have been the core of so many commercial tools developed at many ECAD companies in the Silicon Valley such as Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics and others worldwide. Without these tools, today’s VLSI chips would not exist. Many engineering principles practiced in ECAD tools were extracted from his classical books.
As a role model educational leader, he was instrumental in developing visionary programs in a broad array of engineering disciplines at Berkeley. He has also promoted collaborations internationally by attracting and hosting distinguished scholars from Japan, Taiwan, China, Hungary, Germany, Poland, and many other countries. His public service to the US and other countries as advisor, lecturer, and external examiner is truly exemplary.