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Alum Dr. William Spencer, leader in semiconductor research, to speak at Jewell
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
November 17, 2008

Dr. William Spencer, a member of the William Jewell College class of 1952 and a world leader in semiconductor research, will speak on the William Jewell campus at 6 p.m. December 1 in White Science Center Room 107. Refreshments will be served preceding the talk at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend, and there are no tickets or reservations required.

Dr. Spencer will address the topic “Science is fine, but what about the rest of my life?” The annual lecture is sponsored jointly by the science and mathematics student societies at William Jewell, including the Society of Physics Students, the Beta Beta Beta biology honorary, the Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honorary and the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates.

After serving as Chairman of SEMATECH and International SEMATECH Boards since 1996, Dr. Spencer was named Chairman Emeritus of the International SEMATECH Board in November 2000. He came to SEMATECH in October 1990 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He continued to serve as President until January 1997 and CEO until November 1997. During this time, SEMATECH became totally privately funded and expanded to include non-U.S. members. Many gave SEMATECH part of the credit for the U.S. semiconductor turn around in the 1990s.

Dr. Spencer recently co-chaired, along with Mildred Dresselhaus at MIT, the Committee on Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (CMMP). Their report, Physics 2010 Condensed Matter and Materials Physics: the Science of the World Around Us, was published by the National Academies Press in 2007. The report addresses the findings of the National Research Council Committee on CMMP 2010 which convened “…to study the opportunities and challenges in condensed matter and materials physics in the next decade.”

Dr. Spencer has held key research and management positions at Xerox Corporation, Bell Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratories. Before joining SEMATECH in October 1990, he was Group Vice President and Senior Technical Officer at Xerox Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut from 1986 to 1990. He established new research centers in Europe and developed a plan for Xerox to retain ownership in spin-out companies.

Prior to joining the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) as manager of the Integrated Circuit Laboratory in 1981 and as the Center Manager of PARC from 1982 to 1986, Dr. Spencer served as Director of Systems Development from 1978 to 1981 at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, and as Director of Microelectronics at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1973 to 1978, where he developed a silicon processing facility for Department of Energy needs. He began his career in 1959 at Bell Laboratories.

Dr. Spencer received the Regents Meritorious Service Medal from the University of New Mexico in 1981; and a Citation for Achievement from William Jewell College in 1969, where he also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1990. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of IEEE, and serves on numerous advisory groups and boards including as advisor to the Premier of Taiwan. He was the Regents Professor at the University of California in the spring of l998. In 2003, he received the IEEE award for engineering leadership. He has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Engineering and the Haas School of Business and has taught at the University of Texas in Austin. He is a Research Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Spencer received a bachelor’s degree in physics from William Jewell College. He received an M.S. degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in physics from Kansas State University. He is married to the former Joan Sherrill and they have two daughters. They reside in Austin, San Francisco and Colorado. They enjoy opera, symphonic music, hiking, skiing and walking.

The Jewell lecture is modeled on the annual Christmas Lectures held by The Royal Institution of Great Britain, one of the world’s most venerable scientific societies. The British lectures were begun in the 1820s, with a goal of engaging and inspiring young people. Leading scientists annually share their understanding of critical scientific issues in an insightful, accessible and entertaining way. This is the fifth annual Christmas Lecture at William Jewell, where past lecturers have represented NASA, Vanderbilt University and Kenyon College.

For more information on the lecture, contact Dr. Patrick Bunton, professor of physics, at 816-415-7639, or emailbuntonp AT william.jewell DOT edu

William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of 1.5 million.

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