Richard S. Muller
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||5 May 1933|
Dr. Richard Stephen Muller (born May 5, 1933) is an American professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the University of California at Berkeley. He made contribution to the founding and growth of the field of MicroElectromechanical Systems (MEMS). His seminal contribution of polysilicon sacrificially-released beams in 1982 led to a class of micromanufacturing process called surface micromachining. This process preceded the creation of low cost, mass-produced commercial micro accelerometers, which are used in automotive collision sensors for airbag deployment. Together with Richard White, he created BSAC (Berkeley Sensors and Actuators Center), an organization that produced many academic generations of researchers and intellectual properties in the MEMS field, a field that in 2013, accounted for multi-billion dollar revenue worldwide. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
Muller received the degree of Mechanical Engineer (with highest honors) from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955; and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Physics, in 1957 and 1962, respectively, at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California. From 1955 to 1962 he was a member of the technical staff at the Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, California. In 1962, he joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at UC Berkeley.
His initial research and teaching on the physics of integrated-circuit devices led to collaboration with Theodore I. Kamins of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in writing Device Electronics for Integrated Circuits, first published by John Wiley & Sons in 1977, with a second edition in 1986, and a third edition appearing in 2002. Muller changed his research focus in the late 1970s to the general area now known as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and he joined in 1986 with colleague Richard M. White to found the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC), an NSF/Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. In 1990, he and others proposed to IEEE and ASME the creation of a MEMS technical journal, which began publication in 1991 as the IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (IEEE/ASME JMEMS).
Muller and his student Roger Howe created the process of surface micromachining using polysilicon (poly) as a structural material, and silicon oxide as a sacrificial layer. This surface micromachining process becomes the foundation of high volume airbag accelerometers. The surface micromachining process is the fundamental process for many consumer, industrial, and military devices today, including microphones, pressure sensors, electronic filters, spectrometers, and e-readers.
Muller has received the following academic awards and recognition: the UC Berkeley Citation (1994); the Stevens Institute of Technology Renaissance Award (1995); the Transducers Research Conference Career Achievement Award (1997), the IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award (with Roger T. Howe, 1998), an IEEE Millennium Medal (2000), and IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award (2013). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Life Fellow of the IEEE.