Distinguished Alumni Award (2000)
In recognition of the invention and subsequent development of the integrated circuit and other electronic devices.
Jack S. Kilby (BSEE '47)
After earning his degree from the U of I, Jack S. Kilby went to work for Globe Union, Inc., developing ceramic-base, silkscreen circuits for electronic products. In 1958 he joined Texas Instruments in Dallas. That same year, he used borrowed and improvised equipment to develop the first electronic circuit in which all components, active and passive, were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material. What he developed was the first microchip. Kilby went on to pioneer military, industrial, and commercial applications of microchip technology. He was co-inventor of the hand-held calculator and the thermal printer used in portable data terminals.
Kilby holds over 60 patents. He is an IEEE Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Among his numerous awards and honors, Kilby was a recipient of the National Medal of Sciences degree from the U of I in 1988. He was awarded the College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering in 1971 and the U of I Alumni Achievement Award in 1973.