Dr. Richard L. Petritz
BS Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, 1944; MS Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, 1947; Ph.D. Physics, Northwestern University, 1950
Northwestern Chapter, 1943
Dr. Richard Petritz started his career as a professor at Catholic University and at a Navy research lab. During this time as a professor and research scientist he published 26 technical papers, received a meritorious civilian award from the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory for research in semiconductor technology and received the Browder – Thompson, IEEE award for best research paper by author under 30 years of age. He was one of few Americans to become a Fellow in BOTH the American Physical Society and the IEEE.
Dr. Petritz was recruited to join Texas Instruments as the Director of their Semiconductor R & D lab. While in that position Dr. Petritz supervised over 300 technical personnel and as deputy director, oversaw Jack Kilby and the invention of the Integrated Circuit.
In 1969 he and a TI colleague formed New Business Resources, the first U.S. venture capital company to focus exclusively on start-up, high-technology businesses. Dr. Petritz went on to serve as President of two companies: Mostek which developed DRAM memories and some of the earliest microprocessors to be commercially available; and Linolex Systems, recognized by the Boston Computing Society as the first true personal computer. Dr. Petritz then provided the seed capital to start Inmos, a Colorado Springs-based semiconductor company. Inmos grew to $144,000,000 in sales and was sold to Thorn EMI, then again to ST Microelectronics.
Upon his exit from Inmos he formed New Venture Resources and founded Simtek Corporation, of which he managed until his retirement in 1998. His venture capital activities spanned three decades and 21 companies. Simtek operates today as a publicly-traded semiconductor company in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Board Member, Colorado Springs Symphony; Advisor, CU-Colorado Springs School of Engineering Advisory Committee; Board Member, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce; Director, Northrup Corporation.
Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Man of the Year, American Electronics Association; Entrepreneur of the Year, University of Colorado; American Pioneer of Semiconductor Industry, Smithsonian Institute