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Kurt Petersen

Kurt Petersen received his BS degree cum laude in EE from UC Berkeley in 1970. In 1975, he received a PhD in EE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Petersen established a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) research group while at IBM Research from 1975 to 1982. Since 1982, Dr. Petersen has co-founded six silicon valley companies in MEMS technology: Transensory Devices Inc. in 1982, NovaSensor in 1985, Cepheid in 1996, SiTime in 2004, Verreon in 2008, and Profusa in 2009. Each of these companies have become technical and commercial leaders in the field of MEMS devices and applications. NovaSensor develops and manufactures silicon pressure sensors and accelerometers. The company is now owned by General Electric. Cepheid is now a public company (CPHD) with annual sales over $400M and a market cap of over $3B. The company sells advanced DNA diagnostic products; particularly to the US Postal Service for detecting anthrax in the US mail (all US mail is screened for anthrax using Cepheid systems), as well as eleven FDA-approved human diagnostic tests. SiTime was established with the mission of commercializing MEMS- based resonators for electronic timing products, and transforming a large fraction of the $5B, 40-year-old quartz crystal resonator marketplace. SiTime resonators are cheaper, smaller, more reliable, and perform better than quartz oscillators. SiTime has shipped over 120M resonators since late 2007 and will break in 2013. Verreon was a company developing technology for building MEMS devices on glass and was acquired by Qualcomm in 2010. Profusa is a private company developing implantable glucose sensors. Since 2011, Profusa has been awarded contracts from DARPA and NIH contract totaling over $7M. Dr. Petersen has published over 100 papers, and has been granted over 35 patents in the field of MEMS. In 2001 he was awarded the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for his contributions to MEMS. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of IEEE in recognition of his contributions to “the commercialization of MEMS technology”.