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Department of Physics

2007 Ernest Fox Nichols Distinguished Lecture

William SpencerPhysics as a Basis for a Career: From K-State to the National Research Council

William Spencer

Ph.D. in Physics (1960) from Kansas State University

William Spencer earned an M.S. degree in math and a Ph.D. in physics from Kansas State University after receiving an A.B. degree from William Jewell College.

Dr. Spencer is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has recently served as co-chair of a committee that has written the National Academy report, Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics: The Science of the World Around Us.

Dr. Spencer began his career at Bell Laboratories. He later held key positions at Sandia National Labs where he developed a silicon processing facility for Department of Energy needs . In 1986 he moved to Xerox as Group Vice President and Senior Technical Officer and oversaw labs in Canada, Japan and Europe as well as the US. He established research centers in Europe and developed a plan for Xerox to retain ownership in spin-out companies.

Dr. Spencer went to SEMATECH, a consortium of 12 semiconductor manufacturers from seven countries, in 1990 as President and CEO and remained  in these positions until 1997. During that time, SEMATECH became totally privately funded and expanded to include non-US members. Many gave SEMATECH credit for the US semiconductor turnaround in the 1990's. He was named Chairman Emeritus of the International SEMATECH Board in 2000.

He will present his lecture on October 11, 2007, in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library.