Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Kurt Petersen (inventor)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Kurt Petersen

Kurt Petersen (inventor) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Kurt E. Petersen (born February 13, 1948) is an American inventor and entrepreneur, a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering. He is known primarily for his work on microelectromechanical systems.



Petersen received his BS degree cum laude in Electrical Engineering from The University of California at Berkeley in 1970. In 1975, he received a PhD degree in EE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He established a micromachining research group at IBM from 1975 to 1982, during which he wrote the review paper “Silicon as a Mechanical Material,” published in the IEEE Proceedings (May 1982). This paper is a highly referenced work in the field of micromachining and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS); as of September 2017, Google Scholar reported 3,795 citations.


Since 1982, Dr. Petersen has co-founded six successful companies in MEMS technology" Transensory Devices Inc. in 1982, NovaSensor in 1985 (now owned by GE), Cepheid in 1996 (now a public company on NASDAQ: CPHD), SiTime in 2004 (still private as of 2014), Profusa in 2008 (still private), and Verreon in 2009 (acquired by Qualcomm). NovaSensor developed low cost micromachined blood pressure sensors using bulk silicon micromachining technology. Cepheid used microfluidic technology for rapid PCR detection. In 2002, Red Herring ranked him as a Top Ten Innovator.

In 2011, Petersen joined the Band of Angels in Silicon Valley, an angel investment group which mentors and invests in early stage, high-tech, start-up companies. As of 2014, his responsibilities include helping and mentoring technology startup companies. He has a unique visionary quality and foresaw technology potentials in society and industry.


He was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering in 2001 for "contributions to the research and commercialization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)" and received the Fellowship of the IEEE in recognition of his contributions “for pioneering contributions and successful commercialization of micromechanical systems”. 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 contributions to micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) science and technology and their integration into systems applications.


Kurt Petersen (inventor) Wikipedia