opinion, the thyristor (or SCR) was the most important semiconductor
product invented and developed by GE.
We put much effort into this product, because it was unique in the
industry. All the applications work
on the SCR was done in my group, and before long we came out with the 1st
edition of the GE SCR Manual, modeled directly after the Transistor
Manual. The SCR’s were built at a
plant in Auburn NY, and Bill Gutzwiller was the main designer – he
eventually set up a separate applications group for all GE rectifiers. Later in the 1960’s, GE established a
joint venture with a French company
(Thompson). Sweeney and I
were involved and we both studied the language in preparation for further
work. They were having some
technical problems and so it was decided that some of us should spend time
onsite. In the summer of 1967, I
and two other Americans (an Apps engineer and a financial person) moved to
France to assist in semiconductor product planning and manufacturing. In the end, this venture was sold out
entirely to the French company because Charles Degaulle was not happy about
such close French/American cooperation.
I returned to the U.S. in 1970, and after some additional “modern
engineering” training, I was offered a position with the GE Wire and Cable
Division in Bridgeport, CT. This
was a terrific assignment, and because of GE’s worldwide leadership in this
technology, I traveled extensively.
I retired in 1989 from Wire and Cable as the Manager of Engineering.
GE made a point of developing management talent and moved them around to
different organizations to allow development of management. This was an excellent business practice.
I retired after a 40 year career with a great company.