(portion of the image courtesy of IEEE Spectrum May 2019 edition)


No, Mr. MEMS is not his real name. The respectable man beside the author's goofy caricature is Kurt Petersen, solely responsible for catapulting microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) into the center of the electronics industry/semiconductor market through his paper "Silicon as a Mechanical Material". With a Ph. D. in electrical engineering, this Blade Runner fan (who uncannily has a better mustache version than Harrison Ford), holds more than 40 patents on MEMS inventions. These inventions (as many would know) have a range of life-saving applications, from detecting Anthrax in snail mail to functioning as accelerometers in the aerospace field.

There are a lot of things that make Mr. Petersen not just a 'Mr. MEMS', but a marvelous Mr. MEMS. And maybe there is a thing or two we can all learn about him.

There’s not one person in the MEMS world that has anything other than wonderful things to say about Kurt, because he is just so kind, thoughtful, and helpful. There are a lot of smart guys, but he is unique because he is so humble. Being around him is like putting on your favorite pair of slippers."

"It’s not often that you find someone who has been as successful as Kurt has and is so universally liked."

Okay, the above statements from Mr. Petersen's colleagues undoubtedly speak volumes for his kind, heart-warming compassion and demeanor. However, I cannot relate to the feeling one gets when putting on one's favorite pair of slippers, unless we're talking some MEMS-integrated slippers here eh? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


Kind, thoughtful, and helpful.

Wow.

And to top it off with praise on being humble... now these are traits I ought to practice more. I'm barely even kind to my computer when it freezes half-way through a simulation, and let's not get started with humility... (flexes bulging "biceps" and kisses them twice)


Alright, to be honest, I didn't really know about Mr. Petersen (only cognizant of the guy responsible for the memristor - Leon Chua) until I found him featured in IEEE's May 2019 edition. Then I discovered his laudable contributions and achievements - which deserve more recognition. Hence, this article aims to further spread awareness of his great undertakings - and inspire others to follow in his footsteps.