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National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10
Membership Directory
PublisherNational Academies Press
Copyright2002
ISBN978-0-309-08457-4
Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10

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  • EDWARD L.GINZTON
    
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             EDWARD L.GINZTON                                         101
    
                           EDWARD L.GINZTON
    
    
                                      1915–1998
    
                                BY EDWARD J.BARLOW
    
                EDWARD LEONARD GINZTON, retired chief executive officer of Varian
            Associates, died on August 13, 1998. He was born on December 27, 1915, in
            Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. He was the son of Leonard Louis and Natalia P.
            (Philipova) Ginzton. Ed came to the United States in 1929 and attended public
            school in San Francisco. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the
            University of California in 1936 and an M.S. in 1937; he received his E.E. degree
            in 1938 and his Ph.D. in 1940 from Stanford University. He married Artemas
            A.McCann on June 6, 1939, and they had four children: Anne, Leonard, Nancy,
            and David.
                Ed was a research engineer at Sperry Gyroscope Company on Long Island
            from 1940 to 1946. He was assistant professor of applied physics from 1946 to
            1947, associate professor of applied physics from 1947 to 1950, and professor of
            applied physics from 1951 to 1968, all at Stanford. He was also the director of the
            Microwave Laboratory at Stanford from 1949 to 1959 and the director of the
            Stanford University Project M (the SLAC linear accelerator) from 1957 to 1960.
                Ed was instrumental in the founding of Varian Associates. He was a director
            of Varian from 1948 until 1993. He was chairman of the board from 1959 to 1984
            and chief executive officer from 1959 to 1972. From 1964 to 1968, he was also
            president. He was
    
    
                 
    
    
             EDWARD L.GINZTON                                         102
    
             chairman of the executive committee of the board from 1984 to 1993.
                While at Sperry during World War II, Ed was instrumental in furthering the
             development of klystron tubes, pulse-Doppler radar, and microwave
             measurements. He had a vision that klystron tubes could be scaled up in power by a
             factor of 1,000 successfully. Later at Stanford, he continued his work to stimulate
             development of ever higher power klystrons such as those that power SLAC
             today. Klystron and other microwave tubes were further encouraged at Varian.
             The pulse-Doppler techniques initially developed under Ed’s direction at Sperry
             are the predominant features of many sophisticated radars today.
                At Stanford’s Microwave Laboratory, with Ed’s participation and under his
            direction, linear accelerator concepts and devices were developed and improved.
            This led to the construction of linear accelerators for particle physics research.
            The early accelerators—the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark IV—were a few 10s to
             100s of feet long. Ed was instrumental in the early stages of Project M, the SLAC
             accelerator project, an accelerator two miles long, both in stimulating the
             engineering work required and in getting federal funding. Here again, an
             enormous scale-up was found to be feasible. The Mark IV accelerator was built to
             test the concepts for the SLAC design.
                Another application of the linear accelerator concept was for the treatment
             of cancer. The Mark IV was used for early experiments in this application. Ed
             was a crusader for the use of the accelerator in cancer treatment and although this
             use took many years to come to fruition, there are some 4,000 machines in use in
             the world today treating more than one million patients annually. Under Ed’s
             leadership, Varian acquired the predominant market share for this equipment.
                Another idea germinated in the early years at Stanford and at Sperry was
             that of nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR. Ed supported the continuing
             development of NMR machines at Varian for many years, and Varian is today the
             leading manufacturer of such instruments worldwide. Ed also had a vision of
             building a company with a group of analytical instruments, so over the years
             mass spectrometers, atomic absorption instruments, gas and
    
    
                 
    
    
             EDWARD L.GINZTON                                         103
    
             liquid chromatographs, and UV-visible spectrophotometers were added to NMR
             to make the instrument company of today.
                Ed was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1965 (and was a
             member of its Council from 1974 to 1980) and to the National Academy of
             Sciences in 1966. He was involved in many committees of the Academies,
             including the National Research Council Division of Engineering Committee on
             Motor Vehicle Emissions (chair, 1971 to 1972), the Assembly of Engineering
             Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems (cochair), the National
             Academy of Sciences’ Panel on Scientific Communications and National
            Security, and the joint Institute of Medicine/Commission on Life Sciences
            Committee on the Use of Animals in Biomedical and Behavioral Research. He
            was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences Delegation to Hungary
            (1966), Bulgaria (1972), and the USSR (1973 and 1975). He was a member of the
            Academy Commission on International Relations, 1977 to 1980.
                Ed received many honors. He was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and
            Electronics Engineers and was on its board of directors and chairman of its
            Awards Board. He received the Morris Liebmann Memorial Prize and the Medal
            of Honor. He received the California Manufacturer of the Year Award in 1977
            and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 1995. He
            was a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi.
                Ed also served on boards and committees beyond his immediate Varian and
            Stanford connections. To name a few, he served as a director of the Stanford
            Bank, chairman of the Advisory Board of the School of Engineering at Stanford, a
            member of the Stanford University board of trustees, board of directors of
            Stanford University Hospital, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Scientific and
            Educational Advisory Committee, and board of directors of the National Bureau
            of Economic Research.
                Much of Ed’s work at the Microwave Laboratory at Stanford concerned
             microwave measurement techniques. With this back-ground, he wrote the book
             Microwave Measurements as part of the International Series of Pure and Applied
             Physics, published in 1957. Ed also contributed articles to technical journals. He
             was the
    
    
                 
    
    
             EDWARD L.GINZTON                                         104
    
             sole inventor for twenty-two patents and the joint inventor for another seventeen,
             mostly in the fields of microwave measurements and components.
                Ed had wide-ranging interests beyond his professional life. He loved to
             restore old cars and had a model A Ford, which looked brand new. He was an
             avid and talented photographer and made many striking pictures, particularly of
             outdoor scenes—mountains, meadows, flowers, and rivers.
                He loved to travel. With various members of his family, he traveled over
             Africa in a hot air balloon. He attended a banquet in the Saudi Arabian desert,
             visited Machu Picchu, saw the great pyramids and the Sphinx, visited the Great
             Wall of China, went through the Grand Canyon, and went around the world
             stopping in New Zealand and Hawaii.
                Ed had strong interests in bettering the community. He championed the
             causes of fair housing and clean air. With David Packard and later Pief Panofsky,
             he co-chaired the Stanford Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition, which helped launch
             minority-owned small businesses. He worked on related education and health
             issues and on the need for affordable housing, serving as a member of the board
             of directors of the Mid-Peninsula Housing Development Corporation.
                Ed had a collegial management style. He encouraged us all to work
             wholeheartedly and independently on what we thought was most important. His
             concept is expressed in the word “Associates” in the name Varian Associates.
             Many of the developments mentioned above such as the high-power klystrons,
             pulse-Doppler radar, linear accelerators for medical research, SLAC, and NMR
             grew out of intense collaboration with associates such as Bill Hansen, Russell and
             Sigurd Varian, Marvin Chodorow, Pief Panofsky, John Woodyard, and Myrl
             Stearns, among others. Ed was truly a man of broad interests and large and
             persistent vision, who enjoyed life to the fullest and cared about his family, his
             associates, and his community.
    
    
                 
    
    
             EDWARD L.GINZTON                                                 105
    
    
                  
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