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Professor A. Richard Newton appointed new dean of UC Berkeley's College of Engineering
30 Jun 2000

By Kathleen Scalise, Media Relations

Berkeley - A. Richard Newton, a Silicon Valley innovator and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) in the University of California, Berkeley's College of Engineering, has been named to succeed Paul R. Gray as dean of the highly-ranked engineering college.

Newton, a prominent researcher in the design of electronic circuits and systems, is expected to assume the deanship on July 1, 2000. The appointment is pending approval by the UC Board of Regents.

In making the announcement today (Friday, June 30), UC Berkeley Vice Provost Nicolas P. Jewell, who steps down from this position tomorrow to return to his professorship in biostatistics, said, "Rich Newton is the ideal candidate for our new dean of engineering. He has an outstanding academic record in research and is a superb classroom teacher. He also has the ability to continue leading the college forward in exciting new directions, particularly through his visibility among high technology leaders and others in Silicon Valley."

Newton, 48, will become the 11th dean of the engineering college, which descended from three of the original colleges of the University of California, founded in 1868.

Born in Australia, Newton received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1978. He also holds a bachelor's and master's degree in engineering science from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

"This is a critical time for engineering as a profession, as we come to grips with what it really means to be an engineer in a world where recent developments in new materials, information technology, nanoscale systems and the biological sciences are reshaping our approach to almost everything we do," Newton said.

"With a truly distinguished faculty, with the best students of any engineering program in the world, and situated on a campus where every department is ranked in the top ten in the nation, Berkeley has a unique opportunity to combine the benefits of science and technology with the skills and understanding of our colleagues throughout the campus and in industry to solve many of society's most critical problems," he said.

Newton joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1979. He served as vice chairman of the EECS department from 1985 to 1988, and as chair in the 1999-2000 school year.

Paul R. Gray, who will become UC Berkeley's executive vice chancellor and provost on July 1 after four years as dean of the engineering college, said Newton "brings tremendous energy and a creative, entrepreneurial spirit to the job of leading the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. While technology is changing society, society's needs are shaping new technologies across many disciplines. Richard is an excellent choice to keep Berkeley at the forefront of engineering research and education."

Newton is the founding director of the MARCO/DDR&E Gigascale Silicon Research Center, a nine-university, industry/government-funded research consortium charged with undertaking the long-range research needed to keep the United States competitive in the design of complex integrated electronic systems.

He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Board to Microsoft Research Laboratories and has acted as a venture partner with the Mayfield Fund, a high-technology venture capital partnership. He has helped found a number of design technology companies, including SDA Systems and PIE Design Systems (both now are part of Cadence Design Systems), as well as Simplex Solutions and Synopsys, where he rejoined the board of directors in 1994. He was also a founder and director of Crossbow Technology, Inc., a leading producer of MEMS-based embedded measurement sensor and control subsystems, and was acting president and CEO of Silicon Light Machines, which is bringing to market a number of display systems based on a new technology of micromachined silicon light-valves.

A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Newton has published extensively in his field and received numerous awards and honors, including best paper awards from the ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, the International Conference on Computer Design, the European Solid State Circuits Conference and the IEEE Transactions for Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems.



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