Edward H. Snow

Science & Technology

Edward H. Snow (1936-)

was named after his great grandfather who was a founder of Dixie College. He attended St. George Elementary, Woodward Junior High, Dixie High School and Dixie College. At Dixie College, he was student body vice president. Edward then transferred to the University of Utah, where he received a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Physics in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1963.

Edward’s employment history took him through a variety of jobs including laborer, draftsman, and technical assistant at Convair Astronautics during the Atlas Missile program. He also worked as a teaching and research assistant in the University of Utah’s Physics Department. From 1963-71, Edward joined the Fairchild Semiconductor Research & Development Lab in Palo Alto, Calif., where he successfully held positions as a member of the technical staff, section head, and department manager.

At Fairchild, Dr. Snow made breakthrough contributions to the understanding of oxidized semiconductor surfaces which made possible the large-scale MOS (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) integrated circuits which have revolutionized electronics and made possible today’s “digital revolution.” For this work, he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Franklin Institute. While at Fairchild, Edward authored more than 20 scientific papers in professional journals and was awarded five patents related to semiconductor devices.

In 1971, Dr. Snow left Fairchild to become co-founder of Reticon corporation with the goal of pioneering the application of the MOS integrated circuit technology to optical image sensors. Reticon technology was used in virtually all of the early OCR and FAX machines, price tag readers, mail sorting machines, and industrial inspection cameras. Reticon also developed specialized devices for scientific instruments, astronomy, and military applications.

Snow also taught master’s degree courses in the engineering department at the University of Santa Clara for 10 years, where more than 200 Silicon Valley engineers learned about semiconductor device physics. 1n 1978, Reticon was acquired by EG&G, Inc., and in 1992, Dr. Snow was made a vice president with responsibility for worldwide optoelectronic operations, which including research and design manufacturing locations in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Germany, the Phillipines, China and Singapore, as well as joint ventures in Japan and China.

At the time of his retirement to California, the Optoelectronics Group had annual sales of $270 million and a range of products as diverse as flashlamps for Kodak disposable cameras, atomic clocks for global positioning satellites, and optical sensors used in gene sequencers and other scientific instruments. Dr. Snow is married to Idonna Eager of Leeds (also a Dixie College graduate). He has three children, Mark, Marcia and Sandra.