Juergen Staudte invented a process for mass-producing miniature quartz crystals for use in wristwatches and other electronic devices.
Juergen Staudte invented a process for manufacturing quartz crystal oscillators while working at North American Aviation (now Rockwell) in 1968. Staudte (1937-1999) patented his invention, which used a photolithographic process that is similar to the way integrated circuits are made. In 1970 he left North American Aviation to start his own company, Statek, in Orange, California. There Staudte developed his process for producing quartz crystals.
Statek began manufacturing and marketing the quartz oscillators in 1971. The company's earliest customers were electronics firms that had entered the watch market. Statek was soon selling watch crystals to many watch companies, both in the United States, and in Switzerland and Japan. By the mid-1970s Staudte's process had become the standard in the industry and is still used today.
Born near Dresden, Germany in 1937, Staudte moved to the United States in 1957. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Staudte earned a B.A. in physics from Aurora University in Illinois and a master's degree in physics from Michigan State University. He held a number of patents and won the Cady Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his work on piezoelectric devices in 1986.
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