Distinguished Alumni Awards

Henry C. Pao

Henry  C. Pao
To Henry C. Pao for contributions as an engineer and an entrepreneur in the design and manufacture of high-voltage semiconductor priducts for medical ultrasound imaging, flat panel displays, optical micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunication systems.

President and Ceo, Supertex Inc., Sunnyvale, California

  • BS, 1959, Electrical Engineering, Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1960, Electrical Engineering, Universtiy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, 1966, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Henry C. Pao was a founder of Supertex, Inc., which specializes in high-voltage integrated circuits. Since 1976, he has served as president and CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors. He and his colleagues pioneered the merging of complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS) and double-diffused metal oxide semiconductors (DMOS) technologies onto the same chip to create high-voltage integrated circuits (ranging from 30 volts to 700 volts). Among their first products were high-voltage integrated circuits for motor controls and rivers for plasma flat panel displays, which were invented at the University of Illinois. The company then expanded production to high-voltage chips for various flat panel displays, including vacuum fluorescent, electroluminescent, field emission, and various types of liquid crystals. In collaboration with Stanford University, Supertex developed a family of high-voltage integrated circuits for medical ultrasound imaging applications. More recently, the company developed high-voltage products for the telecommunications industry, such as hook switches, ring generators, optical MEMS and their drivers, power management chips for photonic and gigabite Ethernet modules, and VoIP systems.

Before founding Supertex, Pao was senior member of the research staff at Fairchild Semiconductor Research Center in Palo Alto, Calif., where he developed charge couple devices (CCD) for line-and area-video imaging. In addition, he has held various engineering and management positions at Raytheon, Sperry Rand, and IBM, He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi. Pao holds many patents and has published numerous articles on semiconductors.

A successful engineer, entrepreneur, and businessman, Pao honors his parents' influence on his life by donating a fellowship to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) each year. In addiction, he also donated and established an endowed scholarship fund in the ECE Department in honor of Professor John Bardeen, who served as Pao's mentor and as member of the Supertex Board of Directors for many years. Pao is a member of the Dean's Board of Visitors and a recipient of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996.

Current as of 2001.