Jack Kilby - The Integrated Circuit

Jack Kilby also had a pet hobby that eventually created the integrated circuit that resides in every computer and advanced electronic device today. As a young employee at Texas Instruments he was not allowed any summer holiday in his first year of employment nor would they fund his private interest but where he was given a free hand during the two-week shutdown period. Within those two short weeks without any direction by his employer whatsoever to invent the integrated circuit (his private interest) he single-handedly created a prototype of the IC. The question has to be asked, if it had not been for Kilby's private persistence and personal interest would we have seen the IT revolution as quickly as we have done?

The integrated circuit is the basis of global industry presently turning over US$1.7 trillion annual. For him it was just an interest and a hobby, but for the world-at-large it has literally revolutionised the way in which we all work.

For your further interest, Kilby could not get into MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) because his entrance grades were not high enough and only achieved average examination marks at a non-ivy league university. He never obtained a PhD but within eight years of leaving university he had created the foremost invention of the modern world, and where he is now regarded as one of the greatest engineers of all time.

In the world of the 'Giant's of science there are many who, but for their sheer tenacity, interest and a little luck, their greatness may never have emerged.

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