Dieter Schroder was a globally eminent semiconductor expert

Dieter K. Schroder was a professor and international expert in semiconductor technology whose work helped in development of faster processors. He was awarded Arizona State University’s highest faculty honor for his generous mentoring of graduate students.

He passed away December 24, 2012, at age 77. He had lived for many years in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“He impacted far more lives than one can imagine. He never lost his cool and seemed to always be relaxed. Truly, he was a gentleman always and will be missed,” David Ferry, a fellow professor, was quoted as saying on the website for the university’s Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Born in 1935 and brought up in Germany, he moved to Montreal, Canada, at age 16 for higher education and graduated from McGill University. Along the way he met and married his wife, Beverly.

He learned about the Bahá’í Faith in the late 1960s while a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana; according to a 2010 interview posted on YouTube, his wife accepted the Faith readily while he waited about seven years before becoming a Bahá’í.

On earning his doctorate in 1968 he took an industrial research job in Pennsylvania, then in 1981 he joined the Arizona State faculty.

At the time, he said, research into semiconductors and their role in electronics was in its infancy, and Dieter was in a position to have an influential hand in building the university’s program.

Over the years, according to the university, research under his direction was instrumental in solving the problem of making integrated circuits operate more speedily without excessive heat — a principle central to the design of computers and other devices with electronic processors.

His accomplishments, including publication of 178 journal articles, led to his being invited to make more than 160 conference presentations around the world. One of his two books, Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization, is used as an academic text worldwide.

In 2009 he was honored as a Regents’ Professor, the university’s highest honor for faculty. He was also named outstanding doctoral mentor and earned six ASU awards for excellence in teaching engineering.

In the 2010 interview he said that both the Bahá’í teachings and the international nature of science inspired him to promote global consciousness among his students. He urged them to learn about diverse cultures, get to know people from other countries, and travel internationally if possible.

“Dieter cared deeply about our students and taught every level from freshmen to Ph.D. students. He was extremely generous with his time and always had an open office door for students, colleagues and even administrators,” said Stephen Phillips, an engineering administrator and professor, in a memorial article.

In addition to Beverly, his wife of 51 years, Dieter’s survivors include two sons and five granddaughters.


Please click here to read a more detailed article about Dieter Schroder’s life and accomplishments.

Click here to watch a video interview from 2010.