Engineering News
January 2007 Vol. 77, no. 1S

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A Great Man of Incomparable Vision

On January 2, at the age of 55, Dean A. Richard Newton passed away only two months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He will be greatly missed.

Newton was a visionary leader, dynamic entrepreneur and educator with a passion for life and a desire to make our world a better place. His 32-year career with the College of Engineering began when he first came to Berkeley as a doctoral student. He earned his Ph.D. in 1978 and joined the EECS faculty later that same year. In 2000 he was appointed dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering.

Richard Newton’s accomplishments and contributions are many; the account contained in the following pages just scratches the surface. We begin with the memories of one student, who speaks for so many of us as we mourn the passing of a great engineer and a great leader.

Campus Celebration to be Announced

A celebration of Dean Newton's life will be held later this semester detail will be posted at when available. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Berkeley Center for Synthetic Biology in Newton's memory; these gifts will fund an endowment in his name. Go to for details on how to give.

A Great Engineer (a letter from Misha Leybovich)

Berkeley has lost a great leader and a great man with the passing of the Dean of the College of Engineering, A. Richard Newton. I was privileged to befriend Dean Newton when I served as ASUC President in 2004–05 while a student in his College, and I am writing this remembrance because I do not know how better to pay tribute to a man who put so much of himself into Cal than to share a few immediate and still-stunned thoughts with his beloved campus.

Dean Newton was an exceptional head of the College of Engineering, after an accomplished career in technology. His contributions in integrated circuit design and electronic systems architecture are internationally acclaimed, and his influence is broadly felt. [FULL STORY]

Dean of Engineering Richard Newton: “He was just larger than life.”

A. Richard Newton, EECS professor and dean of Berkeley’s College of Engineering was a pioneer in electronic design automation and integrated circuit design and a visionary leader in the technology industry.

Newton’s eloquence and magnetism drew widespread attention to his ideas for engineering’s potential role in tackling society’s most difficult challenges, particularly in developing nations. [FULL STORY]

Richard Newton, in our own words
Students, faculty and staff share their remembrances

“I will never forget the first time I met Richard. I was very impressed by his kindness and knowledge. He strongly suggested pursuing a Ph.D., and later became my research advisor in EECS. I could regularly drop by his office and talk about my research progress, despite his tight schedule. I felt so lucky. He always welcomed me warmly, saying, ‘NiHao’ [‘hello’ in Chinese]. It is he who taught me how to turn general research proposals into good scientific research with potential applications and impacts for industry. I thank him for being such a kind, considerate and loving advisor and friend. He will always have a special place in my heart and memory.”
Zile Wei, EECS Ph.D. student


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