Newton Professorship Established to Honor Late Berkeley Engineering Dean

BERKELEY, Calif. and SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, in partnership with the EDA Consortium, a trade association of companies in the electronic design automation (EDA) industry, announced today that a $1 million endowed faculty professorship has been established to honor the late Dean A. Richard Newton. Newton passed away on January 2, 2007 at the age of 55.


The endowment, which will be known as the Dean A. Richard Newton Memorial Professorship, will support the teaching, research and scholarship of an outstanding faculty member at the College of Engineering. The Newton Professorship will specifically advance the field of synthetic biology, an emerging area which Newton viewed as having tremendous potential to benefit society.

The emerging field of synthetic biology seeks not only to understand biological systems, but also to design biological components which may address a host of problems facing society. Potential applications include making medications affordable to developing countries, developing alternative energy sources and building natural solutions to environmental contamination.

"Rich Newton was a unique and visionary individual; a man who was as inspirational in the classroom and the lab as he was in the corporate boardroom. My colleagues in the EDA industry and I, along with Richard's other friends who have joined us in funding this new professorship, are privileged to honor his remarkable vision, impact and kindness through this professorship," said Dr. Aart de Geus, EDA Consortium Chairman and Synopsys, Inc. Chairman and CEO, speaking on behalf of both the EDA industry and contributors to the professorship.

"This is a significant investment in the faculty and research of the College of Engineering, one that marries two of Dean Newton's highest priorities. He strongly believed in building support for the faculty of this institution, and in the potential of fields like synthetic biology to change the world for the better," said Fiona Doyle, Acting Dean of the College of Engineering.

A. Richard Newton was a pioneer in electronic design automation and integrated circuit design. He and his faculty colleague and mentor Professor Donald Pederson were central to the creation of the multi-billion dollar EDA industry.

Newton's 32-year career with the College of Engineering began when he came to Berkeley from his native Australia as a doctoral student in 1975. He earned his Ph.D. in 1978 in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) and joined the EECS faculty that same year, serving as EECS chair from 1999 to 2000, and dean and the Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering from 2000 until his death. Newton was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2003 he received the EDA industry's most prestigious award, the Phil Kaufman Award, for distinguished contributions in EDA.

A celebration of Newton's life will take place at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley on Sunday, February 11, from 1:00-2:30pm. More information about Newton is available online at .

The Dean A. Richard Newton Memorial Professorship was created with philanthropic gifts from Newton's friends, colleagues and corporate partners as a tribute to his legacy. For more information or to contribute to the professorship, contact the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley at (510) 642- 7052.

Supporters of the Dean A. Richard Newton Memorial Professorship as of Feb. 8, 2007 are:


     Dado & Maria Banatao

Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Paula & Bandel Carano
Sylvia Chanak
Debi Coleman
CoWare, Inc.
Yogen & Peggy Dalal
Srinivas Devadas
Aart de Geus & Esther John
Russ Hall
Deirdre & Richard Hanford
David S. Harrison
Grant & Jeannette Heidrich
Penny & Bret Herscher
Mike Horton
Harvey Jones
Michael Levinthal
Mayfield Fund
Gib & Susan Myers
Alan P. Naumann
Robert & Star Pepper
Res and Lynn Saleh
Mark D. Spiller & Chen-Nee Chuah
Synopsys, Inc.
Tallwood Venture Capital
Steve Teig
Bill & Terri Unger
Van & Eddi Van Auken
Xenel International
Jim Young


The College of Engineering at UC Berkeley is one of the foremost institutions of engineering education in the world, with a mission to educate leaders, create knowledge, and serve society. The College's 272 faculty and 4.300 students stand at the leading-edge of research and education. The College is home to more than 25 distinguished research centers, and 10 Berkeley Engineering academic programs are ranked by the US News & World Report among the top 10 in the nation, for both graduate and undergraduate students. For more information about the College, visit

The EDA Consortium is the international association of companies that provide tools and services that enable engineers to create the world's electronic products. EDA is the critical technology used to design electronics for the communications, computer, space technology, medical and industrial equipment and consumer electronics markets among others. For more information about the EDA Consortium contact EDA Consortium, 111 West Saint John Street, Suite 220, San Jose, Calif. 95113, USA, office 408-287-3322, fax 408-283-5283, email Email Contact, or visit

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