Dr. Lester M. Field
Scientist, M & K Sound Corporation
Vice President, Hughes Aircraft Company, retired
Lester M. Field received his BSEE from Purdue in 1939 and his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1943. During Field's 27 year career he invented many modern forms of traveling wave tube propagating structures including the folded waveguide and strut-supported helix, a velocity jump amplifier, and a noise deamplifier. He also developed scanning search-receivers and transverse current amplifiers and holds twenty-five basic patents in his name.
During his tenure as a vice president and an associate director of the Hughes Research Laboratories, Field was responsible for research in plasma physics, microwave tube research development and manufacturing, and general electronics research. With the Hughes organization, Field played an active role in the research and development of traveling wave tubes, backward wave oscillators, and other state-of-the-art microwave products for use in satellites, radar, and missiles. In addition, he served for a time as head of the Hughes Research Physics Laboratory where he participated in establishing programs in plasma studies and fusion power.
From 1946 until 1953, Field taught at Stanford University and was one of the originators of Stanford's electron tube laboratory. At the age of 32, Field became Stanford's youngest full professor. From 1953 to 1960, Field was a professor at the California Institute of Technology where he developed several forms of beam-plasma and established a tube research activity which expanded into a group studying plasma physics and microwave interaction with matter.Field was awarded an honorary doctorate from Purdue in 1968.