Robert E. Fontana, Jr.

Robert E. Fontana, Jr.

Affiliation
IBM Research
IEEE Region
Region 01 (Northeastern U.S.)
(
Country
US
)

Dr. Robert E. Fontana, Jr. received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1969, 1971, and 1975, respectively. He is a Research Staff Member within the recording head processing function of the San Jose Research Center, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST), San Jose, CA. His technical activities have concentrated on developing and improving thin-film processing techniques for fabricating magnetic device structures, first at Texas Instruments from 1975 to 1981 with magnetic bubbles, then from 1981 to 2002 at IBM with thin-film heads, and from 2003 to the present at Hitachi GST with novel flux detecting sensors and nanostructure fabrication with e-beam lithography. During his career, he has transferred processing methodologies for magnetic bubbles, magnetoresistive thin-film heads, spin-valve giant magnetoresistive thin-film heads, and tunnel-valve thin-film heads from research concepts to manufacturing realizations. He has authored 37 papers on magnetic devices and processes and has 55 patents in thin-film magnetic structures. Dr. Fontana was named an IEEE Fellow in 1996 and he received the IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award for excellence in the art of electronic miniaturization in 2000. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2002 for his contributions in magnetic device processing. He has served as President of the IEEE Magnetics Society (2001, 2002), as General Chair of the 1996 Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference, as General Chair of the 2004 Joint International Magnetics Conference and Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference, and is serving as an NAE member on the National Research Council’s (NRC) Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design (2003–2005).