Alan L. McWhorter

Alan L. McWhorter
Alan L. McWhorter
Crowley, LA, USA
Associated organizations
Fields of study
Solid state electronics
IEEE David Sarnoff Award


Dr. Alan Louis McWhorter was born in Crowley, Louisiana, on 25 August 1930. He enrolled in Tulane University in 1947 and, after one year, transferred to the University of Illinois, where he received the B.S. degree in 1951. He came East as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving the Doctor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1955.

After completing his graduate work, he joined the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory and engaged in solid state device research. In 1962 he was appointed Assistant Head of the Solid State Division at the Laboratory, became Associate Head in 1963, and in 1965 he was appointed to his present position as Head of the Solid State Division.

In 1959 Dr. McWhorter also became a faculty member of the Massachusets Institute of Technology as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1960, and Professor in 1966.

Professor McWhorter's field of research, in which he has published more than 40 papers, has been solid state and quantum electronics. Among his interests have been noise and related surface effects in semiconductors, microwave solid state masers, electrical properties of semiconductors at low temperatures, impactionization switching devices, semiconductor lasers, Gunn effect, and most recently, solid state plasma effects and light scattering.

From 1959 to 1964 Dr. McWhorter was Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices and from 1966 to 1969 a member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IEEE. He was a frequent member of the committee that conducted the annual IEEE Solid State Device Research Conference (now incorporated into the Device Research Conference), serving as technical program chairman in 1958, vice chairman in 1959 and chairman in 1960.

Dr. McWhorter is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the American Physical Society, and a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu.

Dr. McWhorter, who is a bachelor, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a locale from which he has engaged in two hobbies: sailing on the Atlantic coast and mountain climbing in New England and in the western ranges.