Richard F. Shea


Richard F. Shea
Boston, MA, USA
Death date
Associated organizations
General Electric (GE)
Fields of study
Nuclear physics


Richard F. Shea was born in Boston and attended MIT, where he graduated in 1924 and began his career as a radio engineer. He designed radio receivers for several companies, including American Bosch, Kolster Radio, Atwater Kent, and Fada Radio.

In 1937 he joined the General Electric Co., working in both Syracuse and Schenectady, New York. At GE's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory he was responsible for integrating advances in solid-state electronics into nuclear instrumentation and process-control. He was editor and coauthor of the first book on transistors, "Principles of Transistor Circuits" published in 1953. Born with a serious hearing defect, Shea designed and used the first solid-state hearing aid.

Shea was a longtime member of the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society from its origins at the IRE as the Professional Group on Nuclear Science. The society established the Shea Distinguished Member Award, presented annually.

Shea died on on June 7th, 1997.