Editor's Note: In last issue's Feedback section, longtime Microwaves & RF reader Robert R. Kornowski recalled a early encounter with a ham radio operatorone that would have a profound influence on his future engineering career. This month, Kornowski continues his reminiscences.
Over the next few years, it was my good fortune to be mentored by local hams in the art of radio technology as an associate member of the Green Bay Mike & Key Club. It was great fun making all sorts of radios and antennas, through which I developed a strong intuition for practical approaches to radio design problems long before pursuing formal study in the science of radio technology while in college. In the early 1960s, I became a ham (WA9HRF) and attained full membership status in the club.
Upon graduating from college in the mid-1960s, and having a strong desire to work with a world-class radio design team, I applied for a position with Motorola's Communications Division (with the Government & Public Safety Product Design Team) and was hired. Within the first few weeks at Motorola, my Group Leader (Jim) introduced me to a microwave magazine that he presented as the leading RF design trade journal.
Having feature articles written by industry leading RF design engineers and practitioners, Microwaves & RF magazine became and remains to this day the most valuable design periodical among my subscriptions.
As time progressed, I found that the Motorola problem-solving challenges fit well with my formal training in the science of radio tempered by my earlier training and resultant intuitive feel for the art of radio.
With mounting problem-solving successes, my career began to evolve in the direction of being an inventor. While continuing to work at Motorola, I accepted an adjunct faculty position at William Rainey Harper College in the early 1970s, where I could work to pay back my debt of gratitude to those who had mentored me over the years, as well as to continue sharpening my technical skills through research, curriculum development, and teaching.
Robert R. Kornowski (WA9HRF) Principal Staff Engineer