Clinton Sylvester Hartmann passed away at his home in Dallas, TX, February 4, 2013, after a battle with osteosarcoma. He was born December 31, 1944, in Fredericksburg, Texas to Gretchen and Lawrence Hartmann and grew up on the family ranch.
Clinton was an internationally recognized pioneer of SAW technology. As a scientist and an engineer, he had an outstanding ability to formulate new problems, to generate new ideas and approaches, and to identify the tools needed for the practical implementation of solutions. During his 40-plus year career, Clinton invented many SAW devices that are in common use today, including key enabling devices which are used in cellular telephones, pocket pagers, video tape recorders, automotive keyless entry systems, color television sets, garage door openers and many others.
Clinton graduated from the University of Texas with a B.S.E.E. and received his M.S.E.E. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his thesis, his course work, but prior to completing his PhD, he left to begin work. Although he formally had no title of PhD or Professor, many of his colleagues, having such titles, regarded him as their Teacher.
Clinton began his career at Texas Instruments in the Central Research Laboratories where he began his work on Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices. In 1978 he was recognized as a TI Fellow for his work in the field of Surface Acoustic Wave devices and applications.
In 1979, Clinton co-founded RF Monolithics, Inc. of Dallas, Texas (RFM). From 1979 to 1984, his research and development activities at RFM included contributions to SAW resonators, single-phase unidirectional transducers (SPUDTs), coupling-of-modes (COM) analysis and other SAW technologies.
In 1985, Clinton founded Hartmann Research, Inc., an independent SAW research company, at which he invented and developed SAW device types including the EWC/SPUDT, the key filter in color television sets and is used in cell phones. In the years 1991-1992 Clinton assisted in assembling the R&D division of ASCOM Microsystems (later Advanced SAW Products and then Micronas).
In 2000, Mr. Hartmann founded his third company, RF SAW, Inc. From then and until his death, SAW RFID was the focus of his work. In 2006, NASA selected RF SAW’s RFID technology to test aboard the International Space Station as a possible method to streamline logistics and tracking of items for ground and space operations.
Clinton published more than 100 technical papers and was awarded 51 US patents in SAW technologies. In 1976, Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society, named him The Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in the United States. In 2000, he and Prof. R. M. White received the W. G. Cady award “For pioneering the early understanding of SAW devices”. Clinton was a Senior Life Member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
Clinton’s passions included science, math, engineering, and mentoring others, as well as a tremendous love for his family, children, and grandchildren.
He was a great mentor to many. During his last few months, he received numerous letters from many people whose lives were positively impacted by his constructive efforts.
When asked about his lifetime accomplishments, Clinton did not want to be known for his multiple awards, but instead for his philosophies on education, giving, mentoring, and leaving the world in a better place than you found it.
Clinton’s family has established an Endowment/Scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin to honor Clinton’s memory. Those who wish to help memorialize Clinton can consider a donation to this Endowment in his name.