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William H. Horton

William H. Horton

William H. Horton (S’40–M’43–SM’55– F’99) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1921. He received the B.S.E.E. degree from MIT in 1943 and after serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII received the E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1948 and 1952, respectively.

After completing his Ph.D. studies he became a member of the technical staff of General Electric in Schenectady, NY, and in 1965 cofounded Piezo Technology, Inc. in Orlando, Florida, where from 1969 until the sale of the company in 2004 he was president. He was chairman emeritus and technical consultant for the successor company, MtronPTI. PTI produced advanced VHF crystal filters; becoming one of the largest producers of monolithic crystal filters through the 1970s. In 1979, under Dr. Horton’s leadership, a group of engineers started a small company, named Sawtek, which was part-owned, housed and supported by PTI in its early few years. Sawtek grew rapidly with the advent of cellular radio requiring surface acoustic wave filters, went public, and later merged with Triquint, and is now part of Qorvo. While playing a major role in the startup of two companies, he also was technical leader, contributing authored or co-authored numerous presentations at the IEEE Frequency Control Symposium and in the UFFC transactions. He held several patents relating to the design and fabrication of quartz resonators and was the Principal Investigator on several SBIRs and other research programs. Bill had strength in both BAW device theory and measurements, and loved working on the bench. His last technical work spanning several years was on understanding the amplitude-frequency effect in quartz resonators, culminating in his 2006 IEEE UFFC-T publication. Bill was also a mentor to the many engineers who worked with him both inside and outside his company, providing guidance and advise, and challenging new concepts and ideas. Beyond professional accomplishments, Dr. Horton led in establishing the PTI profit sharing program that shared success with its employees.

Bill served on several IEEE committees and, for many years, participated in the planning of the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium (IFCS). Bill also supported and worked with faculty and students at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Horton continued to work part-time at MtronPTI into his 90s.

Dr. Horton was a Life Fellow member of IEEE, a member of Sigma Xi and Sigma Tau, an Honorary member of EKN and a Professional Engineer (Retired). He received the Region 3, IEEE Outstanding Engineer Award in 1988, and the IEEE International Frequency Control C.B. Sawyer Award in 1990.

He is survived by five children.

In recognition of his contribution to PTI, the frequency control industry and his love of research, MtronPTI established the Horton Endowment Scholarship at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Donations can be made at: https://www.ucffoundation.org/give-to-a-ucf-college

For “Designation”, select “Other” and paste: CECS000307 - Horton Endowed Scholarship


Dr. Horton was a frequent, and generous contributor to the field of frequency control. His publications included:

A note on VHF acoustically coupled bandpass crystal filters
R. C. SmytheW. H. HortonR. B. Angove
Proceedings of the IEEE
Year: 1967, Volume: 55, Issue: 3
Pages: 422 - 423, DOI: 10.1109/PROC.1967.5512

Experimental Investigations of Intermodulation in Monolithic Crystal Filters
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
27th Annual Symposium on Frequency Control. 1973
Year: 1973
Pages: 243 - 245, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1973.199963

Future of the Quartz Industry - World Views
W. H. Horton
Thirty Fifth Annual Frequency Control Symposium. 1981
Year: 1981
Pages: 592 - 592, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1981.200529

Evaluation of Crystal Measurement Systems
R. C. SmytheW. H. Horton
37th Annual Symposium on Frequency Control. 1983
Year: 1983
Pages: 290 - 296, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1983.200682

Quartz Crystal Unwanted Mode Response and Measurement
W. H. Horton
IEEE Transactions on Sonics and Ultrasonics
Year: 1966, Volume: 13, Issue: 4
Pages: 111 - 115, DOI: 10.1109/T-SU.1966.29393

Comparison of Methods for Measurement of Quartz Crystal Resonators with Load Capacitance
W. H. HortonT. S. PayneR. C. SmytheD. A. Symonds
Thirty Fifth Annual Frequency Control Symposium. 1981
Year: 1981
Pages: 271 - 279, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1981.200484

The work of Mortley and the energy-trapping theory for thickness-shear piezoelectric vibrators
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
Proceedings of the IEEE
Year: 1967, Volume: 55, Issue: 2
Pages: 222 - 222, DOI: 10.1109/PROC.1967.5448

The Hybrid-Coil Bridge Method of Measuring Unwanted Modes of Vibration in Quartz Crystals
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
17th Annual Symposium on Frequency Control. 1963
Year: 1963
Pages: 316 - 324, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1963.201269

A new frequency for piezoelectric resonator measurement
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
Proceedings of the IEEE
Year: 1983, Volume: 71, Issue: 2
Pages: 280 - 282, DOI: 10.1109/PROC.1983.12574

Portable detection system for illicit materials based on SAW resonators
G. WatsonW. HortonE. Staples
Ultrasonics Symposium, 1992. Proceedings., IEEE 1992
Year: 1992
Pages: 269 - 273 vol.1, DOI: 10.1109/ULTSYM.1992.275997

Comparison of Crystal Measurement Equipment
W. H. HortonS. B. Boor
Frequency Control, 1965 19th Annual Symposium on
Year: 1965
Pages: 436 - 468, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1965.199589

Dynamic measurement of amplitude-frequency effect of VHF resonators
W. H. HortonG. E. Hague
IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Year: 2006, Volume: 53, Issue: 1
Pages: 159 - 166, DOI: 10.1109/TUFFC.2006.1588401

Adjustment of resonator G-sensitivity by circuit means
R. C. SmytheW. H. Horton
Frequency Control, 1990., Proceedings of the 44th Annual Symposium on
Year: 1990
Pages: 437 - 443, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1990.177529

Theory of Thickness-Shear Vibrators, with Extensions and Applications to VHF Acoustically-Coupled-Resonator Filters
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
21st Annual Symposium on Frequency Control. 1967
Year: 1967
Pages: 160 - 178, DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.1967.199664

On the trapped-wave criterion for AT-cut quartz resonators with coated electrodes
W. H. HortonR. C. Smythe
Proceedings of the IEEE
Year: 1967, Volume: 55, Issue: 4
Pages: 598 - 599, DOI: 10.1109/PROC.1967.5619

Amplitude-frequency effects in VHF quartz resonators
W. H. HortonG. E. Hague
Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and Exposition, 2005.
Year: 2005
Page: 10 pp., DOI: 10.1109/FREQ.2005.1574037