William E. Kunz

To William E. Kunz for his contributions to the U.S. space program through advances in microwave electronics, surveillance, reconnaissance, and countermeasures.

President and Founder, WEK Technologies, Inc., Protola Valley, California, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mountain Network Solutions, Inc., Campbell, California

  • BS, Electrical Engineering, 1960
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, 1961
  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, 1964

As part of his PhD thesis, William Kunz designed and built an electron-bunching accelerator that was powered by a 35-GHz microwave source. This achievement still stands as a record for high-frequency electron acceleration. After graduation, he joined the Watkins-Johnson Company. Positions over the years included head of Space Communication Section, manager of the Systems Division of the Space Communication and Telemetry Department, manager of the Solid State Division, and vice president and manager of the tunable filters, multioctave local oscillators and frequency converters, microwave-integrated circuits, and thin-film devices. He was also responsible for developing a power amplifier for the Mariner 7 Mars flyby and an amplifier used in the command and communication system of the instrumentation unit of the Saturn V rocket. His technical team designed and produced the traveling-wave tube amplifier for the Pioneer 10 Space Probe.

In 1989, after 25 successful years with Watkins-Johnson, Kunz founded WEK Technologies, Inc., which specializes in technology management and investment. In addition to his association with WEK Technologies, he recently became executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mountain Network Solutions, which works in the field of electronic data management systems and software.

Current as of 1992.