Micro/Nanofabrication Lab mourns one of its own

Colleagues of the late Gee-Minn (Jimmy) Chang, an engineer at UC Berkeley’s Marvell Nanolab, formerly Berkeley Microlab, wrote this obituary to honor his contributions to the lab, to the campus and to the many students he mentored.

R. I. P. Gee-Minn (Jimmy) Chang, 1956-2012

Gee-Minn (Jimmy) Chang died of a heart attack suddenly on March 6. He was our colleague at UC Berkeley’s Micro/Nanofabrication Laboratory and worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory previously. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Edna, and daughters Anna, 24, a Berkeley graduate and Lydia, 21, who is currently a student at Cal. The memorial service took place at the Chinese for Christ Berkeley Church on March 17.

Gee-Minn (Jimmy) ChangJimmy received his B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan in 1978 and M.S. degree in Material Science from UC Berkeley in 1986. He started working at LBNL in 1988, and transferred to the Microlab on campus in May 1996. He gained experience as an equipment development technician in the Microlab for a year then continued as a semiconductor process engineer at Integrated Device Technology (IDT) in San Jose. Jimmy came back to the Microlab in May 2000 and worked here as a Senior Development Engineer until his untimely death last week.

Jimmy was a wonderful person to work with, always smiling, ready to help, no matter how small or large the problem. He was patient and even-tempered with everyone — students, colleagues and supervisors. No one from the staff can recall Jimmy being otherwise.

Students especially appreciated Jimmy’s talents and attitude. This is a quote from the EE Graduate Students’ Staff Appreciation award in 2010: “Jimmy is an invaluable asset to the Microlab. He is a treasure chest of knowledge, always there to give feedback and help with lab issues. Without his upkeep, so many of us lab members would never have a chance to succeed.”

Jimmy mentored several summer interns over the years. Here is a sample of their testimonies. Bonny McKeon wrote in 2003: “Jimmy Chang, this project would still be a foreign language if it were not for your knowledge, patience, and guidance.”

Sonia Ganju and Andrea Imhof, in 2006: “Thank you, who guided us through the lab our first few weeks, sacrificing your time to explain each tool’s objective and role in the fabrication process: Jimmy Chang.”

Emmeline Lam, 2007: Thank you to “Jimmy Chang for being a patient and understanding mentor, and making C-MOS processing understandable.”

Sara Ip, 2009: “Thank you, Jimmy Chang, for being a patient, helpful, and insightful mentor.

Marie Lu, 2011: “Thank you Jimmy Chang for being a wonderful mentor, answering all of my questions and teaching me so many amazing things!”

Jimmy received an ERSO Spot Award in 2007 and was again nominated in 2009, for leading a successful special project which required team work between process and equipment engineering. A telling comment from the nominating document, written by his engineering manager, Sia Parsa: “Jimmy has a great sense of humor, good initiative and drive, very committed to getting the job done.”

We lost a great colleague, the university a dedicated employee. We are all richer for having known Jimmy and poorer for his loss. Requiescat in pacem.

Katalin Voros, R&D Engineering Manager
Engineering Research Support Organization
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California at Berkeley
http://microlab.berkeley.edu