SETI Institute gets new board member – Stephen Trimberger

Dr. Stephen Trimberger is the newest addition to the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees following a meeting of the board on July 29, 2022.

Trimberger is a Silicon Valley technology veteran who holds approximately 250 patents. He will be part of the board with responsibilities including strategic, policy and financial oversight with committees focused on governance, development, branding and technology IP. New Trustees serve an initial one-year term, followed by renewable three-year terms with no term limit.

Trimberger is the author of five books, including one of the first textbooks on electronic design automation and one of the first on FPGAs. In 1999 he founded the Trimberger Family Foundation, a non-profit organization with charitable programs supporting science and technology, amateur athletics, education and veterans. Since its founding, he has served as President of the Trimberger Family Foundation, managing operations and overseeing programs.

Trimberger received his PhD degree from the California Institute of Technology. While at Caltech, he joined the Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey (PCAS) project with principal investigator Gene Shoemaker, operated by Eleanor “Glo” Helin. PCAS searched for asteroids that could potentially impact planets, including Earth. In recognition of his contributions to this project, minor planet 2990 was named “Trimberger.”

“The SETI Institute is fortunate to welcome Dr. Trimberger to our Board of Trustees,” said Dan Lankford, Chair of the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees. “Steve brings a unique and valuable background to the Board and a wealth of experience in intellectual property management, highly relevant to the Institute’s growing focus on technology development.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the SETI Institute,” said Trimberger. “I have the opportunity to work with some of the smartest people on this planet looking for intelligent life elsewhere. The SETI Institute is investigating some of the most interesting and challenging problems of our time, from planetary systems to the very nature of life itself. The SETI Institute’s outreach spreads science results widely, reaching tens of thousands of people per week. The SETI Institute carries out this work from the position of an independent organization, permitting the institute to ask and answer questions that others my find uncomfortable.”

From 1988 until 2017, Dr. Trimberger was employed at Xilinx, rising to the position of Xilinx Fellow, where he touched every aspect of programmable logic and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. After retiring from Xilinx, he was a Program Manager in the Microelectronics Technology Office at DARPA and a researcher at the University of Maryland and the University of Florida.

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