Father of Personal Computing Chuck Peddle Keynoting “Disruptive Innovation Symposium”

The College of Engineering was honored to present Chuck Peddle, the father of personal computing, with the Edward T. Bryand Engineering award today. Dean Dana Humphrey presented Chuck with these awards as part of a symposium on Disruptive Innovation.

Chuck spoke to the standing room only crowd about the importance of not being afraid to shake things up in the world of technology. He also spoke to the importance of working as part of a team, sharing that his lengthy successes would not have been possible without those around him. His last comments to the crowd were to encourage faculty to ensure that each graduating student had the confidence and skills needed to go out and change the world.

Peddle graduated from the University of Maine in 1959 with a degree in Engineering Physics. Peddle began his career at General Electric where he developed the concept of Distributed Intelligence. In 1973 Chuck joined Motorola to assist with the development of the 6800 Microprocessor. Seeing the potential for a cheaper microprocessor, Chuck left to form MOS Technologies.  It was here that Chuck designed the seminal 6502 microprocessor. Through measures such as simple on-board features, standardized die sizes and an industry leading 70% manufacturing success rate, Chuck was able to release the chip for $25. The low cost of this chip allowed for the development of the world’s first personal computer, the Commodore PET. Other companies like Apple, Atari and Nintendo also used the chip in their groundbreaking products.

Peddle will also be presented two awards while visiting his alma mater. The Edward T. Bryand Distinguished Engineering Award will be presented directly before the symposium and the Alumni Career Award at the Alumni Achievement Awards later in the evening. Peddle is returning to Maine from his home in Santa Cruz, California to receive these honors.

The College of Engineering EDWARD T. BRYAND DISTINGUISHED ENGINEERING AWARD was established in 1979.  The purpose of the award is to give recognition to an individual, outside the University, who has, by his/her activities, achievements, and scholarship brought distinction to the profession of engineering.  Mr. Bryand, UMaine Class of 1952, the inventor of the honeycomb roll systems, founded his own company Honeycomb Systems, Inc. in 1960. Honeycomb Systems became widely used in the paper industry, allowing him to build his two man operation into an innovative multi-national enterprise. He sold the company in 1988 to Valmet, Inc.