Kenneth Duerksen to Speak at SWOSU Physics Alumni Banquet

Kenneth Duerksen 

Dr. Kenneth Duerksen will be guest speaker at this year’s 2011 Physics Spring Alumni Banquet scheduled Saturday, April 16, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

The banquet, which is open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Student Union Ballroom on the SWOSU campus. Duerksen, a 1966 graduate of SWOSU, will talk on “From Farm boy to Venus and Computer Chips—Through SWOSU.”

Tickets are $15 per person. Advance reservations are necessary for catering needs. Call SWOSU Professor Dr. Terry Goforth at 580.774.3109 or email by April 13.

Duerksen grew up near Corn, where he helped his father farm.  He graduated from Corn High School in 1962 and began his physics study at Southwestern State College (now SWOSU) that fall.  Following graduation in 1966 with his B.S. in physics, he participated in a summer internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory working in the Health Physics Division.  After some graduate study at the University of Arkansas, Duerksen taught two years at Westark Community College in Fort Smith (AR), developing the school’s physics curriculum.  In the following years, Duerksen pursued a graduate degree in physics at Oklahoma State University.  He was granted a M.S. degree for work started at Southwestern and eventually earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1974. 

Following graduate studies, he utilized his SWOSU and OSU experience on the NASA Pioneer Venus program, a project in the physics department at the University of Texas at Dallas.  In 1979, he entered the semiconductor industry at Honeywell Optoelectronics in Dallas, Texas.  There he was a lead engineer on a FLIR Calibration system for the U.S. Navy and then became the Front End engineering manager. In 1981, Duerksen joined the Varian Associates Semiconductor Equipment Division as an account manager. In 1988, he started his own company, ETATEC SALES, representing various semiconductor equipment companies and high vacuum equipment. In 1994, Ken joined Tokyo Electron Limited where he developed semiconductor processes. In 2007, he was granted a U.S. Patent for this work. 

Forty-three years after graduation from SWOSU, both he and his wife Nikki retired from their respective careers. They live on a ranch near Buda, Texas, south of Austin.