Warren P. Waters was an American physicist, electrical engineer, inventor, and a machine gunman during World War II.
Waters joined the US Army in 1942 and began training to become a pilot. He later transferred to the 386th Infantry stationed in Northern France, where he was wounded in action. Waters was awarded with the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his service.
Between 1947 and 1951, Waters spent summers at Los Alamos, New Mexico testing rockets after the conclusion of the Manhattan Project. He worked alongside several Manhattan Project scientists, such as physicist Edward Teller. During this time, Waters was an undergraduate student studying physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA.
In 1952, Waters was hired by Hughes Aircraft Company, where he conducted research with transistors and semiconductors. He was later employed by Texas Instruments, Rockwell International, and Western Digital. He became a solid-state engineer in 1954 after receiving his Master’s in Physics. Waters pursued doctoral research, but refused to quit his job to write the dissertation as required by USC at the time.
Waters has 11 patents contributing to the advancement of the field of integrated circuits. He was on the team that invented the silicon wafer, which provided a cheap, lightweight, and durable product that could carry the charge of integrated circuits for use in telecommunication satellites. He is also responsible for designing the landing mechanisms used during the 1967 experiment that launched the first unmanned spacecraft to the Moon, in a mission known as the Surveyor Project.
For more information, you can visit the website, “Warren P. Waters: An Early Pioneer in Semi-Conductors and Micro-Chips,” and his Wikipedia page.