Alec Nigel Broers

His criticisms of the organisation eventually led him back into the mainstream and into product development. This was one of the most highly stressful areas of the whole company. After two to three years of this, the lure of research was again too much and in 1984 Alec Broers was tempted back to Cambridge to the Chair of Electrical Engineering. His return to Cambridge and academia meant a drastic reduction in salary (a cut of about 80%) and with two children in private schools he considers it now to have been an irresponsible move. At the time he was fascinated with the idea of returning to Cambridge with its ideal atmosphere for pure research.

Alec BroersIt was this move that really brought the Department to the forefront in the world of nanotechnology research, and Broers remembers struggling to raise funds to build a clean room - something that was made possible when the Soil Mechanics Division moved to West Cambridge. However, as Head of Electrical Engineering, Alec was keen to maintain the breadth of research in Electrical Sciences from power engineering to nanotechnology.

The four year Tripos was introduced by Jacques Heyman at that time, and this was very much welcomed in the area of electrical sciences where there was so much new material to cover. Both nanotechnology, introduced by Professor Broers and Prof John Carroll's opto-electronics are areas that have grown and flourished since those days.