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2010 Distinguished Alumnus: Lawrence Ives

Lawrence Ives (BS ’73, MS ’76, PhD ’84 Physics) was selected as the College’s 2010 Distinguished Alumnus. Established in 1990, the PAMS Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni whose exceptional achievements in business, education, research or public service have brought honor and distinction to PAMS and NC State.

Ives first came to NC State as a freshman in the late 1960s. It was a tumultuous time on our campus, like many others across the country. But for a young man from Beaufort, North Carolina, it was a renaissance – a chance to learn about a broad array of topics both inside and outside the classroom.

During his years on campus, Ives made sure to experience everything else that student life had to offer. He got involved with the anti-war and civil rights movements. He went to nearly every home football and men?s basketball game. He served as vice president and president of the Graduate Student Association. He worked as a teaching assistant and later worked as a part-time electronics technician in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, participating in oceanographic research on North Carolina’s coasts and estuaries.

After receiving his PhD in plasma physics, Ives left Raleigh for Palo Alto, California, and a position with Varian Associates developing radio frequency sources for applications in research, defense and industry. He was later promoted to manager of Varian’s High-Power Klystron Department, which established the most advanced computer-analysis system in the microwave tube industry.

In 1994, Ives established Calabazas Creek Research, which has become internationally recognized as a leader in the development of advanced, innovative technologies for the high-power RF community. He continues to serve as president of the company, which specializes in very high-power microwave and millimeter-wave sources and components for research in high-energy physics, fusion energy development, and advanced defense systems.

Ives has served two full terms on the PAMS Foundation Board. He has hosted an NC State alumni event in his home in the San Francisco Bay area. He has endowed a scholarship in PAMS and has established a bequest in his will that will add to that endowment. He continues to be engaged with the Department of Physics through research partnerships and as a member of its advisory board. He also has strong relationships with the Department of Mathematics and the Center for Research in Scientific Computation.

“Two things haven’t changed since Lawrence left Raleigh for the West Coast,” noted PAMS Dean Dan Solomon. “He’s still the same renaissance man he was as an undergrad, dabbling in everything from sailing to wine making and, even after 25 years, his relationship with his alma mater continues to grow and evolve.”

Ives was recently quoted in a university publication as saying, “My professional success would not have been achieved without the education I received at NCSU. I will be eternally grateful for the experiences and education provided by the university.”