Richard F. Bader, a visionary engineer, received the Award For Entrepreneurial Leadership from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) during its annual black-tie benefit known as Celebration.
The festive evening of dining and dancing was held Nov. 14 at the Pleasantdale Chateau, West Orange. The proceeds from Celebration will benefit the Dorman Honors College Scholarship fund, which provides financial support to some of NJIT’s best and most motivated scholars.
Bader, of Saratoga, Calif., graduated from Newark College of Engineering (NCE) in 1960 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. NCE grew into NJIT in 1975 with the addition of the New Jersey School of Architecture. From the start of his career, Bader distinguished himself as a visionary engineer and technological entrepreneur. He credits NJIT with giving him the education, especially in semiconductor technology and research orientation, that led to his success in the Silicon Valley high-tech arena.
Bader’s first job after graduating from NJIT was as an engineer at Lockheed Corporation, where he designed systems to automate the checking of the guidance controls for the Polaris ballistic missile. In the mid-1960s, he joined Fairchild Semiconductor to help apply a new technology ? integrated circuits ? to existing transistor-based designs. He rose rapidly to become one of the firm’s leading experts in this field.
After earning an M.B.A. at University of Santa Clara, Bader left Fairchild to launch Integrated Microsystems, San Jose, Calif., which produced the integrated circuitry for the seat-entertainment systems on 747 and L1011 airliners, as well as for some of the first Timex digital watches. He sold that company after five years.
In the early 1970s, Bader joined National Semiconductor, Santa Clara, Calif., and was placed in charge of all digital calculator and video game operations. Under his leadership, the corporation turned out more than a million calculators a month to capture about 60 percent of the worldwide market.
In 1975, Bader became the CEO of Compression Labs, San Jose, Calif., a small consulting business. Under his direction, the company developed and patented a digital compression technology for video teleconferencing that came to dominate the market. He spent four years at Compression Labs as president and CEO, a period in which the company went public and reached $250 million in annual sales before it was sold.
Towards the end of the 1970s, he saw an exciting opportunity in software for personal computers. Unlike his other companies, which were financed with venture capital, he funded Eclectic Systems himself. His new company produced operating systems that competed with Microsoft’s offerings.
Bader began Raytel Medical Corporation in 1980 to provide workstations and digital compression technology for transmitting diagnostic data such as X-ray, CT and MRI images over telephone lines to remote diagnostic facilities as well as over local area networks throughout hospitals.
Raytel was a major healthcare provider by the time of its 1995 initial public offering, providing services ranging from remote monitoring of pacemaker patients and detection of cardiac events to multi-modal diagnostic imaging services and cardiac catheritization procedures. Serving some 200,000 patients annually, the company operated two heart centers at major hospitals, 15 independent imaging centers in the Mid-Atlantic states and large multi-specialty clinics in Florida Louisiana and Texas. In 1997, Raytel’s highly secure Internet-based Patient Management Database received the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Medical Bronze Medal.
Bader resigned from Raytel in 2002 when it was acquired by Israeli-based SHL - Telemedicine Ltd. He is now engaged in another potential medical-device start-up company. He also consults, is a limited partner in a venture capital fund and sits on the board of directors of a start-up. In his spare time, he is writing a high-tech adventure novel.