On this day, August 20 in the year 1927, the inventor of sensors for aeronautic, automotive, and industrial applications was born. His name was Fred Kavli, the founder of a company bearing his name.
Fred Kavli was born and grew up in the small agricultural town of Eresfjord, Norway. His father left for the United States when he was only one year old. To finance his studies, he and his brother made wood briquettes that were sold as fuel for automobiles. In 1955, he received a physics degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology. After graduation, he moved to the US where he found work in an engineering company in Los Angeles.
In 1958, Fred solicited funds for the establishment of Kavli Corporation to produce the sensors that he himself designed. The business was successful and soon, it became the largest producer of sensors and his clients included National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), General Electric and Ford Motor Company.
In 2000, Kavli Corporation was sold to French-owned Schneider Electric for $340 million. He immediately founded the Kavli Foundation to promote science for the advancement of humanity. To date, the foundation has donated funds for the establishment of 16 Kavli institutes in different universities.
Fred Kavli died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 86.