Class of 1971EE, 1973MEE
David Bursky is a Silicon Valley legend, a man who combined his expertise as an electrical engineer with a talent for journalism and who since the early 1970s has been a major voice in industry magazines that have become must reading for members of the semiconductor community.
He holds advanced degrees in electrical engineering, doing his undergraduate and graduate work at the College, and finding out at the same time that he enjoyed writing about a field that he loves. For Bursky, that confluence of events started when joined the staff of Vector, the Engineering School magazine, as a copy editor and gained momentum when he wrote an article about his summer at the Physics Department of the University of Jerusalem.
Bursky did embark on a brief stint in engineering, working as a civilian electronics engineer at Fort Monmouth, N.J., but in 1973, at the cusp of the Information Age, he decided that he wanted his part in the semiconductor revolution to be as a chronicler of events. If electronics were analogous to life science, his reporting has been focused on the newest type of plankton, the building blocks from which new generations of computers have emerged.
He went to work for Electronic Design magazine — widely considered as a leader in its field — in 1973, helped by what he describes as “a CCNY connection.” He held various editorial positions, covering technology and product developments in the electronics industry. In the fall of 1999, Bursky was appointed editor-in-chief. Early in 2003, he was named editor-at-large, remaining with the publication until 2006. During his 33 years at the magazine, he was responsible for defining its direction and content. In addition to his management responsibilities, he has reported on all aspects of digital semiconductor technology.
Bursky was cited in a 1988 article in The San Jose Mercury News as one of the 100 most influential people in California’s Silicon Valley. He is one of several Electronic Design editors who have been awarded the Jesse H. Neal Award for Editorial Excellence, regarded as “the Pulitzer Prize of the business media” and one of the industry’s most prestigious editorial honors.
After leaving Electronic Design, Bursky took on several tasks. He was briefly with EE Times, then became a senior contributing editor for Chip Design magazine as well as technical editorial manager at Maxim Integrated Products, developing industry trend and technical articles that would be published by various trade journals and web sites. In 2011, he became a principal in PRN Engineering Services in Sunnyvale, Calif., providing freelance articles and consulting to the semiconductor industry.
Bursky travels extensively to interview company executives and to attend trade shows and symposia. He has taught digital logic technology at the former RCA Institute in New York and has been a guest lecturer at the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. He has often served on the program committees and as session moderator of numerous conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and similar industry-sponsored events. He has also written six books on topics ranging from personal computers to semiconductor memories.