May 2018

Meet Davis Product Designer: Richard Anderson

For those who follow the 10,000-hour rule popularized in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, it is hypothesized that true mastery comes with time applied to a problem. Over the course of Richard Anderson’s career with Davis Instruments, he has applied over 40,000 hours toward perfecting our weather products and components. We believe that it is one of the many reasons our weather stations have stood the test of time.

Richard Anderson has been a familiar face at Davis for many years.

Richard Anderson grew up in Oakland, CA and found his initial inspiration for electrical engineering from his father, who ran a radio repair shop. He received his Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University via a Navy scholarship. While Richard was expecting his Navy career to begin on a destroyer in the Pacific, his background as an EE resulted in three years of active duty working on early computers at the NSA.

Here he is “back in the day,” when that computer was not an antique.

After the Navy, Richard went to work at Fairchild Semiconductors designing the word’s first integrated circuits, eventually moving into the Fairchild Space and Defense Systems. One of the highlights of Richard’s career was working with industry pioneers Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore.

Richard then worked at Varian Associates, consulted, and wrote books on the topics of integrated circuits. After an EE career of system and circuit design, logic design, programming, and writing he shifted his attention to product design, having been inspired by an article in TIME magazine about Stanford’s Product Design program. The program was led by Rolf Faste who had a passion for human-centered design and design research. Richard shared a portfolio of his sketches with Rolf and gained admittance to the program, receiving in 1989 his second MS degree.

Not ready to retire, you’ll find Richard at his desk, thinking up improvements to our products.

Davis Instruments was Richard’s one and only stop after completing Stanford’s Product Design program. It was at Davis where he was able to merge his background as an Electrical Engineer with his skills as a Mechanical Engineer and Product Designer to develop products that helped Davis pioneer the personal weather station market.

Precision matters, says Richard. We design our products to the tightest tolerances for consistent manufacturing and assembly, which results in dependable, quality products.

Richard says that one of his favorite aspects of his time at Davis Instruments is the variety of products and problems he has worked on, which include the anemometer, the rain collection system, the radiation shields, and solar and UV sensors, to name only a few. He has always appreciated the way Davis focuses on making high-quality, long-lasting products that are incrementally improved over time, rather than quickly churning out low-quality products. He was also excited when his Vantage Pro2 anemometer design withstood a record-setting 200 mph wind gust on St. Barthelemy during Hurricane Irma.

Thank you to Richard for the continued service to Davis Instruments and our valued customers.

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