Karl J. Puttlitz, Ph.D


AAS, 1961
Chemical and Metallurgical
State University of New York
Agriculture and Technical Institute

BS, 1965
Metallurgical Engineering

MS, 1967
Metallurgical Engineering

PhD, 1971
Metallurgy and Material Science

Dr. Karl J. Puttlitz has won major outstanding innovation and master inventor awards; is credited with more than 50 published inventions including U.S. and foreign patents; won outstanding paper awards for his scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals; co-authored and co-edited two technical handbooks still considered among the best in the marketplace; and in his spare time wrote a fiction suspense novel that won a national book award.

His areas of expertise include component and assembly failure analysis, mechanical and metallurgical testing, metal deposition techniques, micro- and macro-bonding, alloy and plating bath development, and corrosion-related mechanisms and technologies.

From 1961 – 2004, he was employed by the IBM Corp. in positions with increasing responsibility for research, development, product engineering, and manufacturing technology. At IBM, he and a collaborator introduced a flip chip interconnection technology that created a breakthrough in semiconductor assembly and packaging. That success has enabled electronic device manufacturers to deliver smaller, more powerful and more reliable products.

His published inventions earned him the IBM designation of Master Inventor (1995). IBM also presented him with its highest innovation award, the Corporate Outstanding Invention Award (1991). He authored 49 scientific papers and presented more than 50 workshops or tutorials related to micro-processing, micro-interconnection technology, and micro-and macro-failure analysis. He has presented internationally as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

His long list of service activities includes industry committees working on invention disclosure review, university mentoring, and university research on critical technology needs.

In 2004, he founded Puttlitz Engineering Consultancy to serve as an expert and lecturer on the cause of failure in components or assemblies, including prosthetic and medical devices, automotive and recreational vehicles, and large structures like bridge cables and amusement park rides.

He and his wife, Dianne, live in Wappingers Falls, New York. They have four grown children.

Initiated in 2000, the Red Cedar Circle Award recognizes MSU chemical engineering and materials science alumni for their distinguished service to the profession and outstanding commitment to the community. The Red Cedar River, which passes through the center of the MSU campus, is a favorite gathering place. This award is named in recognition of the importance of this landmark to MSU alumni.