Biography:Willis Whitfield

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Willis Whitfield
Known forInvention of the modern clean room

Willis Whitfield (December 6, 1919 – November 12, 2012[1][2]) was an American physicist and inventor of the modern cleanroom, a room with a low level of pollutants used in manufacturing or scientific research. His invention earned him the nickname, "Mr. Clean," from Time Magazine.[3][4]

Whitfield was born in Rosedale, Oklahoma, the son of a cotton farmer.[3]

An employee of the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, Whitfield created the initial plans for the cleanroom in 1960.[3] Prior to Whitfield's invention, earlier cleanrooms often had problems with particles and unpredictable airflows.[3] Whitfield solved this problem by designing his cleanrooms with a constant, highly filtered air flow to flush out impurities in the air.[3] Within a few years of its invention, sales of Whitfield's modern cleanroom had generated more than $50 billion in sales worldwide.[3]

Whitfield retired from Sandia in 1984.[4]

Whitfield died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 12, 2012, at the age of 92. His death was announced by officials at Sandia National Laboratories.[3]

References

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