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Randall (Randy) Ragan, founder of Ragan Technologies, Inc., died May 5, 2009, at the age of 94. Ragan was trained in ceramics at The Ohio State University from 1934-1939. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and retired as a Lt Commander. He joined Gladding, McBean & Co. after the war, working in research. While there, he invented and patented a process for making conductive floor tile for hospital operating rooms to drain off static electricity and eliminate explosions. He also invented and patented the process of roll compaction for making thin, inexpensive wall tile. This process was later adapted by others to roll compacting insulating ceramics for high-temperature printed circuit boards.
Ragan left Gladding, McBean to found MICROELECTRON, where he developed resistive and conductive thick film printable pastes, which were a key to the RCA MicroModule program of the 1950s. He sold his company, moved to San Diego in “Ceramic Valley USA” (aka, Sorrento Valley), and continued to innovate. He invented the thick film fuse in wide use in electronic hardware and the thick film potentiometer.
Ragan’s retirement was brief. He formed Ragan Technologies and worked with the roll compaction process to create new uses for the technology, including high-shear compaction and zero shrink ceramics. He continued his creative work at a new company, Ragan Labs, LLC.
Ragan was an emeritus member of the American Ceramic Society and a charter member of ISHM, later IMAPS. In 1998, he received the John A. Wagnon Jr. Technical Achievement Award from the International Society for Hybrid Microelectronics, which cited him as a “pioneer in the microelectronics and electronics packaging industry” and for “starting the era of electronic-ceramic devices that paved the way for modern microelectronics technology.” In 1991, he was given the Samuel Geijsbeek Award by the American Ceramic Society in recognition of his contributions to the art of ceramics.
Visit www.ragantech.com for more information.