“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
~Thomas Campbell, Physicist
On Sunday, February 9, GE Global Research lost a co-worker and friend when Zach Stum died unexpectedly. News of his death brought shock and confusion as many of us who knew Zach tried to grasp how a young father of two (and one on the way) could be gone. When contemplating all that Zach accomplished at work as well in the community, the sense of loss was profound. Zach was an outstanding engineer, a man who led by example, and an innovative leader. Outside of the lab, he was a family man and someone who truly lived life with a positive attitude.
Zach joined GE as an engineer in January 2006. Educated at Penn State and Cornell, his academic credentials were of the highest caliber. It did not take long for Zach to establish himself not only as a person of great intellect but as an individual capable of providing innovative ideas as well as solutions that he was able to skillfully execute as a Lead SiC Device Engineer.
He took every opportunity available to expand his knowledge base, authoring approximately 16 scientific papers and 20 GE reports. He was a key contributor to several winning grants and his SiC and academic research efforts resulted in 11 US patent awards and 5 patent applications pending. Global Research recognized Zach’s many contributions by awarding him the MNST Robert N. Hall Award for outstanding personal achievement. Most recently he was honored as a member of the MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) team that earned the 2012 GE Global Research Whitney Award for outstanding technical achievement.
Education was important to Zach as evidenced by the pursuit of his PhD at RPI that he was scheduled to complete in 2015. Zach enjoyed his role as a teacher as well as a student, serving as a teaching and research assistant during his academic career. Zach brought those skills to GE, functioning as an instructor for the Edison Program. He led the performance and yield improvement initiatives for the Next Generation SiC MOSFET devices and is also credited with assisting in the development of the world’s best SiC 1200V power MOSFET device. In all areas, Zach chose to lead by example.
Outside of work Zach was actively involved in his church and Schenectady City Mission. It was not unusual for him to be the first to volunteer and first to show up to offer a helping hand, and he always did so with a positive attitude and a smile. Zach’s laugh was infectious and one of the personal things I will miss along with the great conversations we had about families and parenting. His face would light up when speaking of his wife, Diane, their children, Carolyn, Jocelyn and the baby expected in June. Zach exhibited pride in his work, his accomplishments and most of all, his family.
Zach Stum was an integral part of the research center and a valuable contributor to Micro Nano Structures Technology. He truly exemplified the values of GE. The impact of his loss will be far reaching. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Zach and to call him a friend.