Inducted May 2013
Richard (Rich) Nedbal is credited with revolutionizing computer-aided manufacturing software for printed circuit fabrication. An electrical engineer who graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1966, Nedbal worked at Carnegie Mellon Institute from 1970 to 1976, designing system logic and integrated circuits for electronic fuel injection systems prototypes. When the research program ended, Nedbal moved to California and rose through the ranks at American Microsystems, a semiconductor design and manufacturing company. In 1982, he founded Personal CAD Systems, with the goal to develop lower cost electronic CAD tools. By 1988, P-CAD, as the company came to be known, owned the largest installed base of users in the EDA industry, with over 10,000.Two years later, P-CAD had over 100,000 users, at which point Nedbal sold the firm to Accel Technologies.
Having shaken up the CAD
industry, Nedbal then set his sights on CAM tools. He founded Advanced CAM Technologies in 1994. At ACT, Nedbal changed the idea of what a CAM tool could be, as its signature tool, called CAM350, was the first CAM tool to adopt many traits of a CAD
tool. After Pads Software's acquisition of ACT, in 1998, Nedbal stayed on for a year, then left the industry to purse a second career building injection systems for car engines.