Werner Weidemann was born in Germany in 1943. After receiving his engineering degree in electronics, he began his career with Rohde & Schwartz, Munich, working in their laboratory with quartz and rubidium vapor oscillator technologies. He joined Efratom GmbH, working with Ernst Jechart, its founder and inventor of the miniature rubidium vapor oscillator. In 1973, Werner, his boss Ernst, and Heinz Badura came to the USA to begin the Efratom California operation, leaving Ernst’s partner behind to run Efratom Munich.
During his stay in the US, Werner made astonishing contributions to the world of precision time and frequency. First, he was instrumental in bringing his boss’s FRK Rb oscillator to a low cost, high performance unit, which became well known throughout the globe. Second, in the mid ‘70s, he was a principal team member in the development of the first production Rb oscillators used on the initial GPS satellites; accomplished in a teaming relationship with (then) Rockwell International. His contribution to GPS is noted in the ‘History of GPS’ article, GPS World magazine, June 2010 edition. Third, in the mid ‘80s, he designed the world’s smallest Rb oscillator, the FRS, which dominated the telecom market till the late ‘90s.
He remained with Efratom through its transitions to Ball Aerospace and Datum Inc. Early 2000, Werner joined Odetics Telecom, which became FEI-Zyfer in 2003, where he supported various advancements in the commercial and military Rb oscillator technologies. In 2007, Werner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away in October 2008. He will be sorely missed in the global precision time and frequency industry.