Memories of Steve Weir

& -September 02, 2015

Last week, the signal-integrity community was left stunned when we heard about the death of Steve Weir. Steve was one of those "DesignCon luminaries," someone who contributed not only to the conference through his papers and panel appearances, but through his willingness to help anyone with an engineering problem.

Although neither of us knew Steve for very long, he left his mark. Steve made an impression when asked join a DesignCon 2014 panel, "SI and EMI Are Related, Get Used to It." We repeated the panel at DesignCon 2015. Ransom Stephens, who recommended Steve for the panel, was right, for Steve's style and wit certainly added to the panel's liveliness.

Steve was what you might call a "self-made engineer." He didn't have a college degree, nor did he need one. Steve knew how to teach himself what he needed to know and in doing so, he became one of the most respected people in the signal-integrity community. Engineers with PhD's respected him for his keen technical insight, his love of technology, and his sense of humor. But, rather than go on about Steve, we'll let the community do the talking. First from Scott McMorrow, who received call from Steve's brother Tim with the sad news and let the rest of us know.

Steve was a friend and a colleague to many of us. His technical contributions to the SI List, his spirit, and his wit will be sorely missed by many. At DesignCon, let's gather and raise a glass to Steve."

--Scott McMorrow, Consultant - R&D, Teraspeed Consulting - A Division of Samtec

I was saddened to hear of Steve Weir's passing. I knew Steve for almost 20 years. I first met him at DesignCon. Every year, we would get together at DesignCon and talk each other's ears off. He was a fountain of knowledge not just about SI but about anything science or engineering based, and about life. I have never found a topic he was not knowledgeable with or had not thought deeply about with his own opinions.

I invited him to participate in every panel I ran at DesignCon and always introduced him as the smartest person I knew. As smart as we was, he was also gracious and polite to others. I never heard him say a bad thing about or to anyone. He always enthusiastically passed along the latest cool thing he learned from someone else. And since he was so well connected, he knew everyone and was involved in many clever endeavors, he always had something fascinating to share.

When we had a booth at DesignCon, he would always stop by to chat. Susan, my wife, would make sure she had an extra chair in our booth, she called the "Steve Weir chair," so he could sit and chat with her. It was a win-win. She got to catch up on all the latest industry gossip and Steve was like an "engineer magnet" for our booth. Everyone wanted to stop and seek Steve's opinion, which he freely gave.

Susan would often tell me how she didn't get enough of her Steve Weir dose on a given day because too many other people took his time away from her, but maybe he would stop by again the next day.

Steve will be missed by Susan and me and the rest of our SI/PI/EMI community.

--Eric Bogatin

My favorite memories of Steve are from DesignCon. He would make a point of stopping by our booth every year just to say hi and share his humor. I would be preoccupied (I usually am), and I'd turn around and he would just be standing there. It came to be one of the things I looked forward to every year. I really appreciated the fact that an engineer as great as Steve would make the time to come talk to me.
--Todd Westerhoff, VP, Semiconductor Relations, Signal Integrity Software

What I liked about Steve was his willingness to help out anyone who asked him. When we needed a panel member he was there. When we needed a paper on a subject that was bothering engineers, he willingly took time to write it and present it for us. When someone posted a question on the SI List, he almost always provided an answer.
Most of all, he had a sense of humor that kept us looking for what his next prank or joke would be. They were always surprises and very witty.  He has left a very large hole in the SI community that will be hard to fill.

 --Lee Ritchey, President, Speeding Edge

Steve was very much an older Brother figure to me. I worked with him through my Teraspeed tenure, and in the beginning of Wild River Technology he provided us business and professional advice.   In many ways he was one of the most intelligent people, and capable engineers I have ever known, and in some other ways he lacked any notion of common sense and could come out of left field when you least expected or wanted it.  

We had our conflicts, we laughed at other people at times when we were really laughing at our own foibles. We got on each others nerves, shared philosophies regarding best practices in business, life, and shared a lot of humor; the bizarre sense of humor that only he was known for was disturbingly hysterical. A "how is Monkey Boy doing?" was all that was necessary to get his unbridled humor going.    

He was the worst person imaginable to share a lab working space with, especially when you were not working on the same (very stressful) project - he butt his nose into every discussion and issue. It drove me to complete madness on a couple of occasions. The real point is he was always trying to help.

He enriched my life. I am saddened by the loss, and will especially miss him at DesignCon, where he always made himself available to help others.
--Alfred P. Neves, Chief Technologist, Wildriver technology

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