Fred Kavli is a Norwegian-born physicist, business leader, innovator, and philanthropist who is dedicated to supporting research and education that has a positive, long-term impact on the human condition.
Mr Kavli received his education in physics at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, financing his studies with proceeds from a business venture he and his brother ran as teenagers during World War II. He came to the United States in 1956 to launch a business and two years later founded the Kavlico Corporation, located in Moorpark, California. Under his leadership, the company became one of the world's largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautic, automotive, and industrial applications. The company received many distinguished awards, and Mr. Kavli patented numerous technological breakthroughs. He remained CEO and sole shareholder of the company until he divested his interest in 2000.
He subsequently established the Kavli Foundation to support scientific research. The Foundation has established research institutes at leading universities worldwide, sponsored scientific symposia and workshops, and partnered to establish international prizes recognizing research excellence in astrophysics, neuroscience, and nanoscience.
Mr Kavli has endowed two chairs in engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara - the Fred Kavli Chair in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Technology and the Chair in Optoelectronics and Sensors. Through the Foundation, he has also endowed chairs in neuroscience at Columbia University, Earth systems sciences at the University of California, Irvine, nanoscience at the University of California, Los Angeles and theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.
Mr. Kavli and the Foundation are sponsoring research institutes at leading universities worldwide. These include research institutes in neuroscience at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of California San Diego and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology; in nanoscience at the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Harvard University and the Delft University of Technology; in astrophysics and cosmology at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Cambridge and Peking University; and in theoretical physics at the University of California, Santa Barabara and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.