Dr. Roger Wood has received the IEEE Magnetics Society 2009 Achievement Award “for contributions to the theory and practice of magnetic recording including read/write electronics, perpendicular recording, and the approach to 1 Terabit/sq.in densities”.
Dr. Wood hails originally from Bradford, Yorkshire, UK. In 1972, he received his B.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering from University College, London. From 1972 to 1975, he was with British Telecoms working on short-hop digital microwave links.
Dr. Wood’s fascination with magnetic recording started in 1975 at the University of British Columbia where his Ph.D. thesis involved recording satellite data onto a helical-scan tape recorder. In that thesis can be found the first reference to the widely-used “extracted dipulse” characterization technique that he subsequently popularized.
In 1979 he moved to Ampex Corporation where he was the inspiration for and driving-force behind the development of Partial-Response Maximum-Likelihood (PRML) detection. In 1985, the DCRS tape recorder became the first product ever shipped with PRML. For many years it was Ampex’s most successful product.
In 1986 Dr. Wood joined IBM where he managed groups in advanced channel development, recording systems, and disk drive prototyping. Many of Dr. Wood’s innovations have been in the area of signal-processing. These include the post-processor technique and the use of a time-varying trellis in detection. Both of these schemes together with generalized PRML are now ubiquitous in hard disk drives (HDD). In 1996 Dr. Wood enjoyed a year as Visiting Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore where he worked closely with the Data Storage Institute on a new detection process called multi-level decision feedback equalization and on an advanced HDD actuator design.
In 2003 Dr. Wood joined the newly formed Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Company, and took an 18-month assignment in Japan, where his activities focused on perpendicular recording. A long-time champion of this technology, he was delighted by its introduction into HDD products in 2007. He was lead engineer for the advanced HDD development efforts in perpendicular recording, resulting in a string of highly successful products.
Dr. Wood is perhaps best known for his controversial prediction in 1999 that conventional magnetic recording could be pushed to a limiting density of approximately 1 Terabit/sq.in., which is now widely accepted. Recently he has been instrumental in proposing an alternative recording architecture called two-dimensional magnetic recording. This approach relies on non-conventional writing techniques and two-dimensional readback and may extend the usefulness of conventional granular media to 10 Terabit/sq.in.
Dr. Wood has been an outstanding contributor to the magnetics community through his technical work in magnetic recording as well as through his activities in support of the IEEE Magnetics Society. Dr. Wood has authored more than 70 journal papers and holds 10 US patents. He is always ready to share his knowledge with students and fellow scientists and is a popular speaker, having given many invited talks at conferences and short-courses. He served as Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer in 1994. He has served as Chair of the INTERMAG, TMRC, and APMRC conferences, and in numerous other capacities including several terms on the Magnetics Society’s Administrative Committee. Dr. Wood is also a member of the Magnetics Society of Japan and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dr. Wood received the Technical Leadership Award of the National Storage Industry Consortium in 2008. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.