Awards > Awardee Interviews > Interview

Interview: Gottlieb Oehrlein

2019 John A. Thornton Memorial Award Recipient
Interviewed by Dick Brundle, October 23, 2019

BRUNDLE:  My name is Dick Brundle and I am here, along with Tom Beebe who is sitting in with me, to talk to Gottlieb Oehrlein, who is this year’s (2019) winner of the John A. Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture.  He has already given the lecture yesterday.  The title of the lecture was “Low temperature plasma and materials interactions: Foundations of nanofabrication and emerging novel applications at atmospheric pressure.”  The citation for his award was “For groundbreaking contributions to the fundamental understanding of plasma-surface interactions enabling micro- and nanofabrication, using plasma-assisted techniques, including plasma-based atomic layer etching.”  These citations are always very long.  [Laughs] 
So the idea of this interview is to talk about your origins and how you got where you are and maybe about some of your outside interests as well.  So I like to start off with when you were born, and maybe something about your parents’ background and your early school years.
OEHRLEIN:  Sure.  I was born on Christmas Day 1954 in Würzburg, Germany.  My parents, Edeltraud and Max Oehrlein, lived in a village nearby the town of Würzburg.  Würzburg is very close to the center of the European Union.  That’s probably unimportant for this talk, but it gives you an idea of where this is.
BRUNDLE:  So this village is pretty small, then.
OEHRLEIN:  It’s a small village, yes.  My parents owned a farm, and I grew up on the farm. What I learned there is hard work, and working with my family.  When I entered school I developed an interest in history.  I read a lot.  [Chuckles]  I really read a lot.
BRUNDLE:  This is in high school?
OEHRLEIN:  This was much earlier, elementary school. I read a lot of history, also novels and then ultimately physics and sciences.  I would say instrumental for me was one of my teachers that I had there.
BRUNDLE:  Still elementary school?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, this was a young teacher at the time who did natural science experiments in class, and was very supportive of my interests.  That is how I got into natural sciences.
BEEBE:  Go ahead and name the teacher.
OEHRLEIN:  Sure, his name is Klaus Lobenhofer, a wonderful teacher.  He is probably one of the most influential people in my life, and also instrumental for enabling me to go to the gymnasium, the most advanced of the German secondary schools.  It was quite rare at that time.
BRUNDLE:  What age is that when you go?
OEHRLEIN:  About 11.
BRUNDLE:  Okay, so prior to that.  Interesting because when I do these interviews, not everybody, but nearly everybody has a teacher at high school who made them enthusiastic about science.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, exactly.  Additionally, the farm was also a place where you could do a lot of independent work.  I always was working in the workshop and doing things, building equipment, and so forth.  It was very good practical training.
BRUNDLE:  So you were building scientific equipment then, doing some experiments at home on the farm?
OEHRLEIN:  Actually, equipment that you would use on the farm, but ultimately mechanical equipment that you could use in experiments.
BRUNDLE:  So you had a strong mechanical instrumental background, really, right from the beginning.
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.  I was very young then, which is typical.  Often children started to work alongside adults on farms typically, possibly even nowadays.
BRUNDLE:  Yeah.  But for you, see, that’s only ten years after the end of the war, so it was pretty typical.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes.  It was also a fascinating time because my parents initially had horses, and then get the first tractor, harvest combines and all that kind of machinery. One witnessed a technological evolution in a very compressed timeframe, and how they had to change constantly.  I would say that probably was the most important school for my life overall, growing up on that farm…
BRUNDLE:  Growing up on that farm and at the same time-- 
OEHRLEIN:  … working next to my parents, seeing them hard working and constantly learning and improving how they did the work, but also my teachers, who were extremely supportive.  I really am very thankful to them because they also gave me books.  It was very difficult at that time to access books, e.g. during vacations, because the books we used were owned by the schools, so you actually didn't have any school books on your own and you had to return them.  My teachers actually gave me books which I could continue to use and study.  So it was very nice, a very supportive atmosphere overall.  I finished my degree, the Abitur, which is a baccalaureate, and gave you the possibility to begin studying at the university.
BRUNDLE:  What age is that when you finished that?
OEHRLEIN:  I was at that time 19. In Germany at that time you had to go for 13 years to school, which is longer than nearly anywhere else. 
BRUNDLE:  And did you have any outstanding teachers there?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes.  I had very nice teachers.
BRUNDLE:  Physics?  Chemistry?
OEHRLEIN:  Physics certainly and what also was very nice was that one of my physics teacher introduced me to a dark room which we had at the school, and that I could use after hours. I developed an interest in photography at that time.  I still do that.  I have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures, actually.
BRUNDLE:  Oh!  You took one of the two of us when you came in, sitting together.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, it is basically my life’s memory, a record.  I was exposed to many very interesting individuals and teachers during that time, and I developed an interest both in physics and philosophy. When I began my studies at the university, I enrolled in both physics and philosophy.
BRUNDLE:  And that was the university…?
:  Würzburg, and probably the reason was that I wanted to continue to support my parents on the farm, which I did each day.  I studied full-time, but I also worked at home and also during the vacation periods.
BRUNDLE:  So you were still living at home all the time you were at Würzburg on the farm.
:  Yes, I commuted.  It was very difficult, and the studies there were very rigorous.
BRUNDLE:  Of course!  It’s Germany.  [Laughter]
OEHRLEIN:  Yeah, and it was a wonderful program.  I met many wonderful teachers, and also my peers there were very impressive and so many of them did extremely well subsequently.  There was a core of physics students, about 15 of them, who were fantastic.  At the beginning of our studies we had the beginning physics laboratory, which is the basic practicum.  I began my studies in the building in which Conrad Roentgen in 1895 discovered the x-rays, and that was very exciting.  He used discharge tubes, and in some way that is connected to my later work.
:  Yes!
OEHRLEIN:  He did his research at very high electron energies and this was a novel aspect in his work.  There are some very interesting stories how he found out about the x-rays and so forth.  It was in that room that I had the first physics lectures, although the university actually was in the move to a new campus outside of town, but I was able to attend lectures there.  The new experimental facilities were outside on the new campus, and that is where we had the basic practicum, which was serious, possibly one of the best in Germany at that time since it was a new campus.  They had purchased all kinds of new equipment, and we were the first students to use it. What made it a bit difficult is that some of the descriptions had not been updated and did not agree with what was actually done.  So for instance, in one of the experiments during the first semester we studied how to influence electron energies in a discharge tube using a grid. I was familiar with that since I had read about this before. However, what we actually did was doing the same using field-effect transistors because they had decided-- 
 Oh, they had moved on!  [Laughter]
OEHRLEIN:  They had moved on, and so there was a big surprise for us which we discovered when doing the experiments.  Every experiment was being supervised by a different assistant, and the person who supervised that particular experiment was Klaus von Klitzing, who later on won the Nobel Prize for the quantum Hall effect.  This was on a Friday afternoon.  The basic practicum took place from 2 to 6 pm, and at 6 pm you handed in your report.  What was impressive is that when we handed in our laboratory report was how carefully Dr. von Klitzing studied our report on a Friday night, and we left quite late.  It seemed like some of the things we had measured were of interest to him and it was cool.
BRUNDLE:  So maybe you should all have a share in the Nobel Prize, right?  [Laughter]  That would be cool.
OEHRLEIN:  [Laughs]  Yes, it was great.  We had wonderful teachers there.
BRUNDLE:  So you were there about five years, right?
OEHRLEIN:  No, I was there actually three years.
BRUNDLE:  Three years.  Okay.
OEHRLEIN:  Then I decided to take the opportunity and go abroad for one year.
BRUNDLE:  That’s my next question.  So your farm, small village, school…
OEHRLEIN:  Right. 
BRUNDLE:  …and then university, still at home, and now there’s a sudden leap.
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.
BRUNDLE:  And you end up in physics at the State University of New York.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, it is unexpected. Actually, one of the first books I had read was The Leatherstocking Tales of Cooper, and you know part of that took place in New York.  It turns out…
BRUNDLE:  New York state or city?
OEHRLEIN:  New York State. 
BEEBE:  James Fenimore Cooper?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, James Fenimore Cooper.  For instance, Cooperstown is one of the first places I visited in New York State.  I had read The Leatherstocking Tales since these books are very popular in Germany and read by a lot of children …
:  I didn't know that.
:  I should mention my uncle was also one of my greatest supporters because he loved books.  He had a huge library and he gave me books to read all the time.
BRUNDLE:  Your father’s brother or your mother’s?
OEHRLEIN:  My father’s brother, who was a member of book clubs, and had very good taste and got a lot of very good books.
:  In English or German?  Or translated?
OEHRLEIN:  Mostly in German, but my father actually supplied me with a lot of English books at that time, too, many of which I had read already in high school.  That actually turned out to be much better in terms of learning English than anything I did in school because once you got interested and hooked in a book, that’s when you pick up the language, and it’s wonderful.  There was a student exchange program between Würzburg University and the State University of New York at Albany, and so I applied to that and I was accepted into that.  I came to Albany for one year initially and things worked out well for me there.  One is I met my future wife there.
BRUNDLE:  She is American?
OEHRLEIN:  American, yes.  Sharon.  Then I also received the offer of a Presidential Fellowship of the State University of New York for the PhD. I decided to do that, which was a little risky because it seems easy but it has many huge implications which you don't understand exactly when you are young.
BRUNDLE:  Yeah.  But basically you came with the intent of staying a year or two and going back.
OEHRLEIN:  Just one year, at first. 
BRUNDLE:  You met your wife-- 
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, and I finished a master’s degree in physics during the time.
BRUNDLE:  Yeah.  Then you decided, “No, I’m not going back,” at least at this point.
:  Yes, because there was a wonderful offer that I had received.
BEEBE:  The SUNY Chancellor’s Distinguished Dissertation Award.
OEHRLEIN:  That is what I received at the end, but initially I had a Presidential Fellowship which essentially supported me throughout the studies.  So I actually had a lot of freedom and that was wonderful, sort of like an NSF fellowship where you can pick topics for research that you are interested in.  I worked with Professor Jim Corbett, who was a very distinguished scientist, one of the people they call the father of defects in semiconductors.  Actually, when you look up conferences in semiconductor physics and defects of semiconductors, there is a Corbett Prize, which is for young scientists and named after him.  He was a wonderful person.
:  So when you finished that, then you go immediately to IBM Research?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, that was a wonderful situation because-- 
BRUNDLE:  Not very far away physically.
OEHRLEIN:  Two hours, and it was a dream come true.  I was hired as a Research Staff Member, so did not have to go through any pressure.
BRUNDLE:  That was 1981 or 2?
OEHRLEIN:  1982. 
BRUNDLE:  ’82, which is…  I’m just trying to think.  I came to IBM in ’74, so I’d be on the West Coast.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, it was a very good time to join IBM Research.
BRUNDLE:  But there  you were working on plasma science and technology, but up to then it doesn't sound like you had done anything in that field.
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.  I had worked on defects in semiconductors, including radiation-solid interactions.  At that time plasma etching and reactive ion etching was a new technology which had been introduced a few years earlier -- 
BRUNDLE:  Yes.  My friends Harold Winters and John Coburn were…
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, they were very active.  They published their key paper in 1979, and I was hired in 1982 and so there was a lot of opportunity to work on actual semiconductor materials, actual reactive ion etching and plasma etching.  Radiation/surface damage due to these processes was an interesting problem that seemed very well matched with my background and bringing in ideas that had not been applied to that field.  So we made some progress very quickly using those kinds of methods.
BRUNDLE:  Okay, but eventually then you left in ’93, actually, which is when I left IBM, too.
OEHRLEIN:  Right. 
BRUNDLE:  Was that because of the change of management and the change of direction of IBM Research?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, the whole situation seemed much more uncertain at the time.
BRUNDLE:  Definitely.
OEHRLEIN:  Actually, what was interesting is that at that time, the IBM CEO changed, John Akers to Lou Gerstner. 
BRUNDLE:  Yes.  Smoked cigars in his office, even though it was strictly forbidden in IBM to smoke.  [Laughter]
OEHRLEIN:  What was interesting…  I was invited at that time to a corporate recognition event in Washington. Lou Gerstner was introduced at this corporate recognition event as the new IBM CEO and he gave a talk.  After that talk I spoke with some of the IBM fellows there and they said, “This sounds like the old IBM”. It was very different from what we had heard before, and he saw the size of IBM as a strength, whereas Akers had seen it as a problem and basically had wanted to break the IBM company apart.  Gerstner saw it differently and he turned out to be very successful.  But I already had accepted an offer to my alma mater to join as a physics professor.  My thesis advisor actually was very instrumental in that.  He died a year after I had moved there.  It was very good to be there, and I had a very good research group. I stayed there only seven or eight years.
BRUNDLE:  I think you're in the same…not very much different geographically at this point.
BRUNDLE:  You're moving around.
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.  We loved it because my wife actually was from that area.  She was from Vermont and that was close.  We love the Hudson Valley.  It is a wonderful area.
BRUNDLE:  Yes, I agree.
OEHRLEIN:  And New York City…  We loved all of that.  We also liked going to the Adirondacks’ high peaks for hiking.  We went very often there.
BRUNDLE:  Let’s back up just a little then and tell us something about your wife.  What was her background?
OEHRLEIN:  My wife had a very different background.  Her father was a professor at the college in the town where she came from in Vermont.  Her mother was an English teacher.  Her mother actually had a German background, so she spoke very well German.  She came from Minnesota.  She spoke German without accent.
BRUNDLE:  Really!
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, perfectly, it was very impressive.  My wife, who is a social worker, and I met at the State University.
BEEBE:  And tell her name again.
:  Sharon.  When I met her the first time, it seemed like I had always known her and we’ve been always together since.
BRUNDLE:  And children?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, we have two children—a son, Stefan who was born in 1985, and our daughter, Elizabeth, who was born in 1990.
BRUNDLE:  And they followed you into science or the mother into sociology?
OEHRLEIN:  Our son initially did.  He studied physics when he was at Franklin & Marshall, a small college.
BEEBE:  Oh!  My alma mater.
OEHRLEIN:  You went there?
BEEBE:  Undergraduate degree.
OEHRLEIN:  Wonderful.  He went there for undergraduate education and then he went to the University of Wisconsin for material science.  He finished a MS degree but then decided that he wanted to go into law. 
BRUNDLE:  Patent law?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes. I think the environment at University of Wisconsin where he and his advisors filed for some patents may have encouraged this.
BRUNDLE:  They tried to get me to go into that when I left IBM.  I was told they would pay the whole education to get the science person and get a good salary.  I said, “You want me to join the most hated group in the US, the lawyers?”  [Laughter]  When I left IBM I ended up working not for them but with them, anyway.
OEHRLEIN:  Right. He became an attorney and he works for the USPTO as an attorney. 
BRUNDLE:  PTO, that’s the Patent Office.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes.  Our daughter initially studied German and is very interested in Germany, and history.  While in high school she had received a Congress Bundestag Fellowship to spend a year with a guest family in Germany.  Her German is perfect. 
BRUNDLE:  So what did she end up doing then after that?
OEHRLEIN:  She majored in German but also took chemistry at F&M, which was her minor.  After that she wanted to work in a company, and do this in Germany. She was able to get a six-month position at GlaxoSmithKline in Munich where she had wanted to go, and then she also was subsequently hired there by Bristol-Myers Squibb.  I think one of the reasons she extended her time there was because she had met her future husband there. 
BRUNDLE:  Chemist?  Hired as a chemist?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes as an assistant researcher in these pharmaceutical companies.
OEHRLEIN:  But then she came back to the United States and went to the University of Maryland in Baltimore where she received her PhD in pharmaceutical health services research. After that she joined National Health Council and works in Washington.
BRUNDLE:  Okay, so that leads us on to the next thing.  You then leave that area. You move down to Maryland and then University of Maryland, right, which then-- 
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, in 2000.
BRUNDLE:  What was behind that?
OEHRLEIN:  Well, I was attracted by the opportunities at University of Maryland, including its location, close to Washington DC. I was looking for a larger community, similar to what I had experienced when I was at IBM Research. At UMD besides joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering I joined the “Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics.
BRUNDLE:  So you moved, and you’ve been at Maryland ever since, right?
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.
BRUNDLE:  So the work that you are cited for in your award, is that mostly from Maryland or does it go back further?
OEHRLEIN:  Mostly University of Maryland, but it goes back to State University at New York and to IBM because the research at UMD developed from those origins.
BRUNDLE:   Okay, so how long have you been there now at Maryland?
OEHRLEIN:  Pretty soon 20 years.
BRUNDLE:  20 years.  So are you thinking of retiring?
OEHRLEIN:  Not for a while.
BRUNDLE:  Not for a while.  So you still really enjoy it?
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, as long as my health will support it.  Obviously we don't have complete control over that.
BRUNDLE:  But it’s still good.  You're still fine.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes. What we did is apply surface science methods to low temperature plasma processes used for materials processing, and that is why I was very interested in your surface science work at IBM.  That is why I was very much interested in Harold Winters’ work and John Coburn’s work.
BRUNDLE:  They were both in the same group as me there, and we were very friendly and interacted socially in the seminars and things, but I never really worked with them.  Occasionally they would ask me a question about something—adsorption on surfaces—and occasionally I would ask them a question, but we didn't interact that much, because I was very much on the basic side. CO on Ni(100), things like that, at that time.
OEHRLEIN:  I understand.
BRUNDLE:  Okay, so what about interests outside science?  What do you do?  What do you like to do?  You mentioned, I think you like the countryside a lot up in Vermont.
OEHRLEIN:  Certainly, that is fantastic.  I like to be out of doors a lot and I try to go out of doors every day for some time, at least.
BRUNDLE:  No desire to go back to farming?
OEHRLEIN:  No.  You know, farming nowadays has changed so much. 
BRUNDLE:  Yes, it’s all big companies.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes.  My parents actually retired from farming quite early.  They rented their fields and it was very fortunate for them because I think enabled them to live for a long time.  My mother is still alive at this time and will be 91.
:  Yes, and they wouldn't have been able to continue that so long.
OEHRLEIN:  No.  And they would not have been able to travel as much as they did and do other things they did.
BRUNDLE:  It’s also very interesting that a good fraction of the people that I interview for these awards come from small towns where their parents are farmers or forestry people or something.  They’re not from big cities, most of them.
OEHRLEIN:  The benefit of a practical background? Maybe.
BRUNDLE:  It could be, which leads me on to the last bit.  Well, we can continue, but I always ask about hobbies.
OEHRLEIN:  Photography is certainly a big interest I already mentioned.
BRUNDLE:  Yes, you mentioned that.
OEHRLEIN:  And art is a big interest.
BRUNDLE:  What kind of art?
OEHRLEIN:  Painting, and I listen to music.  I don't play an instrument.  That’s certainly something that I think a lot of children who grow up on farms regret that they never had the opportunity to learn.
BRUNDLE:  Yes, because in Germany nearly everybody, right, learns to play an instrument these days, anyway, in schools.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes. I just met a person from my village who was with me in first grade.  She also grew up on a farm and she is a very energetic person.  She is now retired and so I asked her, “How do you keep yourself busy?”  She said, “Well, one fun thing is that I’m learning how to play the guitar.  When I was a child, I started for a few weeks to play guitar, and then I no longer could continue with it.  My parents wanted me to work on the farm, and I had to put that aside and could not take anymore lessons.” She said now that she’s retired she wanted to do something that she always wanted to do.
BRUNDLE:  So classical or jazz or folk?
OEHRLEIN:  Classical. 
BRUNDLE:  So you mentioned painting.  Do you paint?
OEHRLEIN:  I do paint.
BRUNDLE:  Yes.  My wife does that.  In fact, she’s doing it a lot now because she’s retired.  Did you have any history of that in your family?  I mention that because it turns out my wife, her father painted as a hobby and her grandfather painted as a hobby.  We’ve got pictures done by all three of them.
OEHRLEIN:  I do not believe in my case.
BRUNDLE:  Do you do it outside, plein air?  Is that how you like to do it?  Or from photographs?
OEHRLEIN:  Mostly from photographs because I try to capture particular moments. I’m very interested in light and the effect of light on scenery. Photography enables you to capture a moment and then a little bit later it’s different.
BRUNDLE:  Ah, okay.
OEHRLEIN:  It’s certainly something very interesting, and so we’ve done vacations exploring certain areas.  For instance, we spent a vacation two years ago in Aix-en-Provence because Cezanne is one of my favorites, and I’ve painted Mont Sainte-Victoire and explored around there. 
BRUNDLE:  Yeah.  So I guess we’re getting near the end.  I always like to finish up with the same question, which is you’ve had all this experience and from your background you’ve gone through a lot of places, starting on a farm.  What advice would you give to students today who were in, let’s say, undergraduate…  There are undergraduates here—not many, I know—or people who are doing their PhDs, for their careers?  What should they be doing based on your experience?  What do you think?
:  Well, one good piece of advice that I received is to make yourself useful by looking around.  You can do that on a farm.  There’s always work, and it is endless, but you look around and you sort of prioritize it.  This is what I did at IBM. I saw issues in plasma-surface interactions as an opportunity, and there certainly was a lot of work that needed to be done at that time.  I think there are many major challenges we face today.
BRUNDLE:  You know, they used to say in IBM…  They told me…  We were classified into physicists and chemists, and I guess you were on the physics side.  But the motto I heard was in IBM Research, if you were physics, you’d better be good, and if you were a chemist, you’d better be useful. 
OEHRLEIN:  [Laughter]  Right.
BRUNDLE:  But you like to combine the useful with the good, which is right.
OEHRLEIN:  Absolutely, and I think that’s essential.  I think you need to have technological momentum associated with the work because if you do something where not much happens, that is not very satisfying.  I want to mention an example.  We published a paper in 1992 that may be classified as a machine learning paper.  Very nice paper done at the IBM Research Division on manufacturing research looking at the possibilities of training neural networks by sets of experiments, and self-learning.  It turned out to be very successful.  Well, that work was ignored for many years, so that’s not very satisfying to work in this way.
BRUNDLE:  Yeah.  You don't want to be too far ahead of the stream, just a little bit.  [Laughs]
OEHRLEIN:  Exactly.  There has to be a connection. I think the most important is to follow your interests and to have fun in your work.  If you don't have fun I think it’s time to look for something different.  I think that generates energy and by combining that with the idea to make yourself useful it allows you to move forward.
BRUNDLE:  Okay.  I think we’ve gone on probably long enough, unless there’s anything else you would like to add at this point.
OEHRLEIN:  Thank you very much.  I would like to thank AVS for being a very special organization.
BRUNDLE:  Yes, you’ve been involved with them a long time and on committees and organizing conferences.
OEHRLEIN:   Exactly.  Since 1985, and it has been wonderful.  The other thing I want to stress is that I’m extremely thankful to the United States. I would say AVS in many ways stands for the pluralistic society that America has been.
BRUNDLE:  And we hope will continue.
OEHRLEIN:  Yes, by always welcoming people who come here from abroad.  I’ve only had the very best experience … [chuckles]  like when I left IBM. I’ve never had a bad day at IBM Research, and it’s true.  I have also very much enjoyed the time at universities I have worked at.
BRUNDLE:  Let me ask you something else about it.  Did you go into management at all at IBM?
OEHRLEIN:  I was in management for three years.
BRUNDLE:  And you still never had a bad day?!  [Laughs]
OEHRLEIN:  No, I think because it was okay at that time. But when IBM started to increase the number of employees a manager was expected to supervise, that’s when I decided to leave management since it would have increased the administrative part of my work too much.  What happened is that actually my management at IBM Research was very supportive in that, and we had Departmental meetings when this was pointed out as a step good for people to step out of management and to go back and focus again completely on technical work. It was a good decision for me.
BRUNDLE:  Yes.  Okay.  Well, let me also congratulate you again on your award.
OEHRLEIN:  Thank you very much.
BRUNDLE:  It’s been very nice interviewing you because I haven't really done much interviewing.  You were very happy to talk about your life and career and that’s very nice.  It should make a very good posting on the website that people can see how you got where you were.  I thank you very much.
OEHRLEIN:  Thank you.  I feel very privileged. 
BEEBE:  Congratulations.