Not bad for a PhD from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland with a doctorate in solid-state physics who had initially been turned down for a job by the very company where he would spend the next 34 years of his life. "I was resigned to drive a cab," he says about that first job interview in 1973. His career in the transportation industry never took off, however, because he was soon called back and offered a job helping Texas Instruments develop its emerging charge-coupled device (CCD) technology. "I told them I didn't know a lot about that," Hornbeck says, "and they told me I didn't have to, I already had the job. They figured correctly that based upon my PhD thesis research, I could bring things together and make them work."