J. Walter Keller, Jr.

J. Walter Keller Jr.


J. Walter Keller, Jr.
BSEE ‘46 MS Math & MS Physics ‘50
Innovator of Key Pacemaker Technology


In 1959 Walter Keller took a position with Cordis Corporation as Staff Physicist where he became the originator and systems/electronic designer of a pacemaking program that would eventually yield the world’s first implantable, remotely programmable digital pacemaker. While the concept for such technology was widely known and discussed, it was Walter’s work on Corids’ “Atricor” device that enabled the first prosthetic device to automatically control a physiologic parameter. This innovation dramatically altered life for the hundreds of thousands of patients who would ultimately benefit from Walter’s implantable device and its technological descendants.

From 1969 to 1985, Walter built on his early breakthroughs in medical engineering to create a successful career in biomedical engineering that included organizing a Biomedical Engineering Department at the Miami Heart Institute, serving as Vice President for ESB-Medcor (a pacer systems company), and as an independent consultant to numerous biomedical firms in the cardiac space. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Arkansas Alumni Association in 1991, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (formerly Little Rock Junior College) in 2001 and by Little Rock Catholic High School.