On November 6, six members of IEEE traveled to the White House to meet President Bush and receive awards that salute their engineering accomplishments. These honors, the National Medals of Science and Technology, represent the nation's highest scientific awards.
Leo L. Beranek, an IEEE Fellow and acoustic specialist, received the National Medal of Science for Engineering. Early in World War II before cockpits were pressurized, Beranek helped develop microphones that could be used with oxygen masks. Later, he cofounded the acoustics lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founded Bolt, Beranek and Newman, which developed mufflers for jet engines. Also, BBN's software staff did some early work for ARPA that essentially gave rise to the Internet.
IEEE Senior Life Member Richard L. Garwin received the National Medal of Science for Physical Sciences. This pioneer began working with magnetic resonance shortly after joining IBM in 1952. While magnetic resonance didn't work for Garwin's original intended application, computer memory, it has become a vital technology in medical electronics. Garwin also has worked with superconductors, gravity waves, particle physics, and liquid and solid helium, and he was instrumental in developing laser printers, touchscreens, and satellite reconnaissance techniques.
LED inventor and IEEE Fellow Nick Holonyak received the National Medal of Technology along with two of his former graduate students, M. George Craford and Russell Dean Dupuis. Holonyak built the first LED in 1962, spawning a multibillion-dollar industry. Craford, who created the first yellow LED in 1972, is now the chief technology officer for LumiLeds Lighting and is continuing his work in developing high-brightness LEDs. Dupuis demonstrated that metalorganic chemical vapor could be used to grow semiconductor films, a process vital in LED and thin-film semiconductor production. He now chairs the electro-optic department at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Calvin H. Carter received the National Medal of Technology as well for his work in silicon carbide, which also advanced LED technology. His silicon carbide and related semiconductor material advances created the foundation material for blue and green LEDs as well as wide bandgap semiconductors. He founded Cree Inc. in 1987.
Congratulations to all of the winners. For details, go to www.ieeeusa.org.