New Jersey Inventors
Hall Of Fame

1998 Award Winners

Hall of Fame

Joseph Abys, Warren Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill

Joseph Abys has continually applied his innovation ability in palladium plating technology, which has found wide applicability not only in the electronics industries, but also for connectors in telecommunications, computer and consumer items, such as smart card devices, pagers, and wireless phones.

Other applications included semiconductor packaging for integrated circuits and optoelectronics; automotive uses such as airbags, audio connectors, engine controllers; in the aerospace industry for use on jet engine blades, in ink-jet printers, in medical devices, as a coating on eyeglass frames, and for watches and costume jewelry. Through 1995, AT&T/Lucent Manufacturing had a cost savings of $103 million by using this technology.

Abys holds 19 U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents, with a number of additional patents pending. He has co-authored more than 50 technical publications and two book chapters for an authoritative book on the subject of electroplating. He received a doctorate in Physical Inorganic Chemistry from Brown University in 1979.

Edwin Howard Armstrong (1890-1954)
Armstrong Electric and Manufacturing Company, Alpine

Edwin Armstrong, an electrical engineer, invented three of the basic electronic circuits underlying all modern radio, radar and television. While a junior at Columbia University, Armstrong made his first major invention. In the summer of 1912, Armstrong devised a new regenerative circuit that yielded not only the first radio amplifier but also the key to the continuous-wave transmitter that still lies at the heart of all radio operations.

During World War I, Armstrong was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and sent to Paris. His assignment to detect possible inaudible short wave enemy communications led to his second major invention. Adapting a seldom-used technique called heterodyning, he designed a complex eight-tube receiver that, in tests from the Eiffel Tower, amplified weak signals to a degree previously unknown. He called this the superheterodyne circuit, and although it detected no secret enemy transmissions, it is today the basic circuit used in most radio and television receivers.

By the late 1920s, Armstrong set out to eliminate the last big problems of radio static by designing an entirely new system, in which the carrier-wave frequency would be modulated while its amplitude would be held constant. Undeterred by current opinion - which held that this method was useless for communications - Armstrong brought forth in 1933 a wide-band frequency modulation (FM) system that in field tests gave clear reception through the most violent storms, and as a dividend, offered the highest fidelity sound yet heard in radio. It took him until 1940 to get a permit for the first FM station, erected along with a 425-foot tower on the Hudson River Palisades in Alpine, N.J., and it took another two years before the FCC gave him a few frequency allocations.

FM broadcasting began to expand after World War II, but Armstrong again found himself both limited by the FCC, which ordered FM into a new frequency band at limited power, and challenged by a coterie of corporations on the basic rights of his inventions. Ill and facing another long legal battle, Armstrong took his own life in 1954. Ultimately his widow won $10 million in damages from infringement suits. By the late 1960s, FM was clearly established as the superior system. The International telecommunications Union in Geneva posthumously elected Armstrong to the roster of electrical greats such as Bell, Marconi and Pupin.

William O. Baker, Morristown, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill

During his 41-year career at Bell Laboratories, William O. Baker carried out pioneering work on macromolecules, particularly the polymers used as electrical insulators and structural materials in the communications and electronics industries. His early studies in solid-state chemistry extended to the origins of materials science and engineering. With colleagues at Bell Labs, he combined chemical experimentation with high-frequency electrical, ultra-sonic and X-ray and electron scattering techniques to find high-performance materials leading to electronic and mechanical innovation in use. During World War I, Armstrong was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and sent to Paris. His assignment to detect possible inaudible short wave enemy communications led to his second major invention. Adapting a seldom-used technique called heterodyning, he designed a complex eight-tube receiver that, in tests from the Eiffel Tower, amplified weak signals to a degree previously unknown. He called this the superheterodyne circuit, and although it detected no secret enemy transmissions, it is today the basic circuit used in most radio and television receivers.

Semiconducting polymers, high modulus polymer carbons, and crystallite control in fibers and films were some outcomes of this research. Baker was responsible for the discovery of a synthetic molecule called "microgel," which was heavily exploited in the critically important synthetic rubber program during World War II. His work prepared the way for extensive application of synthetic polymers, such as polyethylene, which subsequently replaced lead in the shielding of communication cables.

This work also led to the introduction of ablative heat shields for missiles, astronauts and satellites that allowed them to re-enter Earth's atmosphere without the hazard of fiery destruction. This work served to speed up man's exploration of our planet and the moon and help bring enormous benefits as well as playing a major role in maintaining and advancing our national defense system.

As Director of Research at Bell Labs and later as President, Baker oversaw the development of an amazing array of technologies that have become commonplace in daily life. From 1954 through 1980, he helped guide scientific and engineering work that led to the first commercial syntheses of quartz crystals and the discovery of families of continuous-wave lasers, pico-second devices, Echo and Telstar satellite communications, the solar cell, mobile cellular radio telephones, the electron-implanted transducers used in modern telephones, modular beam epitaxy, charge-couple devices, commercial superconductors and many other high technology devices.

Baker has worked extensively in the application of science and technology to meet national needs and to promote government/industry/university cooperation. He has served on the President's Science Advisory Committee, the National Science Board, the National Cancer Advisory Board, the National commission on Libraries and information Sciences, and various military advisory boards. Currently, he chairs the Diplomatic telecommunications Services Board related to the U.S. government global network outside the Department of Defense. Baker received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and a B.S. in physical chemistry from Washington College. He holds 13 patents.

Allen B. DuMont (1901-1965), Montclair, DuMont Laboratories, Montclair and Passaic

In 1932, working at a small laboratory in the basement of his home in Upper Montclair, DuMont invented the "Magic Eye," a cathode-ray tube that could be used as a visual tuning aid in radio receivers. He sold the rights to his invention to RCA for $20,000, which he used as capital for expansion. He developed a long-persistence coating for cathode-ray tubes with the use of an electronic pencil, a device permitting remote-controlled writing on a screen. In 1933, DuMont proposed a radio-detection system but was asked by the Army Signal Corps not to seek patents because of its military significance. The following year his laboratory was incorporated as the Allen B. DuMont Laboratories in Passaic.

When the television market for cathode-ray tubes was slow to develop, DuMont turned to the manufacture of cathode-ray oscilloscopes for use as research and test instruments. During the 1930s, scientist Ernest O. Lawrence of the University of California used DuMont's oscilloscopes in atomic research. In the late 1930s, DuMont traveled to Europe to study the latest developments in television. Upon his return, he developed an all-electronic television receiver to be marketed by 1938.

In 1939, DuMont criticized the television standards proposed by the Radio Manufacturers Association and proposed alternatives that would be more compatible with future innovations. He became an influential member of the National Television Systems Committee, which formulated standards that were ultimately adopted. In 1941, he initiated experimental telecasts over W2XWV (later WABD) in New York.

During World War II, the DuMont Laboratories manufactured instruments, radar and navigational systems for the Navy and Signal Corps. It also participated in the Manhattan Project.

After the war, the DuMont television network was established. Initially, it linked WABD in New York with WTTG in Washington, D.C. It soon expanded to serve approximately 200 affiliated stations and was incorporated as Metropolitan Broadcasting Company in 1955 (later Metromedia).

DuMont's assembly plants for television receivers were sold to Emerson Radio and Phonograph in 1958. In 1960, DuMont Labs were merged with Fairchild Camera and Instrument. Dumont served as senior technical consultant until his death in 1965. He established the Allen B. DuMont Foundation, which supported educational television at Montclair State College beginning in 1952.

Nikil S. Jayant, Gillette, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill

Dr. Jayant is the director of the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory at Bell Labs, where he is responsible for the creation and commercialization of technologies for audiovisual communication and multimedia information systems.

Jayant's personal research has been in the field of digital coding and transmission of information systems. Businesses created by Jayant's research and leadership span several segments in audiovisual and data communications. They include low bit rate speech codecs for digital transmission, multiplexing, cellular telephony and AUDIX voice storage; high-quality audio coding for teleconferencing and advanced DAT; video coding for advanced television and voiceband videotelephony; and high-density magnetic disks for computer data. Other emerging businesses include set-top boxes, DVD systems, CD-quality broadcast receivers and internet multimedia.

Jayant's patent "Predictive Decoding/Speech Signal," issued in 1986, relates to signal processing used to reduce noise effects in digital communication systems. This patent is critical for speech coder implementations used in DSDV modems, simultaneous voice/fax internet phones, voice-mail, video conferencing, internal audio broadcast, PSTN/IP gateways, voice-over frame relay, voice-over ATM, DEME equipment, consumer goods and games, as well as for speech compression software that is an important part of multimedia communications systems.

Henry M. Rowan, Rancocas, Inductotherm Industries, Inc., Rancocas

In 1953 Henry M. (Hank) Rowan, the founder and chairman of Inductotherm Industries, Inc., built his company's first furnace in his backyard with the help of his wife Betty. From that humble beginning, Inductotherm has become the world's largest designer and manufacturer for induction melting, heat treating, and welding.

Inductotherm is currently a global industrial conglomerate of more than 80 companies, with 4,800 employees, facilities in 15 nations, and customers around the world.

A native of Raphine, Va., Rowan grew up in Ridgewood, N.J. After serving as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rowan then set out to revolutionize the technology for induction melting, heat treating, and welding systems in the early 1950s. Frustrated by complacent management at the manufacturing company where he began his career, Rowan resigned to join with a former customer to create a company that would fulfill his dreams.

An idealist and a perfectionist, Rowan pushed himself and his team to develop ground breaking new technologies under intense pressure deadlines, often taking huge risks to get the order and satisfy the customer. Inductotherm's superior engineering led to advances that stunned the industry and enabled it to outperform companies many times larger than itself.

Rowan's U.S. Patent No. 3,295,050 (1962), entitled "Frequency Tripler Circuit Utilizing the Third Harmonic Component of Transformers," and U.S. Patent No. 3,335,354 (1964), entitled "Stabilized Controlled Rectifier Circuit Having an Inductive Load," reflected the first major breakthroughs in the technology of induction heating systems for efficiently melting metals.

Despite constant competitive challenges, Rowan succeeded in building a global conglomerate that dominates the industry. In 1992, Rowan endowed Glassboro State College with $100 million. It is now known as Rowan University.

Inventors of The Year

Gary Ver Strate, Manalapan - Ricardo Bloch, Scotch Plains - Mark J. Struglinski, Bridgewater
Exxon Chemical Company, Linden
John E. Johnston, Warren
Exxon Research and Engineering Co., Annandale
Roger K. West, Montclair.

TThe five scientists, working in two different Exxon company divisions, combined to produce a completely novel material of significant commercial value, a new type of viscosity modifier. Marketed since 1987 by Exxon Chemical Company, these viscosity modifiers are a major class of lower viscosity lubricant additive for newer engine designs that provide balance between durability and fuel economy.

Viscosity modifier polymers allow motor oils to be formulated with a low viscosity at low temperatures with less reduction of viscosity at higher engine operating temperatures. This provides easier cranking at low temperatures and lower friction and less bearing wear at high temperatures. This results in long engine life and reduction of fuel consumption for autos and trucks, thereby extending vehicle service life and making a real contribution to our national goal of conservation.

Drs. Ver Strate, Bloch and Struglinski are affiliated with the Exxon Chemical Company in Linden. Gary Ver Strate holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Delaware. Ricardo Bloch graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1976 with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Mark J. Struglinski joined Exxon Chemical's Paramins Technology Division in 1984 after graduating from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

John E. Johnston serves as a section head in Exxon Research and Engineering Company's corporate research unit. He graduated from the University of Akron with a Ph.D. in polymer science in 1975.

Roger K. West retired from Exxon in 1995 as an engineering associate. Today, he is president of West Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in technical scientific information research, often for patent purposes. He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Joseph Dettling, Howell - Zhicheng Hu, Edison - Y.K. Lui, Parlin - C.Z. Wan, Somerset, Engelhard Industries, Iselin

The four men combined efforts for the Engelhard Corporation of Iselin, N.J., in the invention and development of a three-way automotive catalyst that is especially effective in reducing hydrocarbon emissions, a major cause of air pollution. The team's invention of a new, robust high performance pollution-control (Pd) catalyst has allowed auto manufacturers to locate the catalyst very close to the engine manifold - as opposed to the previous method near the exhaust - and thus greatly reduce the time for the catalyst to reach its operating temperature. In addition, the catalyst has been engineered at a molecular and microscopic scale to provide the highest known conversion of hydrocarbons while converting high levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

Dettling holds more than 30 patents, many of which represent keystones in emission control technology. His creativity permeates a broad range of Engelhard's products that are being sold throughout the world and at the base of a profitable and growing business segment for the company.

C.Z. Wan's research has provided a fundamental understanding of the three-way catalyst components as they relate to the application. He holds 13 patents, several of which have contributed to the improvements seen in many of the company's high technology TWC catalysts.

Y.K. Lui has contributed to the development and improvement of automotive and carbon supported catalysts in support of the company's environmental and chemical catalyst business groups. He holds six patents.

Zhicheng Hu holds two patents. As a junior member of the Engelhard R&D staff, his creativity in designing elegant solutions to complex emission/catalyst problems is gaining notice.

Michael Pappas, Caldwell o Frederick Buechel, South Orange
Endotec, Inc., South Orange

Since the two men invented the New Jersey Low Contact Stress Total Knee Replacement System, nearly one million people worldwide have enjoyed its benefits. Pappas was teaching biomechanics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1974 when he asked Buechel to help him build a better knee implant.

makes the New Jersey Knee different from previous prosthetics, which were essentially hinges, are multiple parts and a mobile bearing design that allow for more flexible, natural movement, and less wear under pressure.

The two, who also wholly own Endotec Inc. of South Orange and Bloomfield, have also designed a total ankle system, a total hip and a total shoulder. Buechel, an orthopedic surgereon who practices with the South Mountain Orthopedic Associates, South Orange, also serves on the clinical faculty of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.

Pappas, a native of Newark, received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from NJIT and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He is also an adjunct associate professor of surgery at UMDNJ and a past professor of Mechanical Engineering at NJIT. He also served as acting director at NJIT's Center for Manufacturing Engineering Systems from 1987-1990.

The two were honored recently as winners of the 1998 New Jersey Pride Awards by New Jersey Monthly magazine, which will profile them in the May, 1998 issue. The award is given "to individuals who have dedicated themselves in making the Garden State a better place to live."

Melvin E. Kamen, Highlands Revlon Research Center, Edison

Melvin Kamen invented ENVIROGLUV glass decorating technology that combines new inks and in-line quick UV curing for direct decoration on glass. The technique eliminates any heavy metals, solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the decorating process.

Also vice president of advanced technology at the Revlon Research Center, Kamen spent 10 years developing and refining the technology. According to industry peers, the technology exhibits environmental, health and safety characteristics which are superior to conventional glass decorating technology and provides significant decorating and economic benefits.

During his career, Kamen has been granted more than 60 patents worldwide and has achieved several technology "firsts" including UV curable inks that do not contain toxic heavy metals used in high-resolution decoration of glass and ceramicware; heat-transfer decal technology for glass and plastic; and abrasion-resistant coating for plastic lenses, now an industry standard for opthalmic lenses.

John Mickowski, Warwick, NY (formerly Hanover)
Tymac Controls Corporation, Franklin

John Mickowski?s invention, U.S. Patent No. 4,734,869 "Diagnostic Method for Analyzing and Monitoring the Process Parameters in the Operation of Reciprocating Equipment (1988)" has dramatically improved quality and reduced waste in the production of parts by die-casting machines. The invention utilizes a microcomputer in combination with a CRT and a multiplicity of transducers.

Mickowski has spent more than 20 years as a specialist in casting quality control and process technology. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology, where he also taught mechanical engineering. He is recognized as an expert in automation, systems engineering, die-casting machine design and performance, and the die-casting process.

The founder and CEO of Tymac Controls Corp., Mickowski has been responsible for many innovations in the die-casting instrumentation and process controls field that are used in die-casting operations worldwide. He holds the first patents issued for die-casting velocity, pressure, and strain measurement instruments, and patents for his invention of the world?s first portable computerized shot analyzer. He has presented more than 100 seminars to various die-casting companies and trade organizations in North America, Europe, China, India, Ukraine, and Russia.

Special Awards

William Lowell (1862-1954), Maplewood

When dentist William Lowell took up golf in 1921, players would commonly mound a "tee" out of sand, after wetting their hand in a bucket of water. Lowell was not satisfied. Using his dental tools, Lowell whittled a golf tee out of wood and affixed a cup made of gutta percha from his dental supplies.

Spending considerable time on the refinement of the tee after its rudimentary origin, he was able to patent it in 1924. Early on, playing companions ridiculed the idea, but his sons realized the marketing potential of the invention.

Professional golfers dismissed it as a silly idea and refused to accept the tees as gifts. Acceptance was not achieved until Dr. Lowell paid $1,500 to the best-known pro of the era, Walter Hagen, and trick-shot artist Joe Kirkwood, to use the tees on their exhibition tour in 1922. Wherever they went, they left tees behind and golfers would parade to their pro shops to demand the tees.

Because Dr. Lowell never expected golfers would save their tees, the first 5,000 were green. When it was found that golfers were retrieving the tees, they were produced in red and named "Reddy Tees." The tees were marketed through Dr. Lowell's company, Nieblo Manufacturing of New York. Tees were made of the finest white birch by a wood turner in Norway, Maine.

Exhibits of tees by The U.S. Golf Association Museum in Far Hills, N.J., and the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida, continue to recognize Lowell's invention.

Quentin T. Kelly, Pennington and WorldWater Corp., Pennington

Kelly's WorldWater Corp. was founded in 1984 to develop the concept of solar-powered water pumps and power. Much of the early development was performed by volunteer consultants, including engineers from Princeton University, retired UNICEF managers and others who were convinced of the need for such a system. WorldWater's patent was issued in 1992 and a new patent (to WorldWater engineer Richard Lenskold) is pending.

The provision of safe water supplies is a critical social and health issue, especially in developing countries. Rural peoples spend hours upon hours hauling water from surface sources that are often unsafe. Solar-powered water pumps enable remote localities to obtain safe drinking water without costly gasoline or diesel generators. Distributed internationally, through private distributors, non-governmental organizations and governments, WorldWater's pumps are used in the republics of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and the Philippines.

The company's two solar pump technologies represent thermal and photovoltaic developments. The patented solar-powered water pump combines an evacuated tubular solar collector array for heating air or another heat exchange medium to generate steam which drives a diaphragm pump which in turn drives a down-well or river water pump by hydraulic fluid displacement.

The patent pending pumping system comprises a variable speed electronic motor drive (AquaDrive?) which includes a maximum power tracking circuit controlling motor speed in alignment with the maximum power produced by a photovoltaic solar array. The motor drive inverts the DC power produced by the solar array and is connected to a three-phase AC motor which is connected to a pump.

Melvin Levinson, Edison

Melvin Levinson's pioneer inventions relate to microwave ovens and their components, as well as their applications relating to ovens, kilns, and methods for cooking conventional and creative foods. His teachings have been utilized in a multitude of existing microwave applications throughout the world.

Levinson is recognized for two of his patents, "Two-Stage Process for Cooking/Browning/Crusting Food by Microwave Energy and Infrared Energy" and "Cooking Food in a Food Preparation Kit in a Microwave and in a Thermal Oven."

Together, these two patents bring forth a new set of pots and pans that have dual utility. They are equally useful in a microwave oven and in a gas or electrical oven. These novel pots and pans combine the best of microwave cooking (speed, low shrinkage, defrosting, proofing, baking) with the best of gas and electrical cooking (browning, crusting, taste and appearance).

The new pots and pans are sold as a microwave-oven kit consisting of a glass cover, a ceramic base, a metal microwave heating grill and an optional metal baking pan. All of the metal components of the microwave-oven kit are useful in conventional gas or electric cooking and are dishwasher safe. The two-step process provides speed, convenience and easy cleanup.

Advancement of Invention Award

Research and Development Council of New Jersey

Initiated by Gov. Richard Hughes in 1962, the Research and Development Council quickly became a public-private partnership driven by the private sector. Inspired by the growing need to serve technology-based industry and academia, the Council expanded in 1993 to an agenda that encompasses entrepreneurial, emerging, support, and services industries. For more than 35 years, the R&D Council of New Jersey has been the voice of R&D and technology in New Jersey.

The R&D Council is an association of more than 100 leading industrial and academic research facilities and technical support companies representing two-thirds of the state's more than 80,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians.

Over three decades, the R&D Council has a sterling record of sustained commitment to the encouragement of innovation and invention in New Jersey. It has also been an articulate voice and the state's leading advocate for maintaining a healthy climate for the continued growth of operating research and development laboratories.

The Council has focused on enhancing the growth of all research enterprises by capitalizing on core abilities and interests and by leveraging investments. It has also facilitated important partnerships between its distinguished members and New Jersey's colleges, universities and schools.

For decades, the R&D Council has encouraged creativity and leadership by promoting accomplishments in science, research and development. The Council's New Jersey Science/ Technology Medal and its Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award are two of the state's most esteemed awards.

Corporate Inductee

Howmedica, Rutherford

Howmedica is honored for six decades of leadership in development of orthopedic products that help people around the world enjoy longer, healthier and more productive lives. As a business of the Medical Technology group of Pfizer, Inc. Howmedica designs and manufactures a broad range of orthopedic reconstructive implants such as hip- and knee-joint replacements, internal and external bone-fixation devices and trauma products.

Since the company's founding in 1936, Howmedica has worked in close cooperation with some of the most creative minds in the worldwide orthopedic community. Drawing also on its own recognized design resources, Howmedica has successfully addressed a multitude of orthopedic problems through the application of advanced technologies to restore mobility and quality of life to patients whose bones and joints have been damaged by disease or accident.

Howmedica is best known for the development of a cobalt-chrome-molybdenum alloy, known by the trademark Vitallium® Alloy - the key material for an estimated four million joint replacements to date. No other orthopedic implant material has been so thoroughly researched of widely documented as Vitallium®.

Today, Howmedica continues to work with orthopedic surgeons, hospitals, teaching institutions and administrators to develop and manufacture better, more advanced products for greater numbers of people and conditions around the world. Recently, Howmedica researchers have been pioneering in the development of new polyethelene surfaces to extend the utility of reconstructive implants.