New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame at NJIT Inducts Four Members; Fetes Others

NEWARK, Feb. 21--The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, sponsored by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently honored 12 New Jersey inventors for innovative and important work and the Biotechnology Council, Trenton, for advancing inventions in biotechnology in New Jersey. The inventions were created and patented while the inventors worked and lived in the state.

The Inventors Hall of Fame has honored New Jersey inventors since 1989 as a means of expanding public recognition of people who have created notable products, systems, and/or processes to improve how people live and work. NJIT, New Jersey's third largest public research university, supports invention through programs such as the Inventors Hall of Fame because innovation is essential to New Jersey's economic development.

Honorees attend the dinner; later their names are engraved on a permanent exhibit at NJIT and their biographies are made accessible on the Hall of Fame website

Harry Roman, who chairs the 2002 Inventors Hall of Fame and other awards, says the honors fall into three main categories. The Inventors Hall of Fame honors inventions which have made extraordinary contributions to technology and human welfare. "Inventors of the Year," recognize important pieces of work; "Special Awards" recognize innovative or entrepreneurial work. Roman is a senior technology consultant for Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Newark.

Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Television equipment pioneers Isaac S. "Ike" Blonder, Shrewsbury, and Ben H. Tongue, West Orange, the founders of Blonder Tongue Laboratories, Inc., Old Bridge, gained prominence in the early days of television when they introduced the first commercially successful amplifier to improve fringe-area reception. They also invented UHF converters, outdoor home antennas, satellite receivers and a host of other devices, earning 39 patents for Blonder and 34 for Tongue. Both inventors are semi-retired, having sold their shares in the company in 1989. Each remains active in the electronics field.

  • The seminal research of Herwig Kogelnik, Ph.D., Rumson, in lasers and optoelectronics at AT&T and Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, provides much of the foundation for today's optical telecommunications systems. He fostered scientific understanding of lasers, holographic data storage, and multichannel optical networks that make the Internet possible. His distributed feedback (DFB) lasers are recognized as essential pathways of modern optical communications. Born in Austria, Kogelnik holds a D.Phil. degree in physics from Oxford University. In 2001, Kogelnik received the "Medal of Honor," the highest award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

  • A pioneer in suspension bridge construction, John Augustus Roebling (1806-69), Trenton, founder of John A. Roebling Co., Trenton, is best remembered for designing the Brooklyn Bridge, although all his construction successes were literally tied to his invention of twisted wire rope. This cable is still used in elevators, cable cars and airplanes. Today, the Roebling legacy spans the world - from huge suspension bridges like the Golden Gate to the cabled power shovels that dug the Panama Canal.

  • Anthony E. Winston, East Brunswick, a research fellow for Church & Dwight Inc., Princeton, the parent company of Arm & Hammer, has invented a variety of hygiene, cosmetics and pollution-control products, from toothpastes and deodorizers to laundry detergents and fungicides. In a three-decade career, the research chemist has earned 95 patents.

2002 Inventors of the Year

  • As leader of the team that invented the Fast Automated Restoration System (FASTAR )in 1992 at AT&T, Bell Labs, Holmdel, current California resident Hossein Eslambolchi, Ph.D., who is now AT&T's chief technology officer and president of AT&T Labs, helped to ensure that disruptions in AT&T's fiber-optic network can be overcome and telecommunications restored quickly. Forty of his patents, including FASTAR, are for devices that recognize the potential for disruption, such as a cable cut, and initiate preventive measures. In the event of failure, these systems can begin self-healing and rerouting traffic within moments, usually before customers know anything is wrong.

  • The molecular gate effect discovered by Valerie Bell, Ph.D., Edison, and three other research chemists at Engelhard Corporation, Iselin, has drawn worldwide attention for its potential to stretch the world energy supply by allowing once-unusable natural gas to be purified at minimal cost. The discovery marks a breakthrough in the development of absorbents used for separating and removing contaminants while improving performance of chemical products and industrial processes.

  • In the early '90s, Irwin Gerszberg, Kendall Park, an NJIT alumnus, who worked at AT&T, Florham Park, foresaw the impact of digital technology on the telecommunications industry. He led the way in the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) field, a broadband technology that uses telephone lines and digital coding to create a connection to the Internet. DSL allows consumers to download vast amounts of digital data from the Internet at extremely high speeds. Gerszberg holds 65 U.S. patents, and has applied for others to extend virtually all forms of local access technology even further.

  • Three researchers at the former Bellcore, now Telcordia Technologies, Inc, Red Bank-Jean-Marie Tarascon, Ph.D., France, Antoni Gozdz, Ph.D., Wayside, and Paul Warren, Ph.D., Far Hills-collaborated to develop long-lasting, lightweight, flexible, rechargeable lithium ion batteries needed to power portable cell phones and laptop computers. Their invention launched a new paradigm in battery manufacturing. The rechargeable battery could hold more power than any other, yet it had none of the environmental problems posed by products based on lead-acid or nickel-cadmium chemistry.

2002 Special Award

  • Drawing on his experiences as a medical corpsman in Viet Nam, Dave Hammond, founder of DHL, Inc., Tinton Falls, created intelligent first aid kits that almost anyone can use - even under enormous stress. Borrowing techniques used in computer graphics and film-making, he designed kits coded with colors and icons. Individual packs contain supplies and color-coded picture cards resembling storyboards that provide easy-to-follow instructions for each specific injury - from breathing problems to bleeding.

2002 Advancement of Invention Award (presented annually to a not-for-profit institution)

  • The Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, Trenton, has become the state's leading advocate for a rapidly growing industry that encompasses biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bio-agricultural and bio-remedial firms. Led by Debbie Hart, the group's executive director, and H. Joseph Reiser, Ph.D., its chairman, the council has combined innovation with advocacy. Initiatives include programs that encourage biotech firms to remain or relocate in New Jersey and government affairs efforts that shepherd economic stimulus packages through the legislature.


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
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