New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame to Induct Nine Members February 15

NEWARK, Feb. 12 -The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, sponsored by New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, will honor 16 New Jersey inventors for innovative and important inventions on Feb. 15.

The inventions were created and patented while their inventors lived and worked in New Jersey. Among this year's winning inventions are: Colgate Total toothpaste, the "String Thing," and the portable batting cage. The New Jersey Technology Council, Mount Laurel, will also be honored for advancing technology-driven businesses.

The ceremony will take place from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., at an awards banquet in the Hazell Center Ballroom, NJIT, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd. (NOTE: For more biographical data about inventors, see NJIT web site, www.njinvent.njit.edu. To cover the event or purchase tickets, contact the Office of Public Relations.)

Harry Roman, who chairs the 2001 hall of fame and other awards given out that night, 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. The "Inventor of the Year," award recognizes important pieces of work; a "Special Award" recognizes innovative or entrepreneurial work. Roman is a senior technology consultant for Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Newark.

Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Homer Z. Martin, Ph.D.(1910-1993) formerly of Westfield, and Sun City, AZ, invented in 1942 with three other chemical engineers at Standard Oil Development Company, formerly of Linden, which is now Exxon, invented a process called fluid catalytic cracking. Hailed as one of the last century's greatest inventions, this 1942 chemical engineering breakthrough, helped transform crude oil into high-octane gasoline. Other inventors on his team included Eger V. Murphree, (1898-1962) formerly of Summit, who served from 1947 to 1962 as president of Standard Oil;Charles W. Tyson, (1900-1977) formerly of Summit, and Donald L. Campbell, Bay Head. Historians say this invention was instrumental to the Allies'air victories in World War II. They also credit it with ushering in the age of the automobile and the development of other products from plastics to fabrics.
  • Harold S. Black, (1898-1983) formerly of Summit, invented a theory to improve long distance telephone service while working for Western Electric's West Street Labs, New York City, the forerunner of Bell Telephone Laboratories. His theory has recently been applied to fields such as biomechanics and bioengineering and used forenhancing digital computers, artificial limbs, and more.
  • Abdul Gaffar, Ph.D., Princeton, invented Colgate Total, the nation's first antibacterial toothpaste that has been applauded for its ability to help prevent the growth of plaque. Gaffar, vice president for growth technology at Colgate-Palmolive, Piscataway, has been with the company since the early 1970s.

  • Arun Netravali, Ph.D.,Westfield, the president of Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, has led the field of digital technologies. He is known for inventing a mathematical theorem to improve the quality of broadcast video signals.
  • Gerald Ash, West Long Branch, a district manager for AT&T Labs, Middletown, invented three dynamic routing schemes to optimize telecommunications bandwidth.
  • Former Ewing and Trenton resident Glenn A. Reitmeier, now of Yardley, PA, invented a compression system for delivering digital data via high definition television. Reitmeier has worked at Sarnoff Corporation, Princeton since 1977.

Inventor of the Year

  • J. Thomas Jennings, Mountainside, invented a plastic container called the "Tip 'N Measure" that allows fluids to be dispensed from a built-in measuring chamber.
  • Philip Anderson, Ph.D., Madison, a professor of physics at Ramapo College, Mahwah, invented an electronic security system used worldwide.
  • Jack H. Winters, Ph.D., Middletown, a technology leader at AT&T Labs, Research, Middletown, pioneered the application of adaptive antenna arrays to cellular radio systems.
  • The work of Jim Johnston, Morris Township, a technology leader at AT&T Labs Research, Florham Park, enabled the distribution of digital music over the Internet and digital radio.

Special Awards

  • David Brown, North Brunswick, the founder of Zel Products, Inc., East Brunswick, invented the "String Thing," a recyclable cardboard and string device for tying newspapers into bundles for recycling.
  • Fred Topinka, Allendale, the founder of Topinka Associates, Rochelle Park, invented the "Safety Cage," a glow-in-the-dark plastic light bulb cage which can help workers exit a construction site during a power outage or emergency.
  • Wellington Stockton Titus, (1872-1941), formerly of Hopewell, invented the portable batting cage, after growing tired of chasing fouled and missed pitches.


Advancement of Technology Award

The New Jersey Technology Council, Mount Laurel, will be feted for advancing the interests of technology-driven businesses in New Jersey. Underscoring the value of the NJTC to New Jersey's high-tech industry are the 1,081 member companies that have joined since its establishment in 1996.



NJIT is a public research university enrolling over 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 80 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science.

According to Yahoo! Internet Life magazine rankings, NJIT has been America's most wired public university for three consecutive years. U.S. News and World Report's 1999 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT among the nation's top universities, and Money magazine's most recent issue of Best College Buys rated NJIT as the sixth best value among U.S. science and technology schools and among the top 100 overall. In September 1999, Mademoiselle ranked NJIT as the second most Internet-connected university in the nation.

Contact Information: Sheryl Weinstein
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Michael Olohan
Office of Communications,
(973) 596-5203