Honoree Background Information

January 1998


1998 Hall of Fame Inductees


Armstrong Electric and Manufacturing Company, Alpine, N.J.

Nominator: Charles Dzuba (973) 761-1711

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. He was assigned to detect possible inaudible short wave enemy communications and which led to his second major invention. Adapting a seldom-used technique called heterodyning found in early wireless, 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 nearly drained of his resources by facing another long legal battle, Armstrong committed suicide on the night of January 31, 1954 by jumping from his apartment window in New York City. 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, Ph.D. (1913-)

Bell Laboratories

Contact Roberta Lonnquist (908) 582-6515

In 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.

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 (1954) at Bell Labs and later as President (1973), Baker was oversaw the development of an amazing array of technologies that have become commonplace in the home, office and places of work. 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 and a B.S. in physical chemistry from Washington College. He holds 13 patents.

ALLEN B. DU MONT (1901-1965)

DuMont Laboratories, Montclair and Passaic, N.J.

Nominator: Charles Dzuba (973)-761-1711

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 the 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 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, ultimately adopted. In 1941, he initiated experimental telecasts over W2XWV (later WABD for Allen B. DuMont) 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.

JOSEPH ABYS (1953 - ) (908) 580-1184

Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, N.J.

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 for 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' deep understanding of the theory coupled with his remarkable ability to execute his innovations in practical systems make him an extremely valuable asset to Lucent Technologies. He has a sustained record of innovation and commercial success. 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.

NIKIL S. JAYANT (1946 -) (908) 580-1181

Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, N.J.

Dr. Jayant is the director of the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory at Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies (formerly the systems and technology division of AT&T). In his position, Jayant 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.


WILLIAM LOWELL (1862 - 1954), Maplewood, N.J.

Nominator: Joan Lowell Smith, grand daughter (908) 233-9661

In 1921, at the age of 60, a dentist named Dr. William Lowell took up golf. The practice of teeing a ball on a pyramid of wet sand after sticking one's hand in a bucket of sand and water, left players with gritty hands. It also left Lowell looking for a better way.

Using his dental tools, Lowell whittled a golf tee as a charter member of the Maplewood Country Club. The original tee was a round stick of wood to which Lowell 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. It wasn't until Dr. Lowell had the bright idea to pay $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 the result was golfers would parade to their pro shops and demand the tees.

Initially, the tees were sold 18 to the box for 25 cents. Because Dr. Lowell never expected golfers would save their tees, the first 5,000 were green. When it was found golfers were retrieving the tees, they were produced in red and then called "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. As tee sales soared, they were also manufactured in London by the family for sales on the other side of the Atlantic.

Millions of tees sold resulted in profits of $170,000 in 1929, which would have translated into several million of today's dollars. 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, N.J. (609) 818-0700

WorldWater Corp., Pennington, N.J.

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 (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 of diesel generators. Distributed internationally, through private distributors, non-governmental organizations and governments, WorldWater's current clients include 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 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 (1924 - ) Edison, N.J. (908) 756-6829

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 both 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 result is a new desirable cooking method that has started to create a new industry around the world, with Europe and Canada reaping the benefits ahead of the United States. 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.


GARY VER STRATE, Manalapan, N.J.; RICARDO BLOCH, Scotch Plains, N.J.; and MARK J. STRUGLINSKI, Bridgewater, N.J.

Exxon ChemicalCompany, Linden, N.J. (908) 474-3981


Exxon Research and Engineering Co., Annandale, N.J. (908) 730-2130

ROGER K. WEST, Montclair, N.J.

(Consultant) (973) 744-3221

The 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 modifiers. Marketed since 1987 by Exxon Chemical Company, these viscosity modifiers are a major class of lower viscosity lubricant additives 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 goals of conservation.

Gary Ver Strate joined Exxon Research and Engineering in Linden as a chemist after graduating the University of Delaware in 1966 with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Since 1970 he has served in senior research positions with Exxon Chemical's Elastomers Technology and Polymers Division. He has also served as associate professor of Materials Science at Rutgers University and president of the Association for Retarded Citizens in Monmouth County.

Ricardo Bloch graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1976 with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. He joined Exxon Chemical Company in 1979 in the Paramins Technology Division. In 1984, Bloch was promoted to Senior Staff Engineer and continues to work in that capacity. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of the Atlantic in Colombia.

Mark Struglinski joined Exxon Chemical’s Paramins Technology Division in 1984 after graduating from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. In 1988, he became a Technical Leader in the division and in 1991 a Research Associate. He became a Technical Department Manager in 1992. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Rheology, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

John E. Johnston graduatedfrom the University of Akron with a Ph.D. in polymer science in 1975. He joined Exxon Chemical’s Paramins Technology Division in 1980 as the head of Viscosity Modifier Technology. In 1988, Dr. Johnston became leader of the company’s Worldwide Environmental Team and in 1990, Component Manager of Viscosity Modifiers. In 1991, he transferred to Exxon Research and Engineering Company’s Corporate Research unit as a section head in the Fuels and Lubes Science Section. His expertise includes polymerization catalysis, polymer structure/property relations, functionalization and characterization; lubricant additive chemistry and physical chemistry; environmental impact analysis of manufacturing processes. He is interested in advanced fuel and lube engine systems, friction and wear phenomena, and fuel and lube additive design.

Roger K. West began his career at Exxon Chemical Company in 1965 after earning a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1965. At Exxon, he served 28 years in elastomers research development, working principally in the synthesis of material in process development. His role in the development of the novel viscosity modifiers contributed know-how for a unique reactor that helped in production of the modifiers. West, who has four patents, 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.

JOSEPH DETTLING, Howell, N.J., ZHICHENG HU, Edison, N.J., Y.K. LUI, Parlin, N.J. and C.Z. WAN, Somerset, N.J.

Engelhard Industries, Iselin N.J. (908) 205-5230

The four men combined efforts for the invention and development of a three-way automotive catalyst for the Engelhard Corporation of Iselin, N.J., 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 has had a long history of generating creative inventions. He 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 has distinguished himself in the area of automotive catalysis. His 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 has been instrumental in the scale-up of new products and is sought as an internal consultant on plant issues. 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, Jensen Beach, Fla. (formerly Caldwell, N.J.)


Endotec, Inc., South Orange, N.J. (973) 762-0095

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

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

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, according to Buechel, 51, an alumnus and a clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at UMDNJ.

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 whi have dedicated themselves in making the Garden State a better place to live."

MELVIN E. KAMEN, Highlands, N.J. (732) 872-2832

Revlon Research Center, Edison, N.J.

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.

Kamen is also vice president of advanced technology at the Revlon Research Center. Kamen spent 10 years developing and refining the technology and 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, N.Y. (formerly Hanover, N.J.) (914) 258-1393

Tymac Controls Corporation, Franklin, N.J.

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.

Annual Award for Advancement of Invention

(Non-Profit Sector Award)


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 four 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.