Feb 27, 2012
Professor to be inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame
C. Kumar N. Patel, professor of physics and astronomy and electrical engineering, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the carbon dioxide laser in the early 1960s while he was at Bell Labs. He will be inducted along with eight other inventors of innovations that include the laser printer commonly found in the workplace, the thin-film head technology that has contributed to the success of the disk drive industry and the first statin which pioneered the class of drugs targeted at lowering cholesterol.
Patel, who left AT&T Bell Laboratories after 32 years, became vice chancellor for research at UCLA. Since ushering in the use of high-power laser applications, the CO2 laser has become common and versatile with uses in the medical, industria, and military arenas. He founded his own company, Pranalytica, to manufacture mid-infrared quantum cascade laser systems and gas sensing instruments.
This year’s induction ceremony, sponsored in part by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will take place on May 2 at the historic Patent Office Building, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C.
Inducted posthumously will be Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who was named on over 40 utility patents and was a major influence on personal computing, music, smart phones, table computing, animated movies, digital publishing and a number of other industries and fields.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame
is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring legendary inventors whose innovations and entrepreneurial endeavors have changed the world. It was founded in 1973 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association. With its 2012 induction, the Hall of Fame will have 470 inductees.