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Eric Fossum Named Edwin H. Land Medal Recipient

Mar 09, 2020   |   OSA

The Optical Society and Society for Imaging Science and Technology honor solid-state image sensor device physicist

The Optical Society (OSA) and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) are pleased to name Eric R. Fossum of Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the 2020 Edwin H. Land Medal winner. Fossum is recognized for the invention and commercialization of advanced CMOS optical sensor imaging technology and the Quanta Image Sensor, and for university entrepreneurial and national young inventor training activities.

“As the inventor of the CMOS image sensor as well as an entrepreneur and educator, Eric Fossum truly deserves recognition as this year’s Edwin Land Medalist,” said 2020 OSA President Stephen D. Fantone, founder and president of Optikos Corporation. “CMOS image sensors are now found in nearly all camera phones and other electronic imaging devices—making it an enabling ground-breaking contribution to digital imaging technology.”

Fossum is a solid-state image sensor device physicist and engineer. After working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Caltech, USA, he co-founded several startups and served as CEO. He is currently Dartmouth's Krehbiel Professor for Emerging Technologies. He has published over 300 technical papers and holds over 170 US patents. He is an OSA and IEEE Fellow, NAE member, NIHF inductee and Queen Elizabeth Prize Laureate.

“I feel honored and grateful to the OSA for this wonderful recognition. I am especially pleased that the medal citation includes my research work at Dartmouth as well as my work with students of all ages in invention and entrepreneurial thinking.” —Eric Fossum

Fossum invented the CMOS active pixel image sensor with intra-pixel charge transfer while at JPL, the basis for all modern CMOS image sensors. He further developed and commercialized the technology with colleagues at their startup, Photobit. He later invented the photon-counting Quanta Image Sensor. At Dartmouth, he developed the QIS technology with his students and co-founded Gigajot. He works with students and faculty to foster innovation and entrepreneurial thinking at Dartmouth and with the NIHF Camp Invention program.

The 2020 medal will be presented in September during OSA’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Established in 1992, the Edwin H. Land Medal recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies and products. It honors Edwin H. Land for his unique career as scientist, technologist, industrialist, humanist and public servant. The medal is jointly presented by OSA and IS&T, and funded through the support of the Polaroid Foundation, the Polaroid Retirees Association and individual contributors, including Manfred Heiting, Theodore Voss and John J. McCann.

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