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Patented Success

Posted by on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 in Just the Facts, Spring 2010.

If it doesn’t exist or it needs improvement, invent and innovate. These are just a few Vanderbilt University School of Engineering alumni who did just that.

William H. Armistead, BE’37, MS’38, PhD’41

As an inventor and leader of R&D for Corning Inc., Armistead was responsible for more than 50 patented glass innovations. He launched Corning into the eyeglass market (think Photogray lenses that change in response to UV rays) and television glass. He helped develop Corning’s popular glass product, Corelle, and later became Corning’s vice chairman.

W. Robert Clay, BE’54

Transformers, generators, computers, photocopiers and even microwave ovens use Bob Clay’s work. Clay spent 10 years developing and marketing paper made with DuPont’s Nomex aramid fiber (he holds one of the earliest patents for the paper). The electrical insulation product keeps motors, generators and transformers running even under extreme heat.

Charles M. Krutchen, BE’56

Krutchen has more than 33 process patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The chemical engineer worked for Mobil as a plastics engineer and developed several systems for polymer and polystyrene resin foam extrusions. His work shows up in insulation, shipping materials, foam cups, meat trays and snack food containers.

Moenes Zaher Iskarous, MS’92, PhD’95

Iskarous works at Intel Corp., where he participates in research and developed several patented computer and electrical engineering projects. He holds three patents and has three more in progress. An early patent provided an efficient method to retrieve video images stored in computer RAM. Where would computers be without him?

Michael E. Polites, PhD’86

One of NASA’s most decorated engineers, Polites holds four patents that make possible low-power, reaction-less scanning of experiments in air and space. Because of their importance, he was selected NASA– Marshall Space Flight Center Inventor of the Year and received the NASA Research and Technology Award. Polites was a key designer of the pointing systems for a number of successful NASA spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope.