The name may not be on the tip of your tongue, but Stanford Ovshinsky had the kind of impact on our industry that we probably all strive for. Over 400 patents were granted to him including an environmentally friendly nickel-metal hydride battery, continuous web multi-junction flexible thin-film solar energy laminates and panels; flat screen liquid crystal displays; rewritable CD and DVD discs; hydrogen fuel cells; and nonvolatile phase-change memory. Perhaps his biggest impact was in the area of amorphous and disordered materials, work that he started in the 40’s and 50’s. He helped found a new field of physics that studies the electronics of amorphous materials resembling glass that helped lead to flat-panel displays, solar cells and many other breakthroughs.
Ovshinsky was born in Akron, Ohio in 1922. After graduating from high school, he went straight to work. For those of you who never went to college, you are in good company. Mr, yes that is Mr Ovshinsky is self-taught, without formal college or graduate training.
He died on October 17th 2012 at the age of 89 from prostate cancer. Your name may not be remembered but your legacy will.
Brian Bailey – keeping you covered
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