Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CI developers get major award tonight

The National Academy of Engineering is giving five of the people who played important roles in the development of the cochlear implant one of the highest awards in engineering tonight. Receiving the 2015 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize--along with half-of-a-million dollars are:
  • Graeme Clark, an Australian doctor who was motivated to pioneer the first multi-channel implant by watching his deaf father struggle in his daily life.
  • Austria electrical engineer Ingeborg Hochmair worked with her husband, Erwin Hochmair, to develop their own multi-channel implant in Europe, eventually starting MED-EL--one of the "big three" cochlear implant makers. 
  • Blake Wilson, co-director of the Duke Hearing Center. He is strategy advisor for MED-EL and is credited with inventing many of the critical signal processing strategies used in implants today.
  • Michael M. Merzenich, a neuroscientist and professor of otolaryngology at the University of California at San Francisco, established some of the fundamental design for Advanced Bionics.
A ceremony will take place in Washington, D.C. this evening. There's more information from the National Academy of Engineering here.