President George W. Bush today announced the winners of the 2003 National Medal of Technology, including a team of Corning Incorporated scientists for their invention of the cellular ceramic substrate. While working at Corning in the 1970s Drs. Rodney D. Bagley, Irwin M. Lachman and Ronald M. Lewis developed a totally new, economical, high-performance cellular ceramic substrate that has since set the standard for vehicular catalytic converter efficiency worldwide.
The National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed by the President of the United States on America's leading innovators, recognizes technical contributions that significantly impact commerce and advance the American standard of living.
Since 1975, catalytic-converter-equipped vehicles have helped cut air pollution by more than 1.5 billion tons in the United States alone and 3 billion tons worldwide, according to the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA). Virtually every automotive company in the world today relies on the basis of the Corning team's cellular ceramic technology to control exhaust emissions.
Today's honor marks the fourth time Corning has been affiliated with the National Medal of Technology since the medal's inception in 1985.
In 1986, Dr. S. Donald Stookey, a retired Corning research fellow, was presented with the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan for his invention of glass-ceramics, photosensitive glass and photochromic glass.
In 1994, Corning Incorporated was honored for life-changing and life-enhancing inventions which made possible entire new industries – lighting, television and optical communications.
In 2000 another Corning team of scientists, Drs. Donald B. Keck, Robert D. Maurer and Peter C. Schultz were recognized for inventing low-loss optical fiber, a key enabler of the telecommunications revolution and the basis for one of the largest industries in the world today.
Commenting on today's announcement, Corning's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James R. Houghton stated, "Researchers Bagley, Lachman and Lewis' accomplishment exemplifies what Corning does best. More than 30 years ago our automotive contacts urged us to direct our research efforts toward discovering a 'miracle material' that could withstand the extreme temperatures and caustic environment of a catalytic converter. The reality was they were asking for a technology that didn't exist at that time.
"With our deep understanding of materials and manufacturing processes we seized the opportunity and eventually developed the ideal substrate material that went on to become the key enabler of today's advanced emission control systems. In fact, 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the commercialization of that technology."
Corning is a leading supplier of advanced catalytic converter substrates and particulate filters to the world's major manufacturers of gasoline and diesel engines and vehicles worldwide. In 1978, Corning developed the cellular ceramic particulate filter to remove soot from diesel emissions.
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