15 World Renowned Change Agents to be Recognized for Transformative Innovations, from the Band-Aid® to Lead-Free Solder


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jan. 26, 2017 – The National Inventors Hall of Fame, in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is pleased to announce the 2017 class of Inductees, all of whom have contributed to society in meaningful ways through their groundbreaking, patented innovations.

For full biographies on each Inductee, visit:

The 2017 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees are as follows:

  • Iver Anderson – Lead-Free Solder
    As a result of Anderson’s discovery, well over 50,000 tons of lead per year will no longer be released into the environment, worldwide. The lead-free solder is found in most consumer electronic devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets.
  • Donald Arney – Bambi Bucket® for Aerial Firefighting
    The Bambi Bucket® is an efficient collapsible bucket controlled by the pilot, improving water delivery to the area of the fire. Ultimately, it saves forests, lives and properties.
  • Carolyn Bertozzi – Bioorthogonal Chemistry
    Bertozzi is recognized for her work in the development of the field of Bioorthogonal Chemistry, which allows researchers to chemically modify molecules within living systems.
  • Eli Harari – Floating Gate EEPROM
    Harari is the inventor of the Floating Gate EEPROM and co-inventor of System-Flash. His work served as the foundation for transforming flash memory into a highly versatile portable mass-storage media and led to the development and commercialization of the compact, low cost flash memory that is found today in the vast majority of portable electronic devices. Harari founded SanDisk and served as its CEO for 22 years until his retirement in 2010.
  • Marshall Jones – Industrial Lasers
    Jones invented novel methods to weld dissimilar metals and developed fiber optic systems that made lasers much more convenient for industrial applications, particularly at a time when lasers were uncommon in materials processing.
  • Frances Ligler – Portable Optical Biosensors
    Ligler is recognized for her innovative application of emerging technologies in a variety of fields to make optical biosensors smaller, more versatile and more sophisticated. Thanks to her work conducted at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), biosensors have moved out of the lab and into use for food safety, disease diagnosis, pollution control and homeland security.
  • Tom Leighton and Daniel Lewin (Posthumous Inductee) – Content Delivery Network
    Their work encompassed powerful algorithms that solved routing and traffic problems so we can all move more freely around the Internet.
  • Earle Dickson (Posthumous Inductee) – Band-Aid® Adhesive Bandage
    The adhesive bandage was invented because Dickson sought a better, more practical solution to an everyday problem.
  • Harold “Bud” Froehlich (Posthumous Inductee) – Alvin Deep-Sea Submersible
    Alvin was able to hold three crewmembers and dive to over 14,000 feet. Its small size and maneuverability enabling valuable deep-sea research and discoveries. After completing over 4,800 dives, Alvin has recovered hydrogen bombs and explored the Titanic.
  • Haren Gandhi (Posthumous Inductee) – Automotive Exhaust Catalysts
    Gandhi spent 35 years at the Ford Motor Company where he achieved the rank of Henry Ford Technical Fellow, the highest level a scientist can achieve within the company. His work with catalysts greatly improved the quality of exhaust by converting pollutants to harmless emissions.
  • Howard Head (Posthumous Inductee) – Laminate Ski; Oversized Tennis Racket
    His inventive redesigns of downhill skis and tennis rackets have benefited both professional and recreational participants. So effectively did his designs work that some sports buffs refer to him as “the patron saint of the average athlete.”
  • Beatrice Hicks (Posthumous Inductee) – Device for Sensing Gas Density
    Hicks invented a gas density sensor used by the NASA space program. Her sensor activated a switch, indicating a leak, when there was a change in the density of artificial atmospheres protecting electronic equipment and other vital mechanisms.
  • Allene Jeanes (Posthumous Inductee) – Dextran Production; Xanthan Gum
    Jeanes is celebrated for her work with polysaccharides dextran and xanthan gum. A majority of her work was conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northern Regional Research Lab (NRRL), now known as the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR). As a result of her research and innovation, the NRRL became a leader in carbohydrate research.
  • Augustine Sackett (Posthumous Inductee) – Drywall
    His invention is used in almost all houses and buildings today and cuts weeks off the time needed to complete a project.

Both the 2017 class and Inductees from previous years will be honored at the “Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” a two-day event held in our nation’s capital. Mo Rocca, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and Host of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

  • May 3 – Illumination Ceremony at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Va., where the 2017 Inductees will place illuminated hexagons bearing their names in the Gallery of Icons™.
  • May 4 – The 45th Annual National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the National Building Museum in D.C., where the new Inductee class will be honored for lighting the “fire of genius” through their contributions to the prosperity and well-being of America and the world. To learn more about the event, sponsor or to buy tickets, visit:

“Each year, we induct a new class of industry pioneers into the National Inventors Hall of Fame who have conceived and patented innovations to further our nation, and this year’s class is no exception,” said National Inventors Hall of Fame CEO, Mike Oister. “This year’s Inductees have provided solutions to life’s common problems and as a result, they’ve enhanced our lives.”

“I am humbled and honored to be in such great company,” said Frances Ligler, 2017 Inductee and inventor of Portable Optical Biosensors. “As an inventor who has enjoyed making things from my earliest childhood years, I look forward to partnering with the National Inventors Hall of Fame to inspire the next generation of creative scientists and engineers, especially young women who aspire to be inventors in their own right.”

The 2017 Inductees, as a part of their involvement with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, will help to foster the development of America’s next generation of innovators by inspiring the curriculum of Camp Invention, the nation’s premier summer enrichment day camp that encourages innovation in youth and focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Inductees also serve as judges for the Collegiate Inventors Competition, a national platform for showcasing the emerging ideas and technologies that will benefit our society in the future.

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About the National Inventors Hall of Fame:
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier non-profit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but also to ensure American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and challenging collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To date, NIHF has served over 1 MILLION children and 125,000 educators and interns, and awarded more than $1 million to winning college students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors.