Innovating Efficiently

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Innovating Efficiently

Meet 2019 NIHF Inductees Jeff Kodosky and James Truchard!

We are honored to have Jeff Kodosky and James Truchard join the National Inventors Hall of Fame®.

The Invention

Kodosky and Truchard invented LabVIEW™ (Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Engineering Workbench), a programming language that allows engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test and control applications.

LabVIEW stood apart from other programming languages because it allowed programs to be created with user-friendly graphical notation, rather than with text programming, and its users could customize their virtual instruments. “The basis of this tool,” Truchard said, “is to offer the ability to innovate quickly.”

LabVIEW has made a significant impact across a wide range of industries, including electronics, energy, aerospace, automotive and academic research.

The Inventors

Both Kodosky and Truchard were employed as researchers at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s. While working on a project for the U.S. Navy, they became frustrated by the inefficient data collection tools used at the time. In response to such challenges, they began working together to find a solution.

Along with co-worker Bill Nowlin, the duo formed National Instruments (NI) in 1976.

In 1983, Kodosky and Truchard were inspired by the impact that spreadsheets had made in the financial field. Truchard explained, “I wanted software for testing and measurement to do what the spreadsheet had done for financial analysis, and Jeff wanted to invent a programming language. We both got our wish.” 

Working out of Truchard’s garage they would develop what would become NI’s flagship product — LabVIEW.

Kodosky and Truchard challenged standard practices at the time, combining their skills and demonstrating resourcefulness to design their innovative programming solution.

The Impact

Since LabVIEW’s release in 1986, this award-winning tool has supported the work of engineers, academics and scientists worldwide, and its features continue to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators.

Truchard retired from NI in 2017 and is focusing his energies on Alzheimer’s research. Kodosky is still with NI and continues to create new products for the company.

Truchard has been honored with election to IEEE and Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and named a member of ISA. Kodosky has been awarded the Electronic Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award and the Rensselear Polytechnic Institute’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kodosky and Truchard will join the ranks of other global innovators in the National Inventors Hall of Fame during the 2019 Induction Ceremony on May 2. 

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