Two Indian-Origin Inventors Inducted into U.S. Hall of Fame
Arogyaswami Paulraj has been inducted for his work in wireless technology while Sumita Mitra has won recognition for her innovations in the field of dental treatment.
Two innovation pioneers of Indian origin, Arogyaswami Paulraj and Sumita Mitra, were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHoF) this year. They will be felicitated alongside 13 other distinguished innovators on May 2 and 3, 2018.
Paulraj has been inducted for his 1992 U.S. patent on Multiple In-Multiple Out (MIMO) wireless technology while Mitra has received the honor for her invention and 3 U.S. patents for the non-composite dental filling material Filtek Supreme Restorative, that has been used in over 600 million procedures so far.
The NIHoF honors people who are responsible for the greatest technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible. Paulraj has joined eight other famed inventors in wireless technology who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The formal induction ceremony, “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” will be organized in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington DC.
Another U.S. patent holding wireless pioneer from India is Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose, known for his path-breaking work in radio and microwave optics in 1904. Some of the other prominent names in this field are radio transmission pioneer Guglielmo Marconi; Oliver Lodge, the inventor of wireless telegraph, Reginald Fessenden, who invented AM radio; and Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, among others.
A total of 561 inventors have been inducted into the U.S. Patent Office Hall of Fame so far, including inventors like Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Alexander Graham Bell and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
“The NIHoF recognition is a wonderful honor. I feel enormously humbled to be counted among the inventors who have made the modern world possible,” Paulraj said in a statement, adding that the fact that he was an outsider helped him come up with this transformative idea.
“Like many big breakthroughs, MIMO faced significant skepticism for a few years, but it eventually took off and is now the foundation of all wireless systems,” he said.
Paulraj hails from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu and after serving in the Indian Navy for 25 years, he joined Stanford University in the United States in 1992. This is where he did his work on MIMO. He is currently a professor emeritus there. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 2010.
Paulraj has also been helping India actively to prepare for the rollout of 5G. “The Department of Telecom has asked me to support their efforts to advance the applications and internal value addition in 5G wireless. I am very grateful for this opportunity. I have always felt that India needs to join the club of countries like US, China, Europe, S Korea and Japan that dominate communications and computing technology,” he said.
Mitra’s inventions have led to a number of breakthrough dental technologies, including nanocomposites and dental adhesives. She now runs Mitra Chemical Consulting LLC with her husband in Florida. She is an alumnus of Presidency. College and Calcutta University. She invented the first dental filling material to include nanoparticles when she was working as a chemist at 3M Oral Care, the dental products division of 3M Company, in the latter half of the 1990s.
The composite filling material, called Filtek™ Supreme Universal Restorative, is a versatile material that could be used for restoring teeth in any area of the mouth. Mitra holds 98 U.S. patents and their international equivalents.