SID News

Society for Information Display News July/August 2014 Issue 4

SID 2015 honors and awards nominations

On behalf of the SID Honors and Awards Committee (H&AC), I am appealing for your active participation in the nomination of deserving individuals for the various SID honors and awards.  The SID Board of Directors, based on recommendations made by the H&AC, grants all the awards.  These awards include five major prizes awarded to individuals, not necessarily members of SID, based upon their outstanding achievements.  The Karl Ferdinand Braun prize is awarded for “Outstanding Technical Achievement in, or contribution to, Display Technology.”  The prize is named in honor of the German physicist and Nobel Laureate Karl Ferdinand Braun who, in 1897, invented the cathode-ray tube (CRT).  Scientific and technical achievements that cover either a wide range of display technologies or the fundamental principles of a specific technology are the prime reasons for awarding this prize to a nominee.  The Jan Rajchman prize is awarded for “Outstanding Scientific and Technical Achievement or Research in the Field of Flat-Panel Displays.”  This prize is specifically dedicated to those individuals who have made major contributions to one of the flat-panel-display technologies or, through their research activities, have advanced the state of understanding of one of those technologies.  The Otto Schade prize is awarded for “Outstanding Scientific or Technical Achievement in the Advancement of Functional Performance and/or Image Quality of Information Displays.”  This prize is named in honor of the pioneering RCA engineer Otto Schade, who invented the concept of the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and who used it to characterize the entire display system, including the human observer.  The advancement for this prize may be achieved in any display technology or display system or may be of a more general or theoretical nature.  The scope of eligible advancement is broadly envisioned to encompass the areas of display systems, display electronics, applied vision and display human factors, image processing, and display metrology.  The nature of eligible advancements may be in the form of theoretical or mathematical models, algorithms, software, hardware, or innovative methods of display-performance measurement, and image-quality characterization.  Each of these above-mentioned prizes carries a $2000 stipend sponsored by AU Optronics Corp., Sharp Corporation, and Samsung Display, respectively.

The Slottow–Owaki prize is awarded for “Outstanding Contributions to the Education and Training of Students and Professionals in the Field of Information Display.”  This prize is named in honor of Professor H. Gene Slottow, University of Illinois, an inventor of the plasma display and Professor Kenichi Owaki from the Hiroshima Institute of Technology and an early leader of the pioneering Fujitsu Plasma Display program.  The oustanding education and training contributions recognized by this prize is not limited to those of a professor in a formal university, but may also include training given by researchers, engineers, and managers in industry who have done an outstanding job developing information-display professionals.  The Slottow–Owaki prize carries a $2000 stipend made possible by a generous gift from Fujitsu, Ltd., and Professor Tsutae Shinoda.

The fifth major SID award, the Lewis and Beatrice Winner Award, is awarded for “Exceptional and Sustained Service to the Society.”  This award is granted exclusively to those who have worked hard over many years to further the goals of the Society.

The membership grade of SID Fellow Award is one of unusual professional distinction.  Each year the SID Board of Directors elects a limited number (up to 0.1% of the membership in that year) of SID members in good standing to the grade of Fellow.  To be eligible, candidates must have been members at the time of nomination for at least 5 years, with the last 3 years consecutive.  A candidate for election to Fellow is a member with “Outstanding Qualifications and Experience as a Scientist or Engineer in the Field of Information Display who has made Widely Recognized and Significant Contributions to the Advancement of the Display Field” over a sustained period of time.  SID members practicing in the field recognize the nominee’s work as providing significant technical contributors to knowledge in their area(s) of expertise.  For this reason, five endorsements from SID members are required to accompany each Fellow nomination.  Each Fellow nomination is evaluated by the H&AC, based on a weighted set of five criteria.  These criteria and their assigned weights are creativity and patents, 30%; technical accomplishments and publications, 30%; technical leadership, 20%; service to SID, 15%; and other accomplishments, 5%.  When submitting a Fellow award nomination, please keep these criteria with their weights in mind.

The Special Recognition Award is given annually to a number of individuals (membership in the SID is not required) of the scientific and business community for distinguished and valued contribution in the information-display field.  These awards are given for contributions in one or more of the following categories: (a) Outstanding Technical Accomplishments, (b) Outstanding Contributions to the Literature, (c) Outstanding Service to the Society, (d) Outstanding Entrepreneurial Accomplishments, and (e) Outstanding Achievements in Education.  When evaluating the Special Recognition Award nominations, the H&AC uses a five-level rating scale in each of the above-listed five categories, and these categories have equal weight.  Nominators should indicate the category in which a Special Recognition Award nomination is to be considered by the H&AC.  More than one category may be indicated.  The nomination should, of course, stress accomplishments in the category or categories selected by the nominator.

While an individual nominated for an award or election to Fellow may not submit his/her own nomination, nominators may, if necessary, ask a nominee for information that will be useful in preparing the nomination.  The nomination process is relatively simple, but requires that the nominator and perhaps some colleagues devote a little time to preparation of the supporting material that the H&AC needs in order to evaluate each nomination for its merit.  It is not necessary to submit a complete publication record with a nomination.  Just list the titles of the most significant half a dozen or less papers and patents authored by the nominee, and list the total number of papers and patents he/she has authored.

Determination of the winners for SID honors and awards is a highly selective process.  Last year less than 30% of the nominations were selected to receive awards.  Some of the major prizes are not awarded every year due to the lack of sufficiently qualified nominees or, in some cases, because no nominations were submitted.  On the other hand, once a nomination is submitted, it will stay active for three consecutive years and will be considered three times by the H&AC.  The nominator of such a nomination may improve the chances of the nomination by submitting additional material for the second or third year that it is considered, but such changes are not required.

Descriptions of each award and the lists of previous award winners can be found at  Nomination forms are available at where you will find Nomination Templates in both MS Word (preferred) and Text formats.  Please use the links to find the Sample Nominations, which are useful for composing your nomination since these are the actual successful nominations for some previous SID awards.  Nominations should preferably be submitted by e-mail.  However, you can also submit nominations by ordinary mail if necessary.

Please note that with each Fellow nomination, only five written endorsements by five SID members are required.  These brief endorsements – a minimum of 2–3 sentences to a maximum of one-half page in length – must state why clearly and succinctly, in the opinion of the endorser, the nominee deserves to be elected to a Fellow of the Society.  Identical endorsements by two or more endorsers will be automatically rejected (no form letters, please). Please send these endorsements to me either by e-mail (preferred) or by hardcopy to the address stated in the accompanying text box.  Only the Fellow nominations are required to have these endorsements.  However, I encourage you to submit at least a few endorsements for all nominations since they will frequently add further support to your nomination.

All 2015 award nominations are to be submitted by October 8, 2014.  E-mail your nominations directly to with cc to  If that is not possible, then please send your hardcopy nomination by regular mail.

As I state each year: “In our professional lives, there are few greater rewards than recognition by our peers.  For an individual in the field of displays, an award or prize from the SID, which represents his or her peers worldwide, is a most significant, happy, and satisfying experience.  In addition, the overall reputation of the society depends on the individuals who are in its ‘Hall of Fame.’

When you nominate someone for an award or prize, you are bringing happiness to an individual and his or her family and friends, and you are also benefiting the society as a whole.”

Thank you for your nomination in advance.

— Fan Luo
Chair, SID Honors & Awards Committee

SID honors and awards nominations

Nominations are now being solicited from SID members for candidates who qualify for SID Honors and Awards. 1.  Name, Present Occupation, Business and Home Address, Phone and Fax Numbers, and SID Grade (Member or Fellow) of Nominee.
•  KARL FERDINAND BRAUN PRIZE.  Awarded for an outstanding technical achievement in, or contribution to, display technology. 2.  Award being recommended:
     Jan Rajchman Prize
     Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize
     Otto Schade Prize
     Slottow–Owaki Prize
     Lewis & Beatrice Winner Award
     Special Recognition Award
*Nominations for election to the Grade of Fellow must be supported in writing by at least five SID members.
•  JAN RAJCHMAN PRIZE.  Awarded for an outstanding scientific or technical achievement in, or contribution to, research on flat-panel displays. 3.  Proposed Citation. This should not exceed 30 words.
•  OTTO SCHADE PRIZE.  Awarded for an outstanding scientific or technical achievement in, or contribution to, the advancement of functional performance and/or image quality of information displays. 4.  Name, Address, Telephone Number, and SID Membership Grade of Nominator.
•  SLOTTOW–OWAKI PRIZE.  Awarded for outstanding contributions to the education and training of students and professionals in the field of information display. 5.  Education and Professional History of Candidate. Include college and/or university degrees, positions and responsibilities of each professional employment.
•  LEWIS & BEATRICE WINNER AWARD.  Awarded for exceptional and sustained service to SID. 6.  Professional Awards and Other Professional Society Affiliations and Grades of Membership.
•  FELLOW.  The membership grade of Fellow is one of unusual professional distinction and is conferred annually upon a SID member of outstanding qualifications and experience as a scientist or engineer in the field of information display who has made widely recognized and significant contribution to the advancement of the display field. 7.  Specific statement by the nominator concerning the most significant achievement or achievements or outstanding technical leadership that qualifies the candidate for the award. This is the most important consideration for the Honors and Awards committee, and it should be specific (citing references when necessary) and concise.
 SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS.  Presented to members of the technical, scientific, and business community (not necessarily SID members) for distinguished and valued contributions to the information-display field. These awards may be made for contributions in one or more of the following categories: (a) outstanding technical accomplishments; (b) outstanding contributions to the literature; (c) outstanding service to the Society; (d) outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments; and (e) outstanding achievements in education. 8.  Supportive material. Cite evidence of technical achievements and creativity, such as patents and publications, or other evidence of success and peer recognition. Cite material that specifically supports the citation and statement in (7) above. (Note: the nominee may be asked by the nominator to supply information for his candidacy where this may be useful to establish or complete the list of qualifications).
Nominations for SID Honors and Awards must include the following information, preferably in the order given below.  Nomination Templates and Samples are provided at 9.  Endorsements. Fellow nominations must be supported by the endorsements indicated in (2) above. Supportive letters of endorser will strengthen the nominations for any award. <
E-mail the complete nomination – including all the above material by October 8, 2014
to with cc to or by regular mail to:
Fan Luo, Honors and Awards Chair, Society for Information Display, 1475 S. Bascom Ave., Ste. 114, Campbell, CA 95008, U.S.A.


SID Announces New Officers

The Society for Information Display recently announced its new Executive Committee Officers and Committee Chairs.  SID’s new President is Amal Ghosh, who is currently Senior Vice-President at eMagin Corp.  Yong-Seog Kim, a faculty member at Hongik University in Korea, is President-Elect.  Helge Seetzen, CEO of TandemLaunch, is the new Treasurer; Takatoshi Tsujimura, General Manager and Department Head of Konica-Minolta’s OLED Business, is Secretary; and Brian Berkeley, Senior Vice-President of Engineering at Samsung Display in San Jose, will serve as Past-President.

New chapter directors and committee chairs are as follows:  Sanjiv Sambandan, India Chapter Director; John Vieth, Canada Chapter Director; Larry Tannas, Jr., Archives Chair; Aris Silzars, Bylaws Chair; Seonki Kim, Program Chair for Display Week 2015; and Shin-Tson Wu, General Chair for Display Week 2015.

Best in Show and I-Zone Winners Named at Display Week

SID’s Display Awards Committee recently selected five Best in Show winners and one Best Prototype at Display Week 2014 in San Diego.  The winning Best in Show products were as follows:

Small Exhibit Category
    Nanosys  For its true-to-life display experience with high dynamic range and wide color gamut (made in partnership with Dolby)
    GroGlass  For its AR-coated glass and acrylic that virtually eliminate reflection

Medium Exhibit Category
    AU Optronics Corp  For its WQHD ultra- high-resolution smartphone displays

Large Exhibit Category
    LG Display  For its UD OLED TVs
    BOE  For its 8K x 4K display

The Best Prototype winner, selected from the exhibitors at Display Week’s Innovation Zone, was Ostendo Technologies, which demonstrated a novel display device called the Quantum Photonic Imager (QPI).

An article describing the 2014 winning products in detail will appear in the September/ October post-show issue of Information Display.

* *  The Passing of Two Display Giants  * *

Bernard J. Lechner Was SID President, TV Expert

by Phil Heyman and John van Raalte

Bernard J. Lechner, one of the world’s leading experts on television systems and electronic displays, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014, at the age of 82.  Lechner spent 30 years at RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, in positions of increasing responsibility, from member of the technical staff to Staff Vice-President for Advanced Video Systems Research.  He retired in 1987 to become a much sought-after independent consultant.  Among many other contributions he made in the mid-1960s, Lechner led a small team of engineers who developed the technology to matrix-address liquid-crystal displays that is still in use today.

Lechner was a strong supporter of the Society for Information Display in its formative years and was a principal architect of SID’s International Symposium, Seminar,
and Exhibition (Display Week), as well as of the original IEEE co-sponsored Biennial Display Research Conference.  Among his many efforts on behalf of SID, he served as program and general chair for the technical symposium and also as Honors & Awards chair for several years.  In 1971, the Society for Information Display (SID) named him the first recipient of the Frances Rice Darne Award, and, in 1983, he was named the first recipient of the Beatrice Winner Award.  He was elected to the SID Board of Directors in 1972 and served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-President, and President of SID.  He was also a SID fellow.

Lechner is widely known for his extensive contributions to the development of HDTV standards.  During 1989 and 1990, he served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the final meetings of the Comité Consultatif International des Radiocommunications (CCIR) in Geneva concerning international HDTV standards.  In 2000, he was honored by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) as the first recipient of the ATSC Outstanding Contributor Award, which has become an annual award named in his honor. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded two Emmys to the broadcast camera projects for which Mr. Lechner led the research teams.

During his career, Lechner received two RCA Laboratories Outstanding Achievement Awards.

In 1996, he was awarded the David Sarnoff Gold Medal by SMPTE for his contributions to the technologies essential to today’s television systems.  In 2001, he received the SMPTE Progress Medal Award, its highest honor.  In 2002, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) presented the NAB Television Engineering Achievement Award, its highest technical honor, to Lechner.  He was an inaugural member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.  In August 2011, the IEEE presented the Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal to Lechner – along with T. Peter Brody and Fang-Chen Luo – in honor of their pioneering work on liquid-crystal display technology, which set the stage for the proliferation of today’s flat-screen televisions, monitors, and mobile phones.

Bernard J. Lechner (right) receives the first-ever Beatrice Winner Award at Display Week in Philadelphia in 1983 from John van Raalte, the author.  Photo courtesy John van Raalte.

George H. Heilmeier Was LCD Pioneer

by Joe Castellano

Liquid-crystal pioneer Dr. George H. Heilmeier passed away on April 22, 2014, in Plano, Texas.  He and his team at RCA built the first liquid-crystal display that operated at or below room temperature.

Heilmeier received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and upon graduation was recruited by RCA to join the company’s doctoral study award program in conjunction with Princeton University.  He focused on parametric amplification, tunnel-diode down-converters, millimeter-wave generation, ferroelectric thin-film devices, organic semiconductors, and electro-optic effects in liquid crystals.

In the fall of 1964, he began experimenting with methods to produce a color display using liquid crystals.  It was Heilmeier’s idea to “dope” host nematic liquid crystals with guest “dichroic dyes” to produce a color effect, which he dubbed the guest-host effect.  Soon after this discovery, he and his colleagues discovered a technique to electrically switch a liquid-crystal cell from a transparent state to a highly scattering opaque state, which he called the dynamic scattering effect.  Based on this effect, he and his team built the first liquid-crystal display that operated at or below room temperature in 1966.  (While at RCA, Heilmeier worked with fellow display pioneer Bernard Lechner, who also passed away in April 2014.)

Heilmeier spent much of the 1970s at the United States Department of Defense.  In December 1977, he left government to become Vice-President at Texas Instruments; in 1983 he was promoted to Chief Technical Officer.  From 1991 to 1996, he was president and CEO of Bellcore (now Telcordia), ultimately overseeing its sale to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).  He served as the company’s chairman and CEO from 1996 to 1997 and afterwards as its chairman emeritus.

Heilmeier received numerous awards, including the David Sarnoff Team Award in Science, Industrial Research Institute Medal, the National Academy of Engineering Founders Award, two Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medals, the IEEE Medal of Honor, the Kyoto Prize, the Draper Prize, and the National Medal of Science. He was also inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.

On a personal note, I was privileged to be a member of George’s team when we built that first liquid-crystal display.  He was not only an outstanding team leader, but a trusted and valued mentor and friend over many years.  •

George Heilmeier poses with a prototype in 1968.  Photo courtesy Joseph A. Castellano.