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Research Team from Corning Incorporated Earn Nation’s Highest Honor for Accomplishments

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March 14, 2005 -- A team of scientists formerly with Corning Incorporated in Corning, N.Y., will receive the 2003 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor for technology innovation, from President George W. Bush on March 14 at the White House.

The Corning scientists, Rodney D. Bagley, Irwin M. Lachman, and Ronald M. Lewis will be honored for the “pioneering work that resulted in the design and manufacture of the cellular ceramic substrate for catalytic converters which enabled auto manufacturers to develop the world’s first commercially mass-produced automatic catalytic converter,” according to the citation from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The scientists developed the substrate in the 1970s.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez congratulated Drs. Bagley, Lachman, and Lewis for their accomplishments: “I join the President in congratulating and thanking the 2003 National Medal of Technology laureates. Each embodies America’s pioneering spirit of innovation, and has made a lasting contribution to our nation’s global competitiveness and the quality of life throughout the world. They deserve our appreciation for serving as role models and an inspiration for future generations by helping to make America the leader in innovation.”

James R. Houghton, Corning’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the accomplishments of the Corning researchers “exemplify 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. 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the commercialization of that technology.”

Rodney D. Bagley was born in 1934 in Ogden, Utah. He studied at the University of Utah, earning a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering in 1960 and a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering in 1964. Throughout his career, Bagley earned many awards, including the 1980 American Society of Metals Engineering Materials Achievement Award, the 1985 Samuel Geijsbeck Award from the American Ceramics Society and the 1990 “Mountain Man of the Year” award from the University of Utah. He retired from Corning in 1995 and is now living in Big Flats, N.Y., east of Corning.

Irwin M. Lachman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930, but raised in Roosevelt, New Jersey. He graduated in 1948 from Upper Freehold Township High School, now called Allentown High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from The Ohio State University. Before joining Corning, he was a first Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and a research engineer at Thermo Materials, Inc. in Menlo Park, Cal. and at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM. Lachman is a fellow of the American Ceramics Society and is the holder of 39 United States patents. He retired from Corning in 1994 and currently resides in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Ronald M. Lewis was born in 1936 in Manhattan, N.Y., and was a 1957 Magna Cum Laude graduate of The City College of New York, earning his bachelor’s degree in geology. He continued his education at The Pennsylvania State University and completed graduate work in mineralogy and petrology. In addition to his contributions through Corning, Lewis had a National Science Foundation Fellowship, worked for Solid-State Materials Consulting, served on the Energy Advisory Committee for U.S. Representative Stanley N. Lundine and worked at Ingersoll-Rand, Inc. Along with Bagley and Lachman, Lewis was awarded the 1996 Academy of Ceramics International Ceramic Prize for their invention. Now retired, Lewis lives in Horseheads, N.Y., near Corning.

The honor marks the fourth time Corning has been affiliated with the National Medal of Technology. In 1986, Dr. S. Donald Stookey, a retired Corning research fellow, was presented with the Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan for his invention of galas-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.

The National Medal of Science honors individuals in a variety of fields for pioneering scientific research that has led to a better understanding of the world around us, as well as to the innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge. The National Science Foundation administers the award, established by Congress in 1959. For more information about the National Medal of Science visit www.nsf.gov/nsb/awards/nms/medal.htm.

The National Medal of Technology recognizes men and women who embody the spirit of American innovation and have advanced the nation’s global competitiveness. Their groundbreaking contributions commercialize technologies, create jobs, improve productivity and stimulate the nation’s growth and development. This award, established by Congress in 1980, is
administered by the Department of Commerce. For more information about the National Medal of Technology visit http://www.technology.gov/PRel/pr050215.htm.

More information about the laureates can be found on the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation Website at www.nationalmedals.org.

The 2003 National Medal of Science Laureates:

Behavioral/Social Sciences
R. Duncan Luce, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, Calif.

Biological Sciences
J. Michael Bishop, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
Solomon H. Snyder, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
Charles Yanofsky, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

Engineering
John M. Prausnitz, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.

Mathematics
Carl R. De Boor, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Physical Sciences
G. Brent Dalrymple, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.
Riccardo Giacconi, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

The 2003 National Medal of Technology Laureates:

• Jan D. Achenbach, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
• Watts S. Humphrey, Software Engineering Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Robert M. Metcalfe, Polaris Venture Partners, Waltham, Mass.
• UOP LLC, Des Plaines, Ill.
• Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison, Wis.
• Team of: Rodney D. Bagley, retired – Corning Incorporated,
Corning, N.Y., Irwin Lachman, retired – Corning Incorporated, Corning, N.Y.,
Ronald M. Lewis, former employee – Corning Incorporated, Corning, N.Y.

Media Contacts

Joe Sutherland Office phone: 301-652-1558
Email address: jsutherland@burnesscommunications.com
Marjorie Weisskohl
U.S. Department of Commerce
Office phone: 202-482-0149
Email address: marjorie.weisskohl@technology.gov
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