University of Rochester

Three Local Innovators Honored for Breakthrough Inventions

February 4, 2004

Three local inventors will be honored tonight at the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems’ (CEIS) first annual award dinner. Each of the three inventors—David Williams and Mark Bocko of the University of Rochester, and Mark Fairchild of the Rochester Institute of Technology—have been especially successful in bringing their original research to market.

Russell W. Bessette, executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research, will present the engraved crystal awards at 4:30 p.m. during the CEIS University Technology Showcase at the Hyatt Regency.

Mark Bocko, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be recognized for the economic impact his research into gravity waves has produced. Bocko has used his research to help the Buffalo company, PCB Piezotronics, create a new device that measures gradual motions like braking and cornering in a car, or stresses in a bridge. As a result of the demand for the new device, PCB Piezotronics has created five engineering and technician positions.

David Williams, director of the Center for Visual Science, has focused on providing a clearer view of the human retina using a technique called “adaptive optics” that has traditionally been used on astronomical telescopes to correct for atmospheric blur. The same technology can be used to exactly measure the distortions in an individual's eye and thus allow for exact correction in conventional ophthalmics, plastic inserts, laser surgery, and contact lenses. Williams has worked closely with Bausch & Lomb on all phases of the development of this technology. In addition to many other awards, Williams is also a 2003 recipient of an R&D Magazine R&D 100 award for the 100 most technologically significant inventions of the year.

Mark Fairchild, director of the Munsell Color Science Laboratory, is being honored for his work ensuring the quality of color images. Through interactions with Fairchild over the year, Xerox’s researchers have learned more about color and have used that knowledge to improve their color printing technology. The Color Business Report and PC Magazine have noted the exceptional color image quality of the new Xerox color printers, which is almost certainly responsible for increased sales of particular Xerox products.

CEIS benefits the state’s economy by matching the researchers at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology with New York State and Rochester region businesses. Some of the smaller companies might not be able to afford hiring full-time scientists. The center looks for a good fit between the work a researcher is doing in the lab and work that is needed by local companies, and helps facilitate a sharing of knowledge and resources. The businesses benefit by receiving cutting-edge research, while the scientists benefit by having additional funding to carry out their research.

The CEIS technology showcase will offer presentations from a variety of university researchers as well as industry-sponsored research projects. The public is invited to come and browse research presentations and posters, and to network with other industry participants and faculty researchers from the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cornell University. Representatives from the technology transfer offices of the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology will be available to discuss University intellectual property. The University Technology Showcase is free.

To register and review the agenda, go to