George E. Smith
The CCD is a silicon-based integrated circuit that converts light energy into an electronic charge. While not successful as a memory device, the CCD was key to dramatic advances in digital imaging technology. CCDs provide video imaging devices a wide range of applications, including broadcasting, digital cameras, endoscopy, desktop videoconferencing, fax machines, and bar code readers. CCDs’ sensitivity enables astronomers to study objects thousands of times fainter than they could with photographic plates.
Smith was born in White Plains, New York, attaining his B.S. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1959. He joined Bell Labs in 1959, retiring in 1986. Holding thirty patents and highly respected for his work on the CCD, Smith has been awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the Edwin Land Medal, and the Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute.
Smith was awarded the IEEE Morris Liebman Award in 1974 for his work on the CCD.