George Smith

The inaugural Celebrated Member Award was presented to Electron Device Letters founding editor and 2009 Nobel Laureate for Physics, George E. Smith.

George and his colleague Willard Boyle (a fellow EDS member and with whom George shares the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics) developed the Charged-Coupled Device (CCD) at the famous Bell Laboratories in New Jersey.

They were tasked with developing a new platform for information storage. The device they initially sketched was an image sensor based on Einstein's photoelectric effect, in which arrays of photocells emit electrons in amounts proportional to the intensity of incoming light. The electron content of each photocell could then be read out, transforming an optical image into a digital one. The charge-coupled device they created gave rise to the first CCD-based video cameras, which appeared in the early 1970s.

‚ÄúIt took about an hour and half to design the CCD,‚ÄĚ joked George, ‚Äúbut it took 40 years for us to get the Nobel.‚ÄĚ