If your entry is selected as one of the year's most outstanding, you'll be named a finalist. We'll provide you with an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and the extraordinary opportunity to present your idea to our panel of judges at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.
Our judges are the most influential inventors and invention experts in the nation, representing a wide range of fields. Only the Collegiate Inventors Competition can bring you together with judges who are also National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, including:
Alfred Y. Cho, Ph.D.
Eric Fossum, Ph.D.
Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff, Jr., Ph.D.
Donald B. Keck, Ph.D.
Alois Langer, Ph.D.
Steve Sasson, D.Sc.
Klaus Schmiegel, Ph.D.
James West, D.Sc.
Robert Willson, Ph.D.
Alfred Y. Cho, Ph.D.
Born July 10, 1937
MOLECULAR BEAM EPITAXY
Patent Number(s) 3,830,654
Alfred Cho is considered “the father of molecular beam epitaxy,” a process in which materials are layered atop one another — atom-by-atom within a vacuum — with great precision to form devices like transistors and light-emitting diodes, or lasers. Learn more
Eric Fossum led the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that created a miniaturized camera technology known as the CMOS active pixel sensor camera-on-a-chip. Today, CMOS image sensors are a fixture in imaging. Learn more
In the late 1960s, many articles had discussed the possibility of a computer on a chip. However, all concluded that the integrated circuit technology was not yet ready. Ted Hoff was the first to recognize that Intel’s new silicon-gated MOS technology might make a single-chip CPU possible if a sufficiently simple architecture could be developed. Hoff developed such an architecture with just over 2000 transistors. Learn more
Corning Glass researchers Robert Maurer, Donald Keck, and Peter Schultz made optical fiber, capable of carrying 65,000 times more information than conventional copper wire, a practical reality. Learn more
Alois A. Langer was the engineer on the medical team that invented the first automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). This device is implanted in the human body and automatically corrects potentially fatal irregular heartbeat patterns called arrhythmias. It has revolutionized the way doctors treat heart patients, has been implanted in a U.S. vice president, and has saved thousands of lives. Learn more
In 1974, Kodak supervisor Gareth Lloyd asked electrical engineer Steve Sasson to investigate whether charge-coupled devices could be used to create an image sensor for a camera. After a year in the laboratory, Sasson created a device that captured an image, converted it to an electronic signal, digitized the signal, and stored the image—the first digital camera. Learn more
Klaus Schmiegel and Bryan Molloy co-invented a class of aryloxyphenylpropylamines which includes the compound fluoxetine hydrochloride. Fluoxetine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in Prozac®, the widely successful antidepressant. Learn more
While working for Xerox in Webster, NY, Gary Starkweather began work on an idea for a laser printer, a machine that could print any image created by a computer. Computer printers did exist at the time but were large, awkward, mechanical machines that had many limitations. After creating a crude prototype, Starkweather transferred to Xerox PARC in 1971 to continue developing his idea. Learn more
In 1962, James West and Gerhard Sessler patented the electret microphone while working at Bell Laboratories. In the electret microphone, thin sheets of polymer electret film are metal-coated on one side to form the membrane of the movable plate capacitor that converts sound to electrical signals with high fidelity. Learn more
While a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Robert Willson and faculty members Don Bitzer and Gene Slottow suggested making a plasma display as an improvement over traditional displays. Learn more
Judges also include the country’s most experienced invention experts and scientists, including representatives from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the AbbVie Foundation.
Your entry, which must be complete, workable and well-articulated, will be evaluated by our expert judges for originality, and for the inventiveness of the concept, process or technology it represents. Judging is also based on scope of use and potential social, environmental or economic value to society.