WASHINGTON (20 April 2010) -- Ultrasound pioneer Gerald J. Posakony was honored with the John Fritz Medal -- the highest award in the engineering profession on Monday night by the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES).
Posakony's pioneering contributions to the fields of ultrasonics, medical diagnostic ultrasound and nondestructive evaluation technologies were recognized during AAES' 31st annual awards ceremony at the Great Hall of the National Academy of Engineering. He was one of six engineers honored.
Posakony's work on medical ultrasound technology began in the early 1950s when he was the lead engineer on an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging system for investigating human disease processes. His efforts, particularly in the development of ultrasonic transducers -- the "eyes" of an ultrasound system -- have contributed greatly to modern ultrasound technology. The medical imaging of muscles, tendons and internal organs is used to gauge their size and structure and determine if pathological lesions are present. Obstetric sonography is important in monitoring the health of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
Posakony also designed, fabricated and tested an ultrasonic phased array system for the Electric Power Research Institute to conduct inspections of nuclear power plant components. The transducer he developed to test for aging in the Sparrow solid rocket motor enabled the U.S national inventory to be screened, and aged motors to be removed.
A former senior research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., Posakony graduated from Iowa State University in 1949 with a degree in electrical engineering. He holds 13 patents and became an honorary IEEE member in 2009.
The John Fritz Medal is presented each year for scientific or industrial achievement in any field of pure or applied science. It was established in 1902 as a memorial to the engineer whose name it bears. Past
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