For a third time, Fisk University has received one of the most highly regarded science and technology awards for its groundbreaking development of hypersensitive crystals used in the detection of radiation. Fisk is the only minority serving institution to ever win the coveted recognition.
R&D 100 Awards identify the 100 most significant, newly introduced research and development advances in multiple scientific disciplines. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most technologically significant national and international innovations of the year. Awards will be formally presented at a ceremony in Orlando, Florida on November 11, 2010.
Today the University announced that it, along with partner institutions Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge national laboratories and Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. have earned an R&D 100 Award for its role in the development of more accurate and economical radiation detection devices. This is the third R&D 100 Award that the University has received for its work in this burgeoning area of research. Research in the area of crystal growth at Fisk, a key element in radiation detection devices, has been ongoing for approximately 25 years. Fisk’s role in the Department of Homeland Security funded initiative is the growth and optimization of Strontium Iodide crystals.
“This award recognizes the quality of research that Fisk brings to this area of science and technology,” said Fisk President Hazel R. O’Leary. “To be the only minority serving institution to have ever earned an R&D 100 Award is a significant accomplishment. The fact that this is our third award speaks volumes about the commitment and knowledge of Fisk’s researchers and students.”
Winners of the R&D 100 Awards are selected by an independent judging panel and the editors of R&D Magazine. The publication and its online portal serve research scientists, engineers, and other technical staff members at high tech industrial companies and public and private laboratories around the world.
“This is a technology that, through peaceful use, will help protect the lives of Americans and others across the globe,” said principle investigator and Fisk research professor Arnold Burger. “We are appreciative of the decades of hard work of our researchers as they continue to leverage science to address global issues. These crystals that we have produced are 10 times cheaper than the crystals currently in use and are more accurate because they produce drastically fewer false positives.”
Current radiation detection technology is expensive and limited in meeting the needs of airports, border crossings, ports, nuclear power plants, and other locations where radiological material might enter or be removed illicitly.
While other applications of its crystal research are still among its early stages, Fisk’s research may also have medical applications in the accelerated detection of cancer and improved diagnosis of osteoporosis.
Other inventions that have earned the award throughout its history include useful innovations from across the globe.
- 1963 – Polaroid Film
- 1973 – The Automated Teller Machine
- 1980 – The Liquid Crystal Display
- 1992 – The Nicoderm Anti-Smoking Patch
- 1998 – HDTV