IBM Research's H. Kumar Wickramasinghe elected member of the National Academy of Engineering

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February 12 - 12 Feb 1998: -- The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced that H. Kumar Wickramasinghe has been elected as a member of the Academy for his outstanding accomplishments in nanoscale measurement systems and their application to precision metrology.

"A large part of making these measurements is to do it in a nondestructive way," said Wickramasinghe. "When you take a wafer off a production line, you want to replace it without destroying the surface. My team and I came up with all sorts of ways to do non-destructive nanoscale measurements of different physical properties. For example, we can look at a sixteen megabit chip, then look inside where 1 bit of information is stored in a small trench in the silicon, and precisely measure all the distances inside of this trench. By developing methods for such minuscule measurements we now have new tools for understanding and controlling processes at the nanoscale level."

Wickramasinghe is the manager of Imaging Science and Measurement Technology at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Over a decade ago, he intiated and led the work that has resulted in a range of nondestructive nanoscale measurement technologies for chips, magnetic heads and disks which are used worldwide. Before joining IBM Research in 1984, he held positions at Stanford University in California and the University of London. Wickramasinghe received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1974.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions awarded an engineer. One of the purposes of the NAE is to advise the Congress and the executive branch of the government on matters of national importance pertinent to engineering. It is awarded to those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice, including significant contributions to the literature of engineering" as well as the "demonstration of unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology."

Wickramasinghe was elected along with 84 other engineers and 7 foreign associates, bringing the Academy's total U.S. membership to 1,941.

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