Ten Alaskans, including six from the University of Fairbanks and Geophysical Institute, were inducted into the Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony in Juneau on April 7.
The induction was part of the annual Innovation Summit sponsored by the Juneau Economic Development Council. Vice President of Academics, Students and Research Dr. Paul Layer and Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer co-hosted the event.
“The Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions or lifetime achievements in their field that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, the environment, the welfare of the people of Alaska and/or a global impact,” Layer said. “These are inventors and innovators in the fields of science, engineering and technology.”
The 10 inductees and their notable achievements are:
Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu - An expert in aurora physics, solar physics, geophysics and magnetosphere, Akasofu’s work in these fields has been recognized worldwide as innovative, cutting edge and groundbreaking.
Dr. Terry Chapin - Chapin has made critical contributions to the field of ecology including 12 books, 500 peer reviewed publications and numerous innovations and insights that have had a huge impact on his field.
Dr. Keith Cox - Cox has made a tremendous impact on the seafood industry with his Certified Quality Reader which can determine the freshness of seafood quickly and easily. The technology can also be used in forensic science as well to assist law enforcement determine time of death for murder victims.
Jack Dangermond - Dangermond created ESRI, a worldwide standard in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and analysis that got its impetus in Alaska. This platform is an industry standard that has had a transformative impact on almost every facet of the public and private sector.
Dr. Mike Edgington - Edgington has made an amazing number of contributions to the field of speech technology and digital linguistics. From creating text-to-speech programs, to developing the underlying speech generation system used by the National Weather Service, to more recently aiding in the development of Siri for Apple, he has had a profound impact on his field.
Alan Erickson - Erickson co-founded Indemis Inc. and developed a rigid, inflatable parachute for drones that the federal government says will allow drones to fly over populated areas, greatly expanding the drone industry’s market and services.
Dr. Don Hampton - A pioneer in using cutting edge optics and image capture technology, Hampton has developed infrared spectrographs and published high resolution time lapse photography of the aurora in Alaska.
Dr. Orion Lawlor - Lawlor has led a team of researchers working on developing materials that are crucial to prepare local and national entities for Covid-19 responses and safety efforts.
Greg Shipman - Through his work at UAF, Shipman has created many innovative products such as the pinbone machine for the fishing industry, 3D printed femurs for the medical community, core drilling technology to assist geologists and many more devices to help key industries and research sectors in Alaska thrive.
Dr. John Walsh - A leading climate and weather expert in the world, Walsh is using his expertise to develop cutting edge tools and innovations that have had a profound impact on climate research and arctic climate modeling.
The Alaska State Committee on Research (SCoR) created the Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame in 2014 to celebrate and honor outstanding individuals who are leaders in innovation and contribute to growing Alaska’s culture of innovation.
Learn more about the IHOF at: https://www.alaska.edu/research/innovators/index.php.