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  • Engineering Academy Names Century’s Top Achievements

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2000
On behalf of the National Academy of Engineering, astronaut Neil Armstrong announced the most important engineering achievements of the 20th century at a National Press Club luncheon celebrating National Engineers Week 2000. From 105 achievements nominated by 29 professional engineering societies, 20 were selected based on their impact on the quality of life in the past 100 years.

Three photonics achievements made the cut. Imaging technologies, 14th on the list, were judged to have revolutionized medical diagnostics. Lasers and fiber optics shared 18th place for such applications as nearly simultaneous worldwide communications, noninvasive surgery, optical data storage and point-of-sale bar-code scanners.

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