Ivar Giaever, 2018 Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal

Dec 17, 2018

by ASME.org

The Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal, established in 2011, recognizes pioneering contributions to the frontiers of engineering that have led to a breakthrough in existing technology, or to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor.

Ivar Giaever, Ph.D., chief technology officer at Applied BioPhysics, Inc. in Troy, N.Y., is recognized for innovative experimental work in superconductor tunneling that led to a major advance in the understanding of the phenomenon of superconductivity and to new scientific instruments.

Dr. Giaever earned a mechanical engineering degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology before immigrating to Canada in 1954. He worked briefly at Canadian General Electric in Peterborough before moving to the U.S. to join GE in Schenectady, N.Y. After completing the company’s engineering program, he was with General Electric Research Laboratory from 1958 to 1988.

At GE, Dr. Giaever did research on superconductivity and electron tunneling while pursuing his doctorate in theoretical physics part time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He earned his Ph.D. from RPI in 1964. In 1965 he was awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize, and he was honored with a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 for his efforts on tunneling and superconductivity.

In 1988 Dr. Giaever joined the faculty at RPI and was institute professor until 2004. He and Dr. Charles R. Keese formed Applied BioPhysics in 1991 to develop, commercialize and market ECIS™, an electric cell-substrate impedance sensing technology they had invented while at GE, and other biophysical technologies. The ECIS approach has been applied to numerous applications and there are now ECIS instruments in research labs, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Dr. Giaever is the recipient of various honors including numerous academy memberships and honorary degrees. He was awarded Honorary Membership in ASME in 1977.

Video profile produced and written by Roger Torda and edited by Juan Yepes.

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