Edward West, Ph.D., is a Bell Laboratories Fellow at Lucent Technologies
where he specializes in electro, physical, and architectural acoustics.
James West's research in the early 1960s led to the development of foil-electret
transducers for sound recording and voice communication that are used in
90% of all
microphones built today and
at the heart of most new telephones being
new microphone became widely used because of its high performance, accuracy,
and reliability, in addition to its low cost, small size, and light weight.
Born in Prince Edward County, Virginia
on February 10, 1931, James West attended Temple University and interned
at Bell Labs during his summer breaks. Upon his graduation in 1957, he
joined Bell Labs and began work in electroacoustics, physical acoustics,
and architectural acoustics. James Edward West (along with Gerhard Sessler)
patented (#3,118,022) the electret microphone in 1964 while working at
James West holds 47 U.S. and more
than 200 foreign patents on microphones and techniques for making polymer
foil-electrets. He has authored more than 100 papers and contributed to
books on acoustics, solid state physics, and material science. James West
has received numerous awards including the Golden Torch Award in 1998 sponsored
by the National Society of Black Engineers, the Lewis Howard Latimer Light
Switch and Socket Award in 1989, and was chosen New Jersey Inventor of
the Year for 1995 and inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999.
James West is currently the leader
of a program aimed at minority high school students, which encourages them
to experience science with the assistance of mentors at Bell Labs.
In 1962, James West and Gerhard
Sessler patented the electret microphone while working at Bell Laboratories.
History of Microphones
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