Curtis Carlson Honored with WPI's Robert H. Goddard Award

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - August 21, 2002 - The Alumni Association at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has honored the outstanding career accomplishments of Curtis R. Carlson, President and CEO of SRI International, with one of its Distinguished Alumni Awards. An alumnus of the WPI class of 1967 (when he earned a B.S. in physics), Carlson is a 2002 recipient of the Robert H. Goddard Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement. The Goddard Award is named in memory of Robert Hutchings Goddard '08, pioneer in the field of rocketry. It recognizes distinguished WPI alumni for exceptional achievement in science, technology and business.

Carlson is renowned nationally and internationally for his technological and entrepreneurial acumen and leadership. Since 1998, he has headed SRI, one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. The nonprofit research institute performs contract research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and nonprofit foundations.

Prior to leading SRI, Carlson made a name for himself during the 20 years he spent at Sarnoff Corporation, previously known as RCA Laboratories. As head of Ventures and Licensing at Sarnoff, he helped found more than a dozen companies. He also started and led the high-definition television program at Sarnoff that became the U.S. standard in 1997.

During his career, Carlson's leadership and technological innovation in the fields of image quality, image coding and computer vision have resulted in more than 15 U.S. patents and more than 50 technical publications. Additionally, he led a team that won an Emmy in 2000 for a system that measures broadcast image quality.

Carlson's reputation and expertise has led to his appointment to several government task forces, including the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the Army Scientific Advisory Board and the Defense Science Board task force on bio-chemical defense. He is a member of the Highlands Group, which makes recommendations to senior government officials about technologies of importance to the U.S. government.

Carlson has frequently taken the time to given back to the WPI community, most notably by his embracing of the concept and later the physical embodiment of WPI's Silicon Valley Project Center, established in 1999. The project center exposes WPI students to both the cutting-edge technology and the dynamic entrepreneurship of Silicon Valley.

"Curt is a living embodiment of WPI's educational mission and goals, and his success brings great pride and recognition to the university," noted Dusty Klauber '67, President of WPI's Alumni Association and one of Carlson's former classmates.

About the Robert H. Goddard Alumni Award

The Goddard Award is named in honor of WPI alumnus Robert Hutchings Goddard '08, pioneer in the field of rocketry. In 1926, Dr. Goddard's first liquid fuel rocket was launched in Auburn, Mass. Larger scale experiments and a skeptical local government made it necessary for Dr. Goddard, who was to become recognized as the father of the United States space program, to move to New Mexico in 1930. There, he carried on a major series of tests until 1942, at which time he was called to Washington as Chief of Navy Research on jet-propelled planes. This award has been bestowed on 112 alumni since 1961.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Its main campus is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,800 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 220 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.