Ghanaians continue to make inroads into America’s inventors hall of fame as Victor B. Lawrence Ph.D, Associate Dean and Batchelor Chair Professor of Stevens Institute of Technology, was adopted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame at the 44th induction ceremony held last Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.
In a write up by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Victor Lawrence was adopted into the Hall for his invention of Signal Processing in Telecommunications.
For Victor Lawrence, the journey leading to the National Inventors Hall of Fame began in his native country Ghana where his rise was powered by hard work and discipline, two values he said, was instilled in him by his mother at a young age.
Victor said he was a young student living just a few meters from the Florida Launching pad when the US space programme was lifting off in the 1960s, and listened via shortwave radio as President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of landing a man on the moon and closely followed news report of John Glenn orbiting the earth.
These events, he said, inspired him to pursue a career in science and engineering as his talent took him to the University of London, in England.
On completion of his doctorate in England, he was recruited by Bell Labs to help with the analog to digital conversion of the company’s communication network.
His appointment with Bell Labs brought him to New Jersey, in the United States where over 30 years, his patented work in signal processing resulted in faster and more reliable travel of data over telephone lines, improving transmission for the modern Internet.
Victor also developed methods of including more information in a signal, facilitating the introduction of digital video and radio and the development of high-definition and digital television.
Speaking of his legacy, Victor said it’s not the technical achievements from his past but rather the ways he continue to use his skills to work with others to improve humanity.
Victor is particularly proud of his leadership role in providing Internet connectivity to Africa and his role in imparting knowledge to students, encouraging them to begin their own creative journey.
“You have to stand on somebody’s shoulder before you can see far. And so, it’s very important that I have a strong shoulder for others to stand on, so they can see far and they can do greater things”. Victor Lawrence said.
His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America was at the ceremony to congratulate Victor Lawrence on his achievement.
Also at the ceremony was Ghana’s former Ambassador to China, Mrs Mameley Coffie, Mr. Quarshie-Idun, a prominent Ghanaian Lawyer, family members and friends of Victor Lawrence.