WMU News

New WMU faculty member wins technology's version of an Oscar

Sept. 23, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Dr. George D. Guthrie, a new associate professor of geology at Western Michigan University, barely had time to unpack and begin teaching before it was time to pack his tuxedo and head for Chicago to accept the technical world's version of an Oscar or a Pulitzer Prize.

Guthrie and his research associate, Dr. J. William Carey of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, are among winners of the 1997 R&D 100 awards, which honor the inventors of the year's 100 most technologically significant new products and processes. The 1997 winners will be recognized Thursday, Sept. 25, in a ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry. The 35th annual awards are sponsored by Illinois-based R&D Magazine. Past winners of the international competition have included the inventors of the automated teller machine, the halogen lamp, the fax machine and the cancer-fighting drug Taxol.

Guthrie and Carey will be honored for perfecting an inexpensive and easy-to-use chemical detection method that can provide an early warning to the presence of a condition that makes concrete roads, bridges, runways and dams deteriorate before their time. The pair has a patent pending on ASR Detect, a simple test they say may save millions of dollars in state and federal funds by providing early diagnostic abilities to those monitoring the nation's infrastructure.

After returning from Chicago, Guthrie will tour some of Michigan's roadways in Southeast Michigan with officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation who have expressed an interest in the new technology.

Guthrie, who teaches mineralogy and geochemistry, came to WMU this fall from Los Alamos, where he was a staff member in the environmental geochemistry section.

For more information, contact Guthrie at 616 387-5343 or Cheryl Roland, WMU Marketing, Public Relations and Communications, at 616 387-8412.

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