Dr. Donald L. Bitzer, computer science professor and co-inventor of the plasma display monitor, has been inducted into the inaugural class of the Engineering Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his alma mater.
The hall of fame recognizes significant achievements in leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation of great impact to society.
Bitzer earned an Emmy in 2002 for his work on the plasma display monitor, becoming the first NC State faculty member to earn this distinction. He is also being recognized for his invention and co-development of Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations, or PLATO, the first computer system to combine graphics and touch-screen displays.
Bitzer co-invented the flat plasma display panel in 1964 to make it more comfortable for students working in front of computers for long periods of time, as plasma screens do not flicker. The technology was eventually applied to television screens, millions of which have been sold since their introduction in the 1990s.
Bitzer, a Distinguished University Research Professor, joined the NC State faculty in 1989.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1974, he was designated a national associate of the National Academies, composed of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, in 2002. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.