Distinguished Alumni Awards
Lonnie S. Edelheit
Senior Vice President, Corporate Research and Development, General Electric Company, Schenectady, New York
- BS, Engineering Physics, 1964
- MS, Physics, 1965
- PhD, Physics, 1969
Lonnie Edelheit has had an exciting career in technology and technology management at General Electric and at Quantum Medical Systems. At GE’s Research and Development Center in Schenectady, New York, he made significant contributions to GE’s fast-scan, “fan-beam” x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanners. At GE Medical Systems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he helped bring GE’s radical new form of CT scanner quickly to the marketplace, where it is now the world leader in sales. As general manager of Engineering, he had R&D responsibility for all of GE Medical Systems’ product lines. As general manager of the CT Department, he held marketing and profit-and-loss responsibility for GE’s worldwide CT scanning business. From 1986 to 1990, as president and chief executive officer of Quantum Medical Systems in Seattle, Washington, Edelheit led a company that pioneered color-flow ultrasound for vascular imaging. He returned to GE’s R&D Center in 1990, and in 1992 assumed his present post as GE’s senior vice president, Research and Development. He directs the R&D Center, GE’s corporate laboratory, a 1,500 person lab conducting advanced R&D for all of GE’s businesses. Recent R&D Center contributions include participation on the GE teams that developed a screw-in fluorescent lamp that offers a 75% savings in energy and ten times the life of standard incandescent lamps; systems for delivering video “on demand” to personal computers; magnetic resonance therapy, which may make surgery simpler and safer; more productive processes for manufacturing plastics; advanced 3-D aerodynamics analysis methods for improving the efficiency of power generation equipment and aircraft engines; improvements in dishwashers and washing machines; and software for lowering the risk and improving the return of financial services business. In 1994, Edelheit was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a director of Schenectady 2000. Current as of 1995.