NAB Announces 2002 Enginering Achievement Awards

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Washington - Feb 15, 2002 – The National Association of Broadcasters announced the winners of its Engineering Achievement Awards. The awards, first established in 1959, are given to industry leaders for significant contributions that have advanced broadcast engineering. The award winners will be honored at the Technology Luncheon, Wednesday, April 10 at NAB2002 in Las Vegas.

Radio Engineering Achievement Award Winner
Paul C. Schafer
Schafer is president of Schafer International, Bonita, CA. A pioneer in early development of automation systems for radio stations, he founded Schaefer Electronics in 1953, Schafer International in 1969 and the Schafer Digital Project in 1986.

Involved in broadcasting for over 50 years, Schafer has been called the "father of automation" for radio broadcasting. Schafer designed and installed the first "automation system" at KGEE, Bakersfield, CA, in the mid-1950s. Subsequently, more than 1,000 Schafer Automation systems were installed in AM and FM radio stations all over the world. The Schafer Automation System was included in field tests conducted by NAB in 1955 designed to show the viability of unattended remote control for radio transmitters. As a result of the considerable data from these tests filed by the NAB in 1956, the FCC amended the rules in 1957 to permit the remote control of all radio transmitters. Schafer’s innovations and products have played an important role in keeping radio broadcasting a competitive and viable medium.

Television Engineering Achievement Award Winner
Bernard J. Lechner
Lechner is extensively involved in technical research of advanced television and display systems as a consultant to government and industry. He has been an active participant in the U.S. digital television standards development as a member and leader of working groups in the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ACATS), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).

An independent consultant since 1987, Lechner was formerly staff vice president, Advanced Video Systems for RCA Laboratories. His 30-year career at RCA covered all aspects of television and display research from early work on home video tape recorders in the late 1950s, development of flat-panel matrix displays in the 1960s, CCD broadcast cameras in the 1970s and then in the mid-1980s to HDTV. Lechner received the David Sarnoff Gold Medal Award from SMPTE in 1996 and in 2000 was the first winner of the ATSC Outstanding Contributor Award that is named in his honor. He holds ten U.S. patents and is widely published in the areas of displays and television systems.

Lechner is a fellow of the IEEE and SMPTE and in 1996 he was awarded the David Sarnoff Gold Medal by SMPTE for his many contributions to the technologies essential to today's television systems.

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