Dr. Jerome Cuomo, co-inventor of the rewritable magneto-optic disk, has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Cuomo is Distinguished Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University.
Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. Selected by their peers, nominees must be a named inventor on at least one patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and must be affiliated with a university, non-profit research institute or other academic entity.
While working in IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center during the 1970s as senior manager of the Materials Processing Laboratory, Cuomo and his team discovered a way to easily and repeatedly magnetize a combination of a rare element and common minerals. The team anticipated that their discovery would revolutionize computer hard drives by dramatically increasing their capacity to hold data but, instead, their work changed the world of data storage. The seven-year journey led to the creation of what is commercially known as the rewritable disk.
Cuomo has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1993, the same year he joined the faculty at NC State. In recognition of his magnetic materials research, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1995, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement. In 2011, he was named among IBM’s top 100 Icons of Progress. Cuomo’s many additional inventions have resulted in 125 patents, several of which have had a significant impact on technological innovations, and he has co-founded four companies with his students.
He received a BS in chemistry from Manhattan College in 1958, an MS in physical chemistry from St. John’s University in 1960, and a PhD in physics from Odense Universitet in Denmark in 1979.
Founded in 2010, the NAI is a non-profit member organization comprised of US and international universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions with more than 2,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 100 institutions.