Eric Fossum Wins Engineering’s Biggest Prize

Thayer’s Fossum won the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for his invention of the CMOS image sensor, which revolutionized digital imaging.

Next time you take a selfie, thank Eric Fossum, inventor of the CMOS image sensor that makes it possible for a high-powered camera to fit inside your smart phone.

For that now-ubiquitous invention, Fossum—a professor at Thayer School of Engineering, director of Thayer’s PhD innovation program, and associate provost for entrepreneurship and technology transfer—has been awarded the largest international prize in his field, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

“The Queen Elizabeth Prize honors individuals whose innovations have quite literally changed the world, and that is exactly what Eric Fossum has done,” says President Phil Hanlon ’77. “His CMOS image sensor has brought us everything from medical advances to pictures from Mars to cameras in our pockets. And he continues to innovate here at Dartmouth, where he is committed to teaching the next generation of engineers. This is a proud moment for the entire Dartmouth community.”

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