Two Indian-Americans inducted into U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame

Sumita Mitra (Courtesy: LinkedIn)

This year, two Indian Americans, Sumita Mitra and Arogyaswami Paulraj, have been inducted into the U.S. Patent Office’s National Inventors Hall of Fame, according to a Times of India report.

According to a Times of India report, the National Inventors Hall of Fame honors “people responsible for the greatest technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible.”

Mitra is from Calcutta, India and was honored for inventing the first dental filling material to include nanoparticles, according to a Times of India report.

“The new composite filling material, called Filtek Supreme Universal Restorative, is a versatile material that could be used for restoring teeth in any area of the mouth; mimicked the beauty of natural teeth; had better polish retention; and exhibited superior strength than existing dental composites,” stated the National Inventors Hall of Fame in a press release.

According to 3M, the company which Mitra worked for 32 years, the product line has been used in more than 600 million dental restorations worldwide.

Mitra, 69, was a chemist at 3M Oral Care, the dental products division of 3M, known for their Post-it notes and Scotchgard fabric protector and her inventions have led to a number of breakthrough dental technologies, including nanocomposites and dental adhesives, according to a Times of India report.

Mitra retired in 2010 and started an R&D consulting company with her husband.

Arogyaswami Paulraj (Courtesy:

Paulraj is a professor emeritus at Stanford and has been recognized for his 1992 U.S. patent on MIMO – Multiple In-Multiple Out – wireless technology, according to a Times of India report.

This technology uses multiple antennas both at the transmitter and receiver in a wireless link to boost wireless data rates, according to a Times of India report.

According to a press release, without MIMO technology has become the basis of all current and future wireless networks and the broadband wireless internet access we have all over today along with the 5G network we will have in the near future, would not be possible without it.

MIMO technology has been the most influential wireless technology in recent decades.

According to a Times of India report, Paulraj is from Tamil Nadu, India and he joined the Indian Navy when he was 15.

The Indian Navy though was highly impressed with his academic record and they sent him to IIT-Delhi, where he earned a PhD for advances to signal filtering theory.

He then served in the Indian Navy for 25 years where he led the development of the APSOH sonar, one of India’s most successful military development projects and also founded three national laboratories in the areas of high-speed computing, AI and robotics and military electronics, according to a Times of India report.

After coming to the U.S. Paulraj joined Stanford University in 1992, where he mainly focused on MIMO.

According to a Times of India report, he holds 79 patents and has won several global distinctions, including the two top global honors for telecom pioneers, the 2011 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the 2014 Marconi Prize and Fellowship.

“It took some years to convince DARPA (US Defense Advanced Research Project) and US industry to embrace the concept, but it finally got traction and is now the foundation of all wireless technology,” Paulraj said in a press release.

He added that he would consider himself “truly blessed” if he could somehow contribute to India by becoming a respected partner in the global wireless and ICT eco-system.



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