News article

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering awarded to the inventors behind digital imaging

Japanese engineer Nobukazu Teranishi was recognised for his pioneering work on digital image sensors, alongside Michael Thompsett (UK), Eric Fossum and George Smith (USA).

The prize was awarded for three innovations spanning three decades, which have radically changed the visual world; the charge coupled device (CCD), the pinned photodiode (PPD) and the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. Together, this image sensor technology has transformed medical treatments, science, personal communication and entertainment. Professor Teranishi invented the modern pinned photodiode (PPD), which reduced the size of light-capturing ‘pixels’ and significantly improved the quality of images.

Comments from Mr Paul Madden, British Ambassador:

Nobukazu Teranishi has made an outstanding contribution to image sensor technology development. Alongside the work of the other 2017 QE2 Prize winners he has helped to revolutionise our ability to capture visual images with applications across a wide range of fields, from healthcare and communications, to manufacturing and beyond. Many congratulations to Prof Teranishi – this is well-deserved recognition of his invention and his leadership in international engineering research.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a global £1 million prize that celebrates a ground-breaking innovation in engineering. The prize rewards an individual or team of engineers whose work has had a major impact on humanity. While doing so, the prize also celebrates engineering as a discipline and career choice, shining light on the excitement and importance of engineering and inspiring young people to get involved in the subject.

Further details

2017 QEPrize Winners