August 18, 2017

Award-winning Inventor and Eagle Scout Receives Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

Eric Fossum
Eric Fossum, Ph.D. has been awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award upon nomination by the Pine Tree Council and the Boy Scouts of America. This award is granted to Eagle Scouts who, after 25 years, have distinguished themselves in their life work and who have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis.

Eric Fossum has distinguished himself through his career as an Engineer and Inventor and through his continued service to God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. He has met community service needs through his voluntary actions.

Dr. Fossum, born and raised in Connecticut, received a Ph.D. in Engineering from Yale University.

He is best known for the invention of the CMOS image sensor “camera-on-a-chip” used in billions of cameras, from smart phones to web cameras to pill cameras and many other applications. In 1990, Dr. Fossum joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and managed their image sensor and focal-plane technology research and advanced development. During this time, he invented the camera-on-a-chip technology (aka CMOS image sensor) and led its development and subsequent transfer of the technology to US Industry. An early version of his image and camera are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s Inventing in America exhibit. Fossum has received numerous awards for his work, including induction as a Queen Elizabeth Prize Laureate, the highest global honor for engineering, England’s version of the Nobel Prize.“We are excited to honor Dr. Fossum for contributions to our nation and to the fields of science and technology,” said Eric Tarbox, CEO/Scout Executive of Pine Tree Council. “He exemplifies the ideals of Scouting and is a role model to all youth. We will honor Dr. Fossum with the prestigious Distinguished Eagle Scout Award at a campfire ceremony during our first ‘Enabled Scouts’ week, which will give Scouts with physical and learning disabilities the opportunity to experience a week of camp at their own pace.”  According to Eagle Scout and Pine Tree Council Board Member, Jack O’Toole: “It is important that we recognize the extraordinary achievements of Eagle Scouts such as Dr. Fossum to show our youth that professional and academic achievement can be attained by ANYONE if they apply themselves and persevere.”

The National Eagle Scout Association Committee, under the direction of Alumni Relations at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Office, selects the recipients of this award. The members of the selection committee are all recipients of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Since 1969, more than 1,850 nominations have been approved. 

About the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America:

Serving more than 6000 coed youth and 2500 registered volunteers, the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s foremost youth programs of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on Scouting, please contact Eric Tarbox, 207-797-5252.

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