2006 Distinguished Alumni Award
Larry Weber started his career in plasma displays at Illinois as a student of plasma display inventors, Professors Donald Bitzer and Gene Slottow. From 1969 to 1990 he conducted research on plasma displays at the Illinois Computer-Based Education Research Lab, where he became director of the plasma display research group and attained the rank of research associate professor. In 1987, he became a founder of Plasmaco Inc., which acquired from IBM what was then the world’s largest plant for manufacturing plasma displays. He served as the senior vice president and chief technology officer of Plasmaco from 1987 to 1993. In 1993 he became president of Plasmaco. Under his leadership Plasmaco became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic in 1996. He was the president and CEO of Plasmaco from 1996 until his retirement in 2004.
Weber has published over 40 papers and holds 15 patents on plasma displays, including patents for the energy recovery sustain circuit and the ramp set-up waveform used in today’s plasma TV products. Weber is a fellow of the Society for Information Display (SID) and the IEEE. He has received two SID Special Recognition Awards for his work on plasma displays. In 2000, Weber received SID’s prestigious Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize for “pioneering contributions to plasma display panel technology and its commercialization.” He now serves as the president of the Society for Information Display.