Discover Magazine Awards '2002 Innovation' Honor to Ray Tomlinson of Verizon's BBN Technologies

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The man who put the "@" sign in e-mail addresses today was honored for a lifetime of achievement, including the invention of e-mail and helping in the development of the ARPANET, the forerunner of today's Internet.

At a ceremony at the National Press Club here, Discover Magazine named Ray Tomlinson, BBN Technologies principal engineer, as the recipient of the magazine's 2002 Innovation Award. BBN is a Verizon company.

Tomlinson invented e-mail in 1971 while he was working on computer networking for BBN.

The annual Discover Magazine Innovation Awards honor scientists whose work has dramatically revolutionized science and changed the potential of people's lives.

"This year we were determined to recognize not only the geniuses but the giants of science," said Stephen Petranek, editor in chief of Discover. "There are very few people who have influenced our world on such a grand scale and Discover is pleased to showcase their major accomplishments."

"I'm glad that the pioneering work we did and continue to do at BBN to help people find new ways to communicate is being recognized, and I applaud the other four scientists who were honored today," Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson has worked at BBN for 35 years. In addition to his groundbreaking work on e-mail and computer networking, he contributed to the design of several important network protocols for both the ARPANET and the Internet. He also played key roles in the development of time-shared computing. Currently, he is working on a project to help the survivability, security and scalability of distributed network applications.

Tomlinson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu. He has published and presented extensively on processor hardware design, distributed network architecture, networking protocols, time sharing and speech synthesis.

"All of us at Verizon congratulate Ray for being recognized for his innovative and historic work," said Mark Wegleitner, Verizon's chief technology officer. "He is an inspiration to all of us at Verizon as we work to acquire and use today's best technology to serve our customers."

Along with Tomlinson, Discover Magazine honored: AeroVironment chairman and founder Paul MacCready, who designed the first human-powered aircraft and helped build the first solar-powered airplane; Stanford University Professor Emeritus Bradford W. Parkinson, who led the building of the Global Positioning System; General Hydrogen Corp. Chairman Geoffrey Ballard, who pioneered key fuel cell advances; and Stanford University Biochemistry Professor Patrick O. Brown, who invented the DNA microarray, a research tool that has changed the understanding of genetics and transformed genetics research.

About BBN Technologies: BBN Technologies, a Verizon company, was established as Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. in 1948. From its roots as an acoustical design consulting firm, to the implementation and operation of the ARPANET - the forerunner of today's Internet - to the development of the first network email, which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age, BBN Technologies provides the same technical expertise and innovation to both government and commercial customers today. These areas of expertise include: system integration; distributed, collaborative applications; speech recognition; language understanding; wireless and satellite networking; network architecture and management; information security; structural acoustics; sensor signal processing; and real-time, multi-processor systems. With more than 750 employees in 15 offices across the country, BBN Technologies had revenues in 2001 of approximately $128M. For more information on BBN Technologies, go to For more information on Verizon, visit


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