Dr. Kornelis Antonie “Kees” A. Schouhamer Immink is not just a mouthful, he’s also one of the most significant engineering figures of the 20th century. Several sources state that it is impossible to hear any digital audio or watch digital video that does not somehow reflect the work of Immink. Next time you pop in that old Hanson CD, just know, you only have it because of (deep breath) Kees A. Schouhamer Immink.
Immink was born in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 1946. At the age of 21 he received his B.S degree from his hometown university (Bachelor of Science that is, not a BS degree like some of us). He joined the Philips company’s famous research labs right after graduating with his Bachelor’s and went on to work there for some thirty years.
Among the devices and technologies Dr. Immink has been instrumental in developing are the CD, CD-ROM, DVD and Blu-Ray Discs. His own website states he holds over 1000 patents in addition to 70 U.S patents. According to my calculations that would amount to about 22 patents for every year of his life thus far. Which is impressive. Although I am admittedly not a Professor of Experimental Mathematics at Essen University in Germany as Dr. Immink is, so I may be wrong.
If you clicked on that website link, you may have found that, unexpectedly for someone on the forefront of science like Dr. Immink, his website appears to have been stuck in 1997. I suppose that can happen with someone busy earning a new patent every three weeks since their 18th birthday.
Even better, Dr. Immink is not done yet. He has been running his own company , Turing Machines Inc., since 1998. We eagerly await new inventions and ways we can digitally store the contents of the Funny Names Blog on physical discs inside the sleeve of a Neil Diamond CD.