• About the Society
  • Community Support
  • Advocacy
  • Get Involved
  • International Day of Light
  • Awards Programs
  • Press Room
  • Jobs at SPIE
Print PageEmail Page

Frances Ligler and Marshall Jones included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame 2017 Class of Inductees

08 February 2017

Marshall Jones
Marshall Jones
Frances Ligler
Frances Ligler

The National Inventors Hall of Fame announced their 2017 Class of Inductees 26 January. The class of 15 groundbreaking inventors will be honored and celebrated at the 45th Annual Induction Ceremony 4 May in Washington DC. This year’s class included two members of the photonics community: industrial laser pioneer, Marshall Jones and SPIE Fellow Frances Ligler.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame honors inventors and invention, celebrating the rich, innovative history of the United States, and seeks to advance the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Inductees hold a United States patent that has contributed significantly to the nation’s welfare and the advancement of science and useful arts.

Jones, a mechanical engineer at General Electric (GE), is recognized for inventing novel methods to weld dissimilar metals, and developed fiber optic systems making lasers much more convenient for industrial applications. He pioneered the use of lasers for industrial materials processing and holds over 50 U.S. patents. Today he is considered one of the foremost authorities in the field of laser material processing.

Ligler is recognized for developing a new chemistry that vastly improved functionality of devices known as biosensors. She then integrated emerging technologies from a variety of fields to make optical biosensors smaller, more versatile, and more automated. The resulting, patented Portable Optical Biosensors have found applications in food production plants, clinics in developing countries, pollutant cleanup sites, and areas of concern for military and homeland security. Ligler now holds 29 U.S. patents, and is currently on the faculty at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ligler served on the SPIE Fellows Committee and became a Fellow of SPIE herself in 2000. She has been active in the development of conference programming at Photonics West for several years, serving on program committees, as a session chair, and as a conference cochair. She has presented and published with SPIE for over 20 years.

For more information: