2024 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees Announced at Walt Disney Imagineering

Walt Disney Imagineering is one of the most innovative places in the world. Therefore, it was fitting that they hosted the announcement of the 2024 class of inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. It was also fitting that the class includes the second representative from the Walt Disney Company. Legendary Imagineer Lanny Smoot joins Walt Disney himself in the Inventors Hall of Fame, which celebrates inventors across all disciplines.  

In addition to Lanny Snoot, fellow inductee Asad Madni was on-site for the announcement where they both shared their passion for engaging youth from a variety of backgrounds by making science fun. As the announcement was held on Kid Inventors’ Day, representatives from Club Invention were on hand to meet the honorees as well as be inspired by a tour of Walt Disney Imagineering, which included a visit to Disney’s R&D laboratory.

Leading up to the induction ceremony, which will be held this May in Washington D.C., the National Inventors Hall of Fame will be releasing videos highlighting each of the inductees. As the announcement was hosted at Walt Disney Imagineering, it comes as no surprise that they kicked off the series with Lanny Snoot.

As the assembled roamed the halls of Imagineering, inventors of all ages were inspired by the imaginative artwork that lined the halls, as well as the technological innovations that ranged from magic floors and cutting-edge show control systems to robots with character. As inductee Asad Madni mentioned, the way to inspire future inventors is by focusing on the fun – something that is never in short supply at Walt Disney Imagineering.

The Class of 2024 is comprised of:

  • James Allison: Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy
    His pioneering work in the field of immunology brought immunotherapy into mainstream medicine as an effective treatment for cancer.
  • Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman: Sequencing-by-Synthesis (SBS)
    Their Next Generation DNA Sequencing method makes possible, efficient, low-cost and large-scale genome sequencing. Enhancing our understanding of life, SBS has enabled applications in genomics, medicine and biology.
  • Eric Betzig and Harald Hess: Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM)  
    This new imaging technology is enabling scientists to distinguish individual molecules, and study biological structures and processes with unprecedented resolution.
  • Andrea Goldsmith: Adaptive Beamforming for Multi-Antenna Wi-Fi
    This Wi-Fi technology has shaped the performance of wireless networking and enabled fast, reliable wireless service around the world.
  • Asad Madni: MEMS Gyroscope for Aerospace and Automotive Safety
    This technology has saved lives around the world through its use in aircraft and passenger vehicles.
  • Lanny Smoot: Theatrical Technologies and Special Effects
    Lanny has developed many special effects, interactive experiences, new ride vehicle and robotic concepts, and other technological advancements for Disney’s theme parks, attractions, hotels and cruise ships, creating magical guest experiences and driving innovation for future attractions.
  • Xiaowei Zhuang: Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM)
    This technique, which overcomes the diffraction limit of light microscopy to produce images with higher resolution, is used to investigate biological systems and processes.
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier: Snowmobile (Posthumous)
    The Ski-Doo snowmobile was the first mass-produced snow machine. It set industry standards and launched snowmobiling as a sport and recreational activity.
  • George Washington Murray: Agricultural Machinery (Posthumous)
    Not only did he invent agricultural machinery designed to accelerate planting and harvesting processes, he also served in the U.S. Congress and advocated for greater recognition of his fellow Black inventors.
  • Mary Florence Potts: Cold-Handle Sad Iron (Posthumous)
    Her improved sad iron, was lighter and offered a cooler, more ergonomic handle. It was widely commercialized as an easier, safer solution for ironing clothing and linens.
  • Alice Stoll: Fire-Resistant Fibers and Fabrics (Posthumous)
    She led the development of fire-resistant fabrics. Her work made it possible to rate materials by their ability to protect from thermal burns and demonstrated that fabric could be constructed with fire-resistant fibers.
  • Jokichi Takamine: Adrenaline (Adrenalin) (Posthumous)
    He was a biotechnology pioneer whose research led to the use of adrenaline in medicine. Also known as epinephrine, adrenaline is widely used for many applications, including the treatment of anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest.
  • Ralph Teetor: Cruise Control (Posthumous)
    Originally limited to luxury vehicles, this speed control technology has become a standard feature providing greater ease in driving, safety, as well as fuel efficiency benefits.