Retired Senior Vice President, Research & Development, General Electric Company, Schenectady, N.Y.
Dr. Lewis S. (Lonnie) Edelheit retired from General Electric Company in December 2001 after a successful tenure as GE’s Senior Vice President, R&D, and member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council.
Under his leadership, GE introduced numerous new leadership products, including digital X-ray mammography, digital Cardiac Angiography Systems and advanced ultrasound medical imagers, high-efficiency turbines for power generation, the GE 90 Jet engine, advanced lighting and electronics-based appliances and weatherable plastics to name a few. Other highlights of his tenure include significant advances in the introduction of high-technology into GE’s services businesses, Internet applications and Corporate R&D’s leadership of the Design for Six Sigma quality and e-Engineering initiatives throughout the GE businesses. Also under his leadership, Corporate R&D vastly expanded its global resources with the development of new technology centers in Bangalore, India, and Shanghai, China.
Dr. Edelheit began his professional career in 1969 as a physicist at the GE R&D Center, where he made significant contributions to computed tomography (CT) x-ray systems. He helped to pioneer major advances in computed tomography, both through his own technical work and through his leadership of engineers and scientists from a wide range of technical disciplines.
In 1976, Dr. Edelheit transferred to GE Medical Systems in Milwaukee, Wis., where he helped to move GE's radically new form of computed tomography x-ray scanner quickly to the marketplace. He formed and managed a new Applied Science and Diagnostic Imaging Laboratory and later rose to such positions as General Manager of Engineering for all GE Medical Systems products and General Manager of the Computed Tomography Programs Department, where he held marketing and profit-and-loss responsibility for GE's worldwide computed tomography scanning business.
In 1986, Dr. Edelheit left GE to become president and CEO of Quantum Medical Systems, an Issaquah, WA company that pioneered color flow ultrasound for vascular imaging. He continued in that position after Quantum was acquired by the Siemens Corporation. He returned to GE in 1991 as manager of the R&D Center's Electronic Systems Research Center and in 1992 assumed leadership of Corporate R&D.
A native of Chicago, Dr. Edelheit earned a B.S. degree in engineering physics and an M.S. degree and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in 1969.
After retiring from GE, Dr. Edelheit returned to Seattle and became active in the higher education, life sciences, and high technology communities.
- He is on advisory Boards of both the Physics and Bioengineering Departments of the University of Washington.
- He is also on the Board of Directors of two private start-up corporations, Hubspan and Talyst, in Seattle. He is on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Mason Health System.
- He has been Chairman of the Laboratory Advisory Committee of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and is currently Chairman of the Advisory board to the Energy and Environment Directorate at PNNL.