Piscataway, N.J. — The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has named Tomlinson Holman as the recipient of its 2007 Masaru Ibuka Award, recognizing his contribution to the development of advanced audio and cinema multichannel" playback systems.
Holman’s work played an integral part in establishing the home theater product category in consumer electronics, enabling consumers to experience theater-like sound in the comfort of their own homes.
Sponsored by the Masaru Ibuka Fund, the award recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology. It will be presented at the IEEE’s International Conference on Consumer Electronics at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 13.
During his 15-year tenure as chief engineer of post-production and later corporate technical director for Lucasfilm, Holman developed the THX (Tomlinson Holman eXperiment) Sound System in 1983 to ensure that the soundtrack for the film “Return of the Jedi” would be reproduced accurately in the best venues. He also developed the Home THX and the THX Digital Mastering program leading to several widely cited U.S. patents.
THX is a baseline set of standards designed to dramatically improve an audience’s cinema experience by eliminating background noise, enhancing image quality and projection, improving room acoustics and utilizing THX-approved equipment for optimal sound reproduction. To date, over 4,000 auditoriums have undergone the rigorous approval process necessary for certification by the Lucasfilm THX division, the IEEE said.
In 2001, Holman was awarded a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work on THX. In addition, he holds seven U.S. and 23 foreign patents. Holman is currently a professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles. A senior member of IEEE, he is a fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society, and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.