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Ramapo College Professor Philip Anderson Named A New Jersey Inventor of the Year

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 9, 2001

(Mahwah) — If you’ve noticed those ubiquitous white plastic security tags hanging from garments in stores, you’re looking at a component of an electronic surveillance system invented by Dr. Philip Anderson, a professor at Ramapo College and resident of Madison. The invention helps prevent theft and shoplifting and replaces earlier security systems that were prone to false alarms and poor detection rates. Anderson, who has more than 100 patents worldwide and 29 U.S. patents, was selected as a New Jersey Inventor of the Year for 2001 and will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame awards banquet at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark on February 15.

In 1987, as president of the former Livingston-based company, Identitech Corporation, then a joint venture of Allied-Signal Inc. in Morris Township, (now Honeywell International, Inc.) and Sensormatics Electronics Corporation, Deerfield Beach, FL, Anderson developed this technology which uses amorphous metal, another Allied product. Anderson’s electronic article surveillance system consists of two parts: a small strip of amorphous metal attached to an item, and two electro-magnetic sensors positioned near an exit. When someone exits past the sensors with an item still containing the security tag, the metal strip within the tag begins vibrating. The movement, in turn, disturbs the detection system’s electromagnetic field and triggers an alarm to warn store personnel of a possible theft. Hospitals use other versions of this security system to protect babies from possible abduction, and to prevent patients from wandering away from a convalescent or psychiatric facility. More than 164,000 of these systems are installed worldwide. Owners of discount, variety, home improvement, hardware, entertainment, and specialty stores, say Anderson’s invention is their top choice for security.

A professor of physics at Ramapo College since 1990, Anderson teaches introductory and advanced physics, electronics and invention courses. He has 20 years of experience with product development and is a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Army. He has 29 U.S. patents and more than 100 patents worldwide covering amorphous metals, sensors, and medical, automotive and security devices.

Anderson received a doctoral degree in physics from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in physics, both from Drexel University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Widener University, Chester, PA.

Harry Roman, chair of the Inventors Hall of Fame, and its selection committee, made the announcement of 2001 honorees. Roman is a senior consultant for Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Newark. The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame selects all awardees based on the importance of the problem solved by the invention, the novelty of the invention, and the contribution to the advancement of the state of the art, commercial impact, and the utilitarian or socioeconomic impact.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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