Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame

Inductees

Dr. Frank D. Werner - 2006 Inductee

(1922 - ) Named as inventor or lead inventor on some 77 U.S. patents, and additional foreign patents, many relating to air data sensors - specialized instruments which measure temperature and pressure on the outside of airplanes. Dr. Werner’s inventions are critical components of instrumentation packages for helicopters, civilian and military aircraft, turbine engines, and unmanned vehicles. Virtually every commercial jet airplane and most military jets now have temperature and pressure measuring devices using the same features he patented 45 years ago. He co-founded Rosemount Engineering Company, later known as Rosemount Inc. Rosemount has produced a broad range of devices for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Nearly all space flights from the United States use temperature and pressure measuring instruments developed and manufactured at Rosemount. Many instruments developed under Werner’s direction are now on the moon and Mars. The Apollo 11 mission, for example, carried almost 100 Rosemount devices, including ventilation flow sensors that monitored oxygen flow through the spacesuits of moon-walking astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. For the Apollo 13 mission, the company designed a unique thermometer, six feet in length, which was buried beneath the moon’s surface to detect and transmit subterranean temperature variations. The Voyager II spacecraft carried many sensors to the outer limits of the solar system and beyond.

Dr. Werner also developed and holds several patents on ski boots. His was a radical new design, manufactured by an entirely different process than the traditional hand-crafted leather ski boots. They were marketed under the name Rosemount Ski-Boots. After leaving Rosemount, he invented a device to repair bull’s eye and other cracks in windshields. Using his patented bridge and injection techniques, a windshield repair could be made that was invisible and strong. Novus Inc., of Bloomington, Minnesota, was founded to commercialize this invention. Windshield repair has evolved over the years as an alternative to windshield replacement. Businesses based on his patented repair apparatus are located throughout the world, providing employment for some 15,000 people.

In recent years, Dr. Werner has concentrated on golf putter and golf driver head design and has coauthored two books about golf clubs. At age 84, he submitted four additional patent applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.

NOTE: These biographies have been compiled from information accompanying the nomination form submitted to the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame, information available on the Internet and from a variety of other sources.