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J. Peter Krusius, Cornell engineering professor and flat-screen TV developer, dies at age 58

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Johann Peter Krusius, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University and a co-inventor of an important new flat-screen television and video technology, died of cancer on January 30, 2003, at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. He was 58.

At Cornell, where he was a former director both of the Joint Services Electronics Program and the Electronic Packaging Program, he led a research group that designed and developed techniques for joining color flat-panel television and video screens to make large active matrix LCDs (liquid crystal displays) made up of three panels tiled together into a single, seamless piece of glass.

In 1996 he helped found Rainbow Display Inc. (RDI), a Cornell start-up company created to build the displays. In 1999 RDI signed a joint development agreement with Philips Flat Display Systems, a unit of Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, one of the world's largest consumer electronics companies. Last year, the display technology won the Society for Information Display/Information Display magazine Display of the Year Gold Award.

Krusius was born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1944, the son of Franz and Mirjam Krusius. He grew up in the Helsinki area and attended both German and Finnish schools. He earned his engineering diploma, in 1969, and his Ph.D. in electron physics, in 1975, from Helsinki Technical University. He completed his post-doctoral work at the Institute of Physics, the University of Dortmund, Germany. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1979 to conduct research at Cornell, following which he joined the faculty.

Krusius was an avid skier and windsurfer, despite his busy schedule of teaching, research and business affairs. He is survived by his wife, Eeva, and three sons, Paul, Otto, and Leo.