Alan R. Kahn is a Life Fellow of the IEEE who has dedicated 55 years to the application of biomedical engineering to clinical uses. He has generated a variety of inventions, 21 patents, and 130 scientific publications. He was a founder and served as the third president of the Alliance for Engineering in Medicine Biology, and chaired its international conference in 1973 held here in Minneapolis.
In the late ’50s Dr. Kahn developed biomedical monitoring instrumentation packages for studying the physiology of pilots in high-performance aircraft, in the X-15 rocket aircraft, and for the project Mercury Aerospace program. During the ’60s he invented and patented the first ECG monitoring electrodes of the type which are now widely used in medical practice. In the ’70s, Dr. Kahn joined Medtronic, Inc. as Senior Vice President, where he directed the company’s research engineering, including the development of the first neurological stimulation products for the control of pain. In the ’80s, Dr. Kahn developed models for human information processing, and published a book on understanding human cognitive differences and continues to teach this material in a continuing education program at University of Minnesota. Dr. Kahn continues today inventing, patenting, and publishing.