Gerhard M. Sessler

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Gerhard M. Sessler (born 15 February 1931 in Rosenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany) is a German inventor and scientist. Together with James E. West, Sessler invented the foil electric microphone[1] at Bell Laboratories in 1962 and the silicon microphone (co-inventor: D. Hohm) in 1983.

First patent on foil electret microphone by G. M. Sessler and J. E. West (pages 1 to 3)

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen in 1959. After working in the United States at Bell Labs until 1975, he returned to the academia in Germany. From 1975 to 2000, he worked as a professor of electrical engineering at the Darmstadt University of Technology where he invented the silicon microphone. He is an IEEE and an APS fellow and holds over 100 international patents, among them 18 US-patents.The first one, US 3,118,022, with James E. West, was issued on 14 January 1964. Sessler is the author/editor of several books on electrets and acoustics. In 2014, together with Ning Xiang, he co-edited a memorial book on Manfred R. Schroeder published by Springer.[2]

Furthermore, he is well known for his over 300 scientific papers in prestigious international magazines and journals. In the year 2000, he was awarded an honorary doctors degree from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

He is currently Professor emeritus at Darmstadt University of Technology and still active in research.

Gerhard Sessler was married to Renate Sessler and has three children: Cornelia, Christine and Gunther.



  1. ^ Sessler, G. M.; West, J. E. (1962). "Self-biased condenser microphone with high capacitance". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 34: 1787–1788. doi:10.1121/1.1909130. 
  2. ^ Ning Xiang and Gerhard M. Sessler: Acoustics, Information, and Communication - Memorial Volume in Honor of Manfred R. Schroeder  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Inventors hall of fame". Invent Now. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Award Winners (chronological)". Eduard Rhein Foundation. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 

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