Hall of Fame 2018

Nick England

Nick England graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from NC State University in 1969. After working for a few years, he returned to NC State to take EE graduate courses and became a Research Assistant in Professor John Staudhammer’s computer graphics lab. There he discovered a talent for digital hardware design and a passion for interactive computer graphics and image processing. In 1978, instead of finishing his Ph.D., he and Mary Whitton started Ikonas Graphics Systems, based on Nick’s research at NC State, creating a programmable raster graphics processor system which was the forerunner of today’s GPGPUs. After Ikonas was acquired by Adage Inc, Nick spent several years as Adage’s VP of Graphics Technology until leaving to found Trancept Systems with Tim Van Hook and Mary Whitton – creating a programmable graphics/imaging processor to plug into Sun Microsystems workstations. After Trancept was acquired by Sun Microsystems, Nick spent several years as their Director of Visualization and Imaging Products. In 1993 he joined UNC Chapel Hill’s Computer Science Department as a Research Professor, working on the PixelFlow massively parallel graphics system. During this time he served on several local company and national technical association boards of directors. In 2000 he left UNC to form 3rdTech Inc., commercializing several graphics/imaging technologies developed at the University. In 2015, he finally quit trying to create new products and start new companies, and today enjoys documenting the history of US Naval Communications and restoring vintage Navy radio and teletype equipment .