Lehigh University
Lehigh University

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An engineer-filmmaker returns to his alma mater

Irwin Young '50 talks about Lehigh University and how his engineering background prepared him for a successful career in film.

Young, who holds a B.S. in industrial engineering, helped bring numerous independent films to the screen.

Irwin Young ’50, chairman of Du Art, a New York City film laboratory founded by his father, returned to campus recently to give the 2011 Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture.

Young, who earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from Lehigh, discussed his 60 years in the film industry, a career that culminated in 2000, when he received the Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Sawyer Award is awarded to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.”

In 1979, the Academy gave Young and two colleagues at Du Art a Technical Achievement Award for developing a computer-controlled paper tape programming system and applying it to the motion picture lab.

Young helped bring numerous independent films to the screen through Du Art. As a producer, he was responsible for several award-winning films, including Alambrista, which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978, and Nothing But a Man, which won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival in 1964 and was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Story by Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011

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