James West is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University1

He is known worldwide as the co-inventor of the foil electret microphone, which he developed with Gerhard Sessler in 1962 for a group of acoustical psychologists who needed instruments to research the subtleties of human hearing2. The technology is used in 90 per cent of all microphones used today, in devices such as mobile phones, sound and music recording equipment, and hearing aids.

Professor West holds more than 60 U.S. patents and more than 200 foreign and has authored or contributed to more than 150 technical papers and several books on acoustics, solid-state physics, and materials science.

For more information, please read this profile from Chemistry World.

1 https://engineering.jhu.edu/faculty/james-west/ 
2 http://www.cpnas.org/aahp/biographies/james-edward-west.html