Faculty Inducted into the National Academy of Inventors

By Barbara Abney

Twenty-seven university faculty members were inducted into the UCF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors at the second-annual gala on campus Thursday, Nov. 30.

The scientists, who represent a cross section of the university, including engineering, optics, biomedical, energy, nanoscience, advanced materials and chemistry, cumulatively hold 127 of the 990 patents the university has claimed since 1989. Several of the technologies they developed have been licensed and several inductees have launched their own companies to help get their inventions to market. To be invited to join the chapter researchers had to contribute to at least five patents.

“Finding innovative solutions to today’s challenges is a major reason universities conduct research,” said Elizabeth Klonoff, Vice President of Research and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “The recognition is well deserved, because those selected are making a difference in our community.”

The chapter leadership also recognized  Pres. John C. Hitt for making significant contributions to advancing innovation at the university. He was honored with the chapter’s Champion of Innovation Award and was also inducted into the chapter as an honorary member.

Among those inducted into the chapter is Robert Peale, Ph.D., of the UCF Department of Physics, and Michael Sigman, Ph.D. of the National Center for Forensic Science and the UCF Department of Chemistry.

Professor Robert Peale, Ph.D.

“I am honored to be inducted as a member of UCF’s chapter of the National Academy of Inventors,” Peale said.  “I am excited that our innovations have contributed to the economic development of our community and to external recognition for UCF.”

UCF has a reputation for being innovative. The Milken Institute ranked UCF 22nd in the nation for technology transfer – the process by which academic research is developed into new technologies, products and companies. UCF was also ranked 41st in the world for U.S. patents issued in 2016 by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association.

The UCF NAI chapter launched last year with the induction of 29 researchers.

Founded in 2010, the NAI is a non-profit organization with more than 3,000 members. The NAI seeks to recognize and encourage inventors with U.S. patents, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate its members’ inventions to benefit society.

The complete list of inductees can be found here:  https://tt.research.ucf.edu/nai/

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