Nicholas Peppas Inducted Into Prestigious National Academy of Inventors

Headshot of Professor Nicholas Peppas in a suitNicholas Peppas, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to renowned academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Peppas is a world leader and innovator in the fields of biomaterials, bionanotechnology, drug delivery and pharmaceutical bioengineering. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including, most recently, the Giulio Natta Medal from the Polytechnic School of Milan in Italy and the Applied Polymer Science Award from the American Chemical Society.

He has 43 U.S. patents pending or issued, has founded three successful companies to further develop biomaterial and drug delivery therapies, and has published over 1,250 papers. With over 69,000 citations, he is the most highly cited bioengineer in Google Scholar and one of the most highly cited experts in the world. Peppas is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, French Academy of Pharmacy, Royal Academy of Spain, Academy of Athens, and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas.

Recent elections bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing some of the country’s most prestigious research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions. Included among NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science and 21 Nobel Laureates.

Elected Fellows were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patent Operations, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will induct Peppas during the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 20, 2015, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Joseph J. Beaman Jr., professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was also elected NAI Fellow this year. Beaman’s technical work has had a significant and growing impact on advanced manufacturing. One of the most successful 3-D printing approaches, selective laser sintering (SLS), was a process that was developed in his laboratory in the 1980s.  He was one of the founders of DTM Corporation, which merged with 3D Systems in the early 2000s and produces and markets SLS equipment.

Among his many recognitions, Beaman has received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the UT Austin Faculty Excellence Award and the DuPont Young Faculty Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a member of the Dynamic Systems and Control Division of ASME. Beaman has served in numerous positions within ASME, including associate editor of the journal Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control.

To honor these academic luminaries of invention and innovation, a plaque listing the name and institution of each NAI Fellow will be on permanent display at the USPTO. The 2014 NAI Fellows will be recognized in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Jan. 16, 2015 issue and in upcoming issues of NAI’s journal Technology and Innovation, and the magazine Inventors Digest.


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