The National Academy of Inventors Dec. 11 announced that it has named 148 renowned academic inventors to NAI Fellow status, including numerous Indian Americans and South Asian Americans. 

The 2018 class of Fellows represent 125 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide and are named inventors on nearly 4,000 issued U.S. patents. To date, there are over 1,000 NAI Fellows who have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, created more than 1.4 million jobs, and generated over $190 billion in revenue, the academy said in a news release.

Among the Fellows named were Rafi Ahmed of Georgia’s Emory University; Pulickel M. Ajayan of Rice University in Texas; Bernard P. Arulanandam of the University of Texas at San Antonio; Pakistani American Rashid Bashir of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Tayyaba Hasan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bahram Javidi of the University of Connecticut; Pradeep K. Khosla of U.C. San Diego; Lalit K. Mestha from the University of Texas at Arlington and KinetiCor Inc.; Prakash S. Nagarkatti of the University of South Carolina; Muthukumaran Packirisamy of Concordia University in Canada; Apparao M. Rao of Clemson University in South Carolina; Jagannathan Sarangapani of the Missouri University of Science and Technology; Vinod K. Sarin of Boston University in Massachusetts; Rahul Sarpeshkar of New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College; Koduvayur P. Subbalakshmi from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey; and Bhavani Thuraisingham of the University of Texas at Dallas.

"Congratulations to the 148 new members of the NAI Fellows program," said Linda Hosler, Deputy Program Manager at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "I had the honor of serving on the Fellows Selection Committee, and I am confident that this new class of Fellows will play a vital role in furthering the NAI's mission and shining a light on the indispensable scientific and economic contributions of the world's inventors."

Those elected to the rank of NAI Fellow undergo a rigorous nomination and selection process. Once nominated by their peers, the 2018 class of NAI Fellows was evaluated by the 18 members of the 2018 Selection Committee. 

"I am very proud to welcome another class of outstanding NAI Fellows, whose collective achievements have helped shape the future and who each day work to improve our world," said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI, in a statement. "Each of these new NAI Fellows embody the Academy's mission through their dedication, creativity, and inventive spirit. I look forward to working collaboratively with the new NAI Fellows in growing a global culture of innovation."

Included among this year's NAI Fellows are more than 25 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 5 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology & Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; and 3 Nobel Laureates, among other awards and distinctions.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to 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.

The 2018 class of NAI Fellows has made an incredible impact in a variety of fields, including biomedical engineering, laser photonics and computer sciences, the academy said. 

The new group of Fellows will formally be inducted April 11 during the eighth annual NAI meeting in Houston.

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