Vijayakumar Bhagavatula of Carnegie Mellon University has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced Tuesday.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely 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 welfare of society.

With the election of the 2017 class there are now 912 NAI Fellows, representing over 250 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2017 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000 issued U.S. patents.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 AAAS Fellows; 168 IEEE Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

Vijayakumar Bhagavatula

Source: Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering

Vijayakumar Bhagavatula

On April 5, 2018, the 2017 NAI Fellows will be inducted as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection in Washington, D.C. Andrew H. Hirshfeld, U.S. Commissioner for Patents, will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.

The 2017 NAI Fellows will be highlighted with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education January 19, 2018 issue, and in an upcoming issue of Science and Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors.

Vijayakumar (Kumar) Bhagavatula is the U.A. and Helen Whitaker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received a B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1975, an M.Tech. degree in electrical engineering, also from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1977, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. He joined the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1982. He has served as interim dean for the College of Engineering and as acting department head of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Kumar, the current Interim Vice Provost for Research at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as former CIT Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs, will serve as the next Director of CMU-Africa. Kumar will assume overall responsibility for the academic programs and the campus of CMU-Africa starting January 1, 2018.

Those elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2017 class of NAI Fellows was evaluated by the 2017 Selection Committee, which included 18 members comprising NAI Fellows, U.S. National Medals recipients, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and senior officials from the USPTO, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame, among other organizations.

Past NAI Fellows in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering include José M.F. Moura (2014) and Ragunathan Rajkumar (2016).