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National Academy of Inventors names three UTA top researchers as Fellows

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Media Contact: Louisa Kellie, Office:817‑272‑0864, cell:817-524-8926, louisa.kellie@uta.edu

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NAI Fellows

2015 NAI Fellows Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research; David Nygren, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Physics; and Kenneth Reifsnider, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Three more leading University of Texas at Arlington faculty have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, bringing the total number of UTA Fellows to 13, the highest number for a Texas university and the second-highest number in the nation.

Within Texas, the only other institutions to receive three new Fellows were Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin.

The 2015 class will include Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research; David Nygren, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Physics; and Kenneth Reifsnider, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The new Fellows will be inducted April 15, 2016, as part of the academy’s fifth annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have created or facilitated inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

“Drs. Dimos, Nygren and Reifsnider each have made seminal discoveries and ably bridged the gap between fundamental research and technology development. Their work exemplifies the NAI criteria of innovation having a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society,” UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “Their election to this prestigious Academy emphasizes their excellence as well as the outstanding quality of faculty at UTA and our commitment to channeling innovation into developing bold solutions for global challenges.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott applauded the new UTA Fellows and noted the state’s commitment to a new University Research Initiative that provides matching funds to help public institutions of higher education recruit prestigious, nationally-recognized researchers to their faculty.

“UTA increasingly is attracting the best and brightest researchers and scholars, as evidenced by the University’s most recently elected Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors,” he said. “These leaders are key to our plans to develop top research centers and partner with the private sector to share ideas that will transform the next generation.”

Duane Dimos is a materials scientist who is widely known for his research on fabrication and performance of electronic ceramic materials. He has published 140 technical papers, holds 11 patents, and has been previously recognized as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society and the American Ceramic Society.

Prior to joining UTA, he spent 25 years at Sandia National Laboratories, where he served in a number of key leadership positions. As an executive and a scientist at Sandia, and prior to that at IBM, Dimos is credited with a number of seminal discoveries in the areas of superconductivity, ferroelectric and high dielectric thin films and freeform fabrication.  An innovative research leader, Dimos has been hailed as a visionary in technology commercialization and was successful at Sandia in creating research partnerships that developed and transitioned intellectual property into commercial products with established and start-up companies.  

Now serving as the Vice President for Research at UTA, Dimos is building a broad-based and growing research portfolio for the university to enhance innovation throughout the DFW Metroplex and Texas. He has launched interdisciplinary research programs within the university, strengthened key areas, initiated new ones in support of UTA’s strategic plan and is spearheading an aggressive enhancement of UTA’s research enterprise.  While focused on enhancing faculty and student research at UTA, he is also expanding UTA’s collaborative research with other universities, the corporate sector and federal labs.

David Nygren is a member of the National Academy of Science who has been widely recognized for his contributions to high-energy physics. He is a fellow of the American Physics Society and has received numerous awards, including the Aldo Menzione Prize, the E.O. Lawrence Award, the Panofsky Prize and the First Instrumentation Award from the American Physical Society’s Division of Particles and Fields.

One of Nygren’s inventions for X-ray imaging formed the basis of a mammography technique that has been widely adopted in Europe, Japan and Australia and approved by the FDA in 2013. This is a rare example of an invention in high-energy physics that has been effectively transformed for use in the clinic.  His patent on “Compound Refractive X-ray Lens” serves as an enabling technology for the development of full depletion large-format charged-coupled devices for optical astronomy and his work on detectors provides far greater sensitivity in the red and near infrared than other approaches.

He has gained acclaim for his work on the Time Projection Chamber or TPC. This entirely new and extraordinarily powerful device to detect, identify and track multitudes of charged particles in three dimensions, has become the internationally preferred detector in a wide range of elementary particle and nuclear physics experiments, ranging from heavy ion collisions to the search for Dark Matter and extremely rare nuclear decays.

Kenneth Reifsnider, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is an internationally recognized expert in high temperature energy systems and composite materials. A renowned scholar and researcher Dr. Reifsnider has published over 400 scientific articles and edited 11 books.  His signature book on “Damage Tolerance and Durability of Composite Material Systems” is a landmark in composite materials. In addition to his pioneering work in composite materials, he is one of the world’s pre-eminent fuel cell materials researchers and is credited with leading efforts to develop solid oxide fuel cells for applications in commercial and military applications. He has also patented orthopedic devices made of biocompatible polymers that are now being marketed internationally.

At UTA, he is directing the Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies at the UTA Research Institute. At UTARI, Reifsnider is working to reduce the costs and risks associated with developing and using advanced engineered materials and structures, using predictive performance models and methodologies being developed in the institute.

Other UTA NAI Fellows include Daniel Armstrong, Robert Welch Chair in Chemistry; Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the College of Engineering and professor of bioengineering; Carolyn Cason, vice president for research emerita; Nai Yuen Chen, distinguished research professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department; Ronald Elsenbaumer, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and provost and vice president for academic affairs; Vistasp Karbhari, president; George Kondraske, professor of electrical engineering; Frank Lewis, Moncrief-O’Donnell Chair of electrical engineering; Robert Magnusson, Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics and an electrical engineering professor; and Richard Timmons, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 310 members of the other National Academies (Science, Engineering and Medicine), 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 27 Nobel Laureates, 14 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 170 AAAS Fellows, and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UTA as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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