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ECE Professor Emeritus Ed Wolf named as 2015 National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named ECE Professor Emeritus Ed Wolf to Fellow status. Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly 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.

Professor Wolf spent 15 years in the aerospace industry, first at the Rockwell International Science Center exploring thermionic energy conversion using electron field emission microscopy. He then moved to the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu where he led a pioneering effort in scanning electron beam diagnostics and microfabrication (key enablers later for nanotechnology). He became a senior scientist and section head of electron beam surface physics and was awarded Fellow of the IEEE for his research while at Hughes.

He joined Cornell University in 1978 as professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and first director of the National Research and Resource Facility for Submicron Structures (NRRFSS) and later National Nanofabrication Facility (NNF). Wolf's research interests included electron and ion beam processing of materials and submicron devices including advanced lithography and chemically assisted ion beam etching. He was a member of the graduate faculty of ECE, AP&E and MS&E at Cornell. In 1986, Dr. Wolf co-founded Biolistics, Inc., to develop the gene gun instrumentation and methodology. DuPont acquired Biolistics' gene gun technology rights in 1990, which were originally licensed from Cornell Research Foundation. He became professor emeritus in 1991.

He returned to Cornell University in 1995 to serve for two years as founding director of the Cornell Office for Technology Access and Business Assistance, Office of the Vice-President for Research. He served as a director (2003-2010) of Novelx, Inc., Lafayette, CA, which miniaturized the thermal field-emitter (TFE) scanning electron microscope now manufactured and sold by Keysight Technologies.                                     

This year, 168 leaders of invention and innovation were honored with the prestigious distinction, bringing the total number of NAI Fellows to 582. Fellows represent over 190 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2015 Fellows account for 5,368 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on 15 April 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin.

The 2015 NAI Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education 22 Jan. 2016 issue, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and NAI journal Technology and Innovation.

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.

"It is my privilege to welcome the 2015 class of outstanding academic inventors to the Academy as Fellows," said NAI President Dr. Paul R. Sanberg. "These inspiring individuals have made remarkable contributions to society through their work in research and discovery as well as in patents, licensing, and commercialization. They encourage a culture where invention and innovation is brought to the forefront and it is an honor to recognize their tremendous accomplishments with NAI Fellow status."

Complete list of NAI Fellows:

The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, 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. The NAI offices are located in the University of South Florida Research Park.  The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY).

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