November 05, 2015

Five faculty members named to NAI chapter

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Five faculty members at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will comprise the first cohort of the university’s local chapter of a national organization for inventors. 

The faculty members, hailing from the colleges of science, engineering and agricultural sciences, will represent SIU’s local National Academy of Inventors chapter. The organization, which SIU joined this summer, serves as the academic arm of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and advocates on behalf of universities and other research institutions. 

SIU’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research sponsored the chapter and selected the founding cohort members based on their qualifications, including dedication to innovation and entrepreneurship and being a named as an inventor on at least one patent issued by the trademark and patent office.  

The selected faculty members are:

  • Ken B. Anderson, professor of geology in the College of Science and chief technology officer at Thermaquatica
  • Yoginder “Paul” Chugh, professor of mining and mineral resources engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Yong Gao, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Science
  • David Lightfoot, professor of plant, soil and agricultural systems and head of the Plant Biotech Genome Core Facility in the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Matthew McCarroll, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Science and director of the Fermentation Science Institute at SIU 

James Garvey, interim vice chancellor for research, said NAI membership provides a means to recognize faculty inventors and provide them with important tools. 

 “As NAI members, these faculty innovators will have opportunities to network with peers within the national innovation community and to influence the evolution of intellectual property regulations in this country,” Garvey said. “We have a strong spirit of innovation at SIU, and we anticipate that this NAI chapter will provide another means for our community of inventors to connect and grow.  Forbes magazine recently named SIU one of the nation’s top entrepreneurial universities, and these inventors contribute to our growing reputation.” 

Induction of the founding cohort will take place during the Regional Energy Forum, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale. 

The NAI recognizes and encourages inventors who have a patent issued from the trademark and patent office and enhances the visibility of university and non-profit research institute technology and academic innovation. It also encourages the disclosure of intellectual property and educates and mentors innovative students and supports moving new inventions into the marketplace to benefit the public. 

The NAI also edits the international journal “Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.” NAI membership only is available through university and non-profit research institute chapters.