Cooper Named NAI Fellow

Rory Cooper, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high 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.

Those named on December 16, 2014, bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 208 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM), 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates, 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 112 AAAS Fellows, and 62 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on Mar. 20, 2015, as part of the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile will be providing the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, newly designed medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

The 2014 NAI Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education Jan. 16, 2015 issue, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation.

Dr. Cooper, FISA/PVA Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor, Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, had earned worldwide acclaim for his expertise in assistive technologies. He is the recipient of numerous international and national awards, including the DaVinci Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year, the International Paralympic Committee’s Science Award last year (the first of the five recipients from the United States), the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Department of the Army, the Olin Teague Award, the Paul Magnuson Award, membership in the inaugural class of the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame, and more. He serves or has served on numerous national boards and committees related to disability, research and Medicare.

Dr. Cooper received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and completed his doctoral degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The academic inventors and innovators 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 2014 NAI Fellows Selection Committee comprises 17 members, including NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

For more information about the 2014 NAI Fellows selection, please see the press release.

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit 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. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY).