Brown Named Academy of Inventors Fellow

in NEWS

Selected for “creating or facilitating” inventions that have helped society

By Susan Seligson, BU Today

BU President Robert A. Brown, a chemical engineer, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
BU President Robert A. Brown, a chemical engineer, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Boston University President Robert A. Brown, who came to BU following a career as a prominent chemical engineer, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the academy announced today.

Brown, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is one of 170 new fellows in NAI and one of the total of 414 fellows currently representing more than 150 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions. “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,” NAI said in its press release.

“It is an honor to be counted among so many amazingly innovative people,” says Brown. “In my role as NAI Fellow, I look forward to supporting the efforts of NAI to promote academic technology and innovation—especially the applied use of inventions to improve quality of life and spur the economy.”

Election as a NAI Fellow is the latest in a long string of honors and distinguished appointments for Brown, who is also a member of National Academy of Engineering, which awarded him the 2013 Simon Ramo Founders Award. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He chairs the Academic Research Council of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Singapore and is a member of Singapore’s Research Innovation and Enterprise Council. Brown is a director of both the DuPont Company and the American Council on Education, and a trustee of the Universities Research Association. He served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for President George W. Bush.

Brown, a former dean of the MIT School of Engineering and head of MIT’s department of chemical engineering, has published more than 250 papers in areas related to mathematical modeling of transport phenomena in materials. Executive editor of the Journal of Chemical Engineering Science from 1991 to 2004, he was honored as one of the top 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by theAmerican Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Brown earned a BS and MS in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 208 members of the other national academies, 16 recipients of the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the US National Medal of Science, and 21 Nobel Laureates.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by the Deputy US Commissioner for Patent Operations, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, during the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on March 20, 2015, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.