Blonder Named NAI Fellow

By Jessica Colarossi

An inventor, a mentor, a food lover, Greg Blonder, a visiting scholar at BU’s College of Engineering, has a variety of interests. A scientist by training, Blonder has developed technologies with lasting impact—notably headphones with built-in speakers and two-factor authentication, a cybersecurity tool regularly used by many companies and internet users. As a testament to his achievements, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Blonder a fellow, “the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors,” according to NAI.

Blonder, who was also an ENG professor of the practice in mechanical engineering from 2015 to this year, is one of the 164 inventors chosen for the 2021 fellowship, intended to highlight academic inventors who have spearheaded or facilitated projects that have had a tangible impact on society and people’s quality of life. An induction ceremony will be held on June 15, 2022, at NAI’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.

Blonder says he was born an inventor, someone never quite satisfied with the world as it is. He holds over 100 patents, including for medical devices, green energy technology, and consumer goods. When he isn’t working to democratically rewrite the US Bill of Rights using crowdsourcing data, or guiding aspiring entrepreneurs, Blonder writes a food science blog, where he shares his unique food experiments, like a doughnut flavored with peppercorns. The Brink caught up with Blonder to learn about the projects he is most proud of, the advice he gives to young inventors, and his passion for BBQ.

Read the full Q&A on The Brink.