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The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) announced today that it has chosen a cohort of inventors from around the world for election as 2015 NAI Fellows. UNM Distinguished Professors C. Jeffrey Brinker and Steven R. J. Brueck were among 168 distinguished innovators elevated to NAI Fellow status. 

Election and induction into NAI Fellow Program is considered a high professional distinction among 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 the welfare of society. 

Brinker is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, a member of the UNM Cancer Center, and a Sandia Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories.  Brueck is a Distinguished Professor & Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics & Astronomy and the former director of the UNM Center for High Technology Materials.

Brueck and Brinker were nominated by the STC.UNM Board of Directors for this national honor. “Dr. Brueck and Dr. Brinker have received the STC 2010 and 2015 Innovation Fellow Award, respectively, as top innovators at UNM for achievements in developing many new technologies and receiving a large number of patents that have generated significant commercialization activities from licenses and the formation of new companies," stated STC Board Chair Sandra Begay-Campbell. "The social and economic impact of Dr. Brueck and Dr. Brinker’s technologies in the marketplace reach far beyond New Mexico. The Board felt their accomplishments as innovators were worthy of membership as NAI Fellows,”

C. Jeffrey BrinkerDr. C. Jeffrey Brinker

Internationally known for his work in advanced materials, Brinker has pioneered sol-gel processing, a method for making inorganic materials molecule by molecule. Over the past two decades his research team has developed self-assembly (wherein molecules spontaneously organize into nanostructures) as a robust and efficient means to create porous and composite thin film and particulate nanostructures with optimized properties and/or complex functionalities.

Brinker is able to translate the properties of nature into new materials that are technology innovations. His inventions are engineering feats that combine advanced materials science and biology to produce innovative membranes, sensors, thin films, and nanoparticles that are having a far-reaching and disruptive impact on cancer treatment, environmental remediation and protection and low-cost, green materials for industrial processes.

Both inventors will be inducted as NAI Fellows on April 15, 2016, as part of the NAI Fifth Annual Conference at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va.  USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.  Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments. 

To view biographical information, visit NAI Fellows. For NAI's press release, visit National Academy of Inventors Announces 2015 NAI Fellows.