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Lee named National Academy of Inventors fellow for engineering innovations

From staff reports | Jan 4, 2016

Sunggyu Lee

Ohio University Professor Sunggyu “K.B.” Lee. Photo credit: Ohio University Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 4, 2016)—Ohio University Professor Sunggyu “K.B.” Lee has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his achievements in alternative energies and advanced materials research and technology commercialization.

The academic innovators elected to the rank of National Academy of Inventors Fellow are 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.

Lee is the Russ-Ohio Research Scholar in Coal Syngas Utilization and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, as well as the founder of the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials Laboratory, in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Over the course of his career, he has conducted innovative research on alternative and transportation fuels, advanced coal technology, biofuels, chemical process engineering, catalysis and catalytic process engineering, polymer synthesis and processing, polymer blends and composites, and novel functional product development.

The scholar has been awarded 35 U.S. patents and 180 international patents on the engineering processes and products he has developed. Lee also has worked closely with the chemical industry to move his inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace

“This is a tremendous honor for me, my family and my research group,” Lee said. “During my career, I have had the great pleasure and fortune of collaborating with outstanding students, dedicated scholars and many industrial collaborators and supporters, and it is my duty to extend only the deepest gratitude to these individuals for shaping me into the individual that I am today. Deeply humbled by my receiving such a high distinction, I vow to continue to put forth my greatest efforts and give the best of my life to commercialization of clean energy and advanced materials and educating America’s next generation.”

Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin noted how Lee represents the Russ College of Engineering and Technology’s mission to “create for good.”

“Dr. Lee is one of the most prolific and persistent researchers in his field,” Irwin said. “In several current areas of great interest globally, such as non-conventional oil and gas extraction and alternative fuels, he has been discovering and writing for decades.  He is truly a visionary in his field. I have also personally experienced his unparalleled ability to explain complex technical approaches to students and the public.”

Lee will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

Lee is the fifth Ohio University faculty member to be named a National Academy of Inventors fellow. The previous recipients are Marcia Kieliszewski, College of Arts and Sciences (2014); David Bayless, Russ College of Engineering and Technology (2013); John Kopchick, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Edison Biotechnology Institute (2012); and Gerardine Botte, Russ College of Engineering and Technology (2012).

The National Academy of Inventors is a 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. 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.

Contact: Andrea Gibson, Office of Research Communications, (740) 597-2166, gibsona@ohio.edu ; Colleen Carow, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, (740) 593-1488, carow@ohio.edu.