Campus & Community

New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Recognizes Four Members of Stevens Community

New Jersey, with its unusually rich mix of scientists and engineers, has historically led the country in invention, intellectual property development and entrepreneurship. This month, four members of the Stevens community joined a long list of renowned inventors when they were honored at the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIHoF), an annual event co-sponsored by Stevens Institute of Technology.

Stevens graduate students Milan Bergliarbekov and Andrew Ihnen each received the Graduate Student Award, faculty member Dr. Rainer Martini won the Advancement of Invention Award, and alum Gianluca Paladini won the Inventor of the Year Award.

The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIHoF) was established in 1987 to “promote and foster creativity, innovation and invention and thereby contribute to economic growth and improve the quality of life in New Jersey.” The organization recognizes inventors, organizations and others who have contributed to innovation in improving society and changing lives. 

This year’s award winners were recognized at a black tie dinner of almost 200 people at the W Hotel in Hoboken, N.J., including distinguished guests such as Dr. Gertrude M. Clarke, President of NJIHoF, Stevens President Nariman Farvardin, and Dr. Jeong Kim, President of Bell Labs , Alcatel-Lucent who also recently addressed the crowd at the Inauguration of Dr. Farvardin. 

“The evening was very humbling,” said Dr. Martini.  “It was very impressive to see the amount of ‘innovative power’ that calls New Jersey home and to be part of it.”

Each of the honorees is an accomplished inventor who is using his rich education in technology, business and management to create potentially life-changing innovations.

Begliarbekov, who emigrated to the U.S. from Moscow shortly after the collapse of the USSR, studied Physics and Contemporary Poetry as a Stevens undergraduate and is currently working towards his doctorate in Physics. In partnership with the world class Stevens Faculty and support from numerous organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, he is conducting groundbreaking research on new applications for grapheme. He has published two papers on grapheme in Applied Physics Letters and has a third paper in the pipeline. Both published articles have also been selected for the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Ihnen began graduate school at Stevens in 2006 as a master’s student in Materials Science and moved onto the PhD program in 2008. Prior to attending Stevens, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute with a BS in Civil Engineering in 2006. Ihnen’s current research involves inkjet printing and patterning of energetic materials, successfully demonstrating that it is possible to control the nanoscale morphology of printed composite materials.

Dr. Martini, Department Director of Stevens Department of Physics and Engineering, received his Ph.D. in Physics from RWTH Aachen, Germany, performing research on novel infrared sources.  In 1999, he entered into a joint research program with Bell Laboratories and Stevens, resulting in a successful demonstration of the first mid-infrared high-speed communication. Continuing his research in optical communications, novel infrared radiation sources and imaging devices, he founded the Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy and High-Speed Communication Laboratory. The longest serving member of Stevens Patent Committee, he has also authored four book chapters and more than 40 journal articles, was awarded two patents, and received two outstanding teaching awards.  He has also served on the Stevens Board of Trustees Committee for Research and Technology Commercialization and acts as Science Representative on the Stevens TechnoGenesis Scholarship and Prize Committee.

Paladini is a Program Manager at Siemens Corporate Research in Princeton, N.J. Pioneer of real-time 3D ultrasound, he heads Siemens Imaging Architectures research program with teams in the US, Germany and India as well as the 3D/4D ultrasound functionality for Siemens’ scanner. He is responsible for research initiatives in real-time visualization and high-performance computing, with applications in reconstruction, registration and visualization for diagnostic imaging, cellular/tissue imaging, pre-clinical imaging, and clinical trials. The architect responsible for the core imaging toolkit used by Siemens Healthcare in the syngo Leonardo and syngo.via imaging platform – his real-time large volume rendering technology is used in more than 70 clinical applications – Paladini holds 41 worldwide patent applications.

The honorees credit their Stevens education as integral to their successes in invention and entrepreneurship.

“The environment at Stevens and the support that I had from my colleagues and the administration has undoubtedly shaped my experience leading up to this award,” said Dr. Martini. Working on invention is a high risk business and still not the norm within universities. I feel very fortunate to have been working at Stevens – The Innovation University – where I was encouraged to follow this direction and was lucky enough to look over the shoulder of such successful inventors.”

Paladini, who studied electrical engineering, echoed Dr. Martini’s sentiments.

“Stevens is undoubtedly one of the best engineering schools in the country, and it brought me to New Jersey where I found a good education, love and a gratifying job where I can be an accomplished inventor,” he said. “This makes the Inventor of the Year Award very meaningful and special to me.”