Professor of Biomedical Engineering Vikki Hazelwood has been named fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for her outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.
The distinction of NAI Fellow is given to 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.
“I am honored to have been asked to join the ranks of such a distinguished group,” said Hazelwood, program director for Biomedical Engineering and director of the Lab for Translational Research in Medicine. “I sincerely hope to be able to make a broader contribution to our emerging generation of medical engineers in my position as NAI Fellow.”
Dr. Hazelwood is among 170 new NAI Fellows, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities, governmental and non-profit research institutions.
“We are delighted to recognize the 2014 NAI Fellows and their unparalleled commitment to excellence in academic invention," said NAI President Dr. Paul R. Sanberg. "Their many discoveries have made a truly significant impact on society and we are proud to honor them for these contributions."
Dr. Hazelwood’s work focuses on transforming engineering technologies into innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs, especially in the areas of obesity prevention and pain management.
At Stevens, she led the development of a venture capital backed start-up company, SPOC Inc.--a clinical and technological platform for pain management-- where her student founders are co-inventors and full-time employees.
To integrate innovation and academics, Hazelwood established a program that formally instructs all of her students through the invention process.
“What I find most exciting is that my undergraduate engineering students have responded so positively to my methods and mentoring, and I am confident that they are well on their way to solving medical technology needs in a creative, competitive and industrious manner,” said Hazelwood. “I look forward to the very elegant and novel solutions that they will develop.”
Since arriving at Stevens in 2004, Dr. Hazelwood has overseen nearly 100 invention disclosures that have been developed in collaboration with local medical teams.
Approximately two dozen have resulted in patent applications, and five patents have been issued—all these projects include her undergraduate students as inventors.
The NAI Fellows will be inducted on March 20, 2015, as part of the fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.