National Academy of Inventors names three Penn Staters as 2022 fellows

December 8, 2022

By Ashley WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) named three Penn State College of Engineering faculty members as fellows, the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors. Justin Schwartz, interim executive vice president and provost; Madhavan Swaminathan, incoming head of the Department of Electrical Engineering; and Douglas Werner, John L. and Genevieve McCain Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering, will be inducted at the 12th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors on June 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society, according to the academy’s website. Schwartz, Swaminathan and Werner will join seven other fellows from Penn State: Stephen Benkovic, elected in 2015; Jian Yang, elected in 2018; Chao-Yang Wang, elected in 2019; John Mauro and Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, elected in 2020; and Clive Randall and T.C. Mike Chung, elected in 2021.  

“It is a tremendous honor to have three more members of our faculty elected as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Lora Weiss, senior vice president of research at Penn State. “These individuals are advancing research innovations that will impact society for years to come.”  

Schwartz, professor of engineering science and mechanics, holds seven patents primarily related to superconducting, magnetic and multiferroic materials and the systems they enable. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and has graduated 45 doctoral and master’s students in six academic disciplines. Schwartz earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and ASM International.  

Swaminathan, who is currently the John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging and Electromagnetics in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, will lead the Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering starting Jan. 1. He will also serve as the William E. Leonhard Endowed Chair in Penn State College of Engineering’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He holds 31 patents, mainly related to advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration of semiconductors, and has published more than 550 peer-reviewed papers. Swaminathan earned his undergraduate degree in in electronics and communication from the University of Madras in India, and his master of science and doctorate in electrical engineering from Syracuse University. 

Werner, who earned a bachelor of science, master of science and doctorate in electrical engineering and a master of arts in mathematics from Penn State, is a professor of electrical engineering and a faculty member in the Materials Research Institute. He holds 20 patents, several in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. His patents cover a range of antenna technologies including wearable, radio frequency identification, electromagnetic cloaking, 5G/6G communications and satellites. Werner has produced more than 1,000 scientific papers, seven books and 30 book chapters on electromagnetics. He is a fellow of IEEE, the Institution of Engineering Technology, Optica, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society and the Progress In Electromagnetics Research Electromagnetics Academy.  

The 2022 fellow class hails from 110 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. The fellows collectively hold more than 5,000 issued U.S. patents. Among the new class of fellows are members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, fellows of AAAS and other prestigious organizations, Nobel Laureates, other honors and distinctions, as well as senior leadership from universities and research institutions. Their body of research and entrepreneurship covers a broad range of scientific disciplines involved with technology transfer of their inventions for the benefit of society.  

"This year's class of NAI fellows represents a truly outstanding caliber of innovators. Each of these individuals has made significant impact through their work and is highly regarded in their respective fields," said Paul R. Sanberg, fellow and president of the NAI. "The breadth and scope of their inventions is truly staggering. I am excited to see their creativity continue to define a new era of science and technology in the global innovation ecosystem."  

To date, NAI fellows hold more than 58,000 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies and created more than one million jobs. In addition, more than $3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI fellow discoveries. 

The complete list of NAI fellows is available here.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 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. The NAI has a close partnership with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many discovery and innovation support initiatives. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal,Technology and Innovation.  


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College of Engineering Media Relations

"These individuals are advancing research innovations that will impact society for years to come.” — Lora Weiss