Georgia Tech has the most honorees in the Class of 2023, which is being presented the highest professional honor given solely to inventors.

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Six Georgia Tech College of Engineering faculty members are among the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) 2023 Class of Fellows. The honor is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

No other university or organization in the world has more honorees this year than Georgia Tech. The group of six holds more than 200 patents.

  • Farrokh Ayazi, electrical and computer engineering
  • Maohong Fan, civil and environmental engineering
  • Christopher Jones, chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • Wilbur Lam, biomedical engineering
  • Susan Margulies, biomedical engineering
  • Karthikeyan Sundaresan, electrical and computer engineering

The Georgia Tech engineers are among 162 worldwide inventors honored in 2023. According to the NAI, “their work spans across disciplines and exemplifies their dedication and inspiration to translating research into commercial technologies that benefit society.”

The 2023 class will be honored in June at the NAI annual meeting.

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Farrokh Ayazi

Farrokh Ayazi

Ken Byers Professor, Regents’ Entrepreneur
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ayazi’s research focuses on integrated MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical systems) and microsystems. He has established two start-up companies based on intellectual property developed at Georgia Tech:

  • Qualtré: commercialized precision, chip-scale gyroscopes for GPS-free navigation of autonomous cars and unmanned air vehicles before being acquired by Panasonic in December 2016.
  • StethX Microsystems: bringing to market advanced microsensors for the next generation of cardiopulmonary patches.

Ayazi has 70 patents and is a fellow of IEEE.

Maohong Fan

Adjunct Professor
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Fan’s research focuses on chemical production, clean energy generation, and environmental protection. He holds more than 25 patents and provisional patents, including the invention of carbon dioxide capture and utilization technologies with Georgia Tech Professor Ted Russell.

Fan’s primary faculty appointment is at the University of Wyoming.

Maohong Fan headshot
Christopher Jones headshot

Christopher Jones

John F. Brock III School Chair, Professor
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Jones is one of the nation’s top researchers working on the design of materials and processes for carbon dioxide removal from the air. He holds 25 U.S. patents in the fields of heterogeneous catalysis, gas separations and materials chemistry. The most significant inventions are the design of materials tailored to remove carbon dioxide from ambient air, a technology referred to as direct air capture.

Jones was selected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2022.

Wilbur Lam

W. Paul Bowers Research Chair, Professor
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Dean for Innovation, Emory School of Medicine

Lam’s research broadly focuses on applying and developing micro- and nanotechnologies to study, diagnose, and treat blood disorders, cancer, and childhood diseases. His lab works to create inexpensive technologies to allow children and their families to monitor their own conditions at home. He also led national efforts to rapidly verify Covid-19 tests and get them to market.

Lam is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) earlier this year.

Wilbur Lam headshot
Susan Margulies headshot

Susan Margulies

Professor, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Margulies is recognized around the world for her work in pediatric traumatic brain injury and ventilator-induced lung injury. Her research has opened pathways for prevention, intervention, and treatment. She holds six patents, each related to lung injury.

Margulies was selected to the NAE and NAM in 2020. She currently leads the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering.

Karthikeyan Sundaresan

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sundaresan’s research explores wireless networking and mobile computing technology, spanning algorithm design and system building. He is a fellow of IEEE and holds more than 60 patents. His inventions include 4G and 5G standards-essential technology that were instrumental in patent licensing, with others contributing to award-winning small cell product commercialization in industry. 

Sundaresan is a co-founding member of two start-up companies that launched from his inventions related to wireless technology and focus on public safety and sustainable IoT, respectively. The second originated from his research since joining Georgia Tech in 2021.

Karthikeyan Sundaresan headshot
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