University of Utah Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair Florian Solzbacher has been named one of the newest Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced Dec. 8. He is the only U professor to be named to the new class.

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. Election as a NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

“It is an honor and wonderful surprise to be recognized,” says Solzbacher. “As engineers, the real impact is in translating ideas into products that help people in the real world. To see over two decades of efforts being recognized sends a very positive signal and further emphasizes my personal responsibility as well as that of our faculty to inspire and help our students and colleagues in driving innovation that keeps improving the world around us. We stand on the shoulders of generations of engineers and scientists who have made our world possible, and it is our responsibility to do so for the generations to come.”

Solzbacher is also a U professor of electrical and computer engineering and holds adjunct appointments in the U’s departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE) and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is co-founder, president and executive chairman of Salt Lake City-based Blackrock Neurotech, which develops brain-computer interface technologies for the medical industry.

Solzbacher’s research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems for biomedical and healthcare applications, and on high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors. He is co-founder of several companies and member of a number of company and public private partnership advisory and reviewer boards and conference steering committees in Europe and the US. He is author of over 200 journal and conference publications, five book chapters and 16 pending patents.

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, over $3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

The 2022 Fellow class hails from 110 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 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.

Past U College of Engineering NAI Fellows have included Dean Richard B. Brown, former U president and chemical engineering professor David W. Pershing, electrical and computer engineering professor Cynthia M. Furse, and materials science and engineering professor Ling Zang. Last year, electrical and computer engineering Distinguished Professor Gerald Stringfellow and mechanical engineering Chair Bruce Gale were named NAI Fellows.

The 2022 class of Fellows will be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the 12th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors on June 27th, 2023 in Washington,D.C.

The complete list of NAI Fellows is available here.