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Feb. 28, 2024

3 MSU faculty named National Academy of Inventors Senior Members

Evangelyn Alocilja, Richard Lunt join College of Engineering's elite group

National Academy of Inventors logo
Since 2013, the National Academy of Inventors has recognized eight MSU College of Engineering faculty members. 

Michigan State University researchers Evangelyn Alocilja, Richard Lunt and André Bachmann have been named Senior Members by the National Academy of Inventors.

This year’s class of NAI Senior Members is the largest to date and hails from 60 NAI member institutions across the nation. Collectively, they are named inventors for more than 1,000 U.S. patents, with 344 of those being licensed technologies and commercialized products.

The 2024 class also showcases the shared commitment to celebrate the diversity of the academic ecosystem, with 50% of this year’s Senior Members being outstanding female and/or underrepresented academic inventors.

"MSU’s Innovation Center provides an environment of support and opportunities for our researchers to pursue patents and to positively impact the world through the commercialization of their research discoveries," said Doug Gage, vice president for research and innovation. "The fact that we have three members being recognized by NAI this year is testament to the priority MSU places on research and innovation, and the downstream economic impact that MSU can have in our state and beyond."

The MSU researchers being honored have found that their research often presents a challenge that provides an opportunity for invention.  

MSU College of Engineering faculty member Evangelyn Alocilja
Evangelyn Alocilja

“My passion is to find solutions to challenging societal problems, especially for those needing the most help,” said Evangelyn Alocilja, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering.

Alocilja develops biological sensors that can diagnose infectious and antimicrobial resistant diseases earlier.  

Like Alocilja, Richard Lunt, who is a Johansen Crosby Endowed Associate Professor in the College of Engineering, also was inspired to make the world a better place. Lunt’s work is focused on creating better materials that are more efficient and longer lasting for solar energy production. 

“The act of patenting actually helps guide our research in defining unmet needs and solving unresolved challenges,” said Lunt. “From a young age, I wanted to make our world more sustainable. I did not know it then, but this passion would lead to this path of becoming a researcher working on creating inventions and patents that are translating to real-world products for a more sustainable and healthier world."

MSU College of Engineering faculty member Richard Lunt
Richard Lunt

Bachmann is a professor and associate chair for research in MSU's College of Human Medicine.

For complete coverage of the 2024 nominees, check out MSUToday's story. 

Once Lunt and Alocilja are inducted in June, they will join five current NAI Class of Fellows members who established their careers in the MSU College of Engineering.

Those with MSU College of Engineering ties who are currently inducted in the NAI Class of Fellows:

  • Timothy Grotjohn, Electrical and Computer Engineering (2023)
  • Lawrence Drzal, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (2018)
  • Teresa K. Woodruff, Biomedical Engineering (2018)
  • Ramani Narayan, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (2015)
  • Anil Jain, Computer Science and Engineering (2015)
  • Satish Udpa, Electrical and Computer Engineering (2013)

Story courtesy of Emilie Lorditch, MSUToday.