#NAI2019 Luncheon Keynote Speakers Announced

#NAI2019 Luncheon Speakers Announced

Connecting the Innovation Community

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The National Academy of Inventors is proud to present two of our featured speakers for the 2019 Annual Meeting: Maria Oden and Ellen Ochoa.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Maria Oden, Ph.D. – Rice University
Maria Oden, Ph.D., is a full professor of bioengineering, founding director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) and co-director of Rice 360 Institute for Global Health at Rice University. Oden is a leader in biomedical engineering and engineering education with 25 years of combined academic, research and clinical experience. Her work focuses on educating the next generation of innovators by cultivating award-winning engineering design programs and teaching techniques to address global challenges through identifying, inventing, and testing new technologies. 
At OEDK, Rice’s hub for engineering design the serves around 1,200 students each year, Oden collaborates with Rice faculty members to develop and execute engineering design courses, programs, a minor, and internship programs that promote invention and innovation amongst undergraduate students in all engineering disciplines. At Rice 360, Oden leads efforts to educate the next generation of global health inventors at Rice and at universities throughout Africa. These efforts include developing technologies to address global health challenges in collaboration with clinical partners and engineers around the world. Several technologies from this program, many initially designed by undergraduate students at OEDK, are now commercially available and used worldwide.  In addition to her professional and teaching responsibilities at Rice, Oden collaborates with colleagues around the world to foster growth in engineering design and invention education.  She is a recipient of the 2012 Fred Merryfield Design Award by the American Society for Engineering Education, the George R. Brown Prize for Superior Teaching from Rice University in both 2012 and 2016 and, along with colleague Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the 2013 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation. Oden is a 2016 AAAS Lemelson Invention Ambassador. Oden is a co-lead on the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change finalist, Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies, which was awarded $15M in 2018.

Wednesday’s luncheon hosted by:

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., FNAI 
Johnson Space Center
Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., a veteran astronaut, served as the 11th director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018.  She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993.  Ochoa has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours.  She currently serves on several boards including as vice chair of the National Science Board, chair of the Nomination Evaluation Committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and  corporate board member.
Prior to her astronaut career, Ochoa was a research engineer at Sandia National Labs and NASA Ames Research Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from San Diego State University, and a master’s and doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,  American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Optical Society of America. Ochoa currently holds three patents for optical systems, and is the recipient of many awards including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Distinguished Rank of the Senior Executive Service, and honorary doctorates from  University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

Thursday’s luncheon hosted by:

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Preliminary Agenda.

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