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McKellar Elected Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors

August 22, 2019

College of Engineering Research Professor and Industrial Technology Program Director Michael McKellar was one of 54 academic inventors named senior member by the National Academy of Inventors this summer. NAI senior members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from member institutions who have demonstrated innovation-producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.

McKellar was publicly recognized on a national level for process modeling and his innovations, particularly in nuclear engineering, where he and colleagues developed hybrid energy, cooling, and waste treatment systems for energy facilities.

In 2006, he received the R&D 100 Award for a small-scale natural gas liquefaction system.

"My success in inventing has always been a result of great teams of engineers and scientists, strong marketing and legal support, and assistance from technology transfer offices," McKellar said.

At the University of Idaho's Idaho Falls Regional Center, McKellar will continue to foster his spirit of innovation by educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors through the U of I's newly formed NAI chapter.

"NAI member institutions support some of the most elite innovators on the horizon. With the NAI senior member award distinction, we are recognizing innovators that are rising stars in their fields," said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI president. "This new class is joining a prolific group of academic visionaries already defining tomorrow."

McKellar joins a growing list of distinguished NAI members, which include U of I’s Greg Moller, who was inducted into the NAI circle of fellows last year for his innovative work to clean wastewater.

"The University of Idaho is proud to be a NAI member, and talented innovators such as McKellar are representative of our faculty that have produced technologies that provide solutions to important societal challenges," said Janet E. Nelson, vice president for Research and Economic Development at U of I. "His dedication and efforts are inspirational to many in his field and he serves as a wonderful role model for our next generation of inventors."

The latest class of NAI senior members represent 32 research universities and government and non-profit research institutes. They are recognized on more than 860 issued U.S. patents.

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at