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. Being elected as an NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.
Simske joined the Colorado State University faculty in 2018 following a long career at HP, where he was an HP Fellow, vice president, and director of HP Labs. A foremost expert on digital documents, document engineering and meta-algorithmics, Simske is the author of more than 200 U.S. patents in the fields of document engineering, machine vision, bioengineering and printing. He is also the author of over 400 publications.
Simske is a Society for Imaging Science and Technology Fellow and was also recently elevated to Fellow status by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils from 2010-16, including Illicit Trade, Illicit Economy and the Future of Electronics. He has directed worldwide teams in research on 3D printing, education, life sciences, sensing, authentication, packaging, analytics, imaging and manufacturing.
‘Why do I invent?’
Simske’s nominators noted his equal investment in inspiring and training the next generation of innovators. In a profile published by CSU Ventures, he answered the question, “Why do I invent?”
“It is really simple, I just want to make things better,” he said. “I’m not a big fan of inventing for the sake of inventing, and I’d rather not invent things that can be used for harm. If I can make something better that I would want to use, that’s perfect. This is why, on almost all of my inventions, there are co-inventors. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the planet’s best engineers in so many areas, and that is why my inventions are so diverse. Inventing is a great way to engage someone smarter than you in a fun project, and for me has always been a great way to learn.”
To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 48,000 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 2021 Fellow class hails from 116 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,800 issued U.S. patents. Among the new class of Fellows are 33 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and three Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research and entrepreneurship covers a broad range of scientific disciplines involved with technology transfer of their inventions for the benefit of society.
This year’s class also reflects NAI’s dedicated efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its membership, with the addition of three outstanding academic female black inventors. The 2021 new Fellows will be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors this upcoming June in Phoenix.