Rigoberto Advincula sitting in his lab

Advincula Earns Prestigious NAI Fellow Honor

By Rhiannon Potkey. Photography by Shawn Poynter.

Rigoberto “Gobet” Advincula has been awarded one of the highest honors of his profession.

Advincula, the UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Advanced and Nanostructured Materials, has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Advincula is a leader in the field of polymers, with inventions and many publications in polymer nanocomposites, graphene nanomaterials, polymer layered films, and coatings. He has been granted 14 US patents and has 21 published filings related to graphene nanomaterials, solid-state device fabrication, smart coatings and films, and advanced chemical additives.

“I was elated to be elected with the National Academy of Inventors, because I know the people who get this award are really accomplished and dedicated toward intellectual property creation,” Advincula said. “It is a testament of my focus and our group efforts in IP and research innovation.”

—Rigoberto Advincula

Advincula is the seventh UT faculty member to be named an NAI Fellow, joining Taylor Eighmy (2013), Mark Dean (2014), John Birdwell (2015), Yilu Liu (2016), Fred Wang (2017), and Michael Simpson (2018).

Members of the 2023 class of fellows hail from 118 research universities, government agencies, and nonprofit research institutions worldwide. Collectively they hold more than 4,600 issued US patents.

Advincula was selected because he has “demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating and facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

Rigoberto Advincula and his student working on a project in a lab

Advincula’s areas of research include utilizing the structure and functionalities of materials on a near-atomic scale, characterizing and developing new materials sensors, optics, biotechnology, energy production, and advanced manufacturing. His patents can potentially contribute to health and safety, a resurgence in US manufacturing leadership, and more efficient fossil-fuel energy generation. Several companies can license his inventions with a high potential for scalable manufacturing.

At UT and ORNL, Advincula has led and built research programs and capabilities related to additive manufacturing and the application of artificial intelligence in synthesis and process optimization. He is passionate about mentoring future scientists and STEM students while providing research environments that foster high research skills and innovation.

The 2023 class of fellows will be honored and presented their medals by a senior US Patent and Trademark Office official at the NAI annual conference, taking place in June in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I look forward to the induction ceremony because I know I will meet some colleagues there who have been awarded too,” Advincula said. “I am excited to meet the previous NAI Fellows and new NAI members. It will be like a reunion for all of us.”

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