National Academy of Inventors

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Dec. 21, 2018

Lawrence Drzal named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Lawrence Drzal of Michigan State University has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Class of 2018.

Drzal is a University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science and the director of the MSU Composite Materials and Structures Center. He is also director of the Vehicle Technical Application Area in the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) in Detroit. 

University Distinguished Professor Lawrence Drzal holds 36 U.S. and 17 foreign patents.

He is among 148 new NAI fellows this year, who are named inventors on nearly 4,000 issued U.S. patents. He joins two other MSU faculty members, University Distinguished Professors Anil Jain and Ramani Narayan, who were recognized by the national organization in 2015. 

Election to NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. 

The 2018 fellows class will be inducted at NASA’s Space Center Houston in April 2019 at NAI’s eighth annual meeting. The complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website

Lawrence T. Drzal
Drzal’s list of honors is extensive and includes the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, he received the MSU Lifetime Technology Transfer Award. 

He holds 36 U.S. and 17 foreign patents licensed to several companies. In 2007, Drzal co-founded XG Sciences, Inc., a private Michigan company that is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of graphene nanoplatelets. He serves as chief scientist. 

He has published more than 400 articles in peer reviewed journals. 

Drzal is an elected fellow of the American Society for Composites, Adhesion Society, American Institute of Chemists, Society of Plastics Engineers, and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering.

He received his PhD in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Detroit. He worked as a materials research engineer at the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, from 1977 to 1985. His research on carbon fiber-epoxy matrix interfacial phenomena helped earn him one of the Air Force’s highest awards, the Charles J. Cleary Scientific Materials Research Award, in 1979.

Drzal founded MSU’s Composite Materials and Structures Center in 1985, which has turned it into a national multidisciplinary research facility.

The National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology & Innovation.