Sunday, May 26, 2024

Logo for the University of Maryland Right Now Site
Skip to Content

A resource for media highlighting UMD experts, cutting-edge research and innovation, rankings, and breaking campus news

All News Releases

National Academy of Inventors Names University of Maryland Vice President for Research and a University Professor as 2020 Fellows

Two new inductees are latest of eight UMD faculty recognized by NAI for ‘prolific spirit of innovation’


Lee Tune , 301-405-4679

Media Relations


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland’s Laurie Locascio, Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Ramalingam “Rama” Chellappa, College Park Professor at UMD have been elected 2020 Fellows by the National Academy of Inventors, joining the ranks of some of the nation’s most prestigious and creative academic inventors.

According to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 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. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.

The 2020 Fellow class represents 115 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,700 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2020 Fellows are 24 recipients of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, six recipients of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S), and two Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research covers a range of scientific disciplines including biomedical engineering, computer engineering, materials science, and physics. The 2020 class of Fellows will be inducted at the 2021 Fellows Induction Ceremony at the Tenth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors this June in Tampa, Florida.

Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio

"I am honored and grateful to be recognized by the National Academy of Inventors for the work that I have accomplished in my 30 plus years as a biomedical researcher and inventor," said Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio. "Being named a Fellow of NAI aligns with my continued work here at the university to advance research innovations that make a positive societal impact for individuals in our state and across our country."

Vice President for Research Locascio oversees the University of Maryland’s vibrant research and innovation enterprise at the College Park and Baltimore campuses, which garner a combined $1.1 billion in external research funding each year. Within Locascio’s purview are the development of large interdisciplinary research programs, technology commercialization, innovation and economic development efforts, and strategic partnerships with industry, federal, academic, and nonprofit collaborators. She is a professor in Maryland’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and a professor (secondary) in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Locascio previously worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), most recently as Acting Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director responsible for leading the internal scientific research and laboratory programs across two campuses in Gaithersburg, MD and Boulder, Colo. As a biomedical researcher at NIST, she published more than 100 scientific papers and holds 12 patents.

College Park Professor Rama Chellappa

“I was inspired to choose engineering as my career soon after I listened to the 1969 landing of Apollo 11 on my home radio in India. I am honored, 50 years later, to be recognized as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Ramalingam “Rama” Chellappa, College Park Professor at UMD and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

“This is a recognition of nearly three decades of work I did at the University of Maryland in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. I am also pleased that NAI elected Clark School alumnus and colleague S. Kevin Zhou (Ph.D. ’04, electrical engineering)—who did pioneering work on unconstrained face recognition in my laboratory as a doctoral student—as a Fellow.”

At UMD, Chellappa has held appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. His work includes projects involving signal and image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, multi-dimension stochastic processes, statistical interference, image analysis, robust and secure biometrics, and artificial intelligence in computer vision. He holds four patents. The many honors and awards in his career include: being named a University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor, the highest appointment bestowed on UMD tenured faculty, a Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, a UMD Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow, and a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at UMD; receiving a UMD Outstanding Invention Award, a Faculty Outstanding Research Award, the Poole and Kent Teaching Award from the Clark School of Engineering, an Outstanding GEMSTONE Mentor Award, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and four IBM Faculty Development Awards.

Read more about Clark School alumnus and new NAI member S. Kevin Zhou here.

Previous UMD NAI Fellows

VPR Locascio and Professor Chellappa join six other highly acclaimed University of Maryland, College Park faculty as NAI Fellows. Other UMD NAI Fellows are: 2019 Fellows Ray Liu and Min Wu, professors in the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; 2017 NAI Fellow C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., president emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering and a Regents’ Professor and former president of the University of Maryland; Distinguished University Professor Rita Colwell, a 2016 Fellow; and Distinguished University Professors John S. Baras and Benjamin A. Shneiderman, both 2015 NAI Fellows.

The NAI was founded in 2010 to: recognize and encourage inventors holding patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); 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.


Fellowship Innovation

Areas of Expertise:

Computer Science Engineering

Colleges and Schools:

A. James Clark School of Engineering College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Division of Research

Media Inquiries