Lovell named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

UWM Chancellor Michael R. Lovell (left) is known not only for supporting inventors at UW-Milwaukee, but as an inventor in his own right.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Michael R. Lovell is among 143 innovators named as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The Fellows represent 94 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions, according to the NAI news release announcing Lovell’s selection. Collectively, the new Fellows hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

“He is a leader in education, who also holds patents, making him eligible to be considered,” said Judith Lowry, a spokesperson in the communications office of the NAI.  The Fellows represent innovators who hold U.S. patents, she added. Lovell holds three U.S. patents and has applied for four others, according to his vita. Fellows are nominated by their peers and chosen by the NAI Fellows Selection Committee.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly 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, according to the NAI news release.

“Being named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow is especially gratifying for me because the designation also calls attention to the innovative work that UWM faculty and staff are doing in partnership with businesses, industry and other educational institutions in Wisconsin and the Midwest,” said Lovell. “I am proud to be recognized on their behalf.”

Also important in Lovell’s selection were his “significant accomplishments” in fostering economic development and outreach through partnerships and collaborations such as the Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium and the launch of the ANSYS Institute for Industrial Innovation, Lowry said.

The Institute for Industrial Innovation serves as a portal for industry, medical and university researchers, and economic development agencies, to engage easily with UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science faculty and students.

The Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium (WERC), now known as the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, or M-WERC (, originally involved UWM, three other engineering schools and eight industry partners, with a mission of making Wisconsin a nationally recognized center of expertise in energy, power and control technologies. The excellent response to the organization has resulted in a scope change leading to the new name and significant membership expansion into seven other states.

The fact that Lovell helped the university significantly increase both research expenditures and awards was also important in choosing him, Lowry said. “All these things set him apart as a candidate for the Fellowship,” Lowry said.

Lovell was confirmed as the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on May 2, 2011. He had served as interim chancellor since Oct. 1, 2010.

Lovell joined UWM in 2008 as dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Science and a professor of mechanical engineering. Since then, he has been named a State of Wisconsin Distinguished Professor. Prior to coming to UWM, he was associate dean for research at the University of Pittsburgh College of Engineering. He holds three academic degrees in mechanical engineering, including a doctorate, from the University of Pittsburgh.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by the Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew Faile, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), during the Third Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va., at the USPTO headquarters. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin. A plaque listing the name and institution of each NAI Fellow will be on permanent display at the USPTO.