National Academy of Inventors Elects LSU Mechanical Engineering Innovator

December 16, 2014 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Wen Jin Meng, the LSU Gerald Cire and Lena Grand Williams professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, or NAI. Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded 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.

“I am honored to be elected a 2014 National Academy of Inventors fellow. This election validates our R&D efforts from understanding fundamental materials behaviors to developing process designs and manufacturing protocols so discoveries from our laboratories may one day become real devices with positive societal benefits,” Meng said.

Meng is an inventor or co-inventor on seven U.S. patents. He is the founder of Enervana Technologies LLC, a Baton Rouge-based start-up company focusing on design and manufacturing of metal-based microsystems. His inventions cover a range of areas including fuel cell components, automotive components, microscale devices and microfabrication technologies. His innovation of replicating metal-based, high aspect ratio microscale structures by compression molding and roll molding advanced microfabrication technologies offers an opportunity for low-cost, high-throughput manufacturing of metal-based microdevices.

“This election also helps to highlight the tremendous role LSU plays in leading the STEM education and technology development efforts within the state of Louisiana,” Meng said.

Including Meng and today’s other elected fellows, there are 414 NAI Fellows representing more than 150 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

Meng received his doctorate in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Argonne National Laboratory in the Materials Science Division and a staff research scientist at General Motors/Delphi R&D Center. He has been a member of the LSU faculty since 1999. He has published more than 90 refereed archival journal articles and book chapters, and serves as a member of the editorial board for Microsystem Technologies.

Among all of the NAI Fellows, there are 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 208 members of the other National Academies, 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates, 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 112 AAAS Fellows and 62 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on March 20, 2015, as part of the fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile will give the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, a newly designed medal and a rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

The 2014 NAI Fellows will be recognized in a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Jan. 16, 2015 issue, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2014 NAI Fellows Selection Committee comprises 17 members, including NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers and National Inventors Hall of Fame.


For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706,