Florida State scientist named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

David Larbalestier, Florida State’s Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

One of Florida State University’s top researchers has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

David Larbalestier, widely recognized as one of the principal leaders in the development of high field superconducting materials, serves as Florida State’s Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, director of the Applied Superconductivity Center, and associate laboratory director at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

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.

Larbalestier’s research ranges from the widely used Nb-Ti alloys and Nb3Sn conductors used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnets, high field NMR, fusion machines and particle accelerators, to the more recent high temperature superconductors, with which his group has generated the highest fields — more than 35 tesla — ever made with superconducting magnets.

Labalestier holds five U.S. patents that have been licensed to three companies. He has published more than 400 scientific papers and has served as editor of Superconducting Science and Technology. He was elected fellow of the American Physical Society in 1988, the British Institute of Physics in 2000 and the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in 2013. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003.

Larbalestier received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Cryogenic Materials Conference in 2007. In 2000, he received the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers award for continuing and significant contributions in the field of applied superconductivity. In 1991, he received the Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award for the Development of High Current Density Nb-Ti conductors underpinning modern particle accelerators like Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and the Large Hadron Collider. In 1978, he received an IR-100 award for the first Nb-Ti/Nb3Sn NMR magnet.

The 143 innovators elected to NAI fellow status represent 94 universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. Together, they hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies, five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science and nine Nobel Laureates, among other major awards and distinctions.

The NAI fellows will be inducted by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the 3rd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on March 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va., at the headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow 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 NAI Fellows Selection Committee is comprised of 13 Members including NAI Charter Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of University Technology Managers, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.