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Cartwright named National Academy of Inventors fellow


Published December 18, 2014

“Alex Cartwright’s work has significantly advanced current understanding of key principles and processes in the field of nanostructured optoelectronic materials and devices.”
President Satish K. Tripathi

Alexander Cartwright

UB researcher Alexander N. Cartwright, who serves as SUNY’s provost and executive vice chancellor, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

A professor of electrical engineering and adjunct professor of physics at UB, Cartwright is an internationally recognized researcher and scholar in optical sensors.

His invention of a one-step, low-cost holographic technology for fabricating a rainbow-colored polymer was one of five inventions worldwide named to the Society of Manufacturing Engineer’s 2013 list of Innovations that Could Change the Way You Manufacture. This discovery has wide-ranging potential, from biomedical imaging to climate monitoring.

Additionally, Cartwright holds six patents — more are pending — and his innovations have been licensed by multiple startup companies.

The exclusive professional distinction is a peer-nominated award given to academic inventors who have created or facilitated inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

“This is a prestigious honor, and a very richly deserved one,” says President Satish K. Tripathi. “Alex Cartwright’s work has significantly advanced current understanding of key principles and processes in the field of nanostructured optoelectronic materials and devices, and he has had tremendous impact in translating these discoveries from ‘bench to bedside.’

“I know I speak for Alex’s friends and colleagues across the University at Buffalo in saying how delighted we are to see his pioneering contributions recognized with this great honor.”

Cartwright, who arrived at UB nearly 20 years ago and most recently served as UB’s vice president of research and economic development, credits the university and SUNY for fostering an environment for groundbreaking research.

“From providing state-of-the-art resources, equipment and facilities to encouraging collaboration among students and faculty, the University at Buffalo and the entire State University of New York do a remarkable job creating campus environments where innovation and research can really thrive,” he says. “My research and ongoing work mentoring students at UB add a critically important dimension to my role as system provost. It is a great honor to be named among the 2014 NAI fellows alongside some of the most innovative academic inventors in the world, including my SUNY colleagues.”

Stony Brook University’s Iwao Ojima also was named a NAI fellow.

“Groundbreaking, impactful research conducted by our faculty and students across New York State is an incredible source of pride for SUNY as we aim to drive knowledge and innovation in a global economy,” says SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to Dr. Cartwright and Dr. Ojima on this distinct honor from the NAI. This honorable recognition is a testament not only to their outstanding work, but to the innovation ecosystems that SUNY campuses foster in every region.”

The 2014 class brings the number of NAI fellows to 414 individuals who represent more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions. Cartwright, Ojima and the other 2014 fellows will be inducted on March 20 during the Fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.