Innovator of the Year

Seated crowd at Innovator of the Year ceremony

Building an Innovation Ecosystem

The WPI Innovator of the Year Award recognizes annually a graduate or friend of WPI who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishments as an innovator, showcasing individuals who have excelled in driving innovation within enterprises of all kinds.

The WPI Innovator of the Year celebration is a key building block of the university's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. It recognizes role models for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends; catalyzes the engagement of highly successful innovators and entrepreneurs in the transformation of WPI; and inspires honorees to commit their time and talent to help WPI become a leading global contributor to addressing the global grand challenges.

2018 WPI Innovator of the Year

Diran, WPI faculty member, is the 2018 WPI Innovator of the Year. Widely recognized for his innovative work in metal processing and for his leadership as a researcher and educator, he is the Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI, founding director of the Metal Processing Institute, and director of the Advanced Casting Research Center. He has done breakthrough work in the fields of molten metal processing, plasma processing, spray casting, and shape casting of aluminum alloys. Diran’s development of technologies to recover and recycle materials is critically important for a sustainable future. His scholarship is valued and used by the industrial sector; he has a talent for bridging industrial and academic communities, and for identifying fundamental scientific issues. He is the recipient of many distinguished national and international honors and awards, and was one of four WPI faculty members recognized with the 2016 Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering Education. He is a member of four Academies: National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Armenian Academy of Science, European Academy of Science, and National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Kathy Loftus Community Message

WPI 2016 Innovator of the Year Kathy Loftus ’86, global leader of sustainable facilities, shares her recipe for innovation: utilize collaborative thinking to apply technology in new ways and consume energy more efficiently. Watch her message to the community.