WPI Celebrates Record Year of Patents for Student and Faculty Inventions

The Commissioner of Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will attend a ceremony to honor WPI inventors.
Media Contact
May 03, 2018


On Monday, May 7, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will welcome Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner of Patents for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as the keynote speaker of the annual WPI Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) meeting. Commissioner Hirshfeld will join WPI President Laurie Leshin in celebrating this year’s record number of patents awarded for inventions by WPI faculty and students.

Patent work supports WPI’s mission of theory and practice as it accelerates the transfer of WPI discoveries from lab to market for the greatest impact on society. Patent licenses were issued this year for technologies including a new method of lithium ion battery recycling, a surgical robotic system, and shock-absorbing athletic shoes.

Event highlights:

  • 16 issued patents will be recognized
  • 7 faculty members will be inducted into the WPI Chapter of the NAI
  • 42 students will be honored for filing patents
  • 5 patent licenses will be handed out

In addition, WPI and Commissioner Hirshfeld will honor Diran Apelian, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI, for being named a fellow of the NAI. Apelian is the founding director of WPI’s Metal Processing Institute (MPI), and an internationally recognized pioneer in metals research.


Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Laurie Leshin, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Other honored faculty, students, and guests


Monday, May 7, 2018

3:45-5:00 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Worcester, Gordon Hall
111 Park Avenue, Worcester

  • 3:45 pm Welcome 
  • 3:50 pm Opening Remarks & Keynote Introduction: Laurie Leshin
  • 4:00 pm Keynote: Drew Hirshfeld
  • 4:30 pm Awards Ceremony
  • 4:55 pm NAI Fellow Recognition Award: Diran Apelian

NOTE:  Reporters interested in attending the event should contact Colleen Wamback at cbwamback@wpi.edu or 508-688-4858.