UMKC Professor, Vice Chancellor of Research, Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Anthony Caruso becomes the second UMKC faculty member in two years to earn prestigious fellowship

Anthony Caruso, a UMKC faculty member, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors — the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a 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.

Caruso's research team conceptualized, and for the first time, showed certain nuclear materials could be identified by their neutron emitting fingerprint. His team has also developed methods for making nuclear batteries, new techniques to generate and radiate high power microwaves for electronic attack and materials that reduce the size of computer chips.

"Receiving this honor means that our team was able to collectively execute on technology that is deemed new, novel and useful," Caruso said. "Coming together as a team is important and should be held in high regard."

Caruso wears many hats at UMKC, serving as professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Computing and Engineering as well as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research.

Beyond the university, he is highly regarded as a national expert in atomic physics and has a long-standing record of federal research support from the Department of Defense, specifically the Office of Naval Research and Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Caurso is also among a team of researchers at the Missouri Institute for Defense Engery.

"As our team forges ahead, we hope to make major changes in the affordability of whole foods, through urban horticultural engineering, and, in education, through platforms that can adapt the individual and their learning style to enrich and accelerate the information they ingest, retain and use to solve the wicked problems of tomorrow, Caruso said.

UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal nominated Caruso for the fellowship. Upon finding out he had been named, Caruso said his first reaction was, "Chancellor Agrawal has my back."

"Tony's work is extraordinarily groundbreaking, and he has made a difference in the lives of many," Chancellor Agrawal said. "UMKC is proud to call him one of our own and is delighted to continue supporting him in his future endeavors."

Caruso is the second UMKC faculty member in the last five years to be named a Fellow of the NAI. Last year, Reza Derakhshani, professor in the School of Computing and Engineering and developer of a biometric technology that makes the eye the only password needed to secure smartphone and mobile devices, received the honor.

The 116-member 2021 Class of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors will be inducted at the NAI 11th annual meeting in June 2022. The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions with more than 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide.

The NAI was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovated students and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Collectively, NAI Fellows hold more than 42,700 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies, 3,200 companies and created more than one million jobs.

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