Dean Brown Receives Prestigious Honors
January 4, 2016
Richard B. Brown, dean of the University of Utah’s College of Engineering, received two prestigious honors on the same day: He was elected to the National Academy of Inventors, and he was awarded the Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Science and Technology.
Brown, the University’s 11th dean of the College of Engineering, was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, one of 168 named in 2015, bringing the total number of NAI Fellows to 582 from more than 190 universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions. Past University of Utah fellows include President David W. Pershing, Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Cynthia M. Furse and Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Stephen C. Jacobsen.
Fellows who are elected are academic inventors “who have demonstrated a highly 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,” according to the academy. Fellows are 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 academy is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 that recognizes and encourages inventors, enhances the visibility of the university, educates and mentors students and publicizes the inventions of its members.
On the same day, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Brown as one of the recipients of this year’s Governor’s Medals for Excellence in Science and Technology. The medals will be awarded at an event Jan. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
The Governor’s Medals for Excellence in Science and Technology are awarded to residents and companies who have provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah’s advanced scientific and technological knowledge, education and industry, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
Brown, who was given the award in the Education category, was touted for increasing and improving “the resources, facilities and performance of the college, while also developing a STEM outreach program that engages K-12 students,” according to GOED, which is handing out the awards along with the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) agency.
You can read more about all of the recipients here.
“Obviously, this Governor’s Medal belongs to all of the faculty and staff who have contributed to the growth and advancement of the College of Engineering,” said Dean Brown. “I am fortunate to have been at the U during this exciting time. Since I started 11 years ago, research expenditures per year have grown from $30 million to $80 million, and faculty peer-reviewed publications and invention disclosures have both doubled to more than 800 per year and 100 per year, respectively. Also, average freshman ACT scores in the College have increased by 2.5 points to 27.3, and the number of graduates per year from the College has more than doubled.”
In addition to being dean of the U’s engineering college, Brown is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a professor in the School of Computing. He is also an adjunct professor of bioengineering.
Before moving to Utah, he was a faculty member for 19 years in the University of Michigan Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, where he served as associate chair for the Electrical Engineering Division for four years and as the interim chair of EECS for two years.
Brown is one of the pioneers in the field of miniature, silicon-based chemical sensors that are used to test water, neurochemicals and blood. He and his 31 Ph.D. graduates are also known for integrated circuit design, including high-speed and low-power microprocessors, and highly integrated microcontrollers. He is the recipient of a Distinguished Faculty Award from the Michigan Governing Boards of Universities and a University of Michigan Arthur F. Thurnau Endowed Professorship. He also was an IBM Faculty Fellow at the Austin Center for Advanced Studies.
Brown holds 16 issued full-utility US patents (plus foreign counterparts) that have been licensed to nine companies. He is a founder of Sensicore, i-SENS, Mobius Microsystems and e-SENS. He has authored more than 225 peer-reviewed publications and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.