The Lemelson-MIT Program has announced that Michael J. Cima, the Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering, will be its new faculty director, effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Cima, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, is a recognized expert in the field of materials processing. He is actively involved in materials and engineered systems for improvements in human health such asÂ treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma and urological disorders. He is also a co-inventor of MIT'sÂ three-dimensional printing process, co-founder of fourÂ companies in the health-technologies field and advisor to the MIT Glass Lab.
Cima succeeds Merton Flemings, the Toyota Professor of Materials Processing Emeritus of DMSE, who has served as the Lemelson-MIT Program faculty director since 2001. During his tenure, Flemings oversaw the launch of Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, the growth of the Lemelson-MIT Awards, andÂ the birth ofÂ EurekaFest, the program's annual multi-dayÂ celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors.
The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The program administers the InvenTeam initiative, which awards grants to teams of high school students, teachers and mentors to invent, and the Lemelson-MIT Awards, which include the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability and the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 10, 2008 (download PDF).