A UNSW Biomedical Engineering Professor has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in the United States.
One of just 168 innovators across the world and the only Australian on the list, Professor Melissa Knothe Tate was awarded the honour in recognition of her work in creating and facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
“Engineering, reverse engineering and inventing are truly creative endeavours,” Knothe Tate said.
“They are all critical to building a dynamic and entrepreneurial biomedical and disruptive tech community in Australia.”
After graduating from Stanford University with a dual Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Biological Sciences, Knothe Tate went on to complete a PhD in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
She then spent more than a decade in research at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, after which she was recruited to UNSW in 2013 as the Paul Trainor Chair in Biomedical Engineering
In her time at UNSW, Knothe Tate and her team of researchers have developed a ‘smart’ fabric designed to mimic body tissue, a technology with potential applications in protective clothing for skiers and racecar drivers. She’s also led ground-breaking research into mapping the human hip using a multi-beam scanning electron microscope.
Her research program has brought in more than $21 million in competitive international grant funding, with her inventions and intellectual property resulting in the creation of three startup companies.
“Translating research into products that can help people lead their healthiest and happiest lives is really the crux of biomedical engineering and an important part of my career,” Knothe Tate said.
As well as being named a Fellow of the NAI, Knothe Tate has received a whole host of honours and awards over her career, including: being named one of create’s Most Innovative Engineers for 2017; the Christopher Columbus Foundation – US Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Distinguished Life Sciences Award; and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Research Fellowship.