This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Inventors Month, an American celebration of invention and creativity that was started by the United Inventors Association of America, the Academy of Applied Science and Inventors Digest.

In the spirit of that celebration, we present the latest in a long line of accomplished inventors: the 2018 Class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the winners of the 2018 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. The 2018 Hall class will be honored May 3 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The Lemelson-MIT program awarded a total of $80,000 in prizes to 14 undergraduate and graduate student inventors selected from a large and highly competitive pool of applicants from across the United States.


  • Marvin Caruthers: National Medal of Science winner who developed the chemical synthesis of DNA.
  • Stan Honey: Emmy winner in sports television graphics who invented the virtual yellow 1st-and-10 line.
  • Warren S. Johnson: Pioneered temperature regulation technologies; co-founder of Johnson Controls.
  • Howard S. Jones, Jr.: Developed antennas that conformed to the shape of the object they were on; used in rockets, missiles and spacecraft.
  • Sumita Mitra: Invented the first nanoparticle dental filling material.
  • Arogyaswami Paulraj: Marconi Prize winner who invented MIMO wireless technology, a foundation for WiFi and 4G mobile networks.
  • Mary Engle Pennington: Pioneer in safe preservation and storage of perishable foods. Jacqueline W. Quinn: NASA scientist who developed environmentally safe water decontamination technology, emulsified zero-valent iron (EZVI).
  • Joseph C. Shivers, Jr.: Invented Lycra® fiber or spandex.
  • Paul Terasaki: Invented tissue-typing for organ transplants and the Terasaki Tray.
  • Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman: Invented RSA cryptography, used in almost all internet-based transactions.
  • Ching Wan Tang and Steven A. Van Slyke: Invented organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) now used in computers, cell phones and televisions.


Graduate winners

  • Tyler Clites, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Developed a new approach to amputation called the Agonist-antagonist Myoneural Interface, comprised of a novel surgical technique for limb amputation and a complementary prosthetic control system.
  • Maher Damak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Developed a polymer additive that can be mixed with pesticides and other agricultural sprays to help them adhere to plants more effectively.
  • Kayla Nguyen, Cornell University: Invented the EMPAD, a fast, highly efficient detector that enhances imaging for a range of microscopic applications.
  • Guy Satat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Invented All Photons Imaging, a system that can image through dense fog that is intended for augmented driving, autonomous vehicles, drones, airplanes and helicopters.

Undergraduate team winners

  • Melissa Austin, Eric Cao, Talia Kirschbaum, Theodore Lee and Harrison Nguyen, Johns Hopkins University: Developed N-Stent, a comfortable and discreet nasal dilator designed to improve breathing for those who suffer from nasal obstruction.
  • Kali Barnes, Stephanie Cai, Akash Chaurasia, Conan Chen and Eric Chiang, Johns Hopkins University: Developed a device to help surgeons successfully perform corneal transplant surgery.