The NCIIA recognizes Dr. John Ochs, Lehigh University; Dr. Michael Lovell, University of Pittsburgh; and Dr. John Kleppe, University of Nevada-Reno as the 2006 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program. The program recognizes individuals who have fostered and demonstrated innovative thinking in education.
The winners received their awards from Dr. Stephen S. Tang, group vice president and general manager, Life Science, Olympus America, in Portland, Ore. at the 10th Annual Meeting of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), Olympus' partner in conducting the program. "I am honored to have served as Olympus' judge for our 2006 award program with the NCIIA, and I salute the winners for their outstanding accomplishments," said Tang. "They have not only been exemplary teachers but also champions of innovation and entrepreneurship, which are integral parts of our culture at Olympus and critical for companies to successfully compete in today's global economy."
"We are excited about the extended award program, which allows us to recognize the work of more individuals," added Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA. "Through this program, Olympus continues its strong commitment to education as an important way to foster innovation in America."
Ochs, Lovell and Kleppe were selected from numerous qualified faculty nominated by colleagues at NCIIA member institutions, including many top colleges and research institutions in the United States. The winners were determined by a committee of five judges, including Steven Nichols, professor of mechanical engineering, University of Texas at Austin, the winner of the 2005 inaugural Olympus Innovation Award; Tang; Weilerstein; Dr. Abigail Barrow, founding director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center; and Dr. Arthur A. Boni, deputy director and John R. Thorne professor, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University.