Engineering pioneer, ”university champion” Trevor O. Jones named National Academy of Inventors fellow

Trevor O. Jones headshotTrevor O. Jones, a lifelong engineering pioneer and dedicated Case Western Reserve supporter, has been named a 2014 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a distinction awarded today to 170 esteemed innovators and inventors worldwide.

With this recognition, Jones, who serves on the President’s Visiting Committee and chairs the university’s Research and Technology Commercialization Visiting Committee, joins 244 previously named NAI Fellows, representing more than 150 prestigious universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

In addition to his invaluable counsel on key Case Western Reserve committees, Jones served as honorary chairman of the 2013 “Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges,” a two-day conference sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and co-sponsored and hosted by Case Western Reserve. Jones also chaired the NAE conference “A 21st Century View of Energy” in 2005, also co-sponsored and hosted by the university.

“Trevor has had a tremendous impact on engineering in the automotive and biomedical industries in particular, and from large companies to small enterprises,” said Distinguished University Professor Hunter Peckham, who himself became an NAI fellow last year. “He also has taken on extremely active advisory roles here. He’s an extraordinary champion of the university.”

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by the deputy commissioner for patent operations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office during the NAI’s fourth annual conference on March 20 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow were 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.

Included among the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 208 members of the other National Academies 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates and 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, among other awards and distinctions.

Most recently, Jones served as chairman and chief executive officer of ElectroSonics Medical Inc., a biomedical device company he co-founded in 2007. Jones earlier founded BIOMEC, a company involved in the development and commercialization of biomedical devices, and served as its chairman until the firm was acquired by the Texas-based firm Greatbatch Inc. Jones also held leadership positions in such companies as TRW Inc., General Motors and the Libbey-Owens-Ford Co., a producer of flat glass for the automobile and construction industries. While at GM he directed such major initiatives as the B-52 bombing navigational system production program, advanced military avionic systems and Apollo lunar and command module computers.

Jones has received 16 patents, and has lectured and authored papers on automotive electronics, occupant safety, fuel cells, international human resource management and entrepreneurship. He also has received many of the most esteemed awards in innovation and industry in the U.S. and Great Britain. In 1982, for example, Jones was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, among the highest honors awarded in the field. In addition, he is also a Lifetime Associate of the National Research Council and Life Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Moreover, he is a fellow of the British Institute of Electrical Engineers and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (FRSA).

Jones received the U.S. Department of Transportation of Safety Award for Engineering Excellence in 1978, and, in 1991, received the H.H. Bliss Award from the Center for Study of Responsive Law. Both awards recognized his pioneering contributions to automotive inflatable occupant restraint systems development.

In 2006, Cleveland State University awarded Jones an honorary Doctor of Science degree and cited him for outstanding developments in fuel cell and biomedical device technologies.